MN7012 Research Methods for Marketing Assignment Brief A: Research Proposal

In this module, you will work on a live project developed by the module leader in
conjunction with a third party organisation, The Social Impact Team (SIT).
Assignment A will take the form of a 2000 words (+/- 10%) research proposal. In
response to the Social Impact Team’s client brief (see Appendix I below), you are
asked to develop EITHER a (1) qualitative research instrument OR (2) quantitative
questionnaire survey to address the following topic: Consumer’s Perception of
Greenwashing and Eco-Anxiety (see client’s brief below for further details).
In this assignment, you will assume the role of an account manager at a market
research agency. You will be competing against other agencies (i.e. your
classmates) to win the bid for a market research project commissioned by SIT.
Following the format of a market research proposal (see below), you are asked to
propose and justify a research design to address the information gap stipulated in
the client’s brief. You are expected to provide sound rationale for your
methodological choices. Please ensure that your rationale is grounded in research
theories and relevant academic references introduced to you in the lectures as well
as in the reading list.
Note: Please do not conduct fieldwork/collect primary data as part of this
assignment. This assignment asks that you pitch your research proposal by taking
on the role of a researcher at a market research agency. You are not expected to
conduct fieldwork for this assessment as this would require ethics approval from the
module leader.

 

Prior to writing your essay, please follow the guidance below on how to prepare for
your essay.
Preparation prior to writing your essay:
 First, select a name for your market research agency. Use a professionalsounding name.
 Read the client’s brief below and note down the research need highlighted by
the Social Impact Team. What information does SIT require? Why did they
commission this research project?
 Conduct a brief literature search on the topic stipulated in the client’s brief. I
have provided a number of readings on this topic, which you can consult as a
starting point. You are not expected to do extensive reading on the topic.
Rather the literature should be used only to identify suitable topic areas for
discussions (qualitative research) and/or to identify variables for testing
(quantitative research).
 List 1-2 broad research aim(s), and no more than 4-5 research objectives for
the topic.
 Based on your research aim(s) and objectives, consider whether a qualitative
(Option A) or quantitative (Option B) research should be used to address
them.
 On a piece of paper, outline your research design. In your essay, you are
asked to focus on developing EITHER a qualitative or a quantitative research
design.
 A quantitative research design typical utilises survey as a data collection
method. However, if you opt for a qualitative research, you can choose ONE
of the following methods: focus group, in-depth interviews, ethnography.
Consider how these methods allow you to address your research objectives.
 Outline a draft of your sampling plan. Who are your target population? What
are your sampling criteria? Do you intend to use a sampling frame? If so,
which sampling frame do you intend to use? Do you intend to use probability
or non-probability sampling? Which sampling techniques would you use?

Suggested Structure for Research Proposal:
Below is a suggested structure for a research proposal. While a typical marketing
research proposal would require a section on costing, in this assignment, you are not
expected to do so.
Cover Page Prepare a professional cover page and display the
name and logo of your market research agency. On this page, you also need to provide the title of
your research project and contact details of your
agency.

Background and Problem
Definition (approximately 400
words)
Provide a short paragraph debriefing the research
need of SIT. Provide a brief problem definition by
outlining why the stipulated research topic is
important for the Social Impact Team to address.
What prompted the Social Impact Team to
commission a market research project for this
specific topic? What information would SIT need to
allow them to fulfil their strategic goals.
Note: Please do not provide a lengthy literature
review on this specific topic. Remember this is an
assignment on market research. You are assessed
on your ability to develop and justify your research
design rather than on your knowledge of the topic.
In this section, you are asked to identify key
problem areas related to the stipulated topic that
would require the gathering of information through
marketing research.

Research Aims and Objectives (not
included in wordcount)
Based on your problem definition, outline 1-2 broad
research aim(s). Then list no more than 6 specific
objectives in support of your broad aim.
Where possible, please use the SMART criteria to
assess the suitability of your research objectives.
(See Unit 2 on how to construct SMART objectives)

 

Overview of Methodology (app.
100 words)
In a short paragraph, provide a brief overview of
your proposed methodology. Are you using an
exploratory or conclusive research design? Or
both? Why?
Next, are you proposing the use of a qualitative or
quantitative research? Why? How does your
research design allow you to address the research
aim(s) and objectives stipulated above?
Note: In this proposal, you should focus on
proposing either a qualitative or a quantitative
research. Not both.

 

Data Collection Method(s) (app.
600 words)
Qualitative
If you propose using qualitative research, what data
collection methods would you use? Why?
If interviews are used, are your interviews
structured, semi-structured or unstructured? Why?
How long would your interview be?
If ethnography is used, what type of observations
would you conduct? Why? Provide a brief
explanation on how you intend to carry out your
ethnographic fieldwork. For example, would you be
using photograph, diary etc? How long and how
often would you observe your participants?
Quantitative
If you are using a quantitative study, what variables
are you measuring? In other words, what research
objectives/hypothesis would you address in your
questionnaire?
Is your interviews structured, semi-structured or
unstructured? Why? How do you intend to
distribute your questionnaire?
Sampling (app. 800)

Provide a brief overview of your sampling plan.
First define your target population. Who are you
going to research? How are you going to recruit
them? What are your sampling criteria?
Next, outline what sampling technique you intend to
use. Do you intend to use a probability or nonprobability sampling technique? Why? What
sampling method do you intend to use and why?
Then, provide an indication of your sample size.
Timeframe (not included in
wordcount)
Using a Gantt chart or a table, outline the different
stages of your research activities and the proposed
dates you intend to carry out these activities
Credentials (app. 100 words) In a short paragraph, provide compelling rationale
as to why you should win the bid! Why should SIT
consider your proposal?
References (not included in
wordcount)
Provide a list of references for the materials you
have cited in the proposal. Please use Harvard
Referencing.

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