Effective: Late Fall 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, MATH 250

Proctored Exams: None


As part of TruitionSM, students will receive their course materials automatically as described below.


  •  Babin, B. J., & Zikmund, W. G. (2016). Exploring market research (11th ed). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.  eText

Bookstore Information

Visit https://www.ccis.edu/bookstore.aspx for details.

eText Information

If a course uses an eText, (see Textbook information above) the book will be available directly in Desire2Learn (D2L) and through the VitalSource eText reader the Friday before the session begins, if registered for courses prior to that date.  Students will have a VitalSource account created for them using their CougarMail email address. Upon first login to VitalSource, students may need to verify their account and update their VitalSource password.  More information about how to use the VitalSource platform, including offline access to eTexts, can be found in D2L.  Students that would like to order an optional print-on-demand copy of eligible eTexts can do so through the VitalSource bookshelf at an additional cost.  Once orders are placed, it can take approximately five to seven business days for students to receive their print-on-demand books.

Physical Course Materials Information

Students enrolled in courses that require physical materials will receive these materials automatically at the address on file with Columbia College.  Delivery date of physical materials is dependent on registration date and shipping location.  Please refer to confirmation emails sent from Ed Map for more details on shipping status.

Returns: Students who drop a course with physical course materials will be responsible for returning those items to Ed Map within 30 days of receipt of the order.  More specific information on how to do so will be included in the package received from Ed Map.  See here for Ed Map's return policy. Failure to return physical items from a dropped course will result in a charge to the student account for all unreturned items.

Note: Students who opt-out of having their books provided as part of TruitionSM are responsible for purchasing their own course materials.

  Course Overview

This course will provide an understanding of how organizations can provide value by researching aspects of the marketing environment using various data and sources.  Topics will include an introduction to market research and associated activities, the marketing research process, ethical issues in marketing research, and problem and objectives definition. You will use marketing research tools and basic statistics to create a marketing research plan as a culminating project.

  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.

  Course Learning Outcomes

  1. To discover the role and importance of marketing research in the marketing and management process.
  2. To examine how the marketing research function is implemented in the field and the complexities faced by researchers working in this area.
  3. To analyze certain conceptual foundations on which marketing research is based.
  4. To evaluate how marketing research can be effectively used by business organizations and social institutions, including those of the not-for-profit sector.


Grading Scale

Grade Points Percent
A 900-1000 90-100%
B 800-899 80-89%
C 700-799 70-79%
D 600-699 60-69%
F 0-599 0-59%

Grade Weights

Assignment Category Points Percent
Discussions (16) 200 20%
Homework (7) 200 20%
Exams (2) 400 40%
Marketing Research Plan (1) 200 20%
Total 1000 100%

  Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1

Assignment Points Due
Introduction Discussion 5 Thursday/Sunday
Discussion 1 13
Homework 1 20 Sunday

Week 2

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 2 13 Thursday/Sunday
Discussion 3 13
Homework 2 30 Sunday

Week 3

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 4 13 Thursday/Sunday
Discussion 5 13
Homework 3 30 Sunday

Week 4

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 6 13 Thursday/Sunday
Discussion 7 13
Homework 4 30 Sunday
Midterm Exam 200

Week 5

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 8 13 Thursday/Sunday
Discussion 9 13
Discussion 10 (Research Plan) 13
Homework 5 30 Sunday

Week 6

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 11 13 Thursday/Sunday
Discussion 12 13
Homework 6 30 Sunday

Week 7

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 13 13 Thursday/Sunday
Discussion 14 13
Homework 7 30 Sunday

Week 8

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 15 13 Thursday/Sunday
Marketing Research Plan 200 Thursday
Final Exam 200 Saturday
Total Points: 1000

  Assignment Overview


Each week you will participate in 2-3 online discussions. An initial post answering the discussion prompts is due by 11:59 pm CT Thursdays and responses to two peer or instructor’s initial posts per discussion are due by 11:59 pm CT Sunday (11:59 pm CT Saturday of Week 8).

Initial posts should be at least one (1) well-developed paragraph of 3-4 sentences and address all discussion prompts. You must utilize and quote/cite correctly at least one scholarly source to support your initial post. This is in addition to any source you have used for your discussion such as a citation to a business or organizational website. Use APA, MLA, or other major citation style.

