concepts - The Catholic University of America

Fall 2006
Main concepts
I. The Role of Market Research
1. Definition of market research: Market research is the systematic and objective process
of gathering information for aid in marketing decisions
2. Research should be an aid to managerial judgment not a substitute for it.
3. Prime managerial value of market research (reduction of uncertainty)
4. Considerations for determining whether to conduct market research (time constraints;
availability of data; nature of the decision; benefits versus costs)
5. Characteristics of valuable information: relevance, quality, timeliness, completeness.
III. The Market Research Process
6. Types of market research: exploratory, descriptive and causal.
7. What to do before inferring causality: establish causal order; measure concomitant
variation; recognize presence or absence of other plausible explanations.
8. Stages in the research process
V. Problem Definition
9. Process for defining the research problem:
a. Ascertain the decision maker’s objectives.
b. Understand the background of the problem
c. Isolate and identify the problem not the symptoms
d. Determine the unit of analysis
e. Determine the relevant variables
f. State the research questions (Hypotheses) and research objectives
10. Characteristics of a good research question (specific, clear, accompanied by a wellformulated hypothesis, and decision-oriented)
VI. Exploratory Research
11. Reasons for conducting exploratory research (Diagnosing, screening, discovering)
12. Risks associated with exploratory research
VII. Secondary Data
13. Advantages and Disadvantages
14. Sources of secondary data
VIII: Overview of Survey Research
15. Types of survey errors
a. Random sampling error
b. Systematic error (bias)
i. Respondent error
ii. Administrative error
IX. Communicating with Respondents
16. Typical survey methods and advantages and disadvantages of each
17. Five steps for checking a questionnaire design
X. Observation
18. Types of mechanical observation (television monitoring, Web-site traffic monitoring,
scanner-based research, measuring physiological reactions)
XI. Experimental Research
19. Definition of experiment, and dependent and independent variables.
20. Experimental vs. control groups
21. Blinding
22. Internal vs. external validity
XII. Test Marketing and Complex Experiments
23. Define test market, advantages and disadvantages of test marketing
XIII. Measurement
24. Types of scales (nominal, ordinal, interval, ratio), analysis of scales (ex. 13.4), and
importance of index measures
25. Criteria for good measurement: reliability vs. validity (ex. 13.5), sensitivity
XIV. Attitude Measurement
26. Techniques for measuring attitudes: ranking, rating (simple, category, Likert, etc.),
sorting, choice
XV. Survey Design
27. Types of questions: open ended vs. fixed alternative, and implications of each
28. What to avoid (complexity, leading/loaded questions, ambiguity, double-barreled
options, assumptions, burdensome questions)
29. Sequencing issues (order bias, anchoring effect)
30. Importance of pre-testing
XVI. Sampling Designs and Procedures
31. Difference between sample, population and census; reasons for sampling; target
population vs. sampling frame
XVII. Determination of Sample Size (Review of statistics)
32. Descriptive vs. inferential statistics; sample statistics vs. population parameters
XIX. Editing and Coding
33. Requirements for code construction (MECE)
XX. Basic Data Analysis
34. Definition of descriptive analysis
XXI. Univariate Statistical Analysis
35. Define hypothesis, null hypothesis and alternative hypothesis.
36. Hypothesis testing; type I and II errors
XXV. Communicating Research Results
37. Parts of the report/presentation (summary, objectives, method, results, conclusions and