What is the Most Appropriate Research Design?


marketing research, research design, market testing

Review the activity below or download the PDF student worksheet

Student Worksheet: What is the Most Appropriate Research Design

Student Discussion Activity

Sometimes a firm’s particular characteristics (or marketing situation) will influence their choice of the most appropriate market research design (as this activity should demonstrate). 

Your task in this activity is to match the type of market testing research to the firm most likely to conduct it. The types of research are listed first, followed by the type of firm – simply match them up.

Note: There is ONE best match between the research approach and the type of firm.  


 Approach to the Market Testing Research

  1.  We phone 10% of our customers only to offer them our new product.
  2.  We start selling our new product in all our Chicago stores only, along with major TV advertising in that city.
  3.  Our salespeople have a chat with a dozen or so of our key business customers to determine their interest in the new product we’re developing.
  4.  We’re using a research company’s convenience store facility to test our product in a pretend “real-life” situation.
  5.  We’re got the new product currently in three department stores only, to see how it goes.
  6.  We’ve pushed the product out in Chicago already. We’re just waiting on some results, and then we’re going out in Dallas, then New York.
  7.  Our B2B sales force are now authorized to try and really sell the product, but only to five selected business customers each.
  8. The research firm has placed the product in 100 supermarkets throughout the country. The sales data is now coming in.

MATCH to the below list…

Type of firm

  1.  A B2B firm the new product available to some extent, and has some good customer relationships.
  2.  A B2B firm that is only in the early stages of its product development process.
  3.  A consumer firm that has the new product available to some extent, and has a customer database, and has products suitable for sale via direct marketing methods.
  4.  A FMCG firm that is in the middle of its product development process and does not have the product actually available for launch as yet.
  5.  A national FMCG firm that is close to a full product launch.
  6.  A manufacturer of consumer products that has strong retailer relationships and is close to a full product launch.
  7.  A national FMCG firm that is in the process of a full product launch.
  8.  A national consumer firm that has its own stores and has the new product available to some extent.

Student Discussion Questions

  1. Match each type of market testing with the type of firm likely to conduct it.
  2. How much influence does the firm and its situation have over the selection of the appropriate market research design?
  3. Is there generally one best market research design to use, or are there often several viable options?

Related Activities

Which Research Design to Use?

Interpreting Research Results (Concept Test for a New Product)