Welcome to the Research Guide for BUS114, Small Business Planning. Please use this guide to find resources for your company research. Please contact myself or any BCC Librarian if you have any questions.
Marketing research can be classified as exploratory research, conclusive research, and performance-monitoring research. The stage in the decision-making process for which the information is needed determines the type of research required.
Exploratory research. Exploratory research is appropriate for the early stages of the decision-making process. This research is usually designed to provide a preliminary investigation of the situation with a minimum expenditure of cost and time. A variety of approaches to this research are used, including use of secondary data sources, observation, interviews with experts, and case histories.
Conclusive research. Conclusive research provides information that helps the manager evaluate and select a course of action. This involves clearly defined research objectives and information needs. Some approaches to this research include surveys, experiments, observations, and simulation. Conclusive research can be subclassified into descriptive research and causal research.
Descriptive research. Descriptive research, as its name suggests, is designed to describe something, for example, the characteristics of consumers of a certain product; the degree to which the use of a product varies with age, income, or gender; or the number of people who viewed a specific advertisement.
Causal research. Causal research is designed to gather evidence regarding the cause-and-effect relationships that exist in the marketing system. For example, if a company reduces the price of a product and then unit sales of the product increase, causal research would show whether this effect was due to the price reduction or some other reason. Causal research must be designed in such a way that the evidence regarding causality is clear. The main sources of data for causal research are interrogating respondents through surveys and conducting experiments.
Performance-monitoring research. Performance-monitoring research provides information regarding the status of the marketing system; it signals the presence of potential problems or opportunities. This is an essential element in the control of a business's marketing programs. The data sources for performance-monitoring research include interrogation of respondents, secondary data, and observation.