Q.1 a. Explain in detail how a marketing decision support system is helpful as a MIS tool. Ans.: Marketing research is an important component of a formal network of information flow to marketing management, known as a marketing information system (MIS). In the words of Philip Kotler, “a marketing information system is a continuing and interacting structure of people, equipment and procedures designed to gather, sort, analyze, evaluate and distribute pertinent, timely and accurate information for use by decision makers to improve their marketing planning, execution and control.” The figure on the next page shows the key components or subsystems of the marketing information system – 1) The internal records system 2) The marketing research system 3) The marketing decision support system and 4) The marketing intelligence system. The marketing environment comprises target markets, marketing channels, competitors and macro-environmental forces. Marketing managers use marketing information for planning, execution and control. Thus, the marketing information system serves as a link between marketing managers and the marketing environment. The Marketing Decision Support System (DSS) – This consists of two components – a) Advanced methods of statistical analysis such as regression, correlation, factor, discriminant and cluster analysis techniques and b) Computerized or mathematical models that are designed to help the marketing executive take decisions such as establishing the optimum advertising budget, allocation of budget among various media types, evaluating the progress of new products, or assigning sales representatives to their territories. Databases have no value if the insights they contain cannot be retrieved. A decision support system not only allows the manager to interact directly with the database to retrieve what is wanted, it also provides a modeling function to help make sense of what has been retrieved. A common example of a DSS in action is that used by many industrial sales people – especially those selling products that require significant customization. The salesperson frequently will be asked whether or not the price and delivery time of a unique product configuration will meet or exceed a competitor’s promises. Without leaving the customer’s office, the salesperson can plug a laptop computer into a phone jack and begin communicating with a database stored in the company’s main computer memory. The salesperson types in the product configuration and desired delivery data and these requirements are compared to the costs, inventory, and assembly time contained in the data bank. In a matter of minutes, the sales person can propose a price and delivery date – and perhaps close the sales. Each firm has to develop or adapt a model to support its own decision problems. A sales force turnover model revealed that the most significant variable influencing the turnover rate was the level of the appointment fee that representatives pay for initial materials. An order model is that which explains the components of the average order and isolates the actionable variables such as the size and timing of the catalogue and the gift incentives. A procurement model is that which helps determine how much of a new product to buy, when to purchase it and the risks involved.

b. Give the meaning of internal records systems?

Ans.: Computer-based or manual system that transforms data into information useful in the support of decision-making. Internal Record System can be classified as performing two functions: (1) To generate reports-for example, financial statements, inventory status reports, or performance reports needed for routine or non-routine purposes. (2) A computer system designed to help managers plan and direct business and organizational operations.

Q.2a. Distinguish between market research and marketing research. Ans.: Marketing Research: The American Marketing Association officially defines marketing research as follows: Marketing research is the function that links the consumer, customer, and public to the marketer through information - information used to identify and define marketing opportunities and problems; generate, refine, and evaluate marketing actions; monitor marketing performance; and improve understanding of marketing as a process. Marketing research specifies the information required to address these issues, designs the method for collecting information, manages and implements the data collection process, analyses, and communicates the findings and their implications. This definition highlights the role of marketing research as an aid to decision making. An important feature is the inclusion of the specification and interpretation of needed information. Too often, marketing research is considered narrowly as gathering and analyzing of data for someone to use. Firms can achieve and sustain a competitive advantage through the creative use of marketing information. Hence, marketing research is defined as information input to decisions, not simply the evaluation of decisions that have been made. Marketing research alone, however, does not guarantee success; the intelligent use of marketing research is necessary for business achievement. A competitive edge is more the result of how information is used than of who does or does not have the information. Marketing research has many different applications and covers different areas such as the following Market research – This refers to research to determine the structure for a given market (e.g. the two wheeler market), which would include gathering information on the number of players in the market, market shares of the different players, growth rate of the market, latest trends and developments in the market, market feasibility or potential for new products launched, etc.

b. Distinguish between primary and secondary data sources. Ans.: Sources of Data The sources of data may be classified into (a) primary sources and (b) secondary sources. 1 Primary Source of Data Primary sources are original sources from which the researcher directly collects data that has not been previously collected, e.g., collection of data directly by the researcher on brand awareness, brand preference, and brand loyalty and other aspects of consumer behavior, from a sample of consumers by interviewing them. Primary data is first hand information collected through various methods such as surveys, experiments and observation, for the purposes of the project immediately at hand. The advantages of primary data are – 11.It is unique to a particular research study 22.It is recent information, unlike published information that is already available

The disadvantages are – 11.It is expensive to collect, compared to gathering information from available sources 22.Data collection is a time consuming process 33.It requires trained interviewers and investigators 2 Secondary Sources of Data These are sources containing data, which has been collected and compiled for another purpose. Secondary sources may be internal sources, such as annual reports, financial statements, sales reports, inventory records, minutes of meetings and other information that is available within the firm, in the form of a marketing information system. They may also be external sources, such as government agencies (e.g. census reports, reports of government departments), published sources (annual reports of currency and finance published by the Reserve Bank of India, publications of international organizations such as the UN, World Bank and International Monetary Fund, trade and financial journals, etc.), trade associations (e.g. Chambers of Commerce) and commercial services (outside suppliers of information).

Q.3 What is a research design? Identify the steps involved in it. How many types of research designs are there in marketing research? Ans.: Research Design: A research design is a logical and systematic plan prepared for directing a research study. It specifies the objectives of the study, the methodology and techniques to be adopted for achieving the objectives. It constitutes the blue print for the collection, measurement and analysis of data. It is the plan, structure and strategy of investigation, conceived so as to obtain answers to research questions. The plan is the overall scheme or program of research. A research design is the program that guides the investigator in the process of collecting, analyzing and interpreting observations. It provides a systematic plan of procedure for the researcher to follow. According to Selltiz, Jahoda and Destsch and Cook, “A research design is the arrangement of conditions for collection and analysis of data in a manner that aims to combine relevance to the research purpose with economy in procedure.” Steps in Marketing Research Design Process Step 1 – Research Purpose It is in the best interest of both the researcher and managers paying for the research to be sure that the research purpose is fully understood. One of the hallmarks of a competent researcher is the ability to get to the heart of the management problem. The research purpose comprises a shared understanding between the manager and the researcher of: 1. Problems or opportunities to be studied which problems or opportunities are anticipated? What is the scope of the problems and the possible reasons? 2. Decision alternatives to be evaluated What are the alternatives being studied? What are the criteria for choosing among the alternatives? What is the timing or importance of the decision? 3. Users of the research results Who are the decision makers? Are there any covert purposes? Problem or Opportunity Analysis: In analyzing problems or opportunities to be studied, constant contact with customers to monitor trends is very important. Research is often motivated by problem or opportunity. The fact that people are consuming fewer sweets might be a problem or a potential opportunity for a candy company. Increased leisure time might be viewed as an opportunity by a recreation oriented organization. In such cases, the research purpose should specify the problem or opportunity to be explored. The manager should make sure that the real problem is being addressed.

