Module 3 Study Guide

Three characteristics of exploratory research

1. Unstructured
2. Flexible
3. Informal


Without a predetermined set of questions and response options


At any point in the research data collection methods can be adapted based on what is discovered and what still remains to know


With not formal set of hypothesis testing

Exploratory research methods

1. Secondary data analysis
2. Qualitative research methods
- Observation (unstructured)
- Communication (unstructured)

Secondary data

- Data that has previously been gathered by someone other than the researcher and-or for some other purpose than the research project at hadn't
- Increasingly available as part of big data
- Contrast wit primary data

Primary data

Data that is developed or gathered any the researcher specifically for the research project at hand

Types of secondary data

1. Internal secondary data
2. External secondary data

Internal secondary data

- Data that has been collected within the firm, typically as part of the normal course of business transactions (production records, inventory levels, sales records, purchase requisitions, customer complaints)
- Often stored as internal databases in the m

External secondary data

Data that has been collected by entities outside the firm. such as government agencies, trade associations, professional associations, commercial research suppliers

Three broad sources of external secondary data

1. Published sources
2. Official statistics
3. Data aggregators

Published sources

- Prepared for public distribution or consumption, usually available in the form of reports and reading materials

Official statistics

Quantitative data published by public and non-profit organizations, such as government institutions and internal organizations

Data aggregators

Vendors that organic and package information on focused topics and make these available to multiple users either for free or for a fee

Secondary data in descriptive research

- Industry or market fact-finding to describe industry or market characteristics and trends, identify marketing opportunities, evaluate marketing performance
- model building (regression modeling and economic trend forecasting)

Secondary data in exploratory research

- Provide background information
- Clarify marketing problems
- Help formulate research objectives
- Formulate hypotheses for testing
- Establish research priorities

Advantages of secondary data

- Can be obtained quickly
- Are inexpensive
- Are usually available
- Can enhance existing primary data
- May achieve the research objective alone

Disadvantages of secondary data

- Reporting units may be incompatible
- Measurement units may not match
- Class definitions may not be useable
- Data may be outdated
- Data may not be credible

Packaged information

- Type of secondary data in which (a) the data collected and/or (b) the process of collecting the data are prepackaged for all users

Syndicated data

Data collected in a standard format and made available to all subscribers for a fee

Packaged services

Prepackaged marketing research process that is used to generate information for a particulate user; unlike syndicated data, the data from a packaged service will differ for each client

Advantages of syndicated data

- Shared costs
- Very high quality of the data collected
- Speed

Disadvantages of syndicated data

- Buyers have little control over data collection
- Buyers must commit to long-term contracts
- No strategic information advantage (competitors have access to the same data)

Advantages of packaged services

- Experience of the research firm
- Reduced cost of the research
- Speed of the research service

Disadvantages of packaged services

- May not be able to customize aspects of a project
- Company providing the service may not know idiosyncrasies of a particular industry


A research technique in which the researcher systematically observes and document the phenomenon of interest rather than communicate with a person to obtain the necessary information

Types of observation

1. Direct versus indirect
2. Overt versis covert
3. Structured vs unstructured
4. In-situ versus invented

Direct v Indirect

Observing behavior has it occurs vs observing effects of the behavior (archives and physical trace)

Overt v Covert

Observed subjects is unaware (mystery shopping) v aware

Structured v Unstructured

Observed behaviors are identified beforehand vs being determined as the observation progresses

In-situ v Invented

Behavior is observed in its natural setting v in a contrived environment

Conditions suitable for observation as a research tool

1. Short time interval
2. Public behavior
3. Faculty recall condition

Advantages of observational data

- Insight into actual, not report, behaviors
- No chance for recall error
- Better accuracy
- Less cost

Disadvantages of observational data

- Small number of subjects
- Subjective interpretations
- Inability to pry beneath the behavior observed
- Motivations, attitudes, and other internal conditions cannot be observed

Focus group discussion

Unstructured, spontaneous discussions with small groups of people guided by a moderator for the purpose of gaining information relevant to the research problem

Operation aspects of focus groups

SIZE: 6 to 12
WHO: homogeneous - respondents with similar backgrounds
RECRUITING: use incentives
SELECTION: depends on the study's purpose
WHERE: place conductive to group discussion
REPORTING RESULTS: report qualitative data

Use of focus groups

- generate ideas
- learn consumers "vocabulary" with respect to a particular product category
- reveal consumers' underlying (deeper) goals, needs, motives, perceptions, and attitudes about products and services
- understand (better clarify) finding from

Traditional focus group

Meet in a dedicated room with one-way mirror for client viewing, for about two hours

Nontraditional/contemporary focus group

Use other interaction modes
- Teleconferencing
- Internet

Advantages of focus groups

- Generate fresh ideas
- Allow clients to observe their participants
- May be directed at understanding a wide variety of issues
- Allow fairly easy access to special respondent groups

Disadvantages of focus groups

- Lack of representativeness
- Data interpretation sometime difficult
- High cost per participant

Advantages of online focus groups

- No physical set up is necessary
- Transcripts are captured on file in real time
- Participants can be in widely separated geographical areas
- Participants are comfortable in their home or office environments
- The moderator can exchange private message

Disadvantages of online focus groups

- Observation of participants body language is not possible or difficult
- Participants cannot physically inspect products or taste items
- Participants can lose interest or become distracted

In-depth interviews

- Interviews in which a set of probing questions are poses one-on-one to a subject by a trained interviewer to gain deeper insight into what the subject thinks about something or why they behave in a certain why

Common projective techniques

- Word association test
- Sentence completion
- Picture test/ thematic apperception test
- Cartoon or ballon test
- Role playing activates

Word association test

- A projective technique in which subjects are present with a word and and to indicate what other words come to mind
- May be used to develop an associative network fo words related to a focal work
- Useful im brand name testing and product concept testin

Sentence completion test

A projective technique in which subjects are given incomplete sentence and asked to complete them with the word or phrase that first comes to mind

Picture test

Participants are given a picture and asked to write a shirt story about i; goal is to tap into participants feelings

Thematic apperception test

Participants are given a series of pictures and asked to develop a story about the pictures

Cartoon or balloon test

A projective technique in which respondents are presented with a cartoon drawing representing an incomplete dialogue and asked to suggest a dialogue that the characters might engage in

Role playing

A projective technique in which respondents are asked to preteen that they are a "third person" and to describe how they would react to a specific statement (or behave in a particular situation)