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Module 3.1


• RD is the framework or
blue print or plan for the
collection, measurement &
analysis of data, so as to
obtain answers to research
questions to solve
management problems
• Research design lays down
the method and procedure
for collection of required

information and its
measurement & analysis
with a view to arriving at
certain meaningful
conclusions for management
decision making.
• So a Research Design:-
– is an activity and time based
– is always based on the
research question

– guides the selection of
sources & types of
– is a framework for specifying
relationships among the
study’s variables.
– outlines procedures for
every research activity.
– Provides answers for
questions such as
(i) The research
methodology that will be
employed in the survey

(ii) What techniques will
be used to gather data?
(iii)What kind of sampling
will be used?
( iv) How will time & cost
constraints be overcome?

Types of Research design –
three types RD classified into
– Explanatory RD
– Descriptive RD )
Conclusive RD

– Causal RD )

Refer earlier figure in
research process


Exploratory research is a study
that seeks to develop initial

insights and to provide
direction for any further
research needed regarding
problems that are vague or
lack clarity.
• Exploratory Research could
be used for any of the
followimg purposes:-
oDefine a problem more
oIdentify alternative
courses of action.
o Develop Hypothesis*

o Identify / Isolate key
variables for further
o Gain insights for
developing an approach
to the problem
oEstablish priorities for
further research.
oIncreasing an analyst’s
familiarity with the
oClarifying concepts.

• Exploratory study is helpful
in breaking broad vague
problem statements into
smaller, more precise sub
problem statements.
This will be helpful to form
specific hypothesis.
• In the early stages of
research, we usually lack
sufficient understanding of
the problem to formulate a
specific hypothesis due to
several tentative

explanations for a given
marketing concept.
E.g. 1. Sales are low
because our prices are too
2.Our dealers are not
doing their job properly
3.Our sales
representatives are not
following up well
4.Our advertising is
weak etc.,

• Exploratory Research can
be used to establish
priorities in studying these
competing explanations.
Priorities would be
established subsequently
because a particular
hypothesis discovered in
the exploratory study
appears to be promising.
• Exploratory research is,
therefore, characterized by
flexibility and versatility

w.r.t methods because
formal research protocols
and procedures are not
• E.R rarely involves
structured questionnaires,
large samples and
probability sampling plans.
• Once a new idea or insight
is discovered, exploration is
redirected in that direction
until its possibilities are

exhausted or failing another
direction is sought/found.
• So focus of investigation
may shift constantly as
new insights are discovered.
Thus, creativity and
ingenuity of the researcher
plays a major role in
exploratory research.
* Hypothesis is an
unproven statement of
research question

* Hypothesis is a
statement that specifies
how two or more
measurable variables are
related and the tests that
Vauge Problem

Exploratory Research


New Ideas Conclusive Research


Types of Exploratory Studies Literature Search
(Secondary data)
Experience survey
(Opinion of experts)
Focus Groups
(Qualitative Research)
Analysis of selected cases

Exploratory Research involves
assessing the quality of iiry
data :-
1.Secondary sources of
information eg:- Trade
Journals, published statistics
(external sources)
Company’s own
records.(internal sources)
Both are analyzed in a
qualitative manner, including
quantitative data

2.Experience Survey’s refer to
the informally gathered
opinions and insights of
knowledgeable experts in the
3.Focus groups are a small
no of individuals brought
together in a room to discuss
some topic of interest to the
focus of sponsor to gain new
insights to the problem

4.Analysis of selected cases
of similar problems from past
5.Unstructured interviewing
of concerned people eg:- if in
marketing the sales people and
distributors are interviewed.
It is an in depth study of
subjects of interest that will
serve as inputs to understand
the problem on hand.

