Marketing Research in Practice

Author(s): David Ashley

Edition: 3

Copyright: 2022

Details: eBook w/KHPContent Access | 180 days |


New Third Edition Now Available!

Successful leaders collect and capitalize on data which come in multiple forms. It includes secondary data, interviews, focus groups, questionnaires, observation, and experimental design. They are all critical tools that connect business leaders to their customers while also helping them better understand the business challenges of the market. It is through these tools and the breakthroughs they bring that leaders discover the information they need to be successful.

Academic study and practical application meet in Marketing Research in Practice— a practical examination of the essential components of marketing research. This book presents marketing research in a practical, application-based manner resulting in a clear understanding of the most important facets of marketing research. There are fourteen chapters which walk the reader through the entire marketing research process from research design to the final research report.

  • “Issues in the Spotlight” features on a variety of topics at the end of the chapters for additional learning. These vignettes tap marketing research industry experts for their expertise and insight as practitioners of the profession. 
  • Includes sample Microsoft Excel data for data analysis drills as well as a Microsoft PowerPoint slide deck for instructor use available through the publisher.
  • Features complete case studies in the appendix from the Journal of Marketing Research for examination and discussion and well as a guide on how to conduct a case analysis




The Insights Association
About the Author

1 The Role of Marketing Research
Marketing Concept’s Connection to Marketing Research
Marketing Research Mistakes and Key Concepts
Deciding Whether to Conduct Marketing Research
Types of Marketing Research Studies
Why Should I Learn Marketing Research?
Careers in Marketing Research
Research in Practice

2 The Marketing Research Process
Reasons to Conduct Marketing Research
The Marketing Research Process
The Eleven Marketing Research Steps
Marketing Research Design
The Analytical Model
Request for Proposal and Request for Quote
The Market Growth Matrix and Marketing Research
Research Approach vs. Research Method
Research Approaches
Research Methods
Types of Marketing Research Providers
Possible Suite of Marketing Research Services
Choosing a Marketing Research Provider 
Marketing Research Ethics
Marketing Research Suppliers Should Not
The Client Should Not
The Respondent Should Not
Exploratory, Descriptive, and Causal Research
Exploratory Research
Descriptive Research
How to Read a Longitudinal Survey—Focus on Four Concepts
Causal Research
The Internet Impact
Marketing Research Decision Support System
Research in Practice

3 Qualitative vs. Quantitative Data and Secondary Data Methods
Qualitative vs. Quantitative Research
Principal Differences in Qualitative and Quantitative Research
Comparing Qualitative and Quantitative Research Approaches
Data Collection to Analysis Flow
Secondary Data Sources
Internal Secondary Data Sources
Advantages and Disadvantages of Secondary Data
Assessing the Quality of Secondary Data
Finding Good Secondary Data
Common Marketing Research Mistakes
Developing a Marketing Research Strategy
Principal Considerations of a Research Strategy
Main Components of a Research Strategy
Research Strategies—Determining the Interrelation Among Variables
The Freedom of Information Act
Research in Practice

4 Individual Depth Interviews, Focus Groups, and Perceptual Mapping
Individual Depth Interviews (IDI)
Keys to Conducting IDIs
Focus Groups
Focus Group Mapping
Perceptual Mapping
Research in Practice

5 Observation Research
Conditions Needed for Observation Research
Types of Observation Research
Mystery Shopping
Level I:
Level II:
Level III:
Level IV:
Determining the Best Observation Method
Content Analysis and Forensic Observation
The Internet and Growing Forms of Observation
Observation Research Advantages and Disadvantages
Research in Practice

6 Research Error and Data Collection Methods
Survey Research Error
Handling Subject Response Errors
Weight Score
Reduce the Sample Size
Multi-Adjust and Weighting
Data Collection Methods and Increasing Survey Response Rates
Important Survey Considerations
Data Collection Methods
In Person
Mail or Online Panels
Choosing the Data Collection Method
Effective Incentives for Raising Survey Response Rates
Cover Letter
Research in Practice

7 Causal Research and Experimental Design
Exploratory, Descriptive, and Causal Research
Proving Causation
Experimental Variable Types
Types of Extraneous Variables
Controlling Extraneous Variables
Experimental Design Methods
Laboratory vs. Field Experiment
Research Validity
Internal Validity
External Validity
Running an Experiment
Pre-Experiment, True Experiment, and Quasi Experiment
Experimental Notation
A Sample of Experimental Designs
True Experiments
Pros and Cons of Conducting Experiments
Test Markets
Deciding to Conduct a Test Marketing Campaign
Important Aspects of a Good Test Market City
Research in Practice

8 Measurement and Scaling
Measurement and Scaling
Types of Scales
The Four Characteristics of Data
Four Data Levels
Nominal Data
Ordinal Data
Interval Data
Ratio Data
Data and Decision Making
Converting Data from Ratio to Nominal
Comparative vs. Non-Comparative Scales
Comparative Scales
Non-Comparative Scales
Types of Comparative and Non-Comparative Scales
Comparative Scales
Non-Comparative Scales
Balanced vs. Unbalanced Scales
Forced vs. Non-Forced Scales
Reliability and Validity
Dealing with Measurement Error
Stability in Survey Execution
Research in Practice

