Effective: Early Spring 8-Week 2018/2019

MKTG 441: Marketing Research

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  Course Description

A managerial approach to this highly technical and quantitative field.

Prerequisite: MKTG 310 and MATH 250

Proctored Exams: None



  • Burns, Alvin and Bush, Ronald. Basic Marketing Research. 3rd ed. Prentice Hall. 
    • ISBN-978-0-13-507822-8

MBS Information

Textbooks for the course may be ordered from MBS Direct. You can order

For additional information about the bookstore, visit http://www.mbsbooks.com.

  Course Overview

In this course, you will learn how to conduct research, collecting data, transforming it into meaningful information, and applying it to solve business problems and/or capitalize on feasible opportunities. You will learn how to analyze marketing environments, interpret research findings, and prepare a final report to the management team. You will learn how to determine when research is required, understand how to properly conduct research with an unbiased perspective, prepare research reports that interpret findings in a graphic and narrative format and use basic statistical inferences to substantiate research findings.

  Technology Requirements

Participation in this course will require the basic technology for all online classes at Columbia College:
  • A computer with reliable Internet access
  • A web browser
  • Acrobat Reader
  • Microsoft Office or another word processor such as Open Office

You can find more details about standard technical requirements for our courses on our site.

You will need to have access to Excel 2007 or 2010. You will also need to download and use XL Data Analyst software (http://www.xldataanalyst.com/Basic/index.htm) to complete work assigned in Weeks 6 and 7. Note: XL Data Analyst runs only in the Windows OS, so you will need to have access to a Windows-based computer where you can install and run it.
Apple Mac users can run Windows programs on their Macs by installing Apple's "Boot Camp" which creates a petition on the Mac hard drive where Windows programs such as Microsoft Office Excel can be installed and run in a Windows environment. There is a cost to this program, so you may want to use the computers in the computer lab, or borrow a Windows computer.

  Course Objectives

  • Appreciate the role and importance of marketing research in the marketing and management process
  • Understand the various conceptual foundations on which marketing research is based.
  • Understand how marketing research can effectively be used by business organizations and social institutions, including those of the not-for-profit sector.
  • Understand how this function is carried out in the field and the complexities faced by researchers working in this area.

  Measurable Learning Outcomes

  • Define and explain the concept of marketing research.
  • Explain the fact that the essence of marketing research is to fulfill the marketing manager’s need for knowledge of the market.
  • Explain the relationship between marketing research, implementation of the marketing concept, and total quality management.
  • Explain and evaluate the various categories of market research activities.
  • Critique marketing research as either exploratory research, descriptive research, or causal research.
  • Identify the stages of the marketing research process.
  • Explain the organizational structure of marketing research in various organizations.
  • Explain the often-conflicting relationship between marketing management and researchers.
  • Explain ethical issues as they relate to marketing research.
  • Explain that proper problem definition is essential for effective marketing research.
  • Evaluate research problems in terms of clear and precise research objectives.
  • Explain the process of exploratory research.
  • Explain advantages and disadvantages of secondary data in the research process.
  • Critique the advantages of using surveys.
  • Explain the types of information that may be gathered from surveys.
  • Explain the characteristics of observation research.
  • Define experimentation and discuss the requirements for making a true experiment.
  • Define test marketing.
  • Explain the useful functions that test marketing performs for marketing management.
  • Define and explain the criteria for measurement.
  • Explain the attitude-measuring process.
  • Explain questionnaire design.
  • Explain why a sample rather than a complete census may be taken.
  • Explain the difference between descriptive and inferential statistics.
  • Explain the principles of good interviewing.
  • Explain the activities involved in the management and supervision of fieldworkers.
  • Define and explain editing and coding.
  • Explain how the marketing research report is the crucial means for communicating the whole market research project.


