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Mr. Anil Mehra, a Sr. Executive with a leading newspaper published from Delhi was
frustrated with his job as his idea of launching an exclusive sports daily was not warmly
received by top management. Anil Mehra had written a few notes explaining the need of
launching such a daily, however he was not able to convince his superior Mr. Ashok
Kapoor. Mr. Kapoor had specifically asked him the estimates of demand for such a paper
in the first year of the launch and for which Mehra had no answers based on any
scientific research. Kapoor had told him clearly that unless he convinces him the need of
such a paper with the help of an empirical study, he will not be able to help him out.

Anil Mehra was a graduate in English (Hons) from Delhi University and has done a
Diploma in Journalism in the year 1982. For the last 12-13 years he has worked with
many newspapers and business magazines and it was his gutfeel which was inducting
him to go for this type of a venture. He was regretting for not having a business
background which would have otherwise helped him to carry out an MR study for which
his boss had assured him the sponsorship from the newspaper. However, the amount for
the research study was too small for him to contact any MR agency for help. The total
budget for the study was Rs. 50,000/-. Anil thought of putting his papers and starting
such a sports daily on his own that he received a phone call from one of his friend Prof
Ravi Sharma who was working with one of the leading management institution of India.
Prof Ravi Sharma was on a visit to Delhi for a consulting assignment and thought of
calling Anil. Anil was thrilled to receive the phone call and fixed up a meeting with him
for the next day evening. Prof Sharma was accompanied by one of his colleagues Prof
Singh. The conversation which went between Anil, Prof Sharma and Prof Singh is as

Ravi Sharma - Anil, Why do you look so upset? What has gone wrong with you? Any
problem with job?

Anil – I wish I shouldn't have gone for Journalism and would have opted Management as
career like you.

Singh – Mr Mehra, I don't think yours is a bad line. However, please tell us if we could
be of any help to you.

Anil – Prof Singh I want that we should come up with an exclusive sports daily (in
English). I gave this idea to my boss. However, I am not able to convince him as he
feels that it is only my hunch that there exists a demand for such a daily. He wants me to
give specific estimates through a scientifically conducted research and I find myself
totally at loss.

Sharma – Anil, suppose you bring out such a daily, who will be the buyers?

Anil – What do you mean by this?

Sharma – I mean who are the people you think would be interested in reading such a
sports daily, what are there age groups, education, profession, income etc.

Singh – Further, how much do you think people would be ready to pay for such a type of
sports daily?

Anil – Well, Prof Singh, let me tell you one thing that in this business the price of
newspaper is immaterial for us. In fact the cost of printing etc. is much higher than the
price charged from the customer.

Singh – How is it that it will be a viable proposition?

Anil – It becomes viable just because the money is recovered through advertisements and
if the circulation is high more and more companies advertise for the product in the

Sharma – Anil, there is a sports section in all the newspapers. Why is that people would
go for another one?

Anil – Ravi, you are right that all the newspapers have a sports section but I don't think
that sports lovers are satisfied with the material covered there.

Singh – I think there would be variations in the amount of satisfaction, the readers drive
depending upon which newspapers they read. Further, I feel that they can satisfy there
love for sports by going through general magazines, sports coverage on TV, sports video,
sports coverage on radio, and sports magazines and if that be the case I have my doubt
that there would be enough of readership for such a sports daily.

Anil – Well, Prof Singh you are right. The programmes on TV & coverage on radio is on
a specific time period and the sports lovers may not have time to spare during those
hours. Further, general magazines and sports magazines are usually quarterly or monthly
and as such would be providing only stale material on sports.

Ravi – Prof Singh, I think Anil has a point. However, it would be interesting to know the
interests of the sports lovers for specific games so that one could know which games the
sports daily should emphasize. Further, what is the profile of the people who like some
specific games etc.

Singh – I have another question. At what time the sports daily should be brought out.
That is to say should we bring it out in the morning or in the afternoon or in the late
evening hours.

Anil – Look, Prof Singh these are all my problems and I have to convince my boss on all
these issues. Please help me get a study conducted with the help of your students. I am
sorry we have limited funds. We would be able to reimburse their traveling expenses plus
give them a token honorarium for their efforts.
Singh – Mr Mehra you don't have to worry about it. We would send two of our
intelligent, hardworking and dedicated students to your organization for their summer job
when they would conduct the study for you. Meanwhile, please tell where would you
like to launch this exclusive sports daily? Further, if you have any information you think
would be relevant to this study, kindly hand it over to us.