Decision Alternatives: For research to be effective, it must be associated with a decision. Marketing research is committed to the principle of utility. In general, if the research is not going to have an effect on decisions, it is an exercise in futility. The researcher should be always sensitive to the possibility that either there are no decision alternatives – and therefore no decision – or that the research findings will not affect the decision, usually because of resource or organizational constraints. In such circumstances, the research will have no practical value and probably should not be conducted. Criteria for Choosing among Alternatives: It is essential for the researcher to know how the decision maker will choose among the available alternatives. Suppose the product manager is considering three possible package redesigns for a health-care product with declining sales. The following criteria will be used to choose the best of the three alternative packages: 11. Long run sales 22. Trial purchases by users of competing brands 33. Amount of shelf space assigned to the brand 44. Differentiation from competitive packages 55. Brand name recognition. Research Users: When the research results will be used to guide internal problem solving, the researcher must know the objectives and expectations of the actual decision makers. The bigger the problem, the more difficult this becomes, for not only are a large number of people likely to be involved, but the contact person may simply be acting as a liaison whose interpretation of the problem and the need for research may be second-hand. The major benefit from making an effort to reach all the decision makers is that the research purpose is likely to be specified more adequately. Step 2 – Research Objective The research objective is a statement, in as precise terminology as possible, of what information is needed. The research objective should be framed so that obtaining the information will ensure that the research purpose is satisfied. Research objectives have three components. The first is the research question. It specifies the information the decision maker needs. The second and the third elements help the researcher make the research question as specific and precise as possible. The second is the development of hypotheses that are basically alternative answers to the research questions. The research determines which of these alternative answers is correct. It is not always possible to develop hypotheses, but an effort should be made. The third is the scope or boundaries of the research. Step 3 – Estimating the Value of Information Before a research approach can be selected; it is necessary to have an estimate of the value of information – that is, the value of obtaining answers to the research questions. Such an estimate will help determine how much, if anything, should be spent on the research. The value will depend on the importance of the decision as noted in the research purpose, the uncertainty that surrounds it, and the influence of the research information on the decision. If the decision is highly significant in terms of the investment required, or in the long-run success of the organization, then information may have a high value. However, uncertainty that is meaningful to the decision also must exist if the information is to have value. If the outcomes are already known with certainty, or if the decision will not be affected by the research information, the information will have no value. Types of Research Designs There are a number of crucial research choices and various writers advance different classification schemes, some of which are: 1. Experimental, historical and inferential designs (American Marketing Association). 2. Exploratory, descriptive and causal designs (Selltiz, Jahoda, Deutsch and Cook). 3. Experimental, and ex post facto designs (Kerlinger) 4. Historical method, and case and clinical studies (Goode and Scats) 5. Sample surveys, field studies, experiments in field settings, and laboratory experiments (Festinger and Katz) 6. Exploratory, descriptive and experimental studies (Body and Westfall) 7. Exploratory, descriptive and causal (Green and Tull) 8. Experimental and „quasi-experimental designs‟ (Nachmias and Nachmias) 9. True experimental, quasi-experimental and non-experimental designs (Smith).

10. Experimental, pre-experimental, quasi-experimental designs and Survey Research (Kidder and Judd) These different categorizations exist, because „research design‟ is a complex concept. In fact, there are different perspectives from which any given study can be viewed. They are: 1) The degree of formulation of the problem (the study may be exploratory or formalized) 2) The topical scope - breadth and depth - of the study (a case or a statistical study) 3) The research environment: field setting or laboratory (survey, laboratory experiment) 4) The time dimension (one-time or longitudinal) 5) The mode of data collection (observation or survey) 6) The manipulation of the variables under study (experimental or ex post facto) 7) The nature of the relationship among variables (descriptive or causal).

Q.4 a. List the benefits & disadvantages of mail questionnaire. Ans.: Advantages of mail questionnaire: • • • • • • It is an efficient way of collecting information from a large number of respondents. Very large samples are possible. Statistical techniques can be used to determine validity, reliability, and statistical significance. Surveys are flexible in the sense that a wide range of information can be collected. They can be used to study attitudes, values, beliefs, and past behaviors. Because they are standardized, they are relatively free from several types of errors. They are relatively easy to administer. There is an economy in data collection due to the focus provided by standardized questions. Only questions of interest to the researcher are asked, recorded, codified, and analyzed. Time and money is not spent on tangential questions. Sample surveys are usually cheaper to conduct than a full census.

Disadvantages of mail questionnaire: • They depend on subjects’ motivation, honesty, memory, and ability to respond. Subjects may not be aware of their reasons for any given action. They may have forgotten their reasons. They may not be motivated to give accurate answers; in fact, they may be motivated to give answers that present themselves in a favorable light. Structured surveys, particularly those with closed ended questions, may have low validity when researching affective variables. Although the individuals chosen to participate in surveys are often randomly sampled, errors due to nonresponse may exist. That is, people who choose to respond on the survey may be different from those who do not respond, thus biasing the estimates. For example, polls or surveys that are conducted by calling a random sample of publicly available telephone numbers will not include the responses of people with unlisted telephone numbers, mobile (cell) phone numbers, people who are unable to answer the phone (e.g., because they normally sleep during the time of day the survey is conducted, because they are at work, etc.), people who do not answer calls from unknown or unfamiliar telephone numbers. Likewise, such a survey will include a disproportionate number of respondents who have traditional, land-line telephone service with listed phone numbers, and people who stay home much of the day and are much more likely to

• •

be available to participate in the survey (e.g., people who are unemployed, disabled, elderly, etc.). Survey question answer-choices could lead to vague data sets because at times they are relative only to a personal abstract notion concerning "strength of choice". For instance the choice "moderately agree" may mean different things to different subjects, and to anyone interpreting the data for correlation. Even yes or no answers are problematic because subjects may for instance put "no" if the choice "only once" is not available.

b. What are the criteria for a good research design? Ans.: Characteristics of a Good Research Design: 1) It should provide the researcher with a sense of direction. 2) It should reduce wastage of time and cost. 3) It should encourage coordination and effective organization. 4) It should be a tentative plan, which undergoes modifications as circumstances demand, when the study progresses, new aspects, new conditions and new relationships come to light and insight into the study deepens. 5) It should be geared to the availability of data and the cooperation of the informants. 6) It should also be kept within manageable limits.

