Objective: Select the appropriate research design.
You have just graduated from college and are a newly hired researcher trainee at Georgia Metro Research. You have been asked to determine the appropriate research design for two new clients, as follows.
Client A is a consumer packaged goods manufacturer with a well-established brand name. The client has focused on manufacturing and distribution for years while the marketing program has been set on “auto pilot.” All had worked fine, though there was a hint of emerging problems when, in the preceding year, market share had fallen slightly. Now, our client has just reviewed the current market share report and notices that over the previous 12 months, its share has gradually eroded 15%. When market share falls, clients are eager to learn why and to take corrective action. In these situations we know immediately the problem is that we don’t know what the problem is. There are many possible causes for this slippage. You need to determine the research design needed.
Client B is in a very competitive category with equal market share of the top three brands. Our client is convinced that it has changed every marketing mix variable possible except for package design. Since the three competitive brands are typically displayed side-by-side, the client wants us to determine what factors of package design (e.g., size, shape, color, texture) cause an increase in awareness, preference for, and intention to buy the brand. What do you recommend for the appropriate research design?
What research design would you recommend for each of these clients?
For the research design you selected for each client, explain why you believe your choice of design is the correct choice.
Objective: Select the appropriate sampling plan.
Honda USA is interested in learning what its 550 U.S. dealers think about a new service program Honda provided to the dealers at the beginning of last year. Honda USA wants to know if the dealers are using the program and, if so, what they like and dislike about the program. Honda USA does not want to survey all 550 dealers, but wants to ensure that the results are representative of all the dealers.
A researcher has the task of estimating how many units of a new, revolutionary photocopy machine (it does not require ink cartridges and is guaranteed not to jam) will be purchased by business firms in Cleveland, Ohio, for the upcoming annual sales forecast. She is going to ask about their likelihood of purchasing the new device, and for those “very likely” to purchase, she wants respondents to estimate how many machines their company will buy. She has data that will allow her to divide the companies into small, medium, and large firms based on number of employees at the Cleveland office.
Of the four probability sampling methods that the researcher could use, what sampling plan should be used for each of these clients?
Briefly discuss your reasoning for your choice of sampling plan for each case.