California State University- sacramento mktg 121 – Market Research and Information Spring 2013

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California State University- Sacramento

MKTG 121 – Market Research and Information

Spring 2013
Section 01: M/W: 1:30 PM – 2:45 PM ALP 224
INSTRUCTOR Feng "Oliver" Liu, PhD


PHONE (916) 278-7106


OFFICE HOURS M: 3:00 – 5:00 PM

W: 12:15 – 1:15 PM

The main purpose of this course is to present students with an overview, and to train students in the specialized ideas, issues, and techniques, of marketing research. The course also covers recent developments in marketing research and various applications of research to marketing decision making.

The purpose of this course will be achieved through the accomplishment of the following course objectives:

  1. To present students with a conceptual understanding of the tenets of marketing research.

  1. To familiarize students with tools and techniques of marketing research

  1. To provide students with the opportunities to conduct and report marketing research.

  1. To equip students with the ability to evaluate marketing research from a management perspective.

The course will be delivered in the formats of lecture and discussion of the topics identified in the Class Schedule. Students are expected to have read the text book chapters and class notes for each session and be prepared to discuss the various implications. Some selected cases from the text and outside sources may be used to highlight particular topics from time to time. The professor may change the schedule and assignments as needed. Students are responsible for verifying assignments and due dates.

McDaniel, Carl Jr. and Roger Gates, “Marketing Research” (9th Edition); Class Notes

Class communication and lecture notes will be available on SacCT 9.1. Reading materials will be either posted on SacCT 9.1, or distributed in class.

Grades will be assigned according to performance on the following:

Attendance 5

Quiz/Exercise 20

Exam I 20

Exam II 15

Exam III 15

Secondary Research Project 10

Paper Critique Project 15

Total 100

Grading Scale:

A = 92 or higher A- = 91 – 90 B+ = 89 – 88

B = 87 – 82 B- = 80 - 81 C+ = 79- 78

C = 77- 72 C- = 71- 70 D+ = 69 - 68

D= 67 - 62 D- = 61- 60 F =59 – 0

Students also have the opportunity to earn up to 7 bonus points.

A Student’s letter grade is based on the number of points earned, the final point distribution of the class, and professionalism, which is assessed subjectively and at the discretion of the professor.
Three exams will be administered throughout the semester. The exams, which will cover both materials covered in class and all assigned reading (whether or not explicitly covered in class, e.g., textbook chapters), will consist of multiple choice questions and open-ended questions. The exams are NOT cumulative, meaning that they will only cover the material presented after all previous exams. Students will be allowed to bring one 3 x 5 inch note card containing HANDWRITTEN notes (two sides) to each exam. The note card must be a note card. No handmade paper sheets will be allowed due to varying size. Scantron answer sheet (Form No. 4521) will be used for all the exams.
No exams will be distributed once one student completes the exam and leaves the room. Accordingly, students are encouraged to be on time for exams.
Students are expected to be present for all exams. Make-up exams will only be given if prior arrangements are made with the professor or in the event of a medical emergency, in which case a doctor’s note will be required later. Make-up exams will comprise essay type questions, and will be taken during the professor’s office hours.
In most classes, the professor will either give a quiz/exercise on the concepts, methods, models, and theories pertaining to class contents, or run a small in-class project that is relevant to class materials. By the end of the semester, five of the quizzes/outputs of the in-class projects will be randomly selected and graded, and the average grades will be documented for each student.

Two research projects are planned for the semester. Both are team projects. Students select their own team in the beginning of the semester, and stay in that team throughout the semester. A team consists of 6 to 7 persons. Students are responsible for team conflict management. The student’s professionalism and confidentiality is critical.

  1. The team will conduct a Secondary Research Project. In this project, the team will select a research topic and use secondary information (such as publications of governmental and non-governmental institutions, free access data on the Internet, and articles in professional newspapers and magazines) to address the research questions in hand.

The team has two options on choosing the project topic. It may conduct a secondary research project for a Sacramento-based business/ organization of its own choice (per my approval). Alternatively, the professor will assign the team a research topic. The end product will be a 10 to 15 minute in-class oral presentation, supported by high-quality secondary data (10 pts). Further project information will be provided during the semester.

  1. The team will also conduct a Paper Critique Project. Further project information will be provided during the semester.

