Market Research Contemporary Themes

Seminar 7
Market Research
Contemporary Themes
• We will study various business, legal, and accounting case
• You have to write
400 words each week in the workshops
for the next 5 weeks (total = 2000 words)
• Final date for draft submission & feedback is
2nd December
• Due 3rd January latest
• If you finish by the 16th December
(this IS very possible), you can
relax during your Christmas holiday!
Assignment: CASE STUDIES
= 50% of Contemporary Themes

and date
Lecture Seminar Workshop
primary & secondary,
qualitative &quantitative,
research ethics
case study:
analyse and evaluate market
research strategies
write up of case
(400 words)
Marketing & digital society case study:
analyse and evaluate
innovative marketing strategies
write up of case
(400 words)
Motivation, Leadership and
case study:
assess a company’s problems
and identify HRM solutions
write up of case
(400 words)
Law: equality & diversity in
case study:
analyse and evaluate equality
& diversity strategies
write up of case
(400 words)
Accounting models
employed by corporations
case study:
assess a company’s problems
and identify HRM solutions
write up of case
(400 words)
No lecture Course wrap-up Drop-in session

Aims of this lesson
1. A discussion of what primary research methods are
2. How to write a questionnaire for
primary research
3. A brief discussion of ethical concerns regarding
primary research
4. A discussion of what
secondary research methods are
You will write 400 words about how Debenhams could conduct
market research to ensure a successful launch of their food
division for the workshop
(it is up to you how you much you write for
each of the 4 categories above, as long as you end up with 400 words + or –
10% = between 360 – 440 words)

• M&S? Debenhams? Even, dare I say it, the sainted John Lewis? It could be that
the classic department store is in decline, not just because of technology, but
because of
changing habits and taste.
The problem: department stores in crisis?
(Devejski, 2016)
• British Home Stores has… traded for 88
. But on the 25th April
, BHS closed down, with the loss of
11,000 jobs
• Will it be
a one-off? I doubt it.
• Debenhams was the latest high-street store to warn that profit margins will be
lower than expected this year (2016)…”
the outlook for Debenhams is bleak”.
(ProactiveInvestors, 2016)
• How many of the shops regarded as
institutions in Britain will still be around in
20 years?
Guardian Article:
Economic forecast article:

(NIBusinessInfo, 2016)
Why do market research?
In order to help Debenhams before they launch
a food division (to bring in more revenue), you
will write up a
market research plan. You need
to ensure that:
1. your business idea is viable
2. your idea is both competitive and
3. provides an adequate
BUT it is easy to get carried away with a new
business idea without thinking about…
Who is the target market? What is the product pricing? What is your launch
• Accurate market data will help prevent over-optimistic forecasts
• Market research will also allow you to understand your customers’

Creativity and innovation are
important in business, but most
important is getting enough people to
buy your product or service!
(Edwards, 2010)
Market research: do it right!
So design a questionnaire that 1000s could easily respond to, which would give
Debenhams useful data.
…and you need enough people for the
data to be
reliable! Hundreds, in not
thousands of people are needed.

Market demand estimation:
• This kind of research is done to estimate the potential demand in a specific
market segment (men, women, old, young, etc.)
• Unless there is sufficient demand for a product, it does not make sense to
invest in introducing it.
• Your market research helps to establish who potential customers might be.
Demographic research
(demo = people) is needed to
predict sales and inform
Debenhams of
who their
customers are.
Example question below: can you
think of any other questions you
could ask for demographic
Demographic Research:
Who are your customers?
Quick Link:
This info is on handout you printed
The different types of market research:
Marks & Spencer
(Liwane, 2014)
This was a student’s presentation. You will be shown more about
how to make Prezi presentations next week.

Do market research for Debenhams to
launch a food section!
In your workshop, you will write a market
brief, which will include:
1) A discussion of what
primary research
methods Debenhams should use
2) A questionnaire to carry out the
primary research
3) A brief discussion of
ethical concerns
regarding primary research
4) A discussion of
secondary research
methods Debenhams should use
(the handout and PPTs for this week have all the
info you need to fuel your imagination)
In pairs, discuss…
• What goods do Debenhams
currently sell?
• What kinds of
food products
could it sell to customers?
• Who would its
• How can Debenhams
find out
what their clients would want
in order to ensure success?

