Uploaded by liebermann on Oct 31, 2011
This essay discusses market research and the way in which it might be applied by the management of a country club to find out why their membership is falling and no one new is joining.
Market research is a vital tool for anyone who is considering developing a new product, repositioning an existing product, starting a business, analyzing business performance (or lack of performance); it applies to many situations. In this paper, we will consider the hypothetical case of Horton Country Club, though it will serve merely as a starting point for an illustration of the considerations that go into developing a market research project.
Designing and implementing a market research project is extremely complex, but this paper considers only two facets of the process: data collection, and sampling. It describes the difference between qualitative and quantitative research methods and gives examples of each; it evaluates the methods available to the company requesting the research; it determines a particular method to be used, and explains why that type of research was chosen. It also discusses some of the problems of the method selected.
II Data Collection - Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods
One way to think of these methods might be as “subjective” (qualitative) and “objective” (quantitative); or as unstructured and structured. As Chisnall puts it:
“The essence of qualitative research is that it is diagnostic; it seeks to discover what may account for certain kinds of behavior; for example, brand loyalty. It seeks deeper understand of factors, sometimes covert, which influence buying decisions. It is impressionistic rather than conclusive; it probes rather than counts. … Intrinsically, it is subjective.” (P. 147).
It seems then, without giving too much weight to the observation, that the reasons for someone to drop a country club membership might well fall into the category of subjective reasons, and a qualitative method might be the best way to discover those reasons. Depth interviews and focus groups are examples of qualitative research methods.
Quantitative methods are much more precise, and as the name implies, seek results that can be quantified (“How many cigarettes do you smoke in a day?” is a question that might be found on a quantitative survey, because the answer is very precise.) Other quantitative tools include personal interviews, telephone surveys, Internet surveys and mail questionnaires, among many others.
The ideal project will make use of both quantitative and qualitative...