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Marketing Research

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Marketing Research

MKTG 3401 – Fall 2012

Section 01 W/F 11:45 am – 1:25 pm 330 Dodge

Professor: Felicia Lassk
Office: Hayden Hall 202
Office hours: W, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. or by appointment
Phone: (617) 373-5307
Blackboard: “MKTG 3401 Lassk Fall 2012”

Text: Marketing Research, Malhotra, 6th Edition, 2010 – NU custom text.

Prerequisites: MKTG 2201, MGSC 1201 and 64 SH toward the degree

Course Description: This course focuses on the marketing research process and the analysis of data using SPSS statistical software. It gives students the opportunity to develop an understanding of consumer attitudes and behavior processes as the basis of the design of marketing problems. The course covers topics such as problem definition, research design, sampling, attitude measurement, questionnaire design, data collection, and data analysis.

Statistical Package: SPSS is available as a 6-month rental for $35 plus $4.99 download fee. Details on how to access the rental are provided in the Tech Marketplace of MyNEU Portal under “Free and Discounted Software – More Software tab.” SPSS is also available for free through MyApps using MyFiles to house your data files. Please note, to access SPSS with MyApps on campus, you must be connected to “NU-Secure” wi fi. Details to access MyApps and“NU-Secure” wi fi is provided in the MyNEU portal. You must be able to access SPSS through either of these options by 9/19.

For technical help, contact 617-373-HELP.

Resource Help:

Visit for all of the academic resources available to you.

Of course, the first resource is your instructor. I have an open-door policy and welcome you to seek me out regarding a variety of issues in addition to class assignments. I am happy to talk to you regarding your future educational and career choices.

Time Investment:

Each student is expected to arrive on time, remain for the full session, read all assigned chapters and materials in advance, and actively participate in class discussion and the semester long team project. For lab days, students should bring their laptop to class and be prepared to access SPSS. Students should expect to spend about 9-12 hours per week preparing for class and working on reading assignments/project.

Use of Wireless Devices and Mobile Phones in Class:

Students are expected to act professionally in the classroom. Therefore, laptops are permitted for use during class time for taking notes or for class lab. Use of chat programs, web surfing, texting and other non-class related activities on laptops or mobile phones are strictly prohibited. Failure to adhere to this policy will jeopardize a student’s class participation grade. Further, use of mobile phones during examinations is strictly prohibited (see Academic Honesty Policy).

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of this course, students will have the opportunity to: 1. Learn about marketing research and its role in business organizations. 2. Learn about the marketing research process. 3. Apply course material through the development of a marketing research project with special emphasis on constructing and implementing a survey. 4. Gain the basic tools needed to undertake marketing research and provide managerial insights.

Grade Structure:

Exam 1 100
Exam 2 100
Marketing Research Project 150 *
Research Method Presentation 20
Social Media Tools 15
Participation 60

Total 445 points

* The problem definition, questionnaire, and oral presentation are worth 10 points each. The research proposal is worth 20 points. The final report is worth 100 points. Thus, the marketing research project is worth a total of 150 points.

Grades are based on:

A = 100% - 92.5% C = 77.49% - 72.5%
A- = 92.49% - 90.0% C-= 72.49% - 70.0%
B+ = 89.99% - 87.5% D+ = 69.99% - 67.5%
B = 87.49% - 82.5% D = 67.49% - 62.5%
B- = 82.49% - 80.0% D- = 62.49% - 60.0%
C+ = 79.99% -77.5% F = < 60.0%


Exams consist of matching, multiple choice, short answer and application questions. The book should act as a supplement to class materials. I will not be lecturing straight from the book. Both class and text materials will be included on the exam. It is the student’s responsibility to read all assigned chapters, as some material will not be discussed in class. Material missed during any absences is the student’s responsibility. Exams are scheduled on October 12, and November 14, 2012.

Please note, no make-up exams will be given except under extreme emergency conditions and prior notification. In order to miss an exam without penalty, approval must be obtained from the instructor prior to the time of the exam.

Major Project:

You will be working on a semester-long project that will involve identifying a marketing research issue either with your selected company or on a topic of interest to your team (approved by Professor Lassk), reviewing the literature and secondary sources of data, designing a survey research method, conducting the study, and presenting the results in both oral and written formats. The project will entail a descriptive research study utilizing survey research methodology. Your team is required to collect a sample of 100 respondents from your study’s population. The project will be submitted in five parts:

1) The project problem definition statement consisting of the managerial and marketing research problem statements and a paragraph of background information that cites at least two secondary data references are due on September 19, 201 (10 points).

