Management problem, Marketing Research problem & Objectives

Marketing Research Project:
Detailed Guidelines
These are general guidelines only. Depending on your topic, you can make
adaptations as necessary.
This is how you may organise your report:
Cover page
Executive summary
Background to the study
Management problem, Marketing Research problem & Objectives
Qualitative research
o Methodology
o Findings
Research framework/variables
Quantitative research
o Methodology
o Quantitative data analysis
Conclusions & Recommendations
Cover page title of the report
Executive Summary – summary of the report in maximum half a page. This should
cover what the study is about, what its purpose was, what methods were used (including
secondary and primary research methods), key findings and key conclusions and
1. Background (maximum one and a half pages) in this section you include
information from relevant industry, client company related secondary sources and
relevant academic literature.
Industry/Company Review – the background to the industry and the firm in order to
outline the circumstances leading to the problem. This can introduce the company,
industry, companys products and markets, competitors, market shares and the key
issues and challenges faced by the company currently. This outlines the current
situation of the company/industry.
In this section you can use materials from websites, reports, newspapers articles or
any other sources but make sure that these are properly acknowledged using the
Harvard referencing style and preferably accessed via University library to ensure
Literature Review – outline the key theories, models and variables for your topic.
Use online databases from the library website such as Business Source Premier or
ABI Complete to locate articles with relevant theoretical models. Carefully
reviewing relevant literature will help you identify the variables/factors other
researchers have used/found that you may use in your own research. If your topic is
looking into factors influencing buying behaviour related to a particular product or
a service, see whether there is any relevant literature from which you may find
useful information such as factors that were found to be important in the previous
studies. You may also find relevant articles on Google Scholar.
Remember that some of you could have more content on industry/company review than
the literature review. In some cases, it could be the other way around. Some could write
similar lengths for both.
2. Management Decision problem, Marketing Research Problem & Research
Objectives (two problem statements and 4-8 objectives, no other text necessary)
Specify the management decision problem identified as a result of the previous section.
Please dont forget that the management decision problem should have been identified on
the basis of the secondary research.
Transform your management decision problem into marketing research problem.
Both management problem and research problem should be concise and both of them
should be only one accurate problem. Set the research objectives (4 to 8).
3. Qualitative Research
You need to design some qualitative research for your project. This should be either 2 4
one-to-one interviews (30-40 minutes long) or 1 focus group (with 4-6 participants and 1-
1.5 hours long). They both serve the purpose of making sure that the variables/factors that
you identified from secondary research are relevant for your study and/or identify further
relevant variables/factors from the qualitative data that may be relevant for your projects.
In this section you should include the following:
What qualitative method you chose and Why
How was it conducted (participant selection, their key demographics, any other
relevant details)
When and where did the data collection take place
What areas did you cover (dont forget to attach interview topic guide / moderator
discussion guide in the appendices)
All above information could be provided in just one or two paragraphs or even in a
tabular format covering all aspects. In other words, section 3.1. should be as brief as
This is presenting the findings under several thematic headings (the key topics you
covered). For example, if you covered five key factors influencing behaviour, you may
summarise the results under five thematic headings. Some of these themes might have
been identified from secondary research (deductive method), and other might be
identified from the interview findings (inductive method). We will give you general
advice on analysing/reporting qualitative findings in qualitative research
lectures/seminars. Please study them carefully before you complete this section.
In this section you summarise the specific variables (factors) you have found from
secondary data as relevant to be examined in your study. You may consider writing a
small paragraph to define and explain them and potential relationships between them.
Alternatively, you may use a simple diagram based on the independent and dependent
variables and their relationships you found from your secondary research that you want to
examine by carrying out a quantitative study. If you choose this option, please remember
to keep it simple. For example:
It is very important that you get this section right, as information you are to collect from
the survey depends on the variables you have identified.
5.0 Quantitative Research
5. (up to one page)
Research method Discuss the choice of a survey method. Justify your section with
methodological references.
Sampling design cover such areas as sample size, and sampling method (did you use a
random method, non-random method, what method and why).
Questionnaire design (short paragraph on what areas did your questionnaire cover) –
here you also need to present the measurement of variables. For all the variables (factors)
you want to include in your questionnaire, you will need to find relevant scales in the
academic literature and provide those in a table similar to below in the appendices. For
example, Value consciousness have been measured by a previous study (Lichtenstein,
Netemeyer, and Burton, 1990). You may adapt the original wording as follows if your
topic is about grocery shopping for example):
Value Consciousness Source
I always look out for low prices
Lichtenstein et al. (1990) When grocery shopping, I compare prices of
different brands
When purchasing a product, I always try to
maximise the value I get
Value for
towards brand x
Control variables:
I always check the prices at the grocery store
before buying the product
Dont forget to provide the link of your questionnaire on Qualtrics platform (launch the
survey beforehand).
Fieldwork this is a discussion of how, when, and where the data collection was done.
Ethics in Research – Write a statement detailing how you would meet the following
ethical guidelines for such research project:
Honesty not misleading or fabricating data
Professionalism in explaining the purpose and client (if any)
Terms of recording (audio/video) and access recoding done with participant
Informed consent (written with signature) particularly for qualitative interviews
Avoidance of causing stress or discomfort for participants
Avoidance of research participants who could be vulnerable and/or under 18 years
of age.
All primary data treated confidentially and anonymously
Project work carried out only for academic purposes and data will not be held
beyond completion of programme of studies or shared with any third party.
One short paragraph outlining the above and how you are going to ensure that the
project will be conducted within the ethical guidelines would be adequate.
5.2 Quantitative Data Analysis (tabulations may be given in a dedicated appendix,
with appendix and tables numbered and referred to in the text)
Respondent Profile – provide a table similar to the one below and discuss the salient
points such as gender proportions in the sample, age and other demographic
distributions – any bias towards particular groups.
Frequency Per cent
Gender Male 145 45.9%
Female 171 54.1%
Age group 18-24 142 44.9%
25-34 138 43.7%
35-44 22 7.0%
45-54 10 3.2%
55-64 4 1.3%
Up to A-level 17 3.5%
Results – select the core questions and present your results using either tables of
graphical representations with suitable discussion. Be selective and prioritize in reporting
whats important for your research objectives.
Test key relationships between your independent and dependent variables, following the
research framework you introduced earlier.
6.0 Conclusions & Recommendations
6.1 Conclusions (half a page) Here, you briefly summarise your conclusions. You may
compare your conclusions with that of previous literature you have used and/or the
qualitative research findings. Are your survey results similar/confirming previous
research and/or qualitative research? Are they different, and if so, what may be the reason
for this?
6.2 Recommendations or Managerial Implications Make sure that your
recommendations have been derived from the conclusions. You may have several
recommendations to your client. You may find it more suitable to write Managerial
Implications for a non-customised study (when an industry is selected as opposed to
specific company).
References Dont forget to use the Harvard style. Every source you have cited in your
report should be included here as a full reference.
– interview topic guide or moderator discussion guide
– questionnaire as a Word document, Qualtrics link and a table indicating
variable names, measurement items and references
– any SPSS outputs and/or tabulations
– any other relevant information
Undergraduate 178 56.3%
Postgraduate 117 37.0%

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