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MN7012 Research Methods for Marketing


Module Leader:                        Dr Liang Zhao

Assessment Type:                Group Assessment

Weighting:                                     30%

Deadline:                                        Powerpoint Slides to be submitted on 17th March 2022 at 15:00 via Turnitin on Blackboard

Wordcount:                                    25 minutes group presentation (including 5 minutes Q&A) to commence on week beginning 21 March 2022.

PowerPoint Slides to be submitted on Turnitin by the above deadline.

Cohort:                                              September and January Intake

Academic Year:                           2021/22

Assignment Brief

In this module, you will work on a live project developed by the module leader in conjunction with a third party organisation, The Social Impact Team (SIT). Assignment A will take the form of a group presentation, which you will present to your module tutors. The group leader will be expected to submit the Powerpoint Slides by date tbc on Turnitin.

You will work in a group of 5-6 members and each group will assume the role of a marketing research agency. You will be competing against other agencies (i.e. other groups) to win the bid for a market research project commissioned by the Social Impact Team. Following the format of a market research proposal (see below), you are asked to propose and justify a research design to address ONE of the stipulated topic (see client’s brief below for further details). You are asked to develop EITHER a (1) qualitative OR (2) quantitative questionnaire research proposal. Please provide sound rationale to justify your methodological choices. Your rationale must be grounded in research theories and relevant academic references introduced to you in the lectures as well as in the reading list.

You must prepare a 20-minutes power-point professional presentation. There will be a 5-minutes Question and Answer session at the end of your presentation. The presentations are scheduled to take place on week commencing tbc. Please refer to Blackboard for your allocated timeslot. The tutors will shortlist 3 presentations, which will be presented to the Social Impact Team. The finalists will be expected to rework their slides based on the tutors’ comments and present them to the client in the final week of the semester.

Note: Please do not conduct fieldwork/collect primary data as part of this assignment. This assignment asks that you pitch your research proposal by taking on the role of a researcher at a market research agency. You are not expected to conduct fieldwork for this assessment as this would require ethics approval from the module leader.

Further Guidance

Prior to developing your presentation, please follow the guidance below on how to develop a marketing research proposal:

Preparation prior to developing your marketing research proposal:

  • First, select a name for your market research agency. Use a professional-sounding name.
  • Next, choose ONE of the research topics stipulated in the client brief.
  • Read the client’s brief below and note down the research need highlighted by the Social Impact Team. What information does SIT require? Why did they commission this research project?
  • Conduct a brief literature search on the topics stipulated in the client’s brief. I have provided a number of readings on this topic, which you can consult as a starting point. You are not expected to do extensive reading on the topic. Rather the literature should be used only to identify suitable topic areas for discussions (qualitative research) and/or to identify variables for testing (quantitative research).
  • List 1-2 broad research aim(s), and no more than 4-5 research objectives for the topic.
  • Based on your research aim(s) and objectives, consider whether a qualitative (Option A) or quantitative (Option B) research should be used to address them.
  • Draft an outline of your research design. In your essay, you are asked to focus on developing EITHER a qualitative or a quantitative research design.
  • A quantitative research design typical utilises survey as a data collection method. However, if you opt for a qualitative research, you can choose ONE of the following methods: focus group, in-depth interviews, ethnography. Consider how these methods allow you to address your research objectives.
  • Outline a draft of your sampling plan. Who are your target population? What are your sampling criteria? Do you intend to use a sampling frame? If so, which sampling frame do you intend to use? Do you intend to use probability or non-probability sampling? Which sampling techniques would you use?

Submission Guidelines

  • Please provide your tutors with 2 PRINTED copies of your Powerpoint slides on the day of the presentation.
  • The group leader must submit the Powerpoint slides on Turnitin by (date tbc).