2) The research proposal is due on October 3, 2012 (20 points).

3) A final questionnaire is due on October 24, 2012 (10 points). Email a draft of your questionnaire to Professor Lassk by Wednesday, October 17, 2012 by 2 pm. During the October 19th class you will critique the questionnaire drafts and provide feedback to other teams.

4) A professional presentation of the study results will be scheduled on November 30 and December 5, 2012. This oral presentation will be presented to the class (and your client, if possible). The presentation should take no longer than 12 minutes. The whole team must participate in the oral presentation (10 points).

5) The final written report (100 points) is due no later than Monday, December 10, 2012 by noon. Late reports are not accepted.

Note: All written project work is due via Turnitin by midnight unless where noted (i.e., draft questionnaire and final report).

Other Project Issues:

If you select to work with a company, you will have to locate a business in need of a research project. If you already work for a company, this project may represent an excellent opportunity to help your company and your career. If you do not work for a company, you may want to choose an industry in which you would like to work when finishing your degree. Students generally find that small businesses and nonprofit groups are cooperative and appreciative of research. Feel free to discuss any problems and/or issues that arise in this process with me. In selecting a project be especially careful not to promise what you cannot deliver.
Research Method Presentation:

This assignment involves a presentation of a market research method that we are unable to discuss thoroughly in class. Possible topics include:

1. Net Promoter Score (NPS)
2. Mobile Survey Research
3. Text Analytics
4. Location Analytics
5. Online focus groups
6. Online experiments (such as conjoint analysis)
7. Eye tracking or another type of physiological scan
8. Mobile Ethnography
9. Netnography
10. Data mining such as social media research and blog mining
11. Marketing research online communities (MROCs)
12. Crowdsourcing
13. Neurological scans (fMRI)
14. ZMET
15. Big data

Your task is to introduce the class to a new marketing research method. You may do this assignment in teams of three. You must get topic approval from me on the research method for this presentation. Once approved, conduct secondary research to determine the following:

1. What does this research method do? Describe how it is conducted and its purpose.
2. What are some marketing situations appropriate for the use of this method? In addition, provide at least two real case examples of where this research method was used and the outcomes achieved. Which companies provide this research method in their service offerings?
3. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this method?

Your presentation to the class should be no longer than 10 minutes. The Power Point presentation (including, at minimum, five references) is due prior to your presentation of the your topic to the class. Only two research method presentations can be delivered per designated class meeting. Sign up is first come, first served (email me with your preferred date and topic). You can earn up to 10 extra credit points for this optional assignment.

Social Media Tools Assignment:
Posted on Blackboard. Due: 9/14 via hard copy at the beginning of class. No late assignments.

Extra Credit (Optional Assignment): Online Privacy Diary (Up to 5 points)
Posted on Blackboard. Due: 11/28 via Turnitin by midnight. No late assignments.


While the difficulty of getting together is a known side effect of team projects, I expect everyone to make their best efforts in the team project. It is the responsibility of everyone on the team to communicate and participate. To aid in this process, we will use the groups function on the Blackboard site. This function gives each team easy access to team members’ email addresses, a group discussion board, online collaborative sessions, and file exchange. I view letting your teammates down as a serious transgression and will grade accordingly.


Each student will be evaluated on the individual’s participation in class discussion, activities, and assignments, as well as points assigned by your team members at the midpoint and at the end of the semester. Your research team members will determine approximately 67% of your participation points.

Academic Honesty:

We spend time covering ethics in this class. Honesty and integrity are key elements of proper marketing research, and are specifically detailed in the AMA’s marketing code of ethics and the Marketing Research Association’s code of ethics. Northeastern University is similarly committed to the principles of intellectual honesty and integrity. All members of the Northeastern University are expected to maintain complete honesty in all academic work, presenting only that which is their own work in tests and assignments. . If you are caught cheating or plagiarizing on any assignment, you will be referred to OSCCR. If the OSCCR finding is guilty, you will fail the course. If you have any questions regarding the proper attribution of the work of others contact your professor prior to submitting the work for evaluation.