Anil – Naturally, the sports daily is to be launched in Delhi on trial basis. Of course we
have collected some information which we would mail to you soon. Anil Mehra mailed
the relevant information to Professors Sharma and Singh which is presented in various


1. Define the research problem as faced by Anil Mehra.

2. If you were to conduct this study, what type of data from secondary sources
would be of help to you.
3. How will you design and conduct the study?

Hamilton Bank, located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is a large bank serving a number of

customers in the retail (i.e. personal/ household accounts) and commercial (i.e. business
accounts) sectors. In the early eighties Hamilton Bank was one of the few banks in the
country that had a separate marketing research department. Hamilton Bank's marketing
research department was headed by a director of market research and had several full-
time employees.

In response to a request from the head of the Commercial Division of the bank, the
director of market research submitted a research proposal, titled " Commercial Services
Use and Image Study," on the first day of August. A description of this proposal follows.


The purpose of this research study is to lay a foundation for a commercial marketing

How is Hamilton viewed by businesses as a supplier of commercial services? In which

services are we viewed as being relatively strong/ relatively weak? How are we viewed
in comparison with major competition? What services are being used most commonly?
What services will companies be looking to banks for in the future? What are the media
habits of the individuals in companies making banking decisions? The objective of this
study is to provide answers to these questions.


A total of 1750 mail questionnaires will be sent to businesses in our six country trade
areas plus Lehigh County (250 per county). This mailing will follow a pretest of the
questionnaire accomplished by conducting approximately ten personal interviews.

Before the questionnaires are sent, a telephone call will be made to each company asking
the name of the person making banking decisions, informing the company of the
imminent arrival of a questionnaire, and soliciting cooperation in completion of the
questionnaire. Follow-up contacts may be necessary in order to solicit cooperation.

All businesses will be randomly selected from a listing presently in-house. Image results
will be reported at the following levels:

1. Major STC classifications.

2. Brand image (our customers); competitive image (non-customers of Hamilton
Bank); total image for Hamilton Bank.
3. Competition without Hamilton brand/ competitive total image.
4. Image by trade area: Hamilton, competition; brand, competitive, total.
Time and Cost

The majority of this project will be done internally by the Market Research Department.
An outside consultant will be retained to do the required statistical calculations.

The costs for this project are estimated as follows:

Internal Labour $3000

Consultants' Fee 1000
Postage 700


This project will be completed and a report issued by the end of September.

This proposal was approved by the head of the Commercial Division.


1. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the proposed research design.

2. If your were the head of the Commercial Division, what questions, if any, would
you raise about the proposal? What alternative approaches would you suggest?

DuPont Fibers Division was wondering: could carpets move "uptown" into the
fashion-oriented world typically associated with clothing and furniture? A long time
leader in the carpet industry, DuPont was searching for new ways to expand a
sluggish market which had been growing at approximately 2% per annum over the
period 1985-1991 and was predicted to remain level or even decline in the 1990s. In
addition, in the residential segment of the market, DuPont needed a way to
differentiate its nylon fiber carpets from increased competition and the strong
challenge of Amoco's polypropylene carpets.

The carpet industry can be divided into three end-use segments: commercial carpets
for offices, hospitals, hotels schools, government facilities and industrial sites;
contract residential carpets for large residential purposes like apartment complexes or
subdivisions: and residential carpets for homes. In addition to different end-uses, the
different segments were targeted at different consumers and flowed through different
channels to reach those consumers. Commercial carpets were typically bought by
interior designers, architects or specifiers for their clients. They had to be durable
and, especially for some end-uses like hotels, fashionable. Contract residential
carpets were bought by designers or by the contractor who typically focused on price
and durability. The residential segment differed from the other two because the
purchaser was also the end-user. Typically, the lady of the house purchased carpeting
from a retail outlet in order to create the atmosphere she wanted in her home.