9 Questionnaire Design
Questionnaire Design Process
Survey Objectives
Data Collection Method
Determine Survey Length
Question Wording
Open- vs. Closed-Ended Questions
Flow and Layout
Potential Questionnaire Flow
Test the Survey
Final Approval
Dos and Don’ts in Questionnaire Design
Things to Avoid in Question Construction
Other Issues in Administering a Questionnaire
Branching Questions
Managing the Process
The Internet Impact
Sampling of Questionnaire Development Sites
Research in Practice

10 Sampling Methods
Sample vs. Census
Important Sampling Considerations
Strategic Sampling Issues
Who Are the Respondents?
Selecting Respondents—Selection vs. Collection
How Many Respondents to Select—Sample Size
Sampling Design Process
Define the Target Population
Develop Sampling Frame
Determine the Sample Size
Sample Size Methods
Some Principal Characteristics of a Normal Distribution
Other Distributions
Sample Size Involving Means
Sample Size Involving Proportions
The Finite Multiplier
Sample Size for Known Small Populations
Selecting the Sampling Method
Probability Sampling
Non-Probability Sampling
Probability Sampling Methods
Non-Probability Sampling Methods
Multistage Sampling
Online Sampling 202
Research in Practice
Sample Size Exercises:

11 Data Preparation and Cross Tabulations
Coding Nominal Data
Coding Ordinal Data
Coding Interval Data
Coding Ratio Data
Cross Tabulations
Cross Tabulations Using Nominal Data
Cross Tabulations Using Ordinal Data
Cross Tabulations Using Interval Data
Cross Tabulations Using Ratio Data
Research in Practice

12 Data Analysis
Population vs. Sample Statistical Notation
Categorical vs. Continuous Data
Analyzing Qualitative Data
Descriptive Statistics
Within and Between Group Differences
Inferential Statistics
Chi Square Analysis
Type I and Type II Errors
Step 1 - State Hypothesis
Step 2 - Select and Find the Critical Value
Step 3 - Calculate the Test Statistic
Step 4 - Analyze the Results
Analysis of Variance (ANOVA)
T-tests and Z-tests
Box Plots
Stem and Leaf Plot
Data Analysis Pitfalls to Avoid
Research in Practice

13 Presenting the Results
The Research Report Purpose
Is the Research Worth the Cost? The Return on Investment Debate
The Research Report Components
Title Page
Letter of Transmittal
Table of Contents
Executive Summary
Research Purpose
The Research Methods
Reliability and Validity
Secondary Findings
Primary Findings
Side by Side Column Chart
Stacked Column Chart
Horizontal Bar Chart
Horizontal Relational Bar Chart
Pie Chart
Area Chart
Line Chart
Cumulative Frequency Histogram
Pareto Frequency Histogram
Descriptive Statistics
Rank and Percentile
The Report’s Look and Feel
Common Mistakes in the Research Report
Incorrect Statistics
Under Analyzing
Inconsistent Format
Objectives Not Clear
Lack of Data Integration
Research in Practice

14 International Marketing Research
The General Marketing Environment
The International Research Effect on Research Methods
Measures of Equivalence
Questionnaire Execution
Question Sequence
Language Mapping
Body Language
Research in Practice

15 Emerging Trends in Marketing Research
The Graphics Impact
Understanding Behavioral Drivers
New Approach Matrix
Online Panels
Big Data and Analytics
The Voice of the Customer

Appendix 1: Conducting a Case Analysis
Appendix 2: Three Cases for Analysis
Appendix 3: Website Sources
Works Cited and Suggested Reading

David Ashley

For the past ten years David Ashley has been teaching marketing research for the George Washington University in Washington, D.C and for the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. He is also an adjunct professor and Executive in Residence at the University of Maryland (UMD) where he teaches project management, cross cultural research methods, and team building as part of the Quality Enhancement Systems and Teams (QUEST) program at the Smith School of Business. Professor Ashley has also taught marketing research for UMD and has lead student study abroad trips to Italy, Tunisia, and Brazil.

Professor Ashley’s other teaching includes faculty positions at Georgetown University, the University of New Mexico, and the France Business School in Tours, France as well as a visiting professor at the American University of Paris. He holds an undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina and a graduate degree from the University of New Mexico. He has also successfully completed the Hansard Scholars Programme in Parliamentary Government at the University of London.

From 2008 to 2010 Professor Ashley served on the national board of the Marketing Research Association (MRA), as the Mid-Atlantic States Marketing Research Association chapter president for two terms, and in 2009 as board president of the Marketing Research Institute International, an educational consortium though the University of Georgia. Professor Ashley has also been certified at the expert researcher level by the MRA and has been published in QUIRKS Marketing Research Review.

His other work includes overseeing various U.S. government research projects such as managing a review of the U.S. Fire Academy for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and anchoring a number of research studies for the U.S. Border Patrol Chief while with Customs and Border Protection, all within the Department of Homeland Security. He has also created a statistical model to assist FEMA in determining its appropriate force structure size based on the number and severity of potential disaster-related events. Previously, Professor Ashley managed a number of national research projects as a marketing research analyst while employed at the U.S. Small Business Administration. His other research work has included overseeing various U.S. government program review projects, conducting budget formulation and execution analysis, and leading a government contractor source selection team reviewing dozens of business proposals.

Before moving to Washington, Professor Ashley served as the director of the Small Business Development Center at the University of New Mexico where he led a staff charged with assisting area businesses with marketing research, business plan development, and financing packages designed to grow their businesses.


Related ISBN's: 9781792492228

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ISBN 9781792492228

Details eBook w/KHPContent Access 180 days