Institute of Commercial Management | Qualification Subject

Marketing Research

Main Topics of Study

Introducing Marketing Research

  • Who needs marketing research?
  • Who should read this book?
  • What does the book cover?

Getting Started

What Does the Organisation Need Research For?

  • Corporate planning
  • Market planning
  • Product planning
  • Promotional planning
  • Distribution planning
  • Price planning

What Types of Research Data are there?

  • Continuous research
  • Ad hoc research
  • Desk research
  • Field research

How Can the Organisation Obtain the Research it Needs?

  • Getting started
  • Resources

Marketing Research Begins at Home

What Can be Done at Home?

  • Data produced in the normal course of running the organisation
  • Data acquired through personal contacts
  • Accumulated research information
  • Decision support systems

What Goes into an Internal Information System?

  • Operating data
  • Market intelligence
  • Information library
  • Customer relationship management systems
  • Data warehouses and data mining

‘Off-the-Peg’ Research

Secondary Desk Research

  • Introduction
  • Sources
  • Finding the pegs
  • Using secondary data

Syndicated Research Services

  • Index to syndicated research surveys
  • Guide to syndicated research services
  • Omnibus research surveys
  • Omnibus research services and suppliers
  • General population omnibus surveys
  • Specialist omnibus surveys

Specialist Research Services

  • Types of research offered via the Market Research Society
  • Consumer classification systems

‘Made-to-Measure’ Research

  • Buying a ‘made-to-measure’ research survey is just like buying a ‘made-to measure’ suit
  • The ‘made-to-measure’ research process
  • Defining the research required
  • ‘What is the problem?’
  • ‘What data is needed to find a solution?’

How is the Data Collected?

  • Interview methods
  • Interviewing individuals
  • Attitude measurement
  • Projective techniques
  • Interviewing groups
  • Postal or self-completion research
  • Internet and e-mail research
  • Diary panels
  • Telephone research
  • Observation research
  • Observation panels
  • Retail audits

Who Provides the Information?

  • What is a sample?
  • Why use a sample?
  • How is the sample selected?
  • Random sampling
  • Quota sampling
  • Judgement sampling
  • How big does the sample need to be?
  • Variability in the population
  • Required level of confidence
  • Required limits of accuracy
  • Allowance for non-response
  • Subgroup analysis requirements
  • Practical factors

How Do You Ask the Questions?:

Why Use a Questionnaire

  • To collect relevant data
  • To make data comparable
  • To minimise bias
  • To motivate the respondent

Getting the Questionnaire Content Right

  • What types of data can be collected using a questionnaire?
  • Fact
  • Opinion
  • Motive

What Does a Questionnaire Contain?

  • Identification data
  • Classification data
  • Subject data

What Types of Question Can Be Used?

  • Dichotomous questions
  • Multiple-Choice questions
  • Open-Ended questions
  • Rating scales

How Should Questions be Worded?

  • Meaning
  • Ambiguity
  • Leading
  • Generalisation
  • Unidimensionality

Cushion Statements

  • Will the respondent answer the questions?
  • Allowing for method of analysis
  • Why does presentation matter?
  • Will the questionnaire work?

Special Types of Questionnaire

  • Postal or self-completion questionnaires
  • Telephone questionnaires
  • Online questionnaires

Vetting Questionnaires

Who Asks the Questions?

  • Interviewers:’Horses for Courses’
  • Fully structured interviews
  • Using rating scales
  • Semi-structured interviews
  • Unstructured interviews

What do Interviewers Do?

  • Selecting respondents
  • Obtaining interviews
  • Asking questions
  • Probing and prompting
  • Motivating respondents
  • Interpreting and recording responses
  • Interviewer bias

Who Are the Interviewers?

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Social background
  • Education
  • Job background
  • Personality
  • Training

How are Interviewers Controlled?

  • The interviewer quality control scheme
  • Field supervision
  • Postal checking
  • Telephone checks
  • Personal recall checks
  • Editing checks
  • Computer checks
  • Monitoring fieldwork

Choosing a Good Fieldwork Agency

  • Finding the agency
  • Asking pertinent questions
  • Looking at the evidence
  • Membership of the interviewer quality control scheme
  • Relevant experience
  • Cost

Using an Agency for Fieldwork

  • Briefing the agency
  • Agreeing the procedures
  • Briefing the interviewers

Asking the Questions Yourself

What Happens to the Answers?

  • Analysis and interpretation of qualitative data
  • Analysis of quantitative data
  • Data preparation
  • Data processing
  • Statistical analysis
  • Interpretation of quantitative data
  • Reporting
  • The research report

How Do You Buy Good Research?

Getting the Research Requirement Right

  • Is research really necessary?
  • What type of research is needed?
  • What will the research be used for?
  • When is the research needed by?
  • How much is the research information worth?
  • Preparing the brief

Choosing the Right Agency

  • Drawing up the shortlist
  • Briefing the agencies
  • The research proposal
  • Selecting the research agency
  • Checking that the agency does a good job
  • Monitoring while in progress
  • Evaluating the final results

Learning from Experience

  • Were the objectives right?
  • Was the research programme right?
  • Was too much or too little information produced?
  • Did it help to provide a solution?
  • Using feedback
  • What action resulted from the research?

Buying Syndicated Services

  • Defining the requirement
  • Does the service meet the requirement?
  • Does the service provide adequate flexibility?
  • Is the money worth spending?
  • Evaluating other research reports
  • A scheme for judging research quality

Using Research in Experiments

Types of Research Experiment

  • Experimental launching
  • Pilot launching
  • Specific market test
  • Exploratory market test

Types of Experimental Design

  • Informal experimental designs
  • Formal experimental designs

Setting Up Research Experiments

  • Selecting the experimental design
  • The scale of the experiment
  • Choosing the test area
  • Timing
  • Test conditions
  • Test variables
  • Cost
  • Syndicated test procedures

Using Research in Business-to-Business and Industrial Markets

Marketing Research Begins at Home

  • ‘Off-the-peg’ research
  • ‘Made-to-measure’ research
  • How is the data collected?
  • Who provides the information?
  • How are the questions asked?
  • Who asks the questions?
  • What happens to the answers?
  • How do you buy good research?
  • Using research in industrial markets

Using Research in Online Markets

  • Marketing research begins at home
  • ‘Off-the-peg’ research
  • ‘Made-to-measure’ research
  • How is the data collected?
  • Who provides the information?
  • How are the questions asked?
  • Who asks the questions?
  • What happens to the answers?
  • How do you buy good research?
  • Using research in online markets

Using Research in International Markets

  • Who monitors the quality of international research?
  • Who are the users?
  • Who undertakes the research?
  • International market research begins at home
  • ‘Off-the-peg’ research
  • Secondary desk research
  • Sources and sampling
  • Government published data
  • ‘Made-to-measure’ research
  • Data collection methods
  • How do you ask the questions?
  • How do you buy good research?
  • Preparing the brief
  • Selecting the agency
  • Government assistance for overseas research
  • Commissioning the research
  • Implementing the research

Using Research in Marketing Decision Making

  • Using research for market analysis
  • Using research to develop new products and services
  • Using research to select brand names and pack designs
  • Using research for pricing decisions
  • Using research for decisions about advertising

Example Candidate Response Booklet

Example Candidate Response (ECR) Booklets are a source of crucial information for Centres and Candidates as they use real candidate responses. We ask Senior Examiners to comment on five or more responses in terms of why the mark was awarded with commentary about how to improve the answer (if necessary).

Recommended Reading

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Marketing Research for Managers – S. Crouch & M. Housden (Butterworth Heinemann)

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