1. How does marketing research affect the 4Ps? Should management consider marketing research when    making decisions? Why or why not?

Market research serves as a preliminary tool used to evaluate market conditions before implementing any strategy.  4P’s is one of the marketing strategies that a company can employ. Success of the 4P’s model (the offering) is to a great extent determined by reliability of market research conducted prior to the strategy implementation.

Where possible, managers should consider marketing this research before making their decision.  Sometimes marketing research can prove to be expensive to a small firm but for a company that can afford it, it is highly advised that it is used.  Marketing research displays a clear picture of what is really happening in the market. This research sheds light into a somewhat complicated market environment.

2. Choose a type of research and a research method and design a brief research instrument based on your selections. Explain the type of research you select along with the research method.

For market research, the best type of research, all factors held constant, is primary research. The best method that goes with this research type is quantitive research. A questionnaire to be used in conducting surveys is the ideal instrument to go with the stated research type and method.

Primary research means that all data that goes into statistical analysis is freshly collected from the field. Data collected from past surveys has no place in primary data. Quantitive research allows researchers to determine “how many people” are affected by a certain decision, product, service or move. 

In designing a questionnaire to be used in a research survey, there are a number of questions that may be included. For a product/service that is already in the market, it is important to ask consumers how often consumers use the product/service, what price are consumers willing to pay, and what do consumers think should be done to improve the products/services on sale.

3. Under what circumstances would you choose to use secondary data in market research? Explain your answer. How might you use secondary data to segment a market?

Market research can sometimes prove to be very expensive for a small firm or a firm that is struggling financially. In addition, this form of research sometimes takes quite some time to complete and have results ready for use. In these two circumstances, secondary data can be chosen as an alternative to marketing research. 

Markets can be segmented according to the following characteristics: Geographical, demographical, and behavioral and psychological bases.  One of the most common secondary data is that found in basic market publications.  A firm that aims to be intends to segment the market according to demographic characteristics (family size, occupation, age etc) only need to understand which group can help increase sales. Once this group is identified, a firm can go ahead and target this group by making products that are highly favored by the chosen group.

4. What is central tendency? What is the difference between mean, median, and mode? How are mean, median, and mode important in marketing research?

Central tendency is a term used in statistics to describe how quantitive data is distributed around a central value called “average”.  Mean, median and mode have one factor in common: they are all measures of central tendency.  Mean basically refers to average and its value is calculated by adding all terms in a population or sample and then dividing by the total number of terms.  Media refers to the “middle” value of a list of characters in a population or a sample for that matter. All characters in a sample have to be organized either in ascending or descending order so as to effectively determine the “middle” value which is in other words the median.  Mode refers to that value that occurs more frequently in a given sample or population.

Sometimes marketing research involves large scale surveys meaning that data that is collected is of great magnitude and whose interpretation may be difficult. By analyzing data collected from surveys into measures of central tendency (mean, median, mode etc), interpretation becomes possible. With these measures, a firm can identify what is the average number of people who prefer a certain product; what is the middle value of the number of consumers who may favor a product; and finally what is the middle value of the consumers who may be in support introduction or continued existence of a product.  With this information, a company’s management can make a well informed decision on the way forward regarding marketing of a certain product.

5. What is inferential data analysis and when would you use inferential data analysis? Which of the five types of statistical analysis is the most helpful for market researchers, and why?

Inferential data analysis refers to the method of analyzing statistical data relying not on the whole population in consideration but on a sample. Properties of a sample are deduced on the basis of probability.  This method of analyzing data can be used when it is difficult or impossible to collect information regarding each and every member of a population.

Inferential data analysis is the most helpful statistical analysis type for market research. In most cases marketing research involves surveys of population that may be dispersed through wide geographical areas. Total population may thus be difficult to incorporate in a survey. Inferential statistical analysis requires only samples that have been drawn randomly and thus makes marketing research feasible.