The study design is a tool for conducting marketing research. The aim of the design is to provide comprehensive instructions on how to address difficulties that marketing studies identify. Exploratory, causal, and exploracle research designs are some of the most popular techniques used in research. The criteria, measures, and scales that will be used must all be explicitly stated. Sampling procedures, sample size, and data analysis methods are all components of the three research designs (Collins et al.).
Descriptive research design
Descriptive research entails describing a subject or activity. It is not intended to look for specific relationships between variables, and it does not correlate variables. Its major drawback is that it can’t determine the underlying cause because its context is entirely natural. It has all of the variables and parameters necessary. A descriptive research design is advantageous to a researcher since it allows for a lot of information to be acquired via description. Descriptive research design can be beneficial in terms of identifying variables and hypothetical constructs that may be subjected to additional study using alternative methods.
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The capacity for its descriptions to be used indirectly to test theory or model behaviors that cannot otherwise be studied (Creswell 1998) are some of its advantages. Surveys and observational studies are examples of descriptive design. Field research is one of the most typical applications for surveys. The individuals involved in this procedure are required to complete questionnaires or be interviewed in natural environments.
Construct validity and content validity of questionnaires should be carefully considered; the scores must be reliable; the questions should be clear and precise, resulting in mutually exclusive answers; the interviewer must maintain a consistent and controlled demeanor; and the order of questions on the questionnaire has to be balanced. This aids in detecting and correcting one-sided replies. Finally, field surveyors must pay attention to specific actions that naive respondents report accurately.
Surveys are frequently distributed or completed over the phone. Questionnaires in mail surveys are lengthy. These mails take some time to be returned. However, not all of them may be responded to; a 50 percent return rate is considered sufficient for most studies. Simply including a cover letter, giving the survey a face validity, asking basic questions, guaranteeing rewards, and sending reminders will only improve the return rate of the mails. For having a better response rate, phones are credited. The telephone interviewers generally use structured and swiftly concluded inquiries (Fraenkel and Wallen 2003).
In order to get straight to the point and friendly with his/her introduction of phone interviews, it is critical that the telephonic interviewer be clear and concise. It’s usually assumed that people who don’t take part in phone interviews are preoccupied or guarded. All subgroups must be identified without prejudice when it comes to determining the population and samples for surveys. Stratified random sampling is preferred, although other sapling techniques such as cluster sampling, convenience sampling, quota sampling, and snowball sampling may be used.
Potential biases that exist in field research include: the interviewer may not be in a mood to talk when they call the respondent, there may be bias among those who have agreed to take part in the survey (they could be opinionated or bored), there might be a silent majority, and one’s feelings today may not reflect how he will feel tomorrow. Descriptive statistics are frequently used to analyze survey results. This aids in the verification of significant relationships between answers received from different questions.
Descriptions in observational studies are based on the subjects’ observations. Naturalistic observation, systematic naturalistic observation, and participant observation are some of the approaches employed in this type of study. Naturalistic observation is unstructured and unsystematic.
Systematic non-intervention is the most common form of ethical conduct, which entails observation of a wide range of actions. Systematic naturalistic research is systematic and looks at various behaviors. Participant observation necessitates that the investigator become part of the group being studied. The role of an observer is to act like a spy who cannot be identified (Creswell 2005).
The major benefit of observational studies is that they are completely natural. It does not, therefore, need a particular condition to be met. Its drawbacks include the lack of consent from informed individuals, reliance on convenience samples, and the use of qualitative data since there is a lot of verbal commentaries and visually observed phenomena.
Observational research is meant to aid in the identification of parameters that are important for indirect testing of models and predictions. To decrease bias in observation studies, well-defined scoring criteria must be established, time sampling technique must be utilized, multiple observers must be used, double blind techniques must be employed, and random selections have to be made for the sake of increased external validity.