Ninety-seven percent of all carpeting is produced from man-made fibers derived from
petroleum. The leading fibber in the industry has been nylon which was invented by
Dupont in the 1930s. Though the leaders in the industry, DuPont was challenged by
other high quality nylon producers, like Monsanto, Allied and BASF, and a host of
generic low-end fiber produce the carpeting. Until the 1980's, competition in the
residential segment was based on the technical qualities of the fibers, mill price of
fiber and reliability in shipping – none of which directly affected the consumer. As
such, the industry tended to be very production oriented. In the early 1980's, a giant
breakthrough benefiting the consumer emerged – stain resistant carpets. By applying
a chemical coating to the carpet fiber during production, the carpet was protected
from permanent staining arising from most household soiling agents. Stains could be
wiped off the carpet, thus alleviating the concern many people had about entertaining
or "living" on their carpet. The four major fiber producers quickly announced their
versions of the stain resistant carpets in an effort to remain competitive. Amoco also
got into the game when it announced the "new revolution in carpeting", carpets made
from polypropylene (PP) fibers rather than nylon. As a fiber, PP is inherently stain
resistant, thus it offered the best overall protection from stains and costs less to
produce than nylon. However, it did not as readily accept dyes as nylon nor was it as
soft to the touch, thus making it less fashionable. As such, PP initially had difficulty
entering the residential segment, but was well received by the commercial segment,
capturing a 30% share by 1991.
In the early 1980s, technical advancements in dying allowed Amoco to seriously
compete in the residential end. Their objective was to lead the introduction of PP
fibers into this segment and they were strongly committed to doing just that. DuPont,
who desired to be the unquestionable leading fiber producer to the residential segment
and relied more on marketing than other companies, seemed to sense the threat of PP
towards nylon fibers when it purchased Hercuics fibers, another significant PP
extruder, in 1989. However, DuPont believed that nylon was still the fiber for
residential carpets and was bent on letting the consumer cast the deciding vote.

DuPont believed that the consumer needed to be given a greater role in the carpet
industry and it believed it could use its well-respected company name to attract
consumers. As such, DuPont created the first fiber-producer backed carpets, DuPont
Stainmaster carpets, which carried a guarantee backed by DuPont on Stain resistance,
wear and anti-static and was branded as a DuPont carpet. The results of the program
were highly successful with DuPont creating high brand recognition among
consumers, the first time this had ever been achieved by a fiber company, thus
differentiating it from the other fiber producers. Based on its success with DuPont
Stainmaster, the industry leader decided to forge new ground.
For most of its history, the residential segment had typically been the most blasé
segment of the carpet market. Styles tended to be simple, colors passive and features
uniform across all competitors in the industry. Technically, industry players
maintained differences did indeed exist, but in the words of one industry analyst,
"The differences were there in style and fiber quality, but the housewife out shopping
for carpet didn't really know or care – she only liked what she could see and feel". As
such, DuPont wondered if the styles and designs so popular in the commercial
segment could be transferred to the residential segment. Was the average household
willing to make carpeting more than just a backdrop for other furnishings? If the
program were to be successful, it would mean: further differentiation from other
nylon fiber producers by creating a new segment based on fashion and status for
residential carpets; increasing brand awareness among consumers for Dupont
(resulting in increased demand for Dupont fibers); bringing in a new dimension to
residential sales which would be difficult for PP carpets to duplicate and would
solidify DuPont as the leader in the residential segment. It, however, would be an
expensive undertaking, involving a significant amount of publicity and risking its
reputation with its major fiber clients.

In addition, if DuPont were to proceed with the Designer Collection, it would have to
move fast. The largest trade shows in the industry-in which the companies
announced their major designs and programs for the coming year-was coming up in 3
months. If DuPont wanted the Designer Collection to have a maximal impact, it
would have to have carpet samples and promotional materials ready for distribution at
the show, and their marketing program in line too begin shortly distribution at the
show, and their marketing program in line to begin shortly thereafter. As such, the
go-no decision would have to be made within six weeks.

1. What is the management decision problem facing Dupont?

2. What is the marketing research problem facing Dupont?
3. Breakdown the general marketing research problem statements into component
parts. (Research questions)
4. Develop suitable hypothesis for the marketing research problem.
5. Can Exploratory research be used in this case? How?
6. Can Descriptive research be used in this case? How?
7. Can Causal research be used in this case? How?

According to the American Heart Association, 50 percent of middle-aged Americans have

cholesterol levels above 200 milligrams per deciliter of blood. This the level at which the
risk of heart attack begins to rise "sharply". Moreover, an average of three Americans
will suffer a heart attack every minute of the day.

Dietary intake is thought to play a significant role in these conditions. Studies have
shown that population with high-fiber diets have a lower incidence of coronary heart
disease and colon cancer. There are two types of fiber: water-insoluble and water-
soluble. Both are found in cereals, fruits, vegetables, dried peas, and beans. While
insoluble fiber may help reduce the risk of colon cancer, research suggests that eating 10
to 15 grams of soluble fiber per day in a low-fat diet can lower elevated blood cholesterol
levels. Research has identified the grain psyllium as one of the best sources of water-
soluble fiber. Kellogg developed its psyllium-based Heartwise cereal in response to these

A university of Kentucky study found that men on a high-fat diet lowered their elevated
cholesterol levels by 15 percent after taking a psyllium formula three times a day for 2
months. The University of Minnesota decided to investigate the effect of using psyllium
as an adjunct to a low-fat diet. This study formed the basis for the previous claims. In
executing the psyllium study, scientists set up the following experiment:

The study involved 75 patients (38 male and 37 female) with mild to moderate levels of
high cholesterol. All participants had to meet certain requirements. They were between
the ages of 24 and 68 and had cholesterol levels (adjusted for age and sex) between the
fiftieth and ninetieth percentile. Candidates were further screened on the basis of a list of
medical conditions, their body weight as a percentage of ideals, and the absence of
certain prescription drugs in their bloodstream. All participants were required to maintain
constant body weights (plus or minus 5 percent) during the study.