Q.5 Lock gates Ltd. is carrying out quantitative as well as qualitative research to improve its products image and sales in the market. The management wants to communicate its employees about the different methods including the latest techniques available for qualitative research. Management has asked your advice on carrying out this task. Please advice. Ans.: Qualitative Research: Qualitative research involves an in-depth understanding of consumer behavior and the reasons that govern that behavior. Unlike quantitative research, qualitative research aims to understand the reasons behind various aspects of behavior. Simply put, it investigates the why and how of decision-making, as compared to what, where and when of quantitative research. Hence, the need is for smaller but focused samples, rather than large random samples. Qualitative research categorizes data into patterns as the primary basis for organizing and reporting results. Unlike quantitative research, which relies exclusively on the analysis of numerical or quantifiable data, data for qualitative research comes in many forms, including text, sound, still images, and moving images. In qualitative research, the method does not ask the consumer to limit his or her answers to preassigned response categories. The responses are verbal rather than numerical and the respondent is asked to rate the answer in his or her own words. If the answer is a true/false or a multiple-choice category, this is a quantitative answer. If the answer is in terms of an essay, it is qualitative. In this method, the researcher may not even know what the possible answers could be and in fact this method is adopted precisely for that reason. This approach allows the researcher to discover the consumption motives, attitudes, opinions, perceptions, preferences, experiences, actions, future intentions, etc. There are different techniques in qualitative research. Some of them are described in the following paragraphs: Focus Groups A focus group is a form of qualitative research, in which a group of people is asked about their attitude towards a product, service, concept, advertisement, idea, or packaging. Questions are asked in an interactive group setting, where participants are free to talk with other group members. Focus groups are seen as an important tool for acquiring feedback regarding new products, as well as various topics. In particular, focus groups allow companies wishing to develop, package, name, or test market a new product, to discuss, view, and/or test the new

product before it is made available to the public. This can provide invaluable information about the potential market acceptance of the product. In traditional focus groups, a screened (qualified) group of respondents gathers in the same room. They are screened to ensure that they are part of the relevant target market and that the group is a representative subgroup of this market segment. There are usually 6 to 10 members in the group, and the session usually lasts for 1 to 2 hours. A moderator guides the group through a discussion that probes attitudes about a client's proposed products or services. The discussion is loosely structured, and the moderator encourages the free flow of ideas. The moderator is typically given a list of objectives or an anticipated outline. He/she will generally have only a few specific questions prepared prior to the focus group. These questions will serve to initiate openended discussions. Client representatives observe the discussion from behind a one-way mirror. Participants cannot see out, but the researchers and their clients can see in. Usually, a video camera records the meeting so that, it can be seen by others who were not able to travel to the site. Transcripts can be created from the videotape. If the participants speak a different language than the clients, a simultaneous interpreter may be used. Researchers examine more than the spoken words. They also try to interpret facial expressions, body language, and group dynamics. Moderators may use straight questioning or various projective techniques, including fixed or free association, story telling and role-playing. Focus groups are often used to garner reaction to specific stimuli such as concepts, prototypes and advertising. It is often suggested that, respondents feel group pressure to conform and this can contaminate the results. Others hold that, by using trained and experienced moderators who appropriately manage the discussion, this potential problem can be mitigated. Further, despite the potential for groupthink, marketers and sociologists find that group dynamics are useful in developing new streams of thought and covering an issue thoroughly. Focus group discussions are not representative of the total population of the target consumers, since this sample is not representative. This group is a window to the customer’s mind, bringing to surface those things, which the marketer may not have known about the consumer and his/ her views on many issues. Types of focus groups: Different types of focus groups include: 1i. Two-way focus group – one focus group watches another focus group and discusses the observed interactions and conclusions. 2ii. Dual moderator focus group – one moderator ensures the session progresses smoothly, while another ensures that all the topics are covered. 3iii. Dueling moderator focus group – two moderators deliberately take opposite sides on the issue under discussion. 4iv. Respondent moderator focus group – one or more of the respondents are asked to act as the moderator temporarily. v. Client participant focus groups – one or more client representatives participate in the discussion, either covertly or overtly. vi. Mini focus groups – groups are comprised of 4 or 5 members rather than 8 to 12. vii. Teleconference focus groups - telephone network is used. viii. Online focus groups – computers and Internet network is used. Traditional focus groups can provide accurate information, and are less expensive than other forms of traditional marketing research. There can be significant costs however, if a product is to be marketed on a nationwide basis. It would be critical to gather respondents from various locales throughout the country, since attitudes about a new product may vary due to geographical considerations. This would require considerable expenditure in travel and lodging expenses. Additionally, the site of a traditional focus group may or may not be in a locale convenient to a specific client, so client representatives may have to incur travel and lodging expenses as well. The use of focus groups has steadily evolved over time and is becoming increasingly more widespread. Quantitative Research : Quantitative marketing research is the application of quantitative research techniques to the field of marketing. It has roots in the modern marketing viewpoint that marketing is an interactive process in which both the buyer and seller reach a satisfying agreement on the "four P's" of

marketing: Product, Price, Place (location) and Promotion. As a social research method, it typically involves the construction of questionnaires and scales. People who respond (respondents) are asked to complete the survey. Marketers use the information so obtained to understand the needs of individuals in the marketplace, and to create strategies and marketing plans. Both descriptive and inferential statistical techniques can be used to analyse data and draw conclusions. It involves a quantity of respondents, sometimes ranging in number from ten to ten million, and may include hypotheses and random sampling techniques to enable inference from the sample to the population. Marketing research may include both experimental and quasiexperimental research designs. Steps involved in Quantitative Research: There are five important steps involved in the research process: 1a. Defining the Problem: This involves problem analysis and problem definition i.e. – What is the problem? What are the various aspects of the problem? What information is needed? 2b. Research Design: This involves conceptualization and operationalisation i.e. – How exactly do we define the concepts involved? How do we translate these concepts into observable and measurable behaviors?

Q.6 Dinesh is a sales analyst. Recently he was asked to undertake a training session for the newly joined recruits. Dinesh wants to highlight the importance and methods of sales forecasting and why sales forecasting is considered as an important marketing research technique. But, on the day of the training, Dinesh has to attend an urgent sales meeting with the top management. You are asked to take over the session. How will you achieve Dinesh’s training objectives? Apart from that, you also want to the recruits to know about customer profiling, product and new product research. Ans.: Importance of Sales Forecasting: A retailer estimates its expected future revenues for a given period by sales forecasting. Forecasts may be company wide, departmental, and for individual merchandise classifications. Perhaps the most important step in financial merchandise planning is accurate sales forecasting, because an incorrect projection of sales throws off the entire process. That is why many retailers have state-of-the art forecasting systems. Longs Drug Stores has dramatically improved its cash flow by using a system from Event. Larger retailers often forecast total and department sales by techniques such as trend analysis, time series analysis, and multiple regression analysis. Small retailers rely more on “guesstimates”, projections based on experience. Even for larger firms, sales forecasting for merchandise classifications within departments (or price lines) relies on more qualitative methods. One way to forecast sales for narrow categories is first to project sales on a company basis and by department, and then to break down figures judgmentally into merchandise classifications. External factors, internal company factors, and seasonal trends must be anticipated and taken into account. Among the external factors that can affect projected sales are consumer trends, competitors‟ actions, the state of the economy, the weather, and new supplier offerings. For example, Paralytics offers a patent. Methodology to analyze and forecast the relationship among consumer demand, store traffic, and the weather. Internal company factors that can impact on future sales include additions and deletions of merchandise lines, revised promotion and credit policies, and change in hours, new outlets, and store remodeling. With many retailers, seasonality must be considered in setting monthly or quarterly sales forecasts. Handy’s yearly snow blower sales should not be estimated from December sales alone. A sales forecast can be developed by examining past trends and projecting future growth (based on external and internal factors). It is an estimate, subject to revisions. Various factors may be