Exploratory research design
The exploratory research design is most often utilized in study that aims to discover new goods that should be developed, how the product’s advertising will improve it, and how existing services may be enhanced. In exploratory research, scoping questions border on the many other possibilities that may be utilized, such as feeding school children lunch, the type of benefits people stand to get from the product, and the nature of dissatisfaction customers may be experiencing with the product in a marketing research situation. The hypothesis here is based on unknown constructs. The hypothesis also speculates that impersonalization might be a significant issue in the study.
Causal research design
The objective of this marketing research design is to determine whether a boost in the service staff may be beneficial, which public transportation advertising program is appropriate, and if new funding should be considered. The research questions here address the connection between the number of services provided by a firm and its profit. What do individuals anticipate from automobiles and public transportation?
Comparison of the three research designs
In exploratory research design, the main goal is to discover new ideas and insights, whereas descriptive research design involves describing market elements and functions. Causal research design, on the other hand, aims to determine cause-effect connections in a study.
Exploratory design’s flexibility, adaptability, and front end of whole study design are all significant characteristics. Descriptive research, on the other hand, is characterized by the prior formulation of certain hypotheses based on observations and studies. This design is pre-planned and structured. The causal research method might proceed across one or more independent variables. Other intervening variables that fall under this category may also be managed.
A survey, case studies, data from other research, and qualitative analyses are all examples of exploratory study techniques. In contrast, a descriptive research method makes use of data from previous studies, panels, analyses, and observation. Experimentation is the only form of causal research design.
The first research into a potential or theoretical concept is known as exploratory research. This is where a researcher has a notion or has noticed something and wishes to learn more about it. An exploratory research project is an attempt to set the groundwork for future studies or to see whether what’s being seen may be explained by a current theory. Most often, exploratory study provides the initial foundation for future study.
There are two primary types of exploratory research: a new field or a fresh viewpoint. New ways of viewing things, whether from a theoretical standpoint or with a new way to measure something, might provide new angles. For example, computers have allowed researchers to examine enormous populations. Rather than conducting tests on a few individuals from the local train station, old investigations may now involve thousands of people across the world.
After the groundwork is laid, additional knowledge is required. The next stage is descriptive research, which involves both exploration and explanation while also providing more information about a subject. This is where research aims to describe what’s going on in greater depth, filling in the gaps and broadening our understanding. Also known as “descriptive” or descriptive inquiry, this type of study tries to explain and explore what’s happening while also gathering as much data as possible rather than making assumptions or building complex models to forecast the future – ‘what’ (rather than ‘why’)
Exploratory research is performed in order for us to discover an issue that wasn’t previously investigated in detail. Explanatory study isn’t used to provide us with any ironclad proof, but it does aid in our comprehension of the problem more effectively. When performing research, the researcher should be able to alter his or her approach based on new data and new insights gained during study of the subject.
It is not designed to provide the answers to the study questions, but it allows the researcher to delve into the research in a variety of ways. A deductive approach focuses on “developing a hypothesis (or hypotheses) based on current knowledge, and then devising a research strategy to test it.”
It’s been said that “deductive reasoning begins with specific instances and works its way up to broad generalizations. If a causal link or relationship appears to be suggested by a particular theory or case example, it may be true in many situations. A deductive design might look for evidence of this link or relationship in more general conditions. Hypotheses, which are derived from the principles of the theory, can explain the process of deductive reasoning.”
In other words, deductive reasoning is concerned with deriving conclusions from premises or propositions. Inductive reasoning, also known as inductive research, starts with the observations and hypotheses are generated towards the conclusion of the study process as a result of them. Inductive study entails “the search for pattern in observation and the development of explanations – theories – for those patterns through series of conjectures.”
At the start of an inductive study, no theories or hypotheses apply, and the researcher is free to change the direction of the research after it has begun. Inductive methodology does not imply that theories should be disregarded when developing research questions and objectives.
The inductive approach focuses on identifying patterns and relationships in order to construct a theory from the data set. Inductive thinking, on the other hand, is based on the learning from experience. Learning from past experiences Observations of similarities, patterns, and regularities in reality (premises) are made in order to reach conclusions (or to create theory).