Suggested Presentation Structure

  Title Slide  Name of your research agency, name and student number of all your group members.   Display the name and/or logo of your market research agency.   On this slide, you also need to provide the title of your research project to reflect your chosen research topic.  
  Slide 1-2: De-briefing and Research Problem.    Provide a short debrief stipulating the research need of the Social Impact Team. Why has the SIT commission this research? Outline why the stipulated research topic is important for the Social Impact Team to address. What information would SIT need to allow them to fulfil their strategic goals.     To identify SIT’s information need you may conduct a comprehensive review of the topic stipulated. This will allow you to identify relevant research gaps and/or help you define existing variables to test in the context of a quantitative research.   Note: Please do not conduct a lengthy literature review on this specific topic. Remember this is an assignment on marketing research. You are assessed on your ability to develop and justify your research design rather than on your knowledge of the topic. In this section, you are asked to identify key problem areas related to the stipulated topic that would require the gathering of information through marketing research.   
  Slide 3: Research Aims and Objectives  Based on your problem definition, outline 1-2 broad research aim(s). Then list no more than 6 specific objectives in support of your broad aim.   Where possible, please use the SMART criteria to assess the suitability of your research objectives.  
  Slide 4: Sampling Plan    Provide a brief overview of your sampling plan. First define your target population. Who are you going to research? How are you going to recruit them? What are your sampling criteria?   Are you using a sampling frame? If so, what sampling frame would you be using and why?           Next, outline what sampling technique you intend to use. Do you intend to use a probability or non-probability sampling technique? Why? What sampling method do you intend to use and why?   Then, provide an indication of your sample size.
  Slide 5: Research Design  In this slide, provide a brief overview of your research design. Are you using an exploratory or conclusive research design? Why? In what way would your research design enable you to address your research objectives? Choose ONE research design only.   Next, are you proposing the use of a qualitative or quantitative research? Why? How does your research design allow you to address the research aim(s) and objectives stipulated above?   Note: In this proposal, you should focus on proposing either a qualitative or a quantitative research. Not both.  
  Slide 6-8: Data Collection MethodQualitative If you propose to use qualitative research, what data collection methods would you use? Why?   If focus groups are used, how would you design the composition of your focus groups? Why have you chosen to conduct focus groups? Is your focus group homogenous or heterogeneous in composition? Where will your focus group be held? What is the duration of your focus group? Is the focus group interview structured, semi-structured or unstructured? Why?   If interviews are used, are your interviews structured, semi-structured or unstructured? Why? In what way is an in-depth interview more suitable as a data collection method to address the research objectives than a focus group? How long would your interview be? Where will your interview take place? Would you be interviewing different types of participants?   If ethnography is used, what type of observations would you conduct? Is your research overt or covert? Would the researcher be participating in the activities of the participants? Please ensure your provide rationale to support your observational choices above. Explain how you intend to carry out your ethnographic fieldwork. For example, would you be using photograph, diary etc.? How long and how often would you observe your participants?   Note: Please choose ONE qualitative data collection method only.   Quantitative If you are using a quantitative study, what variables are you measuring? In other words, what research objectives/hypothesis would you address in your questionnaire?   Demonstrate how you define your hypothesis. Please make sure that your hypothesis is grounded in existing literature.   Is your interview structured, semi-structured or unstructured? What type of measures and/or scales would you be using to address the variables above? Why? How do you intend to distribute your questionnaire?  
  Slide 9: Limitations  Outline the limitations of your study and how you intend to mitigate them.  
  Slide 10: Timeframe  Using a Gantt chart or a table, outline the different stages of your research activities and the proposed timeframe you intend to carry out these activities. The timeframe should reflect a period between 1st February and 30 April 2022.    
  Slide 11: Credentials  Provide rationale as to why you should win the bid! Why should SIT consider your proposal? You may want to highlight the strengths of your research design. You can also consider your professional experience.  
  References  Provide a list of references you have cited in your presentation. You will be expected to draw on research method theories and concepts to support your research proposal.