Classification of marketing research according to the scheme...

1.5. Classification of marketing research according to the scheme of conducting

From the point of view of the scheme of conducting (or in another way - design), marketing research is divided into search ( exploratory ), descriptive ( descriptive ) and causal ( causal ). Each of these types of research will be discussed in detail below. For the time being, somewhat simplifying that search studies are needed to put forward hypotheses, and descriptive and causal ones - to check and draw conclusions from these hypotheses (Table 1.3).

Table 1.3. Features of research designs


Research Design Schemes

Search Engines




Finding ideas, understanding

Description of the market, its characteristics, their interrelationships

Evaluation and verification of observable patterns



Fixed structure, based on hypotheses put forward earlier

Manipulating one or more independent variables while fixing other independent variables


1. Secondary data

2. Qualitative research

1. Secondary data

2. Formalized surveys

3. Formalized observations


Search Engines

Research research gives the researcher and manager an idea of ​​the problem being researched, food for generating new market ideas. The methods of obtaining information in this study are not formalized; As new data are received, corrections are made to the work. Representatives of the study population under study are selected not to represent this set, but so that nothing prevents revealing the deep motivation of the actions of people participating in the study. Fee for lack of representativeness - preliminary, trial nature of research results; making market decisions based on these findings is dangerous: they may well prove to be erroneous. Therefore, usually after the exploratory research, descriptive or (less often) causal research is conducted. On the other hand, if in the course of a descriptive study something revealingly unclear was discovered, search explorations can be conducted after descriptive ones, for example, to reveal the motivation of the actions of a group of people that did not interest before, but now became interested in managers.

Descriptive research

The purpose of descriptive research is to evaluate the prevalence of certain marketing characteristics and on this basis to identify not just the ones that are encountered, but the most typical ones. The main difference between descriptive research and search is the structured nature of the problems being solved, the formalized nature of the research tool.

Causal Research

Causal studies are conducted to record changes occurring in a specially planned marketing experiment, during which a controlled marketing environment is artificially created1. They enable the researcher to conclude that there is a causal relationship between the events or the values ​​of the parameters. For example, the researcher is faced with the task of assessing the influence of sellers' warnings on sales. For this purpose two similar groups of shops are selected. In one of them, specially trained, precautionary salesmen begin to work, in the other - ordinary. Over the course of four weeks, sales are recorded and compared. The difference can be considered the result of differences in the warning of sellers.

When is it worthwhile to apply research of one type or another? If little is known about the problem, they usually begin with search studies. They are also conducted when the problem needs more precise definition, when it is necessary to identify possible directions of actions, when it is necessary to develop hypotheses, to put research questions, to break key variables into dependent and independent ones. At the same time, it is far from necessary to begin research from the search phase. For example, it is not necessary in the case of an annual descriptive research.

As it was already mentioned, in the complex research following the search researches descriptive or causal researches are usually used to test the hypotheses put forward. Sometimes it happens that the results obtained in the end are so unexpected that they are difficult to interpret. Then you can again conduct a search study.

How does the classification of marketing research on design compare with the classification in terms of their application? It would be a mistake to think that search studies are only for detecting problems, and descriptive and causal - only to solve them. For example, to detect a particular problem or market trend, you first need to formulate it as a hypothesis, and then test this hypothesis. This will require methods used in both groups.

As noted, unlike the classification by application, the design classification is more rigidly attached to research methods and technologies. Therefore, we will take it as a basis for their description.

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