Grading Scale

Grade Points Percent
A 405-450 90-100%
B 360-404 80-89%
C 315-359 70-79%
D 270-314 60-69%
F 0-269 0-59%

Grade Weights

Assignment Category Points Percent
Discussions (15) 75 17%
Dropbox Assignments (7) 175 39%
Midterm Exam (1) 100 22%
Final Exam (1) 100 22%
Total 450 100%

  Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 1 5 Wednesday
Dropbox Assignment 1 25
Discussion 2 5 Sunday

Week 2

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 3 5 Wednesday
Dropbox Assignment 2 25
Discussion 4 5 Sunday

Week 3

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 5 5 Wednesday
Dropbox Assignment 3 25
Discussion 6 5 Sunday

Week 4

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 7 5 Wednesday
Dropbox Assignment 4 25
Discussion 8 5 Sunday

Week 5

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 9 5 Wednesday
Midterm Exam 100
Dropbox Assignment 5 25
Discussion 10 5 Sunday

Week 6

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 11 5 Wednesday
Dropbox Assignment 6 25
Discussion 12 5 Sunday

Week 7

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 13 5 Wednesday
Dropbox Assignment 7 25
Discussion 14 5 Sunday

Week 8

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 15 5 Wednesday
Final Exam 100 Saturday
Total Points: 450

  Assignment Overview


There will be two discussion topics each week (except Week 8), in response to your readings and additional resources in the course Content. Submit your comments to the first discussion by Wednesday; post to the second discussion by Sunday each week.
In every discussion, you are expected to respond to the initial question or discussion prompt and respond to at least two or your classmates by the deadline.

Dropbox Assignments

You will work through a number of cases in the text and submit them through the course Dropbox. They are due on Wednesday of the week assigned.

• Your first Dropbox Assignment 1 is technically due on Wednesday of Week 1, but will not be counted as late until after Wednesday of Week 2. After Wednesday of Week 2, the assignment for Week 1 will not be accepted.


There are two exams in this course: a midterm and a final exam. The exams are multiple-choice exams. There are 60 items on each; you will have one hour to complete each exam.

  Course Outline

Click on each week to view details about the activities scheduled for that week.

Chapters 1-2
Discussion 1
Introduce yourself to the class. Please give us more than your name. Include your profession, hobbies, family, pets, interest in marketing research, and any other information that can help us get to know you.
Dropbox Assignment 1

Do Case 1.2, Advanced Automobile Concepts on page 18.  Answer questions 1 and 2. 

Do Case 2.2, Advanced Automobile Concepts on page 44.  Answer questions 1 and 2.  For question 2 use this web address:  http://mra.marketingresearch.org/resources2/view/profile/id/15/vid/1 You will use the document to reference confidentiality subjects addressed in the document.

Discussion 2
Post your answers to one critical thinking question listed on the discussion about the Brenda Laurel video found in the course Content area.
Chapters 3-4
Discussion 3
Please post to one of the following questions (a-c) and respond to others’ posts. The case scenario is below along with the questions.

Bob Smith is in the corporate marketing office of Washington Suites, a national hotel chain. Occupancy levels have been good but Bob is interested in increasing the occupancy rates. He is convinced that Washington Suites needs to put in place more 1-800-reservation operators. The last three times he’s called for a reservation himself, he has been put on hold. Even with 10 years of experience in the lodging industry, Bob decides to call in a marketing researcher. He has never used anyone from a research company, and he’s interested in getting some fresh ideas from someone with experience from working with a variety of industries. Bob is put in contact with Doss Struse of Momentum Marketing Research. They schedule their first meeting for next Monday morning.
a. Outline the questions Struse should ask Smith in the first meeting. Have at least three questions that are different from past posts.
b. What is the problem? What role should Struse play in the problem definition process?
c. What pitfalls will Struse need to warn Smith of as they embark on the research process?
Dropbox Assignment 2
1. Do the Memo from a Researcher case on page 104. Answer questions 1 and 2.
2. Do Case 4.2, Advance Automobile Concepts on page 105. Answer questions 1, 2, and 3.
Discussion 4
View the two videos for this week in the course Content Post your answers to one critical thinking question listed in the discussion. Read and comment on the postings of two classmates by Sunday.
Chapters 5-6
Discussion 5
Access the Statistical Abstract of the United States online. What kinds of information do you find? What kind of businesses could use this information? How can this information be useful to marketers? In your discussion, please mention specific information that you find interesting, amazing, or helpful about the information found in the Abstract. These should be facts or items associated with one of the subjects the Abstract covers.
Dropbox Assignment 3
Do Case 5.2 on page 126. Answer questions 1, 2, and 3.
Discussion 6
Review the kinds of information gathered by the Gallup Poll (www.gallup.com).  Go to the website and take a look at some of the studies they report.  How could a marketing manager use some of this information? In your discussion, please mention a particular research study that you found particularly compelling, helpful, interesting, amazing or simply weird. Please summarize the article.
Chapters 7-8
Discussion 7
Do Case 7.1 on page 172 Read the case and choose ONE objective to identify the relevant construct and indicate how it should be measured (measurement scale.)
Dropbox Assignment 4
Do Case 7.2 (p. 172) Advanced Automobile Concepts. You will be providing the operational definition and the response scale for all parts of the question. There is an example below. Keep in mind:
1. There will be a wide variety of individuals who will be responding.
2. The questionnaire will undoubtedly be long, meaning that the best response scale types will be those that are intuitive and easy for respondents to relate to.
3. Insofar as possible, it is desirable to use metric scales.


