Marketing Research and Information Systems

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Marketing Research and

Information Systems

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I.M. Crawford
FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS
Rome, 1997
This publication has previously been issued as
ISBN 92-851-1005-3
by the FAO Regional Office for Africa.

Produced by:  Agriculture and Consumer Protection

This is one of a series of four texts on marketing and agribusiness prepared by an FAO project for use in universities and colleges teaching agricultural marketing, agribusiness and business studies. This text, Marketing research and information systems, reviews the role of marketing research and the techniques used to undertake market research, including questionnaire design and sampling and writing of a research report. The principal components of a marketing information system and the use of marketing research information in decision-making are discussed.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: The Role Of Marketing Research1

Chapter 2: Secondary Sources Of Information15

Chapter 3: Levels Of Measurement And Scaling22

Chapter 4: Questionnaire Design33

Chapter 5: Personal Interviews43

Chapter 6: Experimentation57

Chapter 7: Sampling In Marketing Research69

Chapter 9: Marketing Information Systems86

Appendix A: Writing The Research Report95

Glossary Of Marketing Terms98

Chapter 1: The Role Of Marketing Research

In essence, management is about decision making. Decision is invariably surrounded by uncertainties and, therefore, risks. Marketing research is charged with helping to reduce such uncertainties, "...but will never remove it. At best, marketing research will increase the probability that the decisions which management has to take will help attain the organisation's marketing objectives. Chapter Objectives

The objectives of this chapter are to:
• Define the role of marketing research in decision making • Outline the contents of a research brief
• Outline the contents of a research proposal, and
• Explain in detail each of the principal steps in research design. Structure Of The Chapter
This chapter begins by explaining the limitations of marketing research in so much that it serves to reduce rather than remove the risks attendant to decision making. The discussion proceeds to an outline of the research brief which has to be drawn up for the guidance of the individual or group charged with executing the study. At this point, the researcher has to respond to the brief with a research design. In this text an eight step research design is proposed and the reader will find a fairly thorough discussion of each of these steps within the chapter. The role and limitations of marketing research

"Marketing research does not make decisions and it does not guarantee success". Marketing managers may seek advice from marketing research specialists, and indeed it is important that research reports should specify alternative courses of action and the probability of success, where possible, of these alternatives. However, it is marketing managers who make the final marketing decision and not the researcher. The second observation, that marketing research does not guarantee success, is simply a recognition of the environment within which marketing takes place. In the fields of science and engineering researchers are often working with deterministic models of the world where y = f(x). That is, x is a necessary and sufficient condition for y to occur. For instance, an increase in pressure is usually necessary and sufficient to bring about a rise in air temperature. In the social sciences, and this includes marketing and marketing research, the phenomenon under investigation rarely, if ever, lends itself to deterministic modelling. Consider the marketing problem of determining how much to spend on promotion in order to achieve a given market share. The link between promotional expenditure and sales is not so direct as that...
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