1. Of the primary data-collection techniques available to the researcher (survey, observation, experiment), why is the experiment the only one that can provide conclusive evidence of causal relationships? Of the various types of experiments, which type or types provide the best evidence of causation or non-causation?

Of the primary data collection techniques, the experiment is considered as the only one that provides conclusive evidence of causal relationships. This is because that the experiment is conducted under careful supervision and it is repeatable. Additionally, in an experiment, a variable is manipulated to observe the second variable and this gives the conclusive evidence as compared to that of observation and survey. Field experiments provide the best evidence of causation or non-causation because they are conducted in an actual market environment.

  1. What are some important independent variables that must be dealt with in an experiment to test consumer reactions to a pilot for a new TV series? Explain why those variables are important.

Some independent variables in such an experiment can include the reaction of consumers towards that particular TV series, place where the experiment is being conducted (in field or in laboratory) and the way how their responses will be recorded. These variables define the base of this experiment as if it is conducted in field, it would give more appropriate results.

  1. Why are quasi-experiments much more popular in marketing research than true experiments?

The quasi experiments are more popular as compared to that of true experiments in marketing research. Reason behind it is that in a true experiment, a researcher usually needs to create artificial environments to control independent and extraneous variables and this artificiality questions the validity of the findings of that experiment. While in quasi experiment, there is no such problem and they are generally more feasible in field settings (McDaniel & Gates, 2013).

  1. A manufacturer of microwave ovens has designed an improved model that will reduce energy costs and cook food evenly throughout. However, this new model will increase the product’s price by 30 percent because of extra components and engineering design changes. It decides to test market the new oven in a market area with an extremely high household income level. In addition, the producer offers a discount coupon to facilitate product sales. The company wants to determine what effect the new model will have on sales of its microwave ovens. Do you see any potential problems with a sales forecast based on the results of the test market sales? What would you do differently?

In the above mentioned case, the new model would surely effect the sales of other microwave ovens. However, test market sales cannot exactly forecast the results of that effect on other microwave Ovens. Reason behind it is that company is also offering a discount coupon which would not let it record the exact effect on its other models’ sales using the results of the test market sales. In order to determine that what effect the new model will have on sales of its microwave ovens, the company will have to test it without the discount coupon.

  1. Discuss various methods by which extraneous causal factors can be controlled.

There are various methods used by researchers to control the extraneous variables. These factors involve the randomization, physical control and design control etc. The randomization is about randomly assigning subjects to treatment conditions while the physical control is about constantly holding the value of extraneous variable. Additionally, design control involves the specific types of experimental designs for this purpose (Street, 2006).

  1. Discuss the alternatives to traditional test marketing. Explain their advantages and disadvantages.

Alternatives to traditional test marketing can including the rolling rollout or lead country strategy. Rolling rollout follows a pretest where a product is launched in a certain region and within some days, the data can provide information that how the product is doing. While in lead country strategy, the product is tried out in a foreign market before rolling it globally. The advantages of these strategies include that they can give better results as compared to the traditional test marketing while the disadvantages can include their complexity and costs associated. 

 

Bibliography

McDaniel, C., & Gates, R. (2013). Primary data collection: experimentation and test markets. In Marketing Research Essentials (8th Edition ed., pp. 188-205). Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

Street, D. L. (2006). Controlling extraneous variables in experimental research: A research note. Accounting Education, 4(2), 169-188.