Kind of computer you primarily use at home (operational definition)
Please check all that apply
___Apple ___Dell ___Sony ___Samsung ___HP (response scale – categorical scale)
Discussion 8
Read Case 8.1 (p. 194) The SteakStop Restaurant: What is Wrong with These Questions? Choose ONE question to carefully go over. Identify what type of error was made. Then correct the error using the “do’s” and “don’ts” of question wording.
Chapters 9-10
Discussion 9

Using information from Chapter 9 and 10, evaluate a copy of a questionnaire that you have recently received or seen. (Panera Bread, Target, and other businesses request, on their receipts, that customers can go to a website to take part in a survey about their business.)
1. Identify the organization
2. Speculate on the purpose of the questionnaire.
3. What kinds of questions are asked?
Midterm Exam
Please do your mid-term first, and then work on your dropbox.

The midterm exam is open Sunday through Wednesday of this week.
Dropbox Assignment 5
This assignment will prepare you for next week’s dropbox assignment. If you can’t do this, you won’t be able to do the next week’s assignment. Submit your completed work to the dropbox by Wednesday.
To complete: Figure a sample size using the XL Dataanalyst. Please see the technology requirements at the start of the syllabus. You will use AA Concepts.xlsm. Directions are on 204 to download and also on the xldataanalyst website. On page 206 you will see the screenshots. We will be using an estimated “p” of 50 and an allowable error of 5. Please submit your spreadsheet work in an Excel file and a Word doc with your answers cut and pasted from the spreadsheet.
Discussion 10
Read Case 10.2 (p. 238). Keeping the quality of the data as a foremost concern, compare the practices of these two competing panel companies, and recommend one that you think CMG Research should use for the Advanced Automobile Concepts survey. Explain why you selected your choice over the competitor.
XL Data Analyst
Please download the XL Data Analyst this week, and make sure that you can use it. It uses Microsoft Office 365.  This is a link for a free 60-day use of Office 365  http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/try/

 If you normally use a MAC, this data set will not work unless you have “Boot Camp” installed.  I know, I’ve tried.) It might be easier if you find a Windows-based computer.  See the “Mac” tab on www.xldataanalyst.com.

Chapters 11-12
Discussion 11
What are categorical and metric variables? Give an example of a survey question using a categorical variable and one that uses a metric variable. Be sure to give the answer format, too.
Dropbox Assignment 6

Do question 28 on page 221.  Answer questions a and b.   Do question 28 on page 221.   Answer questions a and b. You should read the chapter first, though.  You are going to manually figure the sample size. You will be calculating a "sample size when estimating a      mean".  When figuring S for this question, see page 204, 2nd paragraph and look at their example.  For our case instead of using 80 miles, we will use 60. You will come up with a number on a. 

For the second part of your assignment:  there is information both on the XL Data Analyst website, in your book, and in the Content area of D2L that will help you.  There is also a discussion topic in week 7 to post helpful   hints on how to use XL Data Analyst.

Use the XL Data Analyst software available at http://www.xldataanalyst.com/Basic/index.htm .

If you normally use a MAC, this data set will not work unless you have “Boot Camp” installed.  I know, I’ve tried.) It might be easier if you find a Windows-based computer.  See the “Mac” tab on www.xldataanalyst.com.

Do Case 11.2 on page 260.  Do Case 11.2 on page 260. Answer the six questions at the end of the case. You will need to thoroughly read the chapter and thoroughly read the case in    order to perform the calculations using Xl Data Analyst.