About the Instructor:

My goal is that you leave this course with an appreciation for marketing research. Prior to coming to Northeastern, I worked in a marketing research firm in Central Florida. My clients included Walt Disney World, Disneyland Paris, Darden Restaurants Inc. (Red Lobster and Olive Garden), Shands Hospital, Florida Hospital, and Barnett Bank (now part of Bank of America). I am a graduate of the University of South Florida (Ph.D.), Southern Illinois University (MBA specializing in Marketing Research) and the University of Florida (B.S.B.A., Marketing).

I reserve the right to change this syllabus, but will make every effort to give prior notice. Reading/

Date Topic Assignment

W, 9/5 Course Introduction

F, 9/7 The Marketing Research Process Chapter 1 Marketing Research Careers Defining the Marketing Research Problem Types of Marketing Research Research with Human Subjects Handout (on Bb)

W, 9/12 Survey Research Chapter 4 & Handout

F, 9/14 Secondary Data Chapter 2, Forbes article (on Bb) Syndicated Sources Social Media Research Ethics and Marketing Research ** Submit Team Information Form ** Social Media Tools Assignment

W, 9/19 Survey Research Chapter 4 Introduction to SPSS Lab: Bring laptop to class Data Scales Chapter 5, pp. 178-182 ** Problem Definition and Secondary Data Due (10 points)

F, 9/21 Sampling Chapter 8

W, 9/26 No class meeting – Sample Size Exercise Chapter 9 & Work on Research Proposal

F, 9/28 Sample Size Chapter 9 SPSS Review Chapters 10-11 Lab: Bring laptop to class

W, 10/3 Questionnaire Design Chapter 7 Measurement and Scales Chapters 5-6 ** Research Proposal Due (20 points)

F, 10/5 No class meeting – Work on Questionnaire

M, 10/8 Columbus Day – No Classes

W, 10/10 Measurement and Scales Chapters 5-6 Exam 1 Review Two research method presentations can be scheduled on this date.

F, 10/12 Exam 1 – 100 points Chapters 1-2, 4, 7-9 Reading/
Date Topic Assignment

W, 10/17 Basic Data Analysis Chapters 10-11 Field Work/Editing and Coding Lab: Bring laptop to class **Email a copy of your draft questionnaire to Prof. Lassk by 2 pm on 10/17 Two research method presentations can be scheduled on this date.

F, 10/19 Develop Project Questionnaire Chapters 5-6 Two research method presentations can be scheduled on this date.

W, 10/24 Analyzing Associations Chapter 13 Lab: Bring laptop to class Two research method presentations can be scheduled on this date. **Final Questionnaire Due (10 points) ** Assignment of participation points by Team Members (by midnight)

F, 10/26 Comparison of Groups Chapter 12 Lab: Bring laptop to class Two research method presentations can be scheduled on this date.

W, 10/31 Data Analysis & Results Section Chapters 10-11 Qualitative Research Chapter 3

F, 11/2 Qualitative Research Chapter 3 Two research method presentations can be scheduled on this date.

W, 11/7 Work on team project in class Lab: Bring laptop to class Two research method presentations can be scheduled on this date.

F, 11/9 Work on team project in class Exam 2 Review Lab: Bring laptop to class Two research method presentations can be scheduled on this date.

M, 11/12 Veteran’s Day – No Classes

W, 11/14 Exam 2 – 100 points Chapters 3, 5-6, 10-13

F, 11/16 Work on team project in class Lab: Bring laptop to class Two research method presentations can be scheduled on this date.

W & F, 11/21, 23 Thanksgiving Break – No Classes

Date Topic Assignment

W, 11/28 Work on team project in class Lab: Bring laptop to class

F, 11/30 Final Presentations (if needed) Work on team project in class Lab: Bring laptop to class

W, 12/5 Final Presentations Opportunity to complete TRACE ** Assignment of participation points by Team Members (12/10 by noon) ** Final Report Due (Monday, 12/10, no later than noon, No Exceptions!)

12/7 – 12/14 Finals Week – No Final Exam Team Information Form
Please attach each team member’s resume to this form.

(4-6 students per team)

Team # (assigned by professor): ____________________

Client (tentative): ____________________

Group Composition:

Team Member _____________________________________________

Phone _____________________________________________

Email _____________________________________________

Team Member _____________________________________________

Phone _____________________________________________

Email _____________________________________________

Team Member _____________________________________________

Phone _____________________________________________

Email _____________________________________________

Team Member _____________________________________________

Phone _____________________________________________

Email _____________________________________________

Team Member _____________________________________________

Phone _____________________________________________

Email _____________________________________________

Team Member _____________________________________________

Phone _____________________________________________

Email _____________________________________________

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