hard to incorporate when devising forecast, such as merchandise shortages, consumer reactions to new products, the rate of inflation, and new government legislation. That is why a financial merchandise plan needs some flexibility. After a yearly forecast is derived, it should be broken into quarters or months. In retailing monthly forecast are usually required. Jewelry stores know December accounts for nearly one-quarter of annual sales, while drugstores know December sales are slightly better than average. Stationery stores and card stores realize that Christmas card generate 60 percent of seasonal greeting card sales, while Valentine’s Day card are second with about 25 percent. To acquire more specific estimates, a retailer could use a monthly sales index, which divides each month’s actual sales by average monthly sales and multiplies the results by 100 is actual monthly sales and monthly sales indexes. The store is seasonal, with peaks in late spring and early summer (for lawn mowers, garden supplies, and so on), as well as December (for lighting fixtures, snow blowers, and gifts). Other monthly indexes are computed similarly. Each monthly index shows the percentage deviation of that month’s sales from the average months. A May index of 160 means May sales are 60 percent higher than average. October indexes of 67 means sales in October are 33 percent below average.

1Product research – This includes testing of new products through methods such as test
marketing (introducing a new product in one or two select markets and evaluating the response in those markets), and concept testing (testing consumer reactions to a description of a product concept, rather than the actual product); testing of alternative packaging concepts (e.g. iced tea in cans vs. tetra packs), brand name testing, product attribute/feature testing (e.g. testing different combinations of product features among consumers, such as level of sweetness and level of fizz in an iced tea drink) and assessing consumer perceptions of a product’s strengths and weaknesses. In addition, product research also includes research on services, since service industries are also users of marketing research.




Q.1 a. Mention the types and components of a market research report. Ans.: Types of Research Reports: Research reports may be classified into the following types - 1. Technical reports 2. Popular reports 3. Interim Reports 4. Summary reports 5. Research abstracts 6. Research articles these differ in terms of the degree of formality, physical form, scope, writing style, detail, use of technical terms and length. 1 Technical Reports This is a comprehensive report which is generally intended for other researchers and research managers and describes all aspects of the research process in considerable detail - the problem studied, the objectives of the study, the methodology and techniques used, a detailed account of the sampling field and other research procedures, sources of data, tools for data collection, methods of data processing and analysis, findings, conclusions and suggestions. The idea is to enable another researcher to critique the methodology used and to evaluate the accuracy of the findings. 2 Popular Reports This type of report is intended for a more general audience that is less interested in the methodological details, but more interested in the findings of the study. Therefore, the writing style and complexity will be different from that of a technical report. Sentences and paragraphs should be short and complicated statistics and terminology should be avoided. The presentation of the report should be livelier and include bold headlines, flow diagrams, charts, tables and other visual devices. However, the report should aim to inform the reader, not merely impress him/her. After a brief introduction to the problem and the objectives of the study, an abstract of the findings of the study, conclusions and recommendations should be presented. 3 Interim Reports When there is a time lag between data collection and presentation of the results, the study may lose its significance and usefulness. In such a situation, an interim report can narrate what has been done so far and what was its outcome. It presents a summary of the findings of that part of the analysis, which has been completed. 4 Summary Reports A summary report is meant for a lay audience i.e., for the general public. It is written in nontechnical, simple language with pictorial charts, objectives, findings and its implications. It is a short report of two to three pages in length. 5 Research Abstracts A research abstract is a short summary of a technical report. A doctoral student prepares it on the eve of submitting a thesis. It contains a brief presentation of the statement of the problem, the objectives of the study, methods and techniques used and an overview of the report. A brief summary of the results of the study may also be included. 6 Research Articles A research article is designed for publication in a professional journal. A research article must be clearly written in concise, unambiguous language. It must be logically organized. Progression from a statement of a problem and purpose of the study, through to analysis of evidence, conclusions and implications are given in the report. Characteristics of a Research Report A research report is a narrative and authoritative document on the outcome of a research effort. It represents highly specific information for a clearly designated audience. It is a simple, readable and accurate form of communication. Functions of a Research Report A research report serves as a means for presenting the problem studied, the methods and techniques used for collecting and analyzing data, the findings, conclusions and recommendations. It serves as a basic reference material for future use. In

addition, it also serves the following functions –  It is a means for judging the quality of a research project.  It is a means for evaluating the researcher’s competence.  It provides systematic knowledge on problems and issues analyzed.

b. What is marketing audit? What are its elements? Ans.: The marketing audit is a fundamental part of the marketing planning process. It is conducted not only at the beginning of the process, but also at a series of points during the implementation of the plan. The marketing audit considers both internal and external influences on marketing planning, as well as a review of the plan itself. Marketing Skills Audit Skills are the most distinctive encapsulation of the organization’s way of doing business. One vehicle for assessing skills is the marketing audit. This is a comprehensive, systematic, independent, and periodic examination of a business unit’s marketing environment, objectives, strategies and activities. The audit should be based on customer orientation, or focus on customer satisfaction as its overriding theme. The audit is simply a marketing research project whose objective is to critically evaluate the way the firm performs in its environment. Elements of Marketing audit:

1. Key factors that impacted the business for good or for bad during the past year.
Including an evaluation of marketing "surprises"—the unanticipated competitive actions or changes in the marketing climate that affected the performance of the marketing programs.

2. The extent to which each decision in the marketing plan—e.g. targeting, positioning,
pricing, advertising, etc.—was made after evaluating many alternatives in terms of profitrelated criteria. 3. Marketing knowledge, attitudes, and satisfaction of all executives involved in the marketing function. 4. The extent to which the marketing program was marketed internally and bought into by top management and non-marketing executives. 5. Customer, distributor, vendor, and intermediary satisfaction based on research among key target groups. 6. The performance of advertising, promotion, sales force, and marketing research programs in terms of ROI. 7. The performance of non-traditional programs, particularly digital offerings, in terms of ROI. 8. Whether the marketing plan achieved its stated financial and non-financial goals and objectives. 9. Which aspects of the plan that failed to meet objectives with specific recommendations for improving next year's performance? 10. The current value of brand and customer equity for each brand in the product portfolio.