Other sources can be
customers, stores, websites,
market areas etc.,
Eg:- Exploratory Res. Design:-
Take the case of a chocolate
manufacturer whose product
was found defective (infected
with worms) at the retail end.
Application of exploratory res
can help identify the problem.
With the batch no. of the
product the production
records (secondary data)

pertaining to that batch can be
Experience survey can get
opinion of experts to find out
where the production process
could have gone wrong. This
may help management to look
at specific production records
which may reveal a defect in
the sterilization process of the
production or lack of proper
supervision or both. This will

help take necessary corrective
Subsequently, a descriptive
research study can help find
the effectiveness of publicity
campaign and image building

1.A chocolate manufacturer
wants to identify the ten
most important variables his

consumers use to decide in
buying a brand of chocolate.
The results of this
exploratory study could
provide him with inputs for
a second study using factor
analysis techniques to
reduce the ten variables into
a smaller set of factors.
2.Focus group discussion
among house wives to
debate the fortune of
convenience foods in India.

It may be used to throw in
new ideas about new
products or suggest
modifications to existing
products, modifications in
packaging etc., through an
inhibition free discussion.
3. Soft drinks manufacturer
faced with decreasing sales
might conduct an
exploratory study to
generate possible
explanations. The study may

establish the attributes that
consumers seek in a soft
drink to gain satisfaction.
An open ended question
may result in consumers
freely expressing their
opinion which can be
reduced to some ten key
factors (by consulting
experts). A Focus group
discussion may reveal that
the present soft drink meets
most consumer expectations

and packing is satisfactory.
The focus of further
exploratory research may
shift towards study of sales
force and distribution.
4. 3M home products
conducted exploratory
research on its standard
steel wool pads through
focus groups. The research
revealed that standard steel
wool pads scratched
expensive cookware. This

finding produced the idea
for “Scotch Brite” scrub
pads made of gentle fibers,
reducing the odds of
damaging cookware.
5. A luxury car manufacturer
may want to know the real
reasons why
consumers buy up market
limousines through in-depth
interviews and utilize this
message / information in

product positioning and
creative ads.

• It is a type of conclusive
research that has its major
objective description of
subjects of interest in
various fields such as
marketing, finance, HR
• It is intended to generate
data describing the

composition and
characteristics of relevant
groups such as consumers,
sales people, organization
and market areas.
• 1.Descriptive research is
conducted for following
1. To describe the
characteristic of
relevant groups such as
consumers sales people,
organizations or market

areas eg: - Developing a
profile of the heavy
shoppers of Shopper’s
Stop, Pantaloons Dept
E.g.:-2. profile of an
average user of product
w.r.t Age,
Income, Gender,
Education level etc.,
2. To estimate the
percentage of units in a
specified population

exhibiting a certain
behaviour eg:-
Estimating the
percentage of people
who are heavy
shoppers of Shopper’s
Stop who also take
vacation packages of
Mahindra Holidays.
3. To determine the
perceptions of product
characteristics eg:- how
do households perceive

supermarkets like Food
World, Nilgiris, to Local
Grocery Stores.
Eg:- how do people
perceive herbal products
4. To determine the degree
to which marketing
variables are
associated eg:- to what
extent is shopping at
super markets related to
eating out

5. To make specific
predictions eg., what
will be the retail sales of
up-market shirt brands
in Shoppers’ Stop
outlets in Bangalore

• 2. Descriptive studies are
> It needs to
specify how the study is to be

> It requires a
clear specification of who,
what, when,
where, why and
how, of the research
eg:- who should be considered a regular
customer of a particular Dept Stores.
- What information is needed from respondents
- How should the information be obtained
- Where should the respondents be contacted
- Why are we obtaining this information
-Similar questions need be asked until
information to
be obtained is clearly defined.
>Hence,descriptive research is preplanned and

3. It is typically based on
relatively large
• A formal Research Design
specifies the methods for
selecting the sources of
information and collecting
data from those resources.
• Descriptive research is
marked by a clear
statement of the problem,
specific hypothesis and

detailed information needs.
Eg. 1. Market studies to
describe size of market,
either local or
Overseas ; Gallup
nationwide survey of China
on profiles,
attitudes and life
style trends (1997) is an
example of
Des. Res. Study at
national level.