With this case, include a Word file with your answers that you have cut and pasted from Excel and your worksheet from XL Data Analyst and your answers to the 6 questions.  Be sure you determine what are categorical and what are metrics.  (You use a different method for metrics and categoricals)

Here is the way part of your first question will look.

                                What is the demographic composition of the sample?

                                All demographic variables, except for number of people in the household, are categorical,                                             so use percents.

Size of home town or city




Under 10K



10K to 99K



100K to 499K



500K to 1 million



1 million and more






            It appears that most in the sample are from cities bigger than 100k

(There are more demographic variables.)

Discussion 12
Watch the video file or listen to the audio file in the course Content for this week. Post your answers to one critical thinking question listed on the discussion. Read and comment on the postings of two classmates.
Chapters 13-14
Discussion 13
Read about the Daily Advocate Lost Subscribers Survey discussed on page 312 and analyze the data to make recommendations for the marketing strategies for the newspaper. What were the findings? What do you recommend to address the findings?
Dropbox Assignment 7

Do Case 12.2 on page 288.  You will be using the XL Data Analyst.  Please see the question revisions for questions 1, 3, and 4 that follow below. Question 2 remains the same.

Please include your Excel worksheets showing your manipulation of the data for this assignment.  Also on a separate sheet, include your answers to questions 1-4 in a Word file.

Question Revisions for Case 12.2.

  1. What percent of the American public owns…

a.      No vehicle

b.      Car

c.       Pickup truck

d.       SUV or Van


  1. The Advanced Automobile Concepts principals fully understand that there is resistanceto change in Zen.There are some senior executives who grew up during America’s “romance with the automobile” era of the 1950’s and 1960’s and who believe that most Americans want a large and powerful automobile.These executives point out that SUV’s are extremely popular despite global warming warnings that have been issued for the past decade and numerous gasoline price surges where filling up the gas tank of an SUV or a luxury automobile approached the $100 mark.These executives further believe that hybrid and alternative fuel automobiles are generally regarded by the American public as undesirable because they are perceived to be unattractive, boxy in appearance and sluggish in acceleration.In fact, some of these senior executives believe that the probability of the American public buying the various hybrid vehicles in the next three years is something like the following.

    Test these hypotheses with the findings from the survey.

    Hybrid vehicle type


    -Probability of buying a very small (1 seat) hybrid auto within 3 years?

    -Probability of buying a small (2 seat) hybrid auto within 3 years?

    -Probability of buying a standard size hybrid auto within 3 years?

    -Probability of buying a standard size synthetic fuel auto within 3 years?

    -Probability of buying a standard size electric auto within 3 years?







  2. Using the findings from the survey, estimate the number of vehicles of each of the

following hybrid types that are expected to be purchased over the next three years. There are 114,825,000 American households (U.S. Census, 2010 estimate) do not use the 14,825,528 figure from your book.

         a. Very small (one-seat) hybrid auto

         b. Small (two-seat) hybrid auto

         c. Standard size hybrid

         d. Standard size synthetic fuel auto

         e. Standard size electric auto

Discussion 14
: Read the Harris Poll referenced in the course Content at http://www.harrisinteractive.com/NewsRoom/HarrisPolls/tabid/447/mid/1508/articleId/668/ctl/ReadCustom%20Default/Default.aspxPost your answers to one critical thinking question listed in the discussion.  Read and comment on the postings of two classmates.
Chapter 15
Discussion 15
After completing the plagiarism tutorial in the course, search for more information about plagiarism online. Can you find some examples illustrating some prominent persons who have been in great difficulties because they did not cite the work of others?
Final Exam
The exam will be made available to you on Wednesday- Saturday evening. Click on the “Quizzes” tab in the course. Responses must be to me by Saturday at midnight.

  Course Policies

Student Conduct

All Columbia College students, whether enrolled in a land-based or online course, are responsible for behaving in a manner consistent with Columbia College's Student Conduct Code and Acceptable Use Policy. Students violating these policies will be referred to the office of Student Affairs and/or the office of Academic Affairs for possible disciplinary action. The Student Code of Conduct and the Computer Use Policy for students can be found in the Columbia College Student Handbook. The Handbook is available online; you can also obtain a copy by calling the Student Affairs office (Campus Life) at 573-875-7400. The teacher maintains the right to manage a positive learning environment, and all students must adhere to the conventions of online etiquette.