Responses (minimum of 2) must be in complete sentences and add substantively to the discussion. Correct punctuation, capitalization, and spelling as well as good sentence structure and word usage is expected throughout the discussions. The Introduction Discussion is worth 5 points; all others are worth 13 points. A grading rubric will be provided within the course.


There are seven (7) weekly Homework assignments. Homework 1 is worth 20 points, the remaining are worth 30 each. Homework questions address issues critical to understanding the subject matter, providing a deeper understanding of marketing research. Complete the assignments using a single MS Word (and MS Excel where specified in the assignment) document. Answers to questions should be a quality response free from spelling and grammatical errors. No assignment can be less that one page single spaced in length (excluding references/sources/appendix etc.), although it is expected that most will be longer than this. This does not apply to Homework 7 which is Excel based. Quotes and references must have appropriate attribution (any citation style.)

Homework is due by 11:59 pm Sunday of the assigned week.

Marketing Research Plan

The Marketing Research Plan will identify a marketing problem(s) for a specific organization and provide marketing research in order to identify and provide alternative solutions to the problem. You may choose any known organization or make one up for your Plan. You do not need to use real data from the organization you have chosen. The report length should be between 10-15 pages, excluding an appendix. The report format is shown in Chapter 16 of the textbook entitled, "Communicating Research Results."  Each report section is detailed in this chapter, and you should generally follow the guidelines indicated. Any quotes and references must have appropriate attribution.

In Discussion 10 of Week 5, you will formally post the name of the organization you have selected (either real or hypothetical) , the marketing problem, and indicate how you intend to conduct your research. Additionally, you can email your instructor any time after Week 1 to obtain instructor feedback.
The Plan is due by 11:59 pm CT Thursday of Week 8. It is worth 200 points; a grading rubric will be provided within the course.


There are two non-proctored exams in the course, a Midterm in week 4, and a Final Exam in week 8. The Midterm covers weeks 1-4, and the Final covers weeks 5-8 material. Each exam will open at 12:01 am CT Wednesday. The Midterm will close at 11:59 pm CT Sunday. The Final closes at 11:59 pm CT Saturday, the last day of the course.
Each exam has 50 multiple-choice, true/false, or fill-in-the-blank questions and is worth 200 points.

You will have one 75-minute timed attempt to complete each exam. You will be able to view your incorrectly answered questions for 10 minutes immediately after submitting the exam.

  Course Outline

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


Chapter 1: "The Role of Marketing Research"

Chapter 2:  "Harnessing Big Data into Better Decisions"

Article: "How Mobile is Changing the Role of Marketing Research (link provided in course)"

Introduction Discussion

Introduce yourself to the class. Please give us more than your name. Include anything you wish to share such as your interests, hobbies, family, or pets.

Explain your interest in marketing research. What about this field appeals to you personally?

Discussion 1

Find a definition of marketing research (using your textbook or the Internet) and discuss whether you would add/delete anything to that definition. Explain your reasoning.

Research an organization you think will find marketing research helpful and discuss why. 

Provide at least one citation (and use quotes for any direct quotes from any source – including the textbook or any websites used).

Homework 1

Identify and list 3 to 5 popular mobile applications (apps).  Then, answer the following questions:

  1. Do these apps tell you anything special about consumers in general or a particular segment of consumers? 
  2. How could marketing research be used to develop new apps? Include the use of any technical marketing research tools that could be used.  (Note: you are not required to come up with a new app, but should consider how marketing research could help in that process.)    
  3. If you were designing a new app, how could you use big data in marketing research to ensure that the app would be successful?
  4. Discuss any ethical considerations in collecting, obtaining or using the big data discussed in 3) above.

Chapter 3: "The Marketing Research Process"

Chapter 4: "The Human Side of Marketing Research: Organizational and Ethical Issues"

Discussion 2

List and discuss the three basic research designs (types of marketing research). 

Research an organization of any kind (profit, not-for-profit, charity, small/large etc.) that you think will find any one of those types of marketing research helpful. Discuss how the organization would utilize any specific type of marketing research to make marketing decisions (exploratory, descriptive, or causal).  Ensure you have sufficient publically available information about the organization in order to answer this question. 

Provide at least one citation (and use quotes for any direct quotes from any source – including the textbook or any websites used).

Discussion 3

Respond to both parts 1 and 2.

  1. Research and discuss one (1) organizational issue in marketing research that an organization could face. How could this issue be overcome?
  2. Technology is making our behavior more and more difficult to keep secret. Mobile phones, RFID tags and GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) devices are ways that your location and movements might be tracked. While legitimate uses of this type of technology exist and may assist in easing traffic patterns and provide better locations for retail establishments, at what point does the collection of such information become a concern?