Primary research: What is a
You need to write up a questionnaire for your market
research. You will do this in the workshop.

You will also need to write about ethical considerations when carrying out research:
(this information is also on the handouts for week 7)
Ask for permission to conduct research involving people.
No physical or emotional harm should be caused to subjects (from sensitivity with
wording questions to avoiding difficult questions during interviews).
Objectivity vs. subjectivity: do not let personal biases and opinions get in the way
of your research, give both sides fair consideration.
Keep findings anonymous or get consent from subjects if anonymity isn’t possible.
Do not access groups of people (such as elderly in care home) simply because
they are easy to access. Choose subjects based on what would most benefit your
When reporting results, accurately represent what you observed / were told. Do not
take interview responses out of
Data Protection Act 1998
The information obtained by consumers must be:
– Obtained lawfully and fairly
– Only used for the purposes stated during collection
– Accurate and kept up to date
– Protected from transfer to other companies
– Available to inspection and correction by the individual
(Brizee, 2012)
Primary research: What are research ethics?

Now let’s look at what others have done…
Takes notes on these ‘dirty’ tricks that Debenhams could use!
Quick chat: have you noticed any of these tricks in real life?
Quick Link: (Business Insider, 2014)
Supermarket Psychology – Entrances, layout and shelving
Takes notes: this can be part of your secondary research!
Quick chat: have you fallen for these tricks before?
Quick Link:
(Harrison, 2009)
Science of Shopping: Cameras and Software that Track our
Shopping Behaviour – Science Nation
Takes notes: are CCTV cameras a good idea?
Quick chat: how did they overcome ‘ethical’ issues?
Quick Link:
(National Science

You could arrange your own CCTV observations if you want – it would give
you a lot to write about in terms of research ethics!
Can you think of advantages and disadvantages to carrying out your own?
You could just use other people’s footage of customer behaviour, as we have
just done with the videos.
Can you think of advantages and disadvantages to using other people’s?
Using CCTV to observe
customers: Primary or
Secondary research?

Follow up
Start writing!
You can carry on your 400 words
in the workshop.
Make sure you finish this week
while the information is still fresh
in your mind.
For extra ideas, watch this video at home:
How shops track your shopping behaviour, Ray Burke
TEDxIndianapolis (2 minutes in)
(TedXTalks, 2014)
References I
Brizee, A. (2012) Welcome to the Purdue OWL. Purdue OWL: Conducting Primary Research.
[online]. Available from: [Accessed
November 2, 2016].
Business Insider (2014) 5 Tricks Supermarkets Use To Get Your Money. YouTube. [online].
Available from: [Accessed November 2, 2016].
Dejevsky, M. (2016) If BHS can fold, then how safe are M&S and John Lewis? | Mary
Dejevsky. The Guardian. [online]. Available from: [Accessed November 3, 2016].
Edwards, G. (2010) Examples of Bad Market Research – Avoid These Pitfalls. Bright Hub. [online].
Available from: [Accessed
November 2, 2016].
Harrison, P. (2009) Supermarket Psychology – Entrances, layout and shelving. YouTube. [online].
Available from: [Accessed November 2, 2016].

Liwane, T. (2013) Market research at Marks and Spencer. [online]. Available
[Accessed November 2, 2016].
National Science Foundation (2011) [online]. Available from: of
shopping gps.doc [Accessed November 2, 2016].
NIbusinessinfo (2016) Poor or inadequate market research. [online]. Available from:
[Accessed November 2, 2016].
ProactiveInvestors (2016) Debenhams faces squeeze of weaker
pound. Proactiveinvestors UK. [online]. Available from: [Accessed November 3, 2016].
TedxTalks (2014) How stores track your shopping behavior | Ray Burke |
TEDxIndianapolis. YouTube. [online]. Available from: [Accessed November 2, 2016].
References II