• Size of markets, Buying
power of consumers,
Distribution chain
Consumer profile etc.
Eg. 2. Market Share
studies Eg. 3. Sales Analysis
Eg. 4. Image studies
Eg. 5. Product usage studies
Eg. 6. Distribution
Studies Eg. 7. Pricing
studies Eg
8. Ad. Studies. Etc.,

• A majority of research
studies in marketing are
descriptive research which
incorporates following major
i) secondary data analyzed in
a quantitative manner
ii) surveys
iv) Observational and other

Combination of exploratory
research and descriptive
research example to
The miller Brewing Co. in the
US was the pioneer in
introducing light colour beer,
light weight beer and offered
it as a premium product with
a higher price. The product
was designed for the efficient,
the occasional drinkers and
women and sold only in

bottles to be drunk at pubs
and homes. Over the years
competition increased with
similar products miller lost its
product distribution and also
its market share and fall from
top slot to eighth place.
Millers investigated the beer
market. On the basis of its
market contacts, pub owners,
bar tenders, the company
established through
exploratory research that blue

collar workers are the big
market. On the basis of this
the company could
hypothesize that “Blue collar
workers are the biggest
market segment for the beer
in the US”
The company commissioned a
market research to get a
profile of the American beer
drinker ---- a descriptive
research study ----- that
revealed that the heavy users

of beer were young, male and
highly concentrated in the
blue collar occupations
confirming the hypothesis.
The study also revealed that
he drank at a bar, not at
home, and he drank with his
buddies from the job and not
with his wife. It further
estimated that some 20% of
the drinkers consume 90% of
the beer and that some 60%
of the adult population does

not drink beer at all.
The study helped miller make
certain product modification –
a stronger beer made
available on taps in pubs,
with promotion to go with it –
and regain the top slot second
only to Budweiser.

Difference between Exploratory and Conclusive Research
Sl Research Project Exploratory Conclusive
no. Components Research Research

1. Research purpose General :- To Specific:- To
generate verify insights
insights about a and aid in
situation selecting a
course of action.
2. Data Needs Vague Clear
3. Data sources Secondary Well defined i ry
4. Data Collection Open ended Usually
rough structured and
5. Sample Relatively small: Relatively large:
Subjectively objectively
selected to selected to
maximize permit
generalization of generalization of
insights findings.
6. Data collection Flexible : no set Rigid: well laid
procedure out procedure
7. Data analysis Informal: typical Formal typical
qualitative quantitative.
8. Inferences/recommendations More tentative More final than
than final tentative

• This is intended to generate
the type of evidence
necessary for confidently
making causal inferences /
reasons about
relationships among
• Helps decide the optimum
level of the independent
variable in order to get the

desired result of the
dependent variable.
• Helps establish consumer
preference levels.
Eg. Consider a consumer
goods firm that wants to
determine the
impact of advertising
on sales.
To achieve this objective,
the firm can proceed as
How to do this?

1.Select a group of distinct
market areas that have
similar demographic, socio
economic and competitor
Eg Jayanagar /
Koramangala ; or Chennai
/ Bangalore
2. Vary the level of advertising
expenditure (independent
variable) from market to
market, keeping all other
marketing variables, such

as price and promotion
3. Monitor sales (dependent
variable) over a sufficient
length of time
4. Analyze the data to see
whether or not the pattern
of variation in sales across
markets is consistent with
the pattern of variation in
advertising expenditure. In
experimental design, it is

Causal Variable =
Independent Variable
Effective variable =
dependent variable
• To make causal inferences
with confidence, we must
manipulate the causal
variable (eg: advertising)
and study the other
variables called effect
variable, namely sales
• Another condition is that
the causal variable

(advertising) & effect
variable (sales) must occur
in the proper time
sequence. To ascertain if
advertising causes sales,
first we must change
advertising levels (without
being influenced by
anticipated sales) and
measure the change in
sales later
• A plan is developed for
controlling conditions

relevant to the experiment
so that some test unit or
experimental units can be
exposed to the
experimental or causal
variable and their results
• The researcher has on
hypothesis that if an
experimental variable (eg-
advertising, shelf display,
training) is applied to an
experimental unit (eg. a

group of consumers, a
store, some sales
representatives etc) it will
have a measurable effect
(eg the No. of people
remembering the brand
name, no. of units sold,
No. of calls made etc.,)
What is experimentation
It is a research process in
which one or more
variables are manipulated,
so as to demonstratate the

cause and effect
Experimentation is done to
find out the effects one
factor/ variable on the
other facor/variable.
Fig. Different
Elements of Experiment