Provide at least one citation (and use quotes for any direct quotes from any source – including the textbook or any websites used).

Homework 2

Select an organization of your choice.  Then, answer the following questions:

  1. Provide some background information on the organization.  Ensure you cite appropriate sources of this information. 
  2. Briefly discuss the 6 stages in the research process in relation to the organization.  For example, what would be one possible research objective for the organization, what planning might it need, etc.?  You are not required to prepare a full research plan, just a high-level discussion here. 
  3. Discuss 2 ethical issues that might arise during the above process. How would these be properly dealt with or overcome by the organization?

Chapter 5:  "Qualitative Research Tools"

Chapter 6: "Secondary Data Research in a Digital Age"

Discussion 4

Research an organization which could use a social networking site for exploratory research.  Discuss how that organization could do so and the advantages and disadvantages of using that site. 

Provide at least one citation (and use quotes for any direct quotes from any source – including the textbook or any websites used).

Discussion 5

What secondary research sources would provide guidance in determining whether a specific new innovative product/service of your choosing (i.e. flying car) would be acceptable in the U.S. marketplace (any target market)? 

Discuss at least 4 sources; include what information each can provide, and why they are useful for this type of marketing research.  You can start from these examples: census.gov, cia.gov, datamonitor.com, youtube.com, wsj.com or find your own.

Provide at least one citation (and use quotes for any direct quotes from any source – including the textbook or any websites used).

Homework 3

Select an organization of your choice.  Then, answer the following questions:

Considering that the marketing research objective for a small business would be to decide where to locate their second store in the state, discuss three (3) possible common qualitative research tools the business could use in order to ultimately make this decision.

Which 3 specific Internet sources would be helpful to making this decision? (consider sample websites provided in this chapter)  Discuss and justify.

Chapter 7:  "Survey Research"

Chapter 8:  "Observation"

Chapter 16:  "Communicating Research Results"

Discussion 6

Identify one possible source of error in surveys.  Discuss how to deal with that error using either a real example or a hypothetical one.

Provide at least one citation to support your post (and use quotes for any direct quotes from any source – including the textbook or any websites used).

Discussion 7

Discuss your opinion regarding the following statement: “Observation is too intrusive.” What do others think about the statement? 

Support your post with a discussion of a related article (and use quotes for any direct quotes from any source – including the textbook or any websites used).

Homework 4

Visit Survey Monkey (look for “Examples” of “Survey Types”) and other websites, which have consumer surveys or samples of consumer surveys You may even wish to look at email surveys you may have received in the past, if accessible. (A link to Survey Monkey is provided in the course.) 

  1. Choose an organization and draft a list of 8-10 questions that such organization may include in a phone survey to the current customers relating to product/service satisfaction.  How will the answers to those questions help with determining customer satisfaction? 
  2. Using the same organization in 1) above, discuss how observation can be used to assess customer satisfaction. Are there any drawbacks to this approach?
Midterm Exam

The Midterm covers chapters 1-8, & 16. It is worth 200 points; you will have 75 minutes to complete it.


Chapter 9: "Conducting Marketing Experiments"

Chapter 10: "Measurement and Attitude Scaling"

Discussion 8

Using a specific product/service example, discuss the advantages and disadvantages of test marketing. 

Provide at least one citation (and use quotes for any direct quotes from any source – including the textbook or any websites used).

Discussion 9

Provide an example of an attitude and discuss how an organization might measure the attitude. 

Provide at least one citation (and use quotes for any direct quotes from any source – including the textbook or any websites used).

Discussion 10 (Research Plan)

Post to this discussion the name of the organization you plan to use for your Marketing Research Plan. Also, indicate what research you are considering conducting. Do you have questions about the project? Post them.

In your responses to your peers, offer suggestions and encouragement for how they might perform market research on their organization.

Do not forget to post a link to your organization (unless it is a hypothetical one) and any related research you have done.

Homework 5
  1. Using a specific organization, show how that organization would test the marketing mix (4P’s) with respect to a specific type of marketing research that could be conducted for each of the 4P’s.
  2. Using http://theacsi.org/, research ACSI benchmarks for Smartphone Brands (select ‘ACSI Benchmarks’, then ‘Brand’, then ‘Smartphones’). Discuss three marketing related observations that you gather from the measures of customer satisfaction with top-selling smartphone brands available to U.S. consumers. (Note: In the event that the above link is not available, you may select any ACSI benchmarks for a different product or industry).

