Which Research Design to Use?


marketing research, research design, data sources

Review the activity below or download the PDF student worksheet

Student Worksheet: Which Research Design to Use

Student Discussion Activity

In this activity you simply need to go through the various information challenges facing Pizza Hut and identify the most suitable market research or market information approach they should use to help gather information. You are supplied a list of possible research approach to choose from.


  What research approach should be used if Pizza Hut wanted to know…           Your Response

(Select from the below list)


Their market share?



The population around a new store they are thinking of opening?



The likely success of launching their new “super-chili pizza”?



How satisfied their customers are with delivery times and pizza quality?



How many customers would also order a salad if it was offered over the phone at the time of order?



Why some people never buy pizzas from them?



How friendly are their delivery staff?



Whether they should launch a new TV advertising campaign that uses athletes who eat pizza?



What impact McDonald’s new healthy food menu is having on their sales?



To what extent sales would change, if they increased their prices by 10%?



What is their image/positioning in the marketplace?



What would be the sales impact if they sponsored TV cooking shows?


Choose one or more of the following research approaches

A= Secondary data – government statistics

B = Secondary data – internal records

C = Focus groups with customers

D = Focus groups with both customers and non-customers

E = Mystery shopper research

F = Online survey with customers

G = Online survey with both customers and non-customers

H = Experiment (test marketing)

I = No research required – just do it

J = Suggest another research approach?

Student Discussion Questions

  1. Which research approach (from the list) should be used in each information need circumstance?
  2. Are there situations where more than one research approach could be suitable? Why do you think that this would be the case? How would you select the best research approach in that situation?
  3. What are the implications of using the wrong form of research design?

Related Activities

What is the Most Appropriate Research Design?

Evaluating the Design of a Questionnaire

Defining Market Research Terms

Market Research Scales