Q.2 Assess the scope of hypothesis testing in marketing research. Ans.: Concepts of Testing Hypotheses Some basic concepts in the context of testing of hypotheses are explained below 1 21) Null Hypotheses and Alternative Hypotheses: In the context of statistical analysis, we often talk about null and alternative hypotheses. If we are to compare the superiority of method A with that of method B and we proceed on the assumption that both methods are equally good, then this assumption is termed as a null hypothesis. On the other hand, if we think that method A is superior, then it is known as an alternative hypothesis. These are symbolically represented as: Null hypothesis = H0 and Alternative hypothesis = Ha Suppose we want to test the hypothesis that the population mean is equal to the hypothesized mean (µ H0) = 100. Then we would say that the null hypothesis is that the population mean is equal to the hypothesized mean 100 and symbolically we can express it as: H0: µ= µ H0=100 If our sample results do not support this null hypothesis, we should conclude that something else is true. What we conclude rejecting the null hypothesis is known as an alternative hypothesis. If we accept H0, then we are rejecting Ha and if we reject H0, then we are accepting Ha. For H0: µ= µ H0=100, we may consider three possible alternative hypotheses as follows: Alternative Hypotheses Ha: µ≠µ H0 To be read as follows (The alternative hypothesis is that the population mean is not equal to 100 i.e., it may be more or less 100) (The alternative hypothesis is that the population mean is greater than 100) (The alternative hypothesis is that the population mean is less than 100)

Ha: µ>µ H0 Ha: µ< µ H0

The null hypotheses and the alternative hypotheses are chosen before the sample is drawn (the researcher must avoid the error of deriving hypotheses from the data he collects and testing the hypotheses from the same data). In the choice of null hypothesis, the following considerations are usually kept in view: 1a. The alternative hypothesis is usually the one, which is to be proved, and the null hypothesis is the one that is to be disproved. Thus a null hypothesis represents the hypothesis we are trying to reject, while the alternative hypothesis represents all other possibilities. 2b. If the rejection of a certain hypothesis when it is actually true involves great risk, it is taken as null hypothesis, because then the probability of rejecting it when it is true is α (the level of significance) which is chosen very small. 3c. The null hypothesis should always be a specific hypothesis i.e., it should not state an approximate value. Generally, in hypothesis testing, we proceed on the basis of the null hypothesis, keeping the alternative hypothesis in view. Why so? The answer is that on the assumption that the null hypothesis is true, one can assign the probabilities to different possible sample results, but this cannot be done if we proceed with alternative hypotheses. Hence the use of null hypotheses (at times also known as statistical hypotheses) is quite frequent.

2) The Level of Significance: This is a very important concept in the context of hypothesis testing. It is always some percentage (usually 5%), which should be chosen with great care, thought and reason. In case we take the significance level at 5%, then this implies that H0 will be rejected when the sampling result (i.e., observed evidence) has a less than 0.05 probability of occurring if H0 is true. In other words, the 5% level of significance means that the researcher is willing to take as much as 5% risk rejecting the null hypothesis when it (H0) happens to be true. Thus the significance level is the maximum value of the probability of rejecting H0 when it is true and is usually determined in advance before testing the hypothesis. 3) Decision Rule or Test of Hypotheses: Given a hypothesis Ha and an alternative hypothesis H0, we make a rule, which is known as a decision rule, according to which we accept H0 (i.e., reject Ha) or reject H0 (i.e., accept Ha). For instance, if H0 is that a certain lot is good (there are very few defective items in it), against Ha, that the lot is not good (there are many defective items in it), and then we must decide the number of items to be tested and the criterion for accepting or rejecting the hypothesis. We might test 10 items in the lot and plan our decision saying that if there are none or only 1 defective item among the 10, we will accept H0; otherwise we will reject H0 (or accept Ha). This sort of basis is known as a decision rule. 4) Type II Errors & I: In the context of testing of hypotheses, there are basically two types of errors that we can make. We may reject H0 when H0 is true and we may accept H0 when it is not true. The former is known as Type I and the latter is known as Type II. In other words, Type I error means rejection of hypotheses, which should have been accepted, and Type II error means accepting of hypotheses, which should have been rejected. Type I error is denoted by α (alpha), also called as level of significance of test; and Type II error is denoted by β(beta). Decision Accept H0 H0 (true) Ho (false) Reject H0 Correct decision Type II error (β error) Type I error (α error) Correct decision

The probability of Type I error is usually determined in advance and is understood as the level of significance of testing the hypotheses. If type I error is fixed at 5%, it means there are about 5 chances in 100 that we will reject H0 when H0 is true. We can control type I error just by fixing it at a lower level. For instance, if we fix it at 1%, we will say that the maximum probability of committing type I error would only be 0.01. But with a fixed sample size n, when we try to reduce type I error, the probability of committing type II error increases. Both types of errors cannot be reduced simultaneously, since there is a trade-off in business situations. Decision makers decide the appropriate level of type I error by examining the costs of penalties attached to both types of errors. If type I error involves time and trouble of reworking a batch of chemicals that should have been accepted, whereas type II error means taking a chance that an entire group of users of this chemicals compound will be poisoned, then in such a situation one should prefer a type I error to a type II error. As a result, one must set a very high level for type I error in one’s testing techniques of a given hypothesis. Hence, in testing of hypotheses, one must make all possible efforts to strike an adequate balance between Type I & Type II error. 1 25) Two Tailed Test & One Tailed Test: In the context of hypothesis testing, these two terms are quite important and must be clearly understood. A two-tailed test rejects the null hypothesis if, say, the sample mean is significantly higher or lower than the hypothesized value of the mean of the population. Such a test is inappropriate when we have H0: µ= µ H0 and Ha: µ≠µ H0 which may µ>µ H0 or µ<µ H0. If significance level is 5 % and the two-tailed test is to be applied, the probability of the rejection area will be 0.05 (equally split on both tails of the curve as 0.025) and

that of the acceptance region will be 0.95. If we take µ = 100 and if our sample mean deviates significantly from µ, in that case we shall accept the null hypothesis. But there are situations when only a one-tailed test is considered appropriate. A one-tailed test would be used when we are to test, say, whether the population mean is either lower or higher than some hypothesized value.