The experiment was a study in which subjects were randomly assigned to test groups, it
was double-blind in that neither the subjects nor the doctors knew which group the
subjects had been assigned to, and it has a placebo control group. The study lasted 20
weeks and was conducted in three stages. The twelve weeks prior to the implementation
of the experimental treatment are designated as minus (-) weeks. After their initial visit,
patients were given 6 weeks (weeks -12 to -7) to adapt to a step 1 diet (30 percent fat, 55
percent carbohydrates, 15 percent protein, and a maximum of 300 milligrams of dietary
cholesterol). Participants were screened at the end of 6 weeks, and those who were likely
to meet the entry criteria continued their diets for an additional 6 weeks (weeks -6 to 0).
After 12 weeks of regulated dieting, they were screened again, and those who met the
study's qualifications were randomized into two treatment groups and given their
One treatment group was given active medication while the other group received a
placebo. The active medication was orange-flavoured sugar-free Metamucil, which
contains psyllium. The placebo was an identical product, except that it contained an inert
bulk fiber instead of psyllium. Identical doses of each product were given to each
participant in matching foil packets. Participants were to take their medication in 8
ounces of water before each of their three meals each day. Adherence to instructions was
monitored with patient interviews and by keeping track of unopened packets returned to
the clinic at each visit.

Participants were evaluated at weeks 2,4,6,7 and 8. Clinic visits were scheduled in the
morning, after participants had not eaten for 12 hour. Various parameters were measured
each time. Body weight, blood pressure, and pulse rate were measured at every visit. A
complete lipid profile and a clinical chemistry screening were conducted on
predetermined visits. Patients kept food records, which were analyzed by the Nutrition
Coordinating Center every 8 weeks. To further monitor dietary adherence, a registered
dietician also evaluated food frequency records at five different points throughout the

Various analytical methods were used to determine the effects of the active medication
containing psyllium. Blood samples were collected and several medical tests were run to
measure the levels of various lipids and proteins, as well as the participants' cholesterol
levels. Researchers used several statistical methods to further analyze the results. They
calculated baseline values as the average body weight, blood pressure, and lipid values
for weeks -4, -2, and 0. Post treatment baseline values were calculated as the average for
weeks 6, 7 and 8. Scientists calculated the differences from the baseline at each
evaluation, and the treatment groups were compared by analysis of variance and a rank
sum test. They assessed the significance from baseline by paired t test and Wilcoxon
signed rank tests.

Results for the two study groups were measured and analyzed. Both groups were well
matched according to sex, age, weight, and dietary intake at baseline. Both groups also
had similar baseline cholesterol levels. After 8 weeks, the group receiving the psyllium
product showed a 4.8 percent reduction in total cholesterol levels relative to placebo
values, and 4.2 percent reduction relative to baseline values. The psyllium treatment had
not significant effect on body weight, blood pressure, serum levels of glucose and iron, or
the levels of several key proteins. Ninety-one percent of the psyllium participants and
95.4 percent of the placebo participants complied with the study's guidelines.*

Case Questions

1. Identify the test units, dependent variables(s), independent variable(s), treatments,

sources of extraneous variation, methods of obtaining control, timing of
measurements, selection of test units, and assignment of test units to treatments.
2. Evaluate the internal and external validity of this study.
3. Is it a proper use of this research to make health claims for Heartwise cereal?
Why or why not?

An electronics and personal computing firm has been watching closely the success of the
Palm Pilot and seeks to introduce a competitive device, beta-named "Organize My Life!"
or OML for short. The OML marketing managers has gathered some intelligence on the
Palm Inc. sales and believes that, for all its success some potential markets are being

Handheld personal digital assistants (PDAs) were introduced unsuccessfully at first by

Apple in 1993. Some analysts argue that the Newton, Apple's market offering, was not
clearly positioned to the consumers: others argue that they were simply ahead of their
time. 3Com's Palm Computing focused the PDA, limiting its functionality to calendars
and appointment, contact directory information, and to-do lists, so as to convey its
technological benefits more clearly to the potential users. In only five years, Palm
achieved more than two-thirds of the global market to support this claim. Over 5.5
million devices have been sold, and sales continue to show strong growth (sales are
expected to reach 13 million in the next two years).