Chapter 11: "Questionnaire Design"

Chapter 12: "Sampling Design and Sampling Procedures"

Discussion 11

Provide an example of one leading, one loaded, and one ambiguous question – all of which are usually inappropriate for marketing research questionnaires.  Indicate why each is inappropriate. 

Provide at least one citation (and use quotes for any direct quotes from any source – including the textbook or any websites used).

Discussion 12

Discuss what an appropriate sample design would be and provide an example.

Provide at least one citation (and use quotes for any direct quotes from any source – including the textbook or any websites used).

Homework 6
  1. Draft a list of five (5) questionnaire questions that would be appropriate to test customer attitudes towards where they may wish to buy their groceries relating to a specific grocery store/outlet (physical location within a city, online etc.).
  2. Using the example of a specific organization conducting some kind of specific marketing research, discuss the stages in the selection of a sample.
Course Evaluation
Please evaluate the course. You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link sent to your CougarMail will allow you to access the evaluation. Please note that these evaluations are provided so that I can improve the course, find out what students perceive to be its strengths and weaknesses, and in general assess the success of the course. Please do take the time to fill this out.

Chapter 13: "Big Data Basics: Describing Samples and Populations"

Chapter 14: "Basic Data Analysis"

Excel Resources in MKTG 441 Library Resource Guide (link provide within course)

Discussion 13

A marketing analytics professional stated, “all information in data comes from variability.” Do you agree? Why or why not? 

Provide at least one citation (and use quotes for any direct quotes from any source – including the textbook or any websites used).

Discussion 14

Use a Web site such as Style Drops (link provided in course) to find some prices for different brands of a product (such as handbags).  Alternatively, you can research other websites or sources for prices of products of competitors and use those instead (cars, phones etc.).  However, use only one type of product.  Using the lowest priced product (e.g. handbag or phone etc.) as a base, discuss which brand offers the best value in your opinion?  Justify your opinion.

Provide at least one citation (and use quotes for any direct quotes from any source – including the textbook or any websites used).

Homework 7

This assignment requires you to create an Excel spreadsheet. See the Homework's Dropbox in the course for complete instructions.


Chapter 15: "Testing for Differences between Groups and for Predictive Relationships"

Discussion 15

Discuss and reference one major marketing research concept you learned in the course.  Provide an example of how this concept can be applied in a real world marketing situation in order to make a better marketing decision. 

Provide at least one citation (and use quotes for any direct quotes from any source – including the textbook or and websites used).

Marketing Research Plan

Submit your Marketing Research Plan by 11:59 pm Thursday.

Final Exam

The Final Exam covers chapters 9-15. You will have 75 minutes to complete it.

  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.

Plagiarism and Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a cumulative process that begins with the first college learning opportunity. Students are responsible for knowing the Academic Integrity policy and procedures and may not use ignorance of either as an excuse for academic misconduct. Columbia College recognizes that the vast majority of students at Columbia College maintain high ethical academic standards; however, failure to abide by the prohibitions listed herein is considered academic misconduct and may result in disciplinary action, a failing grade on the assignment, and/or a grade of "F" for the course.

Additionally, 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

Columbia College is committed to creating a learning environment that meets the needs of its diverse student body. If you anticipate or experience any barriers to learning, communicate your concerns with the instructor. In addition to speaking with the instructor, the following resources are available to ensure an opportunity to learn in an inclusive environment that values mutual respect.

  • For students with disabilities/conditions who are experiencing barriers to learning or assessment, contact the Student Accessibility Resources office at (573) 875-7626 or sar@ccis.edu to discuss a range of options to removing barriers in the course, including accommodations.
  • For students who are experiencing conflict which is impacting their educational environment, contact the Office of Student Conduct at studentconduct@ccis.edu or (573) 875-7877.
  • For students who have concerns related to discrimination or harassment based on sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy or parental status, please contact the Title IX Office at titleixcoordinator@ccis.edu. More information can be found at http://www.ccis.edu/policies/notice-of-non-discrimination-and-equal-opportunity.aspx

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. No late exams will be accepted. Other late assignments will incur a 20% late penalty per day up to a maximum of 2 days late at which time no further submission is permitted.

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 Technology Solutions Center, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance. If you have technical problems with the VitalSource eText reader, please contact VitalSource. 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.