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  • 00:00

    [MUSIC PLAYING]

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    QIN SUN: My name is Qin Sun.I'm an Assistant Professor in the Department of Marketingat the David Nazarian College of Business and Economicsat Cal State University Northridge.I have teaching experience in market research,international marketing, marketing strategy, marketing

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    QIN SUN [continued]: research method and fieldwork, and advanced data managementand analysis.I also did research on country branding, destination branding,cross-cultural marketing, teaching innovationand digital marketing.This study is about a class experiential

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    QIN SUN [continued]: project at my undergraduate market research class.I usually have a client firm to workwith the students in my market research class,and they work on some business issuesrelated to the firm's product.They will do several projects for this semester-long project.

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    QIN SUN [continued]: The first will do some secondary researchto understand the business, the product, the marketfor this product, the competitors, the industries,and any other environmental factors that could be relatedto this product or business.

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    QIN SUN [continued]: Then they have better understandingabout the business issue faced by the firm.After that, they will do an exploratory research.We also call it qualitative study, like a focus groupstudy or interviews.They will get the primary firsthand information regardingthe target market sort of perceptions

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    QIN SUN [continued]: regarding the product related to their firm.Then they will have better understandingabout the product's market potential.After that, they will do survey research.We call it the descriptive research.They will do a data collection from a larger sample sizeto better understand how the target market for the product

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    QIN SUN [continued]: will perceive, evaluate the product for the firm.And also, their likelihood to purchase or recommendthe product.After they have all the information,no matter if it's secondary informationor primary qualitative or quantitative information,they will integrate all the information together

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    QIN SUN [continued]: in order to better understand the situation, the firmand the product is facing, so that they can proposestrategic recommendations on how to better market or positionthe products.And for this case study, I will give an examplefrom one of my class projects to show

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    QIN SUN [continued]: how we do this case study, how we do the consecutive researchprojects, in order to show the market researchprocess involved in this stage.For the secondary research, it starts from the business issue

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    QIN SUN [continued]: from the client.What does the client want the students to do for them?Let me give you an example, a client firmcalled Immotor Inc. One of my classesworked with this client firm a couple years ago,and they wanted to promote their new product called the Immotor

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    QIN SUN [continued]: GO.So I first met to the CEO, CMO and the Marketing Managerto better understand the firm and the product,so that we can come up with a consensus on collaborationtopics we can work on for the class.

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    QIN SUN [continued]: Usually in the third week of the semester,I invited the Marketing Manager to the classto discuss their firm, the product, Immotor GO, and whatthey expect the students to do for them.After that, I worked with the subject matter library

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    QIN SUN [continued]: at my school, Cal State Northridge,to identify the relevant databasesin the library for the students to searchthe relevant information for the project.We call it secondary research.That means the students will look at the existing data

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    QIN SUN [continued]: sources, no matter it's internal, like from the firmwebsite or from the firm client presentation,or external, like from some databases.They will have better understandingof the product and the business they are working for.

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    QIN SUN [continued]: And in this process, they will lookat the relevant databases I identified for the classproject.Because when we do secondary research,it could involve a complex processto collect relevant secondary data for the project.

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    QIN SUN [continued]: For the undergraduate students, theymay not have the capability to do that at the beginning.So that's why I work with the librarianfirst, to identify relevant databases for the students.And the students work in teams.So they will look at the data sources

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    QIN SUN [continued]: to identify the relevant and current information relatedto the product and the issues the client firm is looking at.Like the competitors.What are the competitors out there?What kind of competing products are there?

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    QIN SUN [continued]: How about their product price and the promotionaloffers from the competitors?And also, how about the industries?What kind of an industry situation the firm is facing?And also, they need to understandwho is the target market for the product.

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    QIN SUN [continued]: And they need to understand the demographics, like the gender,age, the educational background, the geographic locations,lifestyles, ethnicities, even nationalities,to better understand the target market characteristicsfor the product.Through this kind of secondary research,

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    QIN SUN [continued]: they will have better understandingof the business issues and the product they are looking at.This case study is related to a market research class.So the major topic for this classis to help student to understand the market research process.

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    QIN SUN [continued]: So the purpose of this semester-long project,this case study, is about how to do market research, especiallythe market research steps involved in this process.So after the students have done the secondary researchand have some background information

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    QIN SUN [continued]: on the product and the business issue faced by the firm,they have a better understanding aboutthe potential marketability of the productthey are working on.Based on their preliminary understandingfrom the secondary research, theyneeded to further understand how the target market actually

  • 08:27

    QIN SUN [continued]: think about the product.That's the motivation behind the primary research, especiallythe exploratory research.So when the students do the exploratory research,for this case study, they did the focus group studies.So they had the eight to 10 people.

