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Sunday, December 8, 2013



Marketing research is undertaken in order to improve the understanding about a marketing situation or problem and consequently improve the quality of decision-making related to it. The usefulness of the marketing research output will depend upon the way the research has been designed and implemented at each stage of the process. There are five steps in every marketing research process:  



This is the stage where the research design has to be converted from the planning stage to that of implementation. To achieve the stated research objectives data has to be collected. This data collection is known as field work. The two stages in field work are planning and supervision.  

Planning: It has to be planned how many people will be assigned to the field, what will be their geographical areas of coverage; how many days will be required for the entire operation and what is the pattern to be used for choosing sample units (every fourth household in a lane, all flats with an even number in an apartment `block' etc.). All this planning has to be done in accordance with the details spelt out in the sampling plan.  

Supervision: Supervision is an extremely important input to ensure that the data collected is genuine and accurate. Most field work is carried out by a team of field surveyors, and each team is assigned to a supervisor. The team members would plan their daily area of field work in consultation with the supervisor. The supervisor may accompany different team members on different days. In the evening the team would meet the supervisor, hand over the data which they have collected and sort out any problems they may have faced.  

Apart from actually accompanying team members on data collection missions, the supervisor would also make random checks to ensure that the data collected is genuine. The check can be conducted either over the telephone (wherever possible) or by again visiting the sampling unit. The supervisor may either ask the respondent whether he or she was visited by the field interviewer and cross check the accuracy of the data. Random checking is carried out to ensure that the field workers do actually collect data from the genuine source of information and not just fill in the data using their own imagination and ingenuity.  

The collected data has also to be checked for its objectivity and accuracy. The data has to be carefully checked to ensure that there is no distortion because of the field worker's bias or the respondent's bias. Respondent bias arises because people generally like to project an image (about themselves and their life-style) which is more flattering than the reality. This bias would operate more in questions relating to income; possession of certain items (VCR, air-conditioner), and habits relating to life-style (travelling abroad frequently, visiting clubs, restaurants). Interviewer bias arises because of the interviewer's own pre-conceived notions and ideas. A female interviewer may prefer male respondents because she may feel that it is easy for to gather information from men rather than women.
In conducting field work, it may happen that the relevant source of information is not at home or does not wish to be interviewed. The supervisor must give guidelines for tackling such situations. The particular sampling units may be substituted by the next one or the field worker visits the same unit again hoping to be more successful.



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