Input Extrane Outpu
ous t

ental Experi Depen
Variable mental dent or
 units or Effect
OR test Variabl
Indep. units e
Explanat Extrane
ory ous
Variable variable

Test Units:
These are units on which
the experiment is carried
out. It is done with one or
more independent variables
controlled by a researcher
to find out its effect on a
dependent variable
Eg. consumers, markets,
stores, product etc
Explanatory/ Independent
/ Experimental variable:

These are variables whose
effects the researcher wishes
to examine.Eg.advertising,
pricing, packaging, display,
promotion etc
Dependent Variable:
This is the variable/ factor
which is under study. Eg.
Sales, consumer attitudes,
brand loyalty
Extraneous Variables
These are also known as
blocking variables and affect

the results of the
experiments. These are
present in the environment
of the experiment. They are
of two types.
Controllable extraneous
This is under the physical
control of the researcher.
Eg Price of a product under
Uncontrollable extraneous

This may be factors in the
macro environment not in
the control of the
researcher. Eg. economic
condition of the market,
competition, govt. policies
Eg.1 Suppose a toffee
manufacturer is making an
attempt to measure the
response of the buyers to
two different types of
packaging, at two different

locations. For the two
groups of buyers, all factors
of the product must remain
same except the packaging.
Suppose the manufacturer
changes the price for one
group, the sales will not
indicate which packaging is
preferred because the price
has acted as an extraneous
variable. But price can be
physically contolled and
hence called controllable

extraneous variable.
Eg.2 Suppose a company is
introducing a product in two
different cities. It would like
to know the impact of
advertising on sales. During
the experiment, suppose a
major competitor in the
market has a strike in the
factory and is unable to
maintain supplies in the
market. Now the researcher
cannot conclude that his

sales in that city has
increased due to
advertisement. In this case,
the strike is an
uncontrollable extraneous
variable or confounding
variable as no conclusion
can be reached on the
• Other experimental

- impact of change in
retail price on brand
market share
- Effect of different
advertising themes upon
sales of a product
- Impact of certain
promotional offers
- To measure sales
effectiveness of a new
packaging / shelf
display etc.

•A research study may
manipulate on or more
such variables & examine
the effect of this on
consumer action

Special types of Exptl,
Design used in MR
1. After Only Design / Purely
This design consists of
measuring the dependent
variable after exposing the

test unit (consumers) to the
experimental / independent
Eg1:- Consumers are given a
discount coupon along with
the newspaper ad
(independent variable) to
buy the brand. The study
measures the extent of
coupons redeemed (ie
coupons collected at the
retail level) and the resulting
sales (dependent variable)

from the sample covered ie.,
consumer response to an
ad in a given market can be
measured by relating it to
sale of the product)
Eg2:- Suppose, HLL wants
to conduct an experiment
on the
“ Impact of free sample on
the sale of toilet soaps. A
small sample of toilet soaps
are mailed to selected

2.Before – after Design
In this design, each test unit
is measured on the
dependent variable once
“before” and again “after”
exposure to the
experimental variable. The
difference between the two
measures is treated as the

effect of exptl /
independentg variable (ad +
Coupon = ind variable) ie.,
sales before ad for a given
period and after ad for the
same period, the difference
can be attributed to effect of
the advertisement (ie.,
independentg variable).
3.Before – after with
Control GP Design
In this design the research
study includes a control

group in the experiment, but
the control group is not
subject to the experimental

Share Sales/Mkt. Share
Measurement Exptl.
Group Control Group
Before E1
After E2 C2

The idea of choosing the
control group is to incorporate
any change in the result due to
same extraneous varables.
Then the effect of experimental
variable is given by (E2-E1) –
E.g.: Consider the example in
the ‘before –after” design.
Suppose the market share had
increased by 10% (Say
E1=25%, E2=35%) between the
advertising campaigns.

