Ch. 2-Problem Definition, Exploratory Research, and the Research Process

opportunity identification
using marketing research to find and evaluate new opportunities.
situation analysis
studying the decision making environment within which marketing research will take place.

the better the marketing researcher understands the decision-making environment, including the industry, the firm, its products or services, and the target market, the more likely it is that the problem will be defined correctly.

exploratory research
preliminary research conducted to increase understanding of a concept, to clarify the exact nature of the problem to be solved, or to identify important variables to be studied.

the end of exploratory study comes when the marketing researchers are convinced that they have found the major dimensions of the problems.

pilot studies
surveys using a limited number of respondents and often employing less rigorous sampling techniques than are employed in large, quantitative studies.

a form of exploratory research.

experience surveys
discussions with knowledgeable individuals, both inside and outside an organization, who may provide insights into the problem.
case analysis
reviewing information from situations that are similar to the current one.
marketing research problem
a statement specifying the type of information needed by the decision maker to help solve the management decision problem and how that information can be obtained efficiently and effectively.
management decision problem
a statement specifying the type of managerial action required to solve the problem.
marketing research objective
a goal statement, defining the specific information needed to solve the marketing research problem.
hypothesis
a conjectural statement about a relationship between 2 or more variables that can be tested with empirical data; it is considered to be plausible, given the available information.

a good hypothesis will contain CLEAR implications for testing stated relationships.

research design
the plan to be followed to answer the marketing research objectives or hypotheses.

the research develops a structure or framework to answer a specific research problem/opportunity.

descriptive studies
research studies that answer the questions who, what, when, where, and how.
variable
a symbol or concept that can assume any one of a set of values.
causal studies
research studies that examine whether the value of one variable causes or determines the value of another variable.
dependent variable
a symbol or concept expected to be explained or influenced by the independent variable. (y)
independent variable
a symbol or concept over which the researcher has some control and that is hypothesized to cause or influence the dependent variable. (x)
temporal sequence
an appropriate causal order of events.

temporal sequence is one criterion that must be met for causality.

concomitant variation
the degree to which a presumed cause and a presumed effect occur or vary together.
spurious association
a relationship between a presumed cause and a presumed effect that occurs as a result of an un-examined variable or set of variables.

possibility of other variables actually causing changes in the dependent variable.

survey research
Research in which an interviewer (except in mail and Internet surveys) interacts with respondents to obtain facts, opinions, and attitudes.
observation research
typically, descriptive research that monitors respondents’ without direct interaction.
experiments
research to measure causality, in which the researcher changes one or more independent variables and observes the effect of the changes on the dependent variable.
probability sample
a subset of a population where every element in the population has a known nonzero chance of being selected.
non-probability sample
a subset of a population in which the chances of selection for the various elements in the population are unknown.
research request
an internal document used by large organizations that describes a potential research project, its benefits to the organization, and estimated costs; it must be formally approved before a research project can begin.
request for proposal (RFP)
a solicitation sent to marketing research suppliers inviting them to submit a formal proposal, including a bid.
research proposal
a document developed, usually in response to an RFP, that represents the research objectives, research design, time line, and cost of a project.