Q.3 a. is ethics required in marketing research? Discuss briefly. Ans.: Ethics refers to moral principles or values that generally govern the conduct of the individual or group. Researchers have responsibilities to their profession. Clients and respondents must also adhere to high ethical standards to ensure that both the function and the information are not brought into disrepute. The Marketing Research Association, Inc. (Chicago, Illinois) has instituted a code of ethics that serves as a guideline for ethical marketing research decisions. The Council of American Research Organization (CASRO) has also established a detailed code of marketing research ethics to which its members adhere. As the figure below indicates, three parties are normally involved in the marketing research process: 0 1. The manager or client who sponsors the project 1 2. The researcher or supplier who designs and executes the research 2 3. The subject or respondent who provides the information. The major responsibility for ethical behavior falls on the users and suppliers of marketing research, rather than on the respondents, whose duty is simply to be honest in their behavior and responses. The figure also indicates that two other parties – competitors and society at large – are involved in the research process. While their involvement is not direct, they are often affected by marketing research activities. Given below given is the Code of Professional Ethics and Practices instituted by the Marketing Research Association. 1. To maintain high standards of competence and integrity in marketing and survey research. 2. To maintain the highest level of business and professional conduct and to comply with the Federal, State and local laws, regulations and ordinances applicable to business practices and those of the company. 3. To exercise all reasonable care and to observe the best standards of objectivity and accuracy in the development, collection, processing and reporting of marketing and survey research information 4. To protect the anonymity of respondents and hold all information concerning an individual respondent privileged, such that this information is used only within the context of the particular study. 5. To thoroughly instruct and supervise all persons for whose work I am responsible in accordance with study specifications and general research techniques. 6. To observe the rights of ownership of all materials received from and / or for clients and to keep in confidence all research techniques, data and other information considered confidential by the owners. 7. To make available to clients such details on the research methods and techniques of an assignment as may be reasonably required for proper interpretation of the data, provided this reporting does not violate the confidence of respondents or clients. 8. To promote the trust of the public for marketing and survey research activities and to avoid any procedures which misrepresent the activities of the respondents, the rewards of cooperation or the uses of data 9. To refrain from referring to membership in this organization as proof of competence, since the organization does not certify any person or organization. 10. To encourage the observance of principles of this code among all people engaged in marketing and survey research.

b. Distinguish between bivariate and multivariate analysis. Ans.: Multivariate analysis (MVA) is based on the statistical principle of multivariate statistics, which involves observation and analysis of more than one statistical variable at a time. In design and analysis, the technique is used to perform trade studies across multiple dimensions while taking into account the effects of all variables on the responses of interest. Uses for multivariate analysis include: • • • • • Design for capability (also known as capability-based design) Inverse design, where any variable can be treated as an independent variable Analysis of Alternatives (A0A), the selection of concepts to fulfill a customer need Analysis of concepts with respect to changing scenarios Identification of critical design drivers and correlations across hierarchical levels.

Multivariate analysis can be complicated by the desire to include physics-based analysis to calculate the effects of variables for a hierarchical "system-of-systems." Often, studies that wish to use multivariate analysis are stalled by the dimensionality of the problem. These concerns are often eased through the use of surrogate models, highly accurate approximations of the physicsbased code. Since surrogate models take the form of an equation, they can be evaluated very quickly. This becomes an enabler for large-scale MVA studies: while a Monte Carlo simulation across the design space is difficult with physics-based codes, it becomes trivial when evaluating surrogate models, which often take the form of response surface equations. Bivariate analysis is concerned with the relationships between pairs of variables (X, Y) in a data set. The following data analysis situations can be visualized, depending on the measurement levels of variables and whether there is any distinction between dependent and independent variables. Bivariate analysis is the simultaneous analysis of two variables. It is usually undertaken to see if one variable is related to another variable. Multivariate analysis is the simultaneous analysis of three or more variables. It is frequently done to refine a bivariate analysis, taking into account the possible influence of a third variable on the original bivariate relationship. Multivariate analysis is also used to test the joint effects of two or more variables upon a dependent variable.

Q.4 a. List the benefits of scaling techniques in marketing research. Ans.: benefits of scaling techniques: Multidimensional scaling addresses the problem of identifying the dimensions upon which customers perceive or evaluate phenomena (products, brands, or companies) in a perceptual map. Multidimensional scaling techniques result in perceptual maps that describe the positioning of companies or brands that are compared, relative to the position they occupy in the minds of customers, according to key attributes. These maps allow the decision maker to examine underlying criteria or dimensions that people utilize, to form perceptions about similarities between and preferences among various products, services, or companies. The question of positioning by multidimensional scaling (MDS) and perceptual mapping deals with how a firm compares to its competitors on key attributes, what the ideal set of attributes sought by the

customers might be, or what positioning or repositioning strategy should be developed for a specific sector of the marketplace. A medium sized bank might learn for example, that the most effective way to compete for commercial loan business with larger, more prestigious banks with a wider range of services, is by focusing on the genuine concern communicated by loan supervisors, as well as the expertise they develop in their knowledge of their client’s sub-sector of industry.

b. Give a note on statistical package for social sciences. Ans.: SPSS (originally, Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) was released in its first version in 1968 after being developed by Norman H. Nie and C. Hadlai Hull. Norman Nie was then a political science postgraduate at Stanford University, and now Research Professor in the Department of Political Science at Stanford and Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Chicago. SPSS is among the most widely used programs for statistical analysis in social science. It is used by market researchers, health researchers, survey companies, government, education researchers, marketing organizations and others. The original SPSS manual (Nie, Bent & Hull, 1970) has been described as one of "sociology's most influential books".[4] In addition to statistical analysis, data management (case selection, file reshaping, creating derived data) and data documentation (a metadata dictionary is stored in the datafile) are features of the base software. Statistics included in the base software: • • • • Descriptive statistics: Cross tabulation, Frequencies, Descriptives, Explore, Descriptive Ratio Statistics Bivariate statistics: Means, t-test, ANOVA, Correlation (bivariate, partial, distances), Nonparametric tests Prediction for numerical outcomes: Linear regression Prediction for identifying groups: Factor analysis, cluster analysis (two-step, K-means, hierarchical), Discriminant

The many features of SPSS are accessible via pull-down menus or can be programmed with a proprietary 4GL command syntax language. Command syntax programming has the benefits of reproducibility; simplifying repetitive tasks; and handling complex data manipulations and analyses. Additionally, some complex applications can only be programmed in syntax and are not accessible through the menu structure. The pull-down menu interface also generates command syntax, this can be displayed in the output though the default settings have to be changed to make the syntax visible to the user; or can be pasted into a syntax file using the "paste" button present in each menu. Programs can be run interactively, or unattended using the supplied Production Job Facility. Additionally a "macro" language can be used to write command language subroutines and a Python programmability extension can access the information in the data dictionary and data and dynamically build command syntax programs. The Python programmability extension, introduced in SPSS 14, replaced the less functional SAX Basic "scripts" for most purposes, although SaxBasic remains available. In addition, the Python extension allows SPSS to run any of the statistics in the free software package R. From version 14 onwards SPSS can be driven externally by a Python or a VB.NET program using supplied "plug-ins". SPSS places constraints on internal file structure, data types, data processing and matching files, which together considerably simplify programming. SPSS datasets have a 2-dimensional table structure where the rows typically represent cases (such as individuals or households) and the