However suppose in this period
there was a general decrease in
the market share by 4% (due to
say dull season),

i.e., C1 25% assuming
similarity, C2 21% dull season
then the net effect of the
advertising should be
(E2-E1) – (C2-C1) because C2 >
10% - (-4%) because C2 > C1

10% + 4% = 14% season effect
Note: In general, it is assumed
that members of the control
group are similar in nature to
the experimental test units.
Suppose the general market
share increased by 4% owing
to boom season then net effect
would be: (E2-E1) – (C2-C1)
10%-4% C125%
Net effect 6%C2 29%

4. “After-Only with control
group” design.
The effect of experimental
variable is determine by
computing the difference
between the two after
i.e E2-C2
= net effect
In test marketing such
experiments are frequently
conducted to examine the
possible impact of the new

product in the market with
appropriate selection of
experimental and control
Eg:- Suppose, HLL wants to
conduct an experiment on the
“ Impact of free sample on the
sale of toilet soaps. A sample
of toilet soaps are mailed to
selected customers in a
locality. After a month, a
coupon of 50 paise off on one
cake of soap is mailed to each

customer to whom free sample
was sent earlier. An equal no
of these coupons are mailed to
people in another locality
(control group) in the
neighborhood. The coupons
are coded to keep an account
of the no of coupons redeemed
from each locality. Suppose
400 coupons were redeemed
from exptl., group and 250
coupons were redeemed from
the control group . The

difference 150 nos is the effect
of free samples
In this method, conclusion can
be only drawn from the two
“after” measurements.

Factorial Design (FD)

FD permits the researcher to
test two or more variables at
the same time FD helps
determine the effect of each
of the variables and measure
the interacting effect of many
Eg., A huge dept stores wants
to study the impact of price
reduction for a product . There
is promotional display being
carried out in the stores
a) near the entrances B1;

b) at the actual sales
counters B2;
c)no promotional
Now assume mgmt applies two
price levels namely regular
price A1 and reduced price A2.
There are 2 x 3 six
Which of these combination is
best suited?

There are 60 dept stores of the
chain divided into groups of
ten each
Now randomly assign ONE
combination to the ten stores
as follows

S1 TO S6 represents the sale
resulting from each variable
combination. The data
gathered will provide details on
product sales on account of

two independent variables
price and promotion
Outcome of the experiment
could be as follows
1.Price redn with display at
2.Price redn with diplay at
actual sales counters
3.No display and regular price
4.Display at entrance with
regular price


There is a possibility of testing
every combination of the
As the no of variables increase,
the no of combinations
increase exponentially, making
the experiment cumbersome.
In the above example if three
types of packaging were to be
included, the combinations
increase to 18 (2x3x3=18)
Latin Square Design (LSD)

In LSD, the layout of the
experiment represents a
square. It is a two way
classification scheme that
blocks out the effect
confounding extraneous
factors by the process of
randomization of treatments
(effect of row and column
variables) within each cell.
The researcher chooses to test
three shelf arrangements A, B,
C , in three stores. He would

like to observe the sales
generated in each of the stores
at different time periods. The
researcher must make sure
that one type of shelf
arrangement is used in each
store only once and ensures
this is not repeated in any row
or column
If we choose three stores and
three time periods the total no
of combination (treatments) is

3x 3 = 9 as follows ( with
random selection of A,B & C):
Time period
2 3
T1 B
T2 C
T3 A

A single dependent variable
SALES is tested in the above
combination in each of the
combination above and its
siginificance is tested by

Ex-Post Facto Design
In EPFD, the researcher
tries to find out one or more
causal variable that can give

plausible( likely ) explanations
as to why the dependent
variable reflected adverse
values. Eg 1 Why the sales in a
showroom dropped. It
measures the causes in
retrospective affect.
Eg 2 A magazine publisher
wants to ascertain the impact
of an advertisement on frozen
foods in “Women’s Era”. He
asks those who read and do
not read the magazine about

frozen foods. The difference in
response indicates the
effectiveness of the ad - after
effects of the ad.