Your grade will be based in large part on the originality of your ideas and your written presentation of these ideas. Presenting the words, ideas, or expression of another in any form as your own is plagiarism. Students who fail to properly give credit for information contained in their written work (papers, journals, exams, etc.) are violating the intellectual property rights of the original author. For proper citation of the original authors, you should reference the appropriate publication manual for your degree program or course (APA, MLA, etc.). Violations are taken seriously in higher education and may result in a failing grade on the assignment, a grade of "F" for the course, or dismissal from the College.

Collaboration conducted between students without prior permission from the instructor is considered plagiarism and will be treated as such. Spouses and roommates taking the same course should be particularly careful.

All required papers may be submitted for textual similarity review to Turnitin.com for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers may be included in the Turnitin.com reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism. This service is subject to the Terms and Conditions of Use posted on the Turnitin.com site.


There will be no discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, ideology, political affiliation, veteran status, age, physical handicap, or marital status.

Student Accessibility Resources

Students with documented disabilities who may need academic services for this course are required to register with the office of Student Accessibility Resources. Until the student has been cleared through this office, accommodations do not have to be granted. If you are a student who has a documented disability, it is important for you to read the entire syllabus as soon as possible. The structure or the content of the course may make an accommodation not feasible. Student Accessibility Resources is located in Student Affairs in AHSC 215 and can be reached by phone at (573) 875-7626 or email at sar@ccis.edu.

Online Participation

You are expected to read the assigned texts and participate in the discussions and other course activities each week. Assignments should be posted by the due dates stated on the grading schedule in your syllabus. If an emergency arises that prevents you from participating in class, please let your instructor know as soon as possible.

Attendance Policy

Attendance for a week will be counted as having submitted any assigned activity for which points are earned. Attendance for the week is based upon the date work is submitted. A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and Sunday (except for week 8, when the work and the course will end on Saturday at midnight.) The course and system deadlines are based on the Central Time Zone.

Cougar Email

All students are provided a CougarMail account when they enroll in classes at Columbia College. You are responsible for monitoring email from that account for important messages from the College and from your instructor. You may forward your Cougar email account to another account; however, the College cannot be held responsible for breaches in security or service interruptions with other email providers.

Students should use email for private messages to the instructor and other students. The class discussions are for public messages so the class members can each see what others have to say about any given topic and respond.

Late Assignment Policy

An online class requires regular participation and a commitment to your instructor and your classmates to regularly engage in the reading, discussion and writing assignments. Although most of the online communication for this course is asynchronous, you must be able to commit to the schedule of work for the class for the next eight weeks. You must keep up with the schedule of reading and writing to successfully complete the class.

No late discussion posts will be accepted.

Penalties for late assignments after the due date are:
Day 1 = 5%
Day 2-3 = 10%
Day 4-5 = 30%
Day 5-7 = 40%
After one week the assignment is worth zero points.
No assignments will be accepted after the course has closed.
It is important to contact me in case of emergency. No access to Internet or busy work schedules are excuses and are unacceptable.

Course Evaluation

You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link will be sent to your CougarMail that will allow you to access the evaluation. Be assured that the evaluations are anonymous and that your instructor will not be able to see them until after final grades are submitted.

  Additional Resources

Orientation for New Students

This course is offered online, using course management software provided by Desire2Learn and Columbia College. The course user guide provides details about taking an online course at Columbia College. You may also want to visit the course demonstration to view a sample course before this one opens.

Technical Support

If you have problems accessing the course or posting your assignments, contact your instructor, the Columbia College Helpdesk, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance. Contact information is also available within the online course environment.

Online Tutoring

Smarthinking is a free online tutoring service available to all Columbia College students. Smarthinking provides real-time online tutoring and homework help for Math, English, and Writing. Smarthinking also provides access to live tutorials in writing and math, as well as a full range of study resources, including writing manuals, sample problems, and study skills manuals. You can access the service from wherever you have a connection to the Internet. I encourage you to take advantage of this free service provided by the college.

Access Smarthinking through CougarTrack under Students -> Academics -> Academic Resources.