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    QIN SUN [continued]: For each focus group study they ask some questions relatedto this products at hand, and ask the people from the targetmarket, in the focus group session, to understand whattheir perception of the product and their evaluation

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    QIN SUN [continued]: of the different features of the product.So the student actually have either the videosof the product.They show the videos to the focus group sessions,or they show the pictures of the product,so that the target markets know what they are evaluating.

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    QIN SUN [continued]: And then the students developed or used a moderator guidethat they developed before the focus group studies.I usually evaluate the moderator guidebefore they did the focus group study,and they revise it and need my approval before theydid the focus group study.

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    QIN SUN [continued]: So they had the moderator guide with the questions,specific questions to ask, which is related to the products theyare evaluating, like features.What did the target market think about the featureof the product?The price, how do they think of the price?Is the price acceptable to this group of people?

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    QIN SUN [continued]: Or what is a reasonable price range for them?How about the promotional offers?What kind of promotional offers they preferfor this group of people?So they like a discount?Or like a cash reward or something else?Or what is the preferred channels

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    QIN SUN [continued]: if they want to purchase this kind of product,if they want to buy it?So they ask these kinds of specific (information)questions related to Immotor GO, sothat they can get the preliminary insighton how the target markets evaluate the product.

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    QIN SUN [continued]: Through this kind of insight, this kind of interviews,they get some kind of text responses from the respondents.They transcribe it.Then they did the content analysisto identify the commonalities and the key differenceamong the text responses, so that they

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    QIN SUN [continued]: can identify some common themes out of the respondents.For example, they would have better understandingof the preferred features of the product.What is most preferred of the productfeatures by this group of people in the focus group studies?

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    QIN SUN [continued]: And what is the preferred price range by this group of people?What is the preferred information channelsthey would like to access this kind of product?What is the preferred location to buy this kind of product?And any other attitudinal or perceptual information

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    QIN SUN [continued]: they can receive from the intervieweesthrough some kind of probing questions.Through this kind of all focus group studies,they have better understanding of the product relatedto the Immotor GO based on the information from the target

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    QIN SUN [continued]: market.OK, this is actually an exciting partfrom my perspective for any market research.Because we are delving into people's mindto know their thinking, their perceptions,

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    QIN SUN [continued]: their attitudes, their behavioral intentiontowards a specific product.So that we can get better insight on how the targetmarket perceive the product, and how the marketers can bettermarket or promote the specific productto this group of people.

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    QIN SUN [continued]: So for survey research we had the students working in teamsagain, they will develop the survey questionnairebefore they collect data.I need to approve the questionnairebefore they use it to collect datato make sure they have the right questions

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    QIN SUN [continued]: to ask about the product.And again, the questions on the questionnaire are mostlyrelated to the four P's.The product, promotion, place and the price.And because these are something the client is interested in.Like the slides I will show you later.

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    QIN SUN [continued]: Because they want to see how the four P'sperceived by the target market.And through this kind of quantitative researchor descriptive research through survey questionnaire,the students can reach a larger sample sizeto get input from the target population,

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    QIN SUN [continued]: from the people in the target populationregarding what they perceive and thinkof the product, the different features, the price,the channels to access the products, the different placeto buy the product, as well as how likely theyare going to buy the product or recommend

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    QIN SUN [continued]: the product to others.So the survey research can help the students to better testor confirm some key variables and the relationshipsthey identied through the secondary research,and the preliminary qualitative research.

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    QIN SUN [continued]: So the survey research help them to test somethingthey have built upon the secondary researchand they exploratory research.And they can have a better understandingabout how the people in the target marketto think of the product and the likelihood to buy the products

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    QIN SUN [continued]: or recommend the product.And that's the key part of the market research process,to be able to generalize the results to the targetpopulations, if the student can do it appropriately.After they did some kind of data analysis, specifically,

  • 15:46

    QIN SUN [continued]: the statistic analysis on the survey data,they have a better understanding of the consumers' perceptions,attitudes and the behavioral orientations toward Immotor GO.Then they can integrate what they identifiedthrough the previous secondary research, the focus group

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    QIN SUN [continued]: study, and the survey research, to better understandthe marketability of the product, Immotor GO.So that they can get some kind of insighton how to better market or promote this product,

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    QIN SUN [continued]: at the end, they presented the research findings to the clientin the written format and the oral presentation.And I hope with this kind of semester-long projecthelps the students to better understand the market research

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    QIN SUN [continued]: process and the specific steps involved in a typical marketresearch project.For the data analysis for this case study,the student did the qualitative content analysisand the quantitative statistic analysis.

