GRA 6437 Marketing Research


GRA 6437 Marketing Research

Responsible for the course
Auke Hunneman

Department of Marketing

According to study plan

ECTS Credits

Language of instruction

Due to technological developments and the proliferation of high-quality data, marketing is becoming an increasingly quantitative profession. This means that marketing professionals should not only be creative, they also must have a solid background in marketing analytical tools in order to make sense of all the available data. In this course, you will learn how to analyze secondary data using multivariate techniques with the purpose of enhancing marketing decisions.

The focus in the course is be able to determine which marketing problem requires which particular analytical approach. The students will solve real-life marketing problems through the analysis of secondary data. They will have to come up with managerial recommendations based on their findings and they will learn how to communicate these findings effectively to a management audience with the use of Powerpoint presentations and by means of a written report. Hence, this course is not just a statistics course; the emphasis is on the managerial aspects of the statistical tools.

Given the rapidly changing technological environment, as indicated by the buzzwords “Big Data”, marketing accountability, data science, etc., this course will summarize the most recent developments in marketing research in general and introduce the students to state-of-the-art analytical methods in particular.

Students should have working knowledge of SPSS or an equivalent software package (e.g. JMP/R) before the course starts.

Learning outcome
The overall learning goal is to be able to see the benefits of analytical decisions in marketing, namely how it can lead to better decisions contributing to the firm’s goals. Closely related to this ability is the ability to discern and choose between possible techniques as well as the ability to apply this technique appropriately, given a particular marketing problem. Finally, the aim is to convincingly communicate the findings to the firm’s decision makers in an understandable, non-technical language.

To achieve the learning outcomes, the students must be able to:
1) Explain the differences and similarities between key techniques.
2) Understand each technique in terms of:
· Its data requirements
· The type of problems it can be used for
· The underlying statistics
· The assumptions/limitations
· Its relationship with other techniques
3) Interpret the outputs (results) and derive managerial implications
4) Oral and written communication of the results


All courses in the Masters programme will assume that students have fulfilled the admission requirements for the programme. In addition, courses in second, third and/or fourth semester can have spesific prerequisites and will assume that students have followed normal study progression. For double degree and exchange students, please note that equivalent courses are accepted.

Compulsory reading
Janssens, Wim ... [et al.]. 2008. Marketing research with SPSS. Prentice Hall/Financial Times
Malhotra, Naresh K. 2010. Marketing research : an applied orientation. 6th ed. Pearson

Collection of articles:
A collection of scientific articles

During the course there may be hand-outs and other material on additional topics relevant for the course and the examination.

Recommended reading

Course outline
1. A refresher in univariate statistics
2. Exploratory data analysis
3. Analysis of Variance and related methods
4. (Logistic) Regression analysis
5. Factor analysis
6. Conjoint analysis
7. Presentation and write up of findings

This course outline may be subject to changes.

Computer-based tools

Learning process and workload
A course of 6 ECTS credits corresponds to a workload of 160-180 hours.

The learning process in this course takes place though 1) lectures about different multivariate techniques and how they can be employed to solve marketing problems, and 2) lab sessions in which the students practice the application of these techniques to real-life marketing problems using secondary data. Class attendance is strongly recommended but not required; participation in lab sessions however is mandatory.

The course grade will be based on the following activities and weights:
A 3-hour written examination (60%) and two assignments (account for 20% each).

Students work on the assignments individually or in groups of up to three students and hand them in before the specified deadlines. Solutions to the assignments are subsequently discussed in class/lab.

Form of assessment Weight Group size
Written examination 3 hours 60% Individual
Assignment 20% Optional (individual or group of max 3 students)
Assignment 20% Optional (individual or group of max 3 students)

Specific information regarding student assessment will be provided in class. This information may be relevant to requirements for term papers or other hand-ins, and/or where class participation can be one of several components of the overall assessment. This is a course with continuous assessment (several exam components) and one final exam code. Each exam component is graded using points on a scale from 0-100. The final grade for the course is based on the aggregated mark of the course components. Each component is weighted as detailed in the course description. Students who fail to participate in one/some/all exam components will get a lower grade or may fail the course. You will find detailed information about the points system and the mapping scale in the student portal @bi. Candidates may be called in for an oral hearing as a verification/control of written assignments.

Examination code(s)
GRA 64371 continuous assessment accounts for 100% of the final grade in the course GRA 6437.

Examination support materials
Bilingual dictionary
Permitted examination support materials for written examinations are detailed under examination information in the student portal @bi. The section on support materials and the use of calculators and dictionaries should be paid special attention to.

Re-sit examination
It is only possible to retake an examination when the course is next taught. The assessment in some courses is based on more than one exam code. Where this is the case, you may retake only the assessed components of one of these exam codes. All retaken examinations will incur an additional fee. Please note that you need to retake the latest version of the course with updated course literature and assessment. Please make sure that you have familiarised yourself with the latest course description.

Additional information
Honour code. Academic honesty and trust are important to all of us as individuals, and are values that are integral to BI's honour code system. Students are responsible for familiarising themselves with the honour code system, to which the faculty is deeply committed. Any violation of the honour code will be dealt with in accordance with BI’s procedures for academic misconduct. Issues of academic integrity are taken seriously by everyone associated with the programmes at BI and are at the heart of the honour code. If you have any questions about your responsibilities under the honour code, please ask. The learning platform itslearning is used in the teaching of all courses at BI. All students are expected to make use of itslearning.