columns represent measurements (such as age, sex or household income). Only 2 data types are defined: numeric and text (or "string"). All data processing occurs sequentially case-by-case through the file. Files can be matched one-to-one and one-to-many, but not many-to-many. The graphical user interface has two views which can be toggled by clicking on one of the two tabs in the bottom left of the SPSS window. The 'Data View' shows a spreadsheet view of the cases (rows) and variables (columns). Unlike spreadsheets, the data cells can only contain numbers or text and formulas cannot be stored in these cells. The 'Variable View' displays the metadata dictionary where each row represents a variable and shows the variable name, variable label, value label(s), print width, measurement type and a variety of other characteristics. Cells in both views can be manually edited, defining the file structure and allowing data entry without using command syntax. This may be sufficient for small datasets. Larger datasets such as statistical surveys are more often created in data entry software, or entered during computerassisted personal interviewing, by scanning and using optical character recognition and optical mark recognition software, or by direct capture from online questionnaires. These datasets are then read into SPSS. Statistical output is to a proprietary file format (*.spv file, supporting pivot tables) for which, in addition to the in-package viewer, a stand-alone reader can be downloaded. The proprietary output can be exported to text or Microsoft Word. Alternatively, output can be captured as data (using the OMS command), as text, tab-delimited text, PDF, XLS, HTML, XML, SPSS dataset or a variety of graphic image formats (JPEG, PNG, BMP and EMF).

Q.5 Zigzag Company Ltd. is a foreign-based multinational. It is now interested to expand their markets to India. But, before they start selling their products in India, they want to carry out a marketing research to find out market attractiveness. They hire an Indian marketing research agency to conduct the research on their behalf. If you are a part of this research agency, what problems and challenges will you face in undertaking this research? How will you communicate this to the company and what would be your advice? Ans.: Problems and challenges: Market Share Market share is measured as a percentage of total industry sales over a specified period. Clearly, there are problems in assessing competitive advantage using market share. A company’s market share can change dramatically, depending on whether the market is defined as global, is a particular export market, domestic market, regional market, a city, a segment of users, or is based on product usage. The change in market share over time is a vital indicator of competitive dynamics, particularly during the growth stage of a product or market. It indicates whether the firm is ahead, abreast, or behind the market’s total growth rate. Recall Share Recall share is the percentage of customers who name the brand when they are asked to name the first brand that comes to mind when they consider buying a particular type of product. This indicates the consumer’s top-of-mind brand awareness and preferences and gives a measure of advantage to that brand over others in the market. Advertising Share Advertising share is the percentage of media space or time a brand has of the total media share for that industry, often measured simply as money spent on advertising. This is likely to lead to a change in recall share. Advertising share is another measure of the current competition that a firm faces. R&D Share

R&D share is a company’s research and development expenditure as a percentage of total industry R&D expenditures. This is a long-term predictor of new-product development, improvements in quality, cost reductions, and hence market share. It is a very important measure of future competitiveness in many high-technology markets. All of these shares can be obtained from either survey data or secondary data. Marketing Skills Audit Skills are the most distinctive encapsulation of the organization’s way of doing business. One vehicle for assessing skills is the marketing audit. This is a comprehensive, systematic, independent, and periodic examination of a business unit’s marketing environment, objectives, strategies and activities. The audit should be based on customer orientation, or focus on customer satisfaction as its overriding theme. The audit is simply a marketing research project whose objective is to critically evaluate the way the firm performs in its environment. Comparison of Relative Cost Another measure of advantage is a comparison of the firm’s costs versus those of its competitors. The company gains a cost advantage when its cumulative costs are lower than its competitor’s. Competitors’ costs can be estimated from public data or interviews with suppliers and distributors. Secondary data can also be used to obtain such data. Comparison of Winning vs. Losing Competitors Key success factors can be inferred by analyzing differences in performance among competitors. For this approach to yield useful insights, three difficult questions must be answered. First, which competitors should be included in the comparison set? Second, which criteria should be used to distinguish the winners from the losers (e.g. profitability, growth, market share, creation of markets)? Third, what are the reasons for the differences in performance? Brand Equity Brand equity is defined as a set of assets and liabilities linked to a brand that add to or subtract from the value of a product or service to a company and/or its customers. The assets or liabilities that underlie brand equity must be linked to the name and symbol of the brand. They can be grouped into five categories: Brand loyalty Name awareness Perceived quality Brand associations in addition to perceived quality Other proprietary brand assets: patents, trademarks, channel relationships etc. Customer Satisfaction In recent years, American business has become increasingly committed to the idea of customer satisfaction and product service quality. The measurement of customer satisfaction and its link to product/service attributes is the vehicle for developing a market driven approach. Customer satisfaction research has been around for a long time, but it has become a fixture at most large corporations only in recent years. Total Quality Management Recent years have witnessed a renewed emphasis on delivering superior quality products and services to customers. With foreign competition steadily eating away the profitability and the market shares of Indian companies, more and more of them are adopting total quality management (TQM) to become more competitive. TQM is a process of managing complex changes in the organization with the aim of improving quality. Identifying High-Leverage Phenomena Ideally, these are causal relationships that describe controllable variables such as plant scale, production-run length, and sales costs per unit. Ethical Issues - Code of Conduct, Data-Protection Act The Code of Ethics of Marketing Research Association a. Ethics refers to moral principles or values that generally govern the conduct of an individual or group. Researchers have responsibilities to their profession, clients and respondents, and must adhere to high ethical standards to ensure that both the function and information are not brought into disrepute. The Marketing Research association, Inc (Chicago, Illinois) has instituted a Code of Professional Ethics and Practices for ethical marketing research decisions. The Code of Professional Ethics and Practices 1. To maintain a high standard of competence and integrity in marketing and survey research. 2.To maintain the highest level of business and professional conduct and to comply with Federal, State and local laws, regulations and ordinances applicable to my business practice and those of my company. 3. To exercise all reasonable care to observe the best standards of objectivity and accuracy in the development, collection, processing and reporting of marketing and survey research information. 4. To thoroughly instruct and supervise all persons for whose work I am responsible, in accordance with study specifications and general research technique.

5. To observe the rights of ownership of all materials received from and /or developed for clients, and to keep in confidence all research techniques, data and other information considered confidential by their owners. 6. To make available to clients, such details on the research methods and techniques of an assignment, as may be reasonably required for proper interpretation of the data, providing this reporting does not violate the confidence of respondents of clients. 7. To promote the trust of the public for marketing and survey research activities and to avoid any procedure which misrepresents the activities of a respondent, the rewards of cooperation or the uses of data. 8. To refrain from referring to membership in this organization as proof of competence, since the organization does not so certify any person or organization. 9. To encourage the observance of principles of this code among all people engaged in marketing and survey research.