Competitors offer Internet access, including wireless variants, but the OML groups has
data that indicate only 17 percent of PDA users would pay extra for this feature – these
users already have PC Internet access and view the PDA's access version as redundant,
and worse, likely to be slow. OML is considering conducting research to investigate
whether other features, like voice recognition capabilities, stereo quality sound systems
for downloading music, video and digital photographic abilities, and global positioning
mapping ("u r here") software would be valued.

In addition to seeking data on features, OML is considering the attractiveness of this

technology to another segment. Its data indicate the typical Palm Pilot users is a male, in
his early 40s, college-educated, and a white-collar professional with a relatively high
income. OML is interested in serving the university student market. An important
concern is that the typical student will have fewer discretionary funds than the current
PDA purchaser profile. Thus, OML marketing discussions revolve around questions like
these: What is the price point beyond which students would be less inclined to purchase
this device? If the device were priced at, say $299 or less, which features would be
prohibitive to continue to offer? What are the students' priorities in terms of the functions
and features they would like to see bundled into the PDA? Would the benefits sought
depend on whether this device were targeted to undergraduates "in general" compared
with engineering and computer science students and compared with MBA graduate
students? How do we choose the features to offer and the segments to target?


1. What is the decision problem?

2. What is (are) the research problem(s)?
3. What recommendations would you make to the OML marketing managers to
address the research problem(s)? That is, what data would you collect and how
might those data be used to answer the research question(s) posed?

The marketing manager for the "Organize My Life!" (OML) personal digital assistant
(PDA) competitor to Palm Computing's Palm Pilot device is evaluating a number of
proposals for research to be commissioned to investigate what kinds of features users of
these devices might like to see in competitive and next-generation models (for example,
sound, video, and so on), and to understand the particular needs of the university student
segment (such as price sensitivities, special needs of different groups of students, and so
on). The manager is choosing from among three proposals, each of which has been
presented by different members of the brand management team.

Proposal 1 advocates exploratory research. It argues that insufficient knowledge about

the PDA category is known, so it would not be useful to go out and execute some large-
scale survey. Rather, this proposal suggests that students come to a central point on
campus (the campuses and the meeting places on each campus to be determined), at
which place the students will be asked to do a "back-pack dump." In addition to the usual
textbooks and notebooks, the researchers will see in a clear manner, using this
observational technique, just what electronic equipment the student carries (for example,
laptop computer, CD player, tape recorder, and so on), along with what kind of
appointment book (such as electronic PDA or paper calendar) the student uses to keep
track of homework assignments, friends and social even, and the like.

Proposal 2 recommends that since plenty of secondary data are available on the Palm
Pilot and extant competitors, exploratory data would be a waste of time. If the OML
team wants to know what the students want, the team should simply ask them. A survey
has been designed which is comprised largely of lists of potential features for the OML
PDA. The respondent would be asked to indicate the importance of each feature. For
example, the features would be rated on a 10-point scale, where "0" means "I don't care
about this; I would never use this feature," to "10", which means "This feature would be
very important to me; I would use it several times a day". The list of features to be rated
includes a calendar, to-do list, calculator, video games, hot sync capability, digital
photography storage, infrared e-mailing ability, and so on. Pricing could be assessed
similarly, for example, "How much would you be willing to pay for this PDA? <$100,
$101 to $199, $200 to $299", and so on. The proponent of this research proposal reasons
that the attributes that are most valued would appear as the features with the highest
means on the rating scales, and that the OML developers would focus on offering the
resulting combination of these important features.

Proposal 3 recommends a causal design. The idea would be to set up a "mock" store,
featuring OML with its list of attributes and price, side-by-side with the Palm and
competitors (with the lists of their features and prices) and ask the student participants
which PDA they would buy, how likely it is that they would buy the OML, and so on.
The next group of students would see the OML with a different list of attributes and price
point, with the competitors' information held constant, and they would be asked to make
the same kind of choices. At the end, having cycled through different variations of the
OML features, the team would know which properties were most attractive to the
students, and the devices could be developed for market on this basis.


1. What are the trade-offs among the research designs being proposed? What
information can each technique obtain that the other cannot?
2. Imagine role-playing as one of the OML team members and defending one of the
three proposals. What strengths does your approach offer? What shortcomings
must you acknowledge? What action could be taken as a result of obtaining the
information in the form you seek it?