Chapters 5 & 6 • Research Designs
TYPES OF RESEARCH DESIGNS Exploratory Research Research design in which the major emphasis is on gaining ideas and insights; it is particularly helpful in breaking broad, vague problem statements into smaller, more precise subproblem statements. Descriptive Research Research design in which the major emphasis is on determining the frequency with which something occurs or the extent to which two variables covary. Causal Research Research design in which the major emphasis is on determining cause-and-effect relationships.
Descriptive Research Exploratory Research Causal Research
Chestnut Ridge Country Club (A) • What kind of research design is being used? Is it a good choice? • Do you think it was ethical for the researchers not to disclose the identity of the sponsoring organization? Do you think it was ethical for the boards of directors to release the names of their members in return for a report that analyzes their members’ perceptions toward their own club? • Overall, how does Chestnut Ridge compare to the other three country clubs (Alden, Chalet, & Lancaster)? • In what areas might Chestnut Ridge consider making improvements to attract additional members?
Types and Some Key Characteristics of Exploratory Studies Literature Search Conceptual literature Trade literature Published statistics Experience Survey Knowledgeable people with varying points of view Unstructured and informal interviews Respondent freedom to choose factors to be discussed Exploratory Studies Focus Groups 8 to 12 people at one time Relatively homogeneous groups Multiple groups to get heterogeneity in perspective Moderator is key Relies on general topical guide, but with plenty of time for interaction Analysis of Selected Cases Attitude of investigator is key, must be alert to new ideas Integrative powers of investigator are important Cases reflecting abrupt changes, extremes of behavior, and order in which events occur over time are productive Searching for sharp contrasts or striking features
Focus Group Exercise Cynthia Gaskill is the owner of a clothing store that caters to college students. Through informal conversations with her customers, she has begun to suspect that a video-rental store specifically targeting college students as customers would do quite well in the local market. While her informal conversations with students have revealed an overall sense of dissatisfaction with existing rental outlets, she hasn’t been able to isolate specific areas of concern. Gaskill thinking back to a marketing research class she took in school has decided that focus group research would be an appropriate method to gather information that might be useful in deciding whether to pursue further development of her idea.
What is the decision problem and resulting research problem apparent in this situation? • Who should Gaskill select as participants for the focus group? • Where should the focus group session be conducted? • Who should be the moderator for the focus group. • Develop a discussion outline for the focus group.
USE OF DESCRIPTIVE RESEARCH 1. To describe the characteristics of certain groups. For example, based on information gathered from known users of our particular product, we might attempt to develop a profile of the “average user” with respect to income, sex, age, educational level, and so on. 2. To estimate the proportion of people in a specified population who behave in a certain way. We might be interested, say, in estimating the proportion of people within a specified radius of a proposed shopping complex who would shop at the center. 3. To make specific predictions. We might be interested in predicting the level of sales for each of the next five years so that we could plan for the hiring and training of new sales representatives.
True Panel Longitudinal Omnibus Panel Descriptive Studies Cross Sectional Sample Survey
Longitudinal Data Cross Sectional Data Allows turnover analysis if panel is a true panel Tends to produce more representative samples of the population of interest Allows collection of a great deal more classification information from respondents Produces fewer errors due to respondent’s behavior being affected by the measurement task Allows longer and more exacting interviews Allows the investigation of a great many relationships Produces fewer errors in reporting past behavior because of natural forgetting Produces fewer interviewer-- interviewee interaction errors
BRAND-SWITCHING MATRIX A two-way table that indicates which brands a sample of people purchased in one period and which brands they purchased in a subsequent period, thus highlighting the switches occurring among and between brands as well as the number of persons that purchased the same brand in both periods.
Number of Families in Panel Purchasing Each Brand Brand Purchased During First Time Period t1 During Second Time Period t2 A B C D Total 230 310 340 120 1,000 280 290 310 120 1,000
Number of Families in Panel Purchasing Each Brand in Each Period During Second Time Period t2 Bought A Bought B Bought C Bought D Total Bought A Bought B Bought C Bought D Total 210 0 0 70 280 20 260 0 10 290 0 50 260 0 310 0 0 80 40 120 230 310 340 120 1,000 During First Time Period t1
Number of Families in Panel Purchasing Each Brand in Each Period During Second Time Period t2 Bought A Bought B Bought C Bought D Total Bought A Bought B Bought C Bought D .913 .000 .000 .583 .087 .839 .000 .083 .000 .161 .765 .000 .000 .000 .235 .333 1.000 1.000 1.000 1.000 During First Time Period t1
Descriptive Research Exercise Read the Allure Company situation in Question 3 on page 152-153. Do you think the management of the Allure Company was accurate in analyzing the situation? Justify your answer. You are called upon to do some analysis. From the data given above construct a brand-switching matrix. Indicate what this matrix reveals for each of the brands over the one-year period. Complete the table on page 153. What can be said about the degree of brand loyalty for each of the four products?
Types of Evidence That Supports a Causal Inference Concomitant variation--evidence of the extent to which X and Y occur together or vary together in the way predicted by the hypothesis Time order of occurrence of variables--evidence that shows X occurs before Y Elimination of other possible causal factors--evidence that allows the elimination of factors other than X as the cause of Y X -- the presumed cause Y -- the presumed effect
Types of Experiments Laboratory Experiment Research investigation in which investigator creates a situation with exact conditions so as to control some, and manipulate other, variables Experiment Scientific investigation in which an investigator manipulates and controls one or more independent variables and observes the dependent variable for variation concomitant to the manipulation of the independent variables Field Experiment Research study in a realistic situation in which one or more independent variables are manipulated by the experimenter under as carefully controlled conditions as the situation will permit
Relationship Among the Various Types of Test Markets Simulated Test Market Promising Not Promising Abort Controlled Test Market Promising Not Promising Abort Standard Test Market Not Promising Abort Promising National Rollout
CRITICAL PROBLEMS OF TEST MARKETING • COST • TIME • CONTROL