Q.6 You attend an interview in a big company. You are asked the following questions by the interviewers: i. What is a sample? ii. What is a sample size? iii. What is a sampling process? iv. What are the types of sampling design? v. What is a sampling error? What will be your answers? Ans.: Sample: A part of the population is known as a sample. The method, consisting of

the selection for a study, a portion of the ‘universe’, with a view to drawing conclusions about the ‘universe’ or ‘population’ is known as sampling. A statistical sample ideally purports to be a miniature model or replica of the population, comprised of all the items that the study should principally encompass, that is, the items that potentially hold promise of affording information relevant to the purpose of a given research.
Sample size: If the population to be studied is relatively small, say 50 institutions, 200 employees or 150 households, the investigator may decide to study the entire population. The task is easily manageable and sampling may not be required. However, if the population to be studied is quite large, sampling is warranted. However, the size is a relative matter. Whether a population is large or small depends upon the nature of the study, the purpose for which it is undertaken, and the time and other resources available. Sampling process: The decision process is a complicated one. The researcher has to first identify the limiting factor or factors and must judiciously balance the conflicting factors. The various criteria governing the choice of the sampling technique are: 1. Purpose of the Survey: What does the researcher aim at? If he intends to generalize the findings based on the sample survey to the population, then an appropriate probability sampling method must be selected. The choice of a particular type of probability sampling depends on the geographical area of the survey and the size and the nature of the population under study. 2. Measurability: The application of statistical inference theory requires computation of the sampling error from the sample itself. Only probability samples allow such computation. Hence, where the research objective requires statistical inference, the sample should be drawn by applying simple random sampling method or stratified random sampling method, depending on whether the population is homogenous or heterogeneous.

3. Degree of Precision: Should the results of the survey be very precise, or could even
rough results serve the purpose? The desired level of precision is one of the criteria for sampling method selection. Where a high degree of precision of results is desired, probability sampling should be used. Where even crude results would serve the purpose (E.g., marketing surveys, readership surveys etc), any convenient non-random sampling like quota sampling would be enough. Information about Population: How much information is available about the population to be studied? Where no list of population and no information about its nature are available, it is difficult to apply a probability sampling method. Then an exploratory study with non-probability sampling may be done to gain a better idea of the population. After gaining sufficient knowledge about the population through the exploratory study, an appropriate probability sampling design may be adopted. The Nature of the Population: In terms of the variables to be studied, is the population homogenous or heterogeneous? In the case of a homogenous population, even simple random sampling will give a representative sample. If the population is heterogeneous, stratified random sampling is appropriate. Geographical Area of the Study and the Size of the Population: If the area covered by a survey is very large and the size of the population is quite large, multi-stage cluster sampling would be appropriate. But if the area and the size of the population are small, single stage probability sampling methods could be used. Financial Resources: If the available finance is limited, it may become necessary to choose a less costly sampling plan like multistage cluster sampling, or even quota sampling as a compromise. However, if the objectives of the study and the desired level of precision cannot be attained within the stipulated budget, there is no alternative but to give up the proposed survey. Where the finance is not a constraint, a researcher can choose the most appropriate method of sampling that fits the research objective and the nature of population. Time Limitation: The time limit within which the research project should be completed restricts the choice of a sampling method. Then, as a compromise, it may become necessary to choose less time consuming methods like simple random sampling, instead of stratified sampling/sampling with probability proportional to size; or multi-stage cluster sampling, instead of single-stage sampling of elements. Of course, the precision has to be sacrificed to some extent. Economy: It should be another criterion in choosing the sampling method. It means achieving the desired level of precision at minimum cost. A sample is economical if the precision per unit cost is high, or the cost per unit of variance is low. The above criteria frequently conflict with each other and the researcher must balance and blend them to obtain a good sampling plan. The chosen plan thus represents an adaptation of the sampling theory to the available facilities and resources. That is, it represents a compromise between idealism and feasibility. One should use simple workable methods, instead of unduly elaborate and the area and the size of the population are small, single stage probability sampling methods could be used.







Types of sampling design 1.Convenience or accidental sampling: It means selecting sample units in a just ‘hit and miss’ fashion - e.g., interviewing people whom we happen to meet. This sampling also means selecting whatever sampling units are conveniently available - e.g., a teacher may select students in his class. This method is also known as accidental sampling, because the respondents whom the researcher meets accidentally are included in the sample. Suitability: Though this type of sampling has no status, it may be used for simple purposes such as testing ideas, or gaining ideas or a rough impression about a subject of interest. Advantage: It is the cheapest and simplest does not require a list of the population and does not require any statistical expertise.

Disadvantage: The disadvantage is that it is highly biased because of the researcher’s subjectivity. It is the least reliable sampling method and the findings cannot be generalized. 2. Purposive (or judgment) sampling: This method means deliberate selection of sample units that conform to some pre-determined criteria. This is also known as judgment sampling. This involves selection of cases, which we judge as the most appropriate ones for the given study. It is based on the judgment of the researcher or some expert. It does not aim at securing a cross section of a population. The chance that a particular case be selected for the sample depends on the subjective judgment of the researcher. Suitability: This is used when what is important is the typicality and specific relevance of the sampling units to the study and not their overall representative ness to the population. Advantage: It is less costly and more convenient and guarantees inclusion of relevant elements in the sample. Disadvantage: It is less efficient for generalizing, does not ensure representative ness, requires prior extensive information and does not lend itself for using inferential statistics. 3. Quota sampling: This is a form of convenient sampling involving selection of quota groups of accessible sampling units by traits such as sex, age, social class, etc. It is a method of stratified sampling, in which the selection within strata is non-random. It is this ‘non-random’ element that constitutes its greatest weakness. Suitability: It is used in studies like marketing surveys, opinion polls, and readership surveys, which do not aim at precision, but at getting some crude results quickly. Advantage: It is less costly, takes less time, does not need a list of the population, and allows fieldwork to be easily be organized. Sampling error: In statistics, sampling error or estimation error is the error caused by observing a sample instead of the whole population. [1] The sampling error can be found by subtracting the value of a parameter from the value of a statistic. In nursing research, a sampling error is the difference between a sample statistic used to estimate a population parameter and the actual but unknown value of the parameter. An estimate of a quantity of interest, such as an average or percentage, will generally be subject to sample-to-sample variation. [1] These variations in the possible sample values of a statistic can theoretically be expressed as sampling errors, although in practice the exact sampling error is typically unknown. Sampling error also refers more broadly to this phenomenon of random sampling variation. The likely size of the sampling error can generally be controlled by taking a large enough random sample from the population, although the cost of doing this may be prohibitive; see sample size and statistical power for more detail. If the observations are collected from a random sample, statistical theory provides probabilistic estimates of the likely size of the sampling error for a particular statistic or estimator. These are often expressed in terms of its standard error. Sampling bias is a possible source of sampling errors. It leads to sampling errors which either have a prevalence to be positive or negative. Such errors can be considered to be systematic errors. Sampling error can be contrasted with non-sampling error. Non-sampling error is a catch-all term for the deviations from the true value that are not a function of the sample chosen, including various systematic errors and any random errors that are not due to sampling. Non-sampling errors are much harder to quantify than sampling error

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