Peer Evaluation
By the end of the semester, each team member will have a chance to evaluate the performances of other team members on the projects. More specifically, the member will rate each of his or her teammates on a scale from 1 to 10, 10 being the best. Later each individual’s averaged PE number will be multiplied by the group project grade, and the result will be that individual’s final project grade. Once the student submit his or her PE scores for others, he or she will NOT be allowed to change them later. Details of submission will be discussed later in the semester.
A student may earn up to 7 bonus points in the following three ways,
BP Method 1
Typically, each chapter of the textbook contains two Real-Life research cases, which explore some interesting issues in marketing research. Students have the opportunity to present some of these cases in class.
Each student can present at most once during the entire semester. And for that the professor will credit the student’s account with 1 to 2 bonus points. The entire presentation should not exceed 10 minutes. The student should also allow 2 to 5 minutes for a Q&A session. To claim the points, the student should email the professor his or her PowerPoint slides prior to the presentation.
Students may choose any case in the chapters the class plan to cover (see the table of “Class Schedule”). As soon as the student decides to present a case, he or she should sign on the professor’s Case Sign-up Sheet. The professor will assign the case on first-come, first-serve basis.
BP Method 2
A student can earn up to 3 bonus points by running an in-class project (per the professor’s approval). To run such a project, the student needs to locate appropriate materials pertaining to that day’s course content from various information sources (an example will be given later in the semester), choose the format of the project, prepare discussion questions, and lead the class discussion. Depending on the quality of the project, the student will earn 1 to 3 credits. Two or more students may run the project collectively, in which case the points will be evenly distributed among them.
If the student plans to run the project in a particular class, he or she should contact the professor with the project materials at least one week earlier.
BP Method 3
Find a current news article (published later than the starting date of the semester) in major newspapers (e.g., the Sacramento Bee) or major magazines (e.g., the Bloomberg Businessweek) that is a good illustration of what was covered in the previous class. The article has to be available online. Provide the link to the article. Then post a message at the course SacCT 9.1 website that
1) gives details of the article;

2) explains how it is related to marketing research, and

3) discusses the managerial significance of the research part in the news story.
An article can be posted only once. What it means is that once a student posts any article, no other students after that would be allowed to post an article on a similar topic. The student can post only one article in a week (The week runs from Monday 12:00 pm to Monday 12:00 pm). The last day for posting is 12:00 pm on December 3, 2012.
Based on the quality of the message, the student will earn 0 to 1 credits. A student can earn up to 2 points with this method.

Inform Your Professor of Any Accommodations Needed
If you have a documented disability and verification from the Office of Services to Students with Disabilities (SSWD), and wish to discuss academic accommodations, please contact me as soon as possible. It is the student’s responsibility to provide documentation of disability to SSWD and meet with a SSWD counselor to request special accommodation before classes start.

SSWD is located in Lassen Hall 1008 and can be contacted by phone at (916) 278-6955 (Voice) (916) 278-7239 (TDD only) or via email at

Commit to Integrity
As a student in this course (and at this university) you are expected to maintain high degrees of professionalism, commitment to active learning and participation in this class and also integrity in your behavior in and out of the classroom.
At Sac State, “cheating is the act of obtaining or attempting to obtain credit for academic work through the use of any dishonest, deceptive, or fraudulent means.”
“Plagiarism is a form of cheating. At Sac State, “plagiarism is the use of distinctive ideas or works belonging to another person without providing adequate acknowledgement of that person’s contribution.”
Read more about Sac State's Academic Honesty Policy & Procedures


No Disruptive Behavior
Refer to the University's policy on student disruptive behavior ( Note that a disruptive student is defined as a student who engages in classroom behavior that interferes with the process of teaching and learning.
Below are some specific class policies on disruptive behavior:

  1. Cell phones and pagers must be turned off before coming to class. If you are expecting an urgent call, let me know before class and you may keep the phone on vibrate;

  2. No text messaging is allowed during class;

  3. Laptops are not allowed in class unless specifically approved by the professor.

  4. Arrive on time for class;

  5. Do not leave the classroom in the middle of a lecture. If you need to leave early, please let me know prior to the commencement of class and, when you must leave, do so quietly.

Penalties for dishonesty and/or disruptive classroom behavior may result in removal from this class and/or a failing grade.


Week of



Jan 27


Research Team Formation

Introduction to Marketing Research(Chap 1)

Feb 3

Research Industry (Chap 2)

Databases (Chap 4)

Secondary Research (Chap 4)

Project I Topics Finalization

Feb 10

Project I Work Day

Project I Presentation

Feb 17

No Class

No Class

Feb 24

No Class

Measurement (Chap 10, 11 )

Questionnaire Design (Chap 12)

Mar 3

Sampling (Chap 13)

Sampling (Chap 14)

Mar 10

Review on Statistics (Class notes)

Introduction to SPSS (Class notes)

Mar 17

Statistical Testing(Chap 16)

Project II Guidelines

Statistical Testