A research design is a framework or blueprint for conducting a market research project. It specifies the details of how the project should be conducted. Research designs may be broadly classified as exploratory or conclusive. The primary purpose of exploratory research is to provide insights into the problem. Conclusive research is conducted to test specific hypotheses and examine specific relationships. The findings from conclusive research are used as input into managerial decision-making. Conclusive research may be either descriptive or casual.
The major objective of descriptive research is to describe market characteristics or functions. A descriptive design requires a clear specification of the two, what, when, where, why, and way of the research. Descriptive research can be further classified into cross-sectional and longitudinal research. Cross-sectional designs involve the collection of information from a sample of population elements and a single point in time. In contrast, in longitudinal designs repeated measurements are taken on a fixed sample. Casual research is designed for the primary purpose of obtaining evidence about cause and effect (casual) relationships.
A research design consists of six components. Error can be associated with any of these components. The total error is composed of random sampling error and nonsampling error. Non-sampling error consists of non-response and response errors. Response error encompasses errors made by researchers, interviewers, and respondents. A written marketing research proposal including all the elements of the marketing research process should be prepared. In formulating a research design when conducting international marketing research, considerable effort is required to ensure the equivalence and comparability of secondary and primary data obtained from different countries.
In terms of ethical issues, the researchers must a sure that the research design utilized will provide the information sought, and that the information sought is the information needed by the client. The client should have the integrity not to misrepresent the project, should describe the situation at the researcher must operate within, and should not make unreasonable demands. Every precaution should be taken to ensure the respondents were subjects right to safety, right to privacy were right to choose. The Internet and computers can be usefully employed to aid the process of formulating a research design.
Research design -- a framework or blueprint for conducting a marketing research project. It specifies the details of the procedure necessary for attaining the information needed to structure and/or solve marketing research problems
exploratory research -- 1 type of research design, which has as its primary objective to a provision of insights into, and comprehension of, the problem situation confronting the researcher
conclusive research -- research designed to assist the decision-maker in determining, evaluating, and selecting the best course of action to take in a given situation
descriptive research -- a type of conclusive research that has its major objective the description of something -- usually marketing characteristics or functions
Cross sectional design -- a type of research design involving the collection of information from any given sample of population elements only once
single cross-sectional design -- a cross-sectional design in which one sample of respondents is drawn from the target population and information is obtained from this sample once
multiple cross-sectional design -- a cross-sectional design in which there are two or more samples of respondents and information from each sample is obtained only once
cohort analysis -- a multiple cross-sectional design consisting of a series of surveys conducted at the appropriate time intervals. The cohort refers to the group of respondents who experience the same event within the same time interval
longitudinal design -- a type of research design involving a fake sample of population elements that is measured repeatedly. The sample remains the same over time, thus providing a series of pictures which, when viewed together, portray a vivid illustration of the situation and the changes that are taking place over time
panel -- a sample of respondents who have agreed to provide information at specified intervals over on extended period
casual research -- a type of conclusive research where the major objective is to obtain evidence regarding cause-and-effect relationships
total error -- the variation between the true mean value in the population of the variable of interest in the observed mean value obtained in the marketing research project
random sampling error -- the error due to the particular sample selected being an imperfect representation of the population of interest. It may be defined as the variation between the true meaning value for the sample and the true mean value of the population
non-sampling error -- non-sampling errors are errors that can be attributed to sources other than sampling, they can be random or nonrandom
nonresponse error -- a type of non-sampling error that occurs when some of the respondents included in the sample did not respond. This error can be defined as the variation between the true mean value of the variable and the original sample and a true mean value in the net sample
response error -- a type of non-sampling error arising from respondents who do you respond to give inaccurate answers, or their answers are misreported or mis-analyzed. It may be defined as the variation between the training value of the variable and the net sample and the observed mean value obtained in the marketing research project
budgeting and scheduling -- management tools needed to help ensure the marketing research project is completed within the available resources
critical Path method (CPM) -- management technique of dividing a research project into component activities, determining the sequence of these components and the time each activity will require
program evaluation and review technique (PERT) -- a more sophisticated critical Path method that accounts for the uncertainty in project completion times
graphical evaluation and review technique (GERT) -- a sophisticated critical Path method that accounts for both the completion probabilities and the activity costs
marketing research proposal -- the official layout of the planned marketing research activity for management. It describes the research problem, the approach, the research design, data collection methods, data analysis methods, and reporting methods