Hnd Quantitative Brief
This research survey brief has been conducted to ascertain and collate information regarding the new college dining facilities. Within this survey, local organisations will be asked to take part in a survey asking questions about customer preferences and competitors. I will be analyzing marketing mix elements which will help take away risky decision making by providing information about data collated through qualitative research. This will help build a good client base and identify business needs, requirements and services. I have included an explanation into how the research was carried out, by clearly explaining what types of questions were to be asked and how the research was to be conducted. Within this research I will also be analyzing different types of sampling methods, and I will be reporting the most appropriate style to be used.
2.Qualitative research used for collating the questions
Qualitative techniques used were group discussions, in depth interviewing and questionnaires. I used a group discussion for the first stage of this research, which was to gather primary information relating to the type of questions to ask the respondents. This was constructed by grouping key and descriptive words by involving key business relations to help create the right type of questionnaire relating to business requirements. Group discussions were again used for students and lecturers however, in depth interviews were used to gather information from nearby business, and members of the public.
I asked specific questions to ascertain requirements the management would want to learn about preferences and how the College would be successful.
How this was prepared?
I met with the College management team to discuss how we could conduct a qualitative survey and discuss what questions we could ask respondents. I asked all the members of the board to share their ideas verbally, as I wrote them down and displayed them on a white board using sticky labels. I thought a brainstorming session would be the best way to understand what everyone’s expectations would be by grouping key words into sections of relevance. I then provided a list of headings which I then presented to the team. Please see below for an example of chosen words (non exhausted list): See appendix for full list
•Type of Service
I then asked the group to arrange the words into questions using methods of why, what, where, and how, which opened up a debate / discussion, of what order to ask the questions in. I asked the team to arrange the questions into relevance and discuss questionnaire design so this was to make sure the target market would be kept interested, and the flow of the questions fluent. The reason why I used this method was so the management team would have an influence in the way the questionnaire would be created, meeting business objectives.
The team wanted to design a questionnaire that was structured and grouped into categories with relevant factors. I wanted to make sure the survey was not too long as I wanted to keep respondents interested in the survey and not have an adverse affect on response rate. We came up with a name and called the questionnaire “Manchester College Eatery Questionnaire”. We then discussed how we would commence the questionnaire and thought the introduction should be interesting and punchy.
“Manchester College is locating to a new campus within a new regenerated area of the city. Manchester College have been given a fantastic opportunity to open a new dining establishment which will be used by both students and the general public. We want to provide a great food service and this survey is part of the process”. Spacing / details
I spaced the questions out equally and included the person’s name, address and whom it should be returned to. I included a closing date and made sure the questionnaire was easy to read, flowed logically, was eye-catching and plausibly quick to complete. Types of questions
I asked questions that were direct, “What type of look would you like to see in the establishment (please circle):” Indirect questions asked, “If you were to visit the establishment could you tell me how many times you would plan to use the refectory?”
Open ended questions asked “What improvements, if any, would you like to see in the variety of foods you purchase and how much would you expect to spend”?
Closed questions asked “Would you like to see more information about the ingredients used in our dishes? Please answer yes or no answer”.
I wanted to ask these types of questions so I could gain a better understanding of buying behaviour and appropriate mix.
Please refer to the questionnaire in document 1.1 for the full list of questions and how this was set out.
5.Assess alternative sampling options
The two main concepts of sampling are how to choose the right people for interviewing (sampling method) and deciding how large a number to interview (sample size). The research team and I discussed four popular methods of sampling reviewing each of the sample techniques. Simple random sampling is the simplest of the sampling techniques and is free of classification error. Minimum advance knowledge of the population and is best for suits situations where population is fairly homogeneous. However disadvantages of this type of sampling is that it is not an effective method of probability, as it has issues with application as it requires constructing and can also incur excessive costs when extensive sampling is required when a more efficient approach could be used. If large numbers of a population have to be tested this could play a detrimental part and may reflect on the results as not participants would have been sampled. Cluster sampling can be cheaper than other method fewer travelling expenses and administration cost and the main objective is to reduce costs by increasing Sampling efficiency. However the disadvantages about this type of sampling is that a higher sampling error can occur which can be expressed in the so called design effect, the ratio between the number of subjects in the cluster study and the number of subjects in an equally reliable, randomly sampled study.
Quota Sampling is less expensive and is easy to manage and is an effective sampling method using specific samples of a population to gather relevant information for the team or researches. Another advantage of Quota Sampling is useful when you are unable to obtain a sample of probability and is a faster and easier way to carry out the process as this does not include having to select a Sampling frame. However the disadvantage with quota Sampling is that it does not offer enough randomness and can make the process impossible to determine, as quota sampling is based highly on having a specified sample. Cost and access can also be a disadvantage as this can have a bias affect when selecting which type of sampling method to use. Stratified sampling can be used for specific sampling / interviewing. This could be any type of samples with key characteristics which are required for the sample to progress to production. For example the producers of Proctor and Gamble might decide to interview only women aged 18 – 30, as the potential buyers of a cosmetic range as they would be the future market range of the product they would want to put to market. This would be carried out by the selection of the population which would be individuals found at random and quotas based on factors such as social class, age and region. Disadvantages of this type of sampling are that this sampling technique is only aimed at certain characteristics and is not a true reflection of all populations which would not be suitable for this research.
6.Sampling / method chosen
The team choose quota sampling due the sample size for this research (50 questionnaires to be answered by all respondents). Justification and the main reason why this type of sampling was chosen was due to the fact quota sampling is less expensive, easy to manage and is an effective form of non probability sampling. This type of sampling was chosen due to quota sampling fitting the needs and purpose of the research which other sampling techniques just did not meet.
I had a team of five market research colleagues that have played a part in this task. Each marketer visited the below local business. Barclays’ Bank
A&G finance partners
Five interviews were completed at each establishment and 10 questionnaires were left for respondents to complete. The team re visited the establishments after seven days to check response rates. Group discussions were used at the college instead of conducting in-depth interviews as a mixture of sampling techniques were used to gain a wider understanding of customer requirements.
The reason why this was the chosen route, were due to the fact that the college management set a small budget and diminutive time scale associated with the research. This was discussed at the group discussion stage and agreed by all parties. Competition
Once the questionnaires were collected I analysed where the respondents would normally eat so I sampled menus from the following establishments:
•Greasy Freds – a local vending van
•Starbucks – coffee shop
•Betties – Sandwich shop
•Barrys burger van – burger / hot dog stand
The selection of alternative vending was poor and not very healthy. I wanted see what the local competition were offering and to base quality, price and how many people visited each establishment. The outcome was very similar to how respondents had replied, saying that the local food was unhealthy and very similar. The target markets are mainly from professional backgrounds who want to eat and live healthy lives. Time Scales/ Research undertaken
The research was undertaken within the ethical guide lines approved by the CIM, and the date to commence the research will be by the 13/4/2013. The results will be processed within a two week period which will include visiting alternative vending. The research team have planned to revisit the respondents to collect all questionnaires left on the 20/4/2013. As a contingency if the quota has not been achieved, the short fall would have been made up through further interviewing; however, all questionnaires had been completed, so this was not required. Out of the five companies who took part in the survey they all completed ten questionnaires each.
The budget for this research was £2500 for two weeks market research which included 2 group discussions, in depth interviewing and questionnaire design / distribution.