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    QIN SUN [continued]: And they had a better understandingof the different kind of market research designsand how each market research design providesdifferent perspectives or insight to the project at hand.For example, for the qualitative focus group studies,they work with a small sample size, usually only eight to 10

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    QIN SUN [continued]: people from the target market.So the insight from this small sample size is really limited.But it did provide some preliminary ideasabout the perceptions, attitudes,psychological emotions, or motivationsbehind the consumer's purchase behaviors towards the product.

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    QIN SUN [continued]: On the other hand, for the quantitative survey research,they collected data from a larger sample size.So if they did the data collection appropriately,for example, if they did probability sampling,they can generalize the research findings to the target market.

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    QIN SUN [continued]: However, for this case study, I use itfor my undergraduate marketing research class.The students only have accessibilityto certain group of people from the target market.Mostly some other college studentsto collect data for the qualitative

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    QIN SUN [continued]: and the quantitative research studies here.So there might be some bias among their responsestowards the product.And the generalizability of the research findingsis under question.As I talk with my students in class,

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    QIN SUN [continued]: I always emphasize that every research study has limitations.So they have to acknowledge the limitation of the researchand communicate that with their client,so that they can better understandhow to use the results in a meaningful way.

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    QIN SUN [continued]: Also, for this case study, the studentsdid the research in several sub-projects.So they may not fully understand the purpose of the projectat the beginning, especially for the project one and the projecttwo.How, why they did the second research, then

  • 19:53

    QIN SUN [continued]: they did the focus group studies.What is the connection between these two studies?Some students may have some kind of confusionabout this project at the beginning.But when they reached the end of the semester,especially after they finished the survey research,they usually had a better understanding

  • 20:15

    QIN SUN [continued]: of the whole market research process,as well as the purpose of this experiential class project.As I discussed before, this case studyexplains the market research process

  • 20:37

    QIN SUN [continued]: involved in a class experiential projectin my undergraduate market research class.And I hope this kind of experiential projecthelps students to better understand the market researchprocess involved in a typical market research project.

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    QIN SUN [continued]: However, there are some limitations and challengesfaced by the students when they did the project.For example, there is some accessibility issues relatedto the participant hiring.How they can find the people from the targetmarket to participate in the focus group

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    QIN SUN [continued]: study and the survey research.For my classes, the students usuallyfind some people convenient to them, usually other collegestudent to participate in the focus groupstudy and the survey research.But there are some limitations relatedto this kind of data collection.

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    QIN SUN [continued]: One limitation is the generalizabilityof the findings.Because they usually use this kind of convenience samplesto get the responses on the research questions.There could be some kinds of bias among the responses.And the results may not be generalizable to other people

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    QIN SUN [continued]: in the target population.However, I usually try to identifya research topic that is relevant to the collegestudents.And for the studentS, the target (project)should be feasible for them to implement.

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    QIN SUN [continued]: So in this case, the project could alleviate some kindof limitations of the primary research involvedin this experiential project.On the other hand, when we do market research,we need to understand that there is possibility that we do not

  • 22:56

    QIN SUN [continued]: need to do primary research.When we do market research, we start the market researchfrom some specific business issues faced by a firm.Then we did the secondary researchto better understand the situation faced by the firm,like the target market.

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    QIN SUN [continued]: Who is the target market?What is the need and preference of the target market?Who are the competitors?What the kind of industry the product is in?What are their customer trends in the industries?Is there any regulations related to the marketing

  • 23:39

    QIN SUN [continued]: of this product?On the other hand, we need to realizethat there is a possibility that we may not needto do the primary research.When we do the experiential class project,we did the secondary research, the preliminary exploratory

  • 24:03

    QIN SUN [continued]: focus group study and descriptive survey research,so that the students can better understand the market researchprocess involved in a typical market research project.However, if the firm can solve the business issues

  • 24:23

    QIN SUN [continued]: through the secondary research, no matter it'sinternal or external, they do notneed to do the primary research.Only if the existing information sources cannot answerthe business or address the business issues,

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    QIN SUN [continued]: we will move to the primary research.When we do the primary research, we usuallystart from the exploratory focus group study or casestudy or other type of the qualitative research methodto have some preliminary insight on the business issue

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    QIN SUN [continued]: we are investigating.But if there is a time and the financial resource constraint,we may not do the exploratory research.We may just do the survey research.

  • 25:27

    QIN SUN [continued]: As I just discussed, if you want to do a similar project,you may skip some steps discussed in this process,depending on the specific issues you are working on.And in the future research, we might justfocus on secondary research and survey research

  • 25:51

    QIN SUN [continued]: for a specific project.And that might be less challenging for the students,especially the undergraduate students to work on.

Abstract

Qin Sun, Assistant Professor of Marketing at California State University, Northridge, discusses an experiential class project to show the market research process.

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An Experiential Class Project to Show the Market Research Process

Qin Sun, Assistant Professor of Marketing at California State University, Northridge, discusses an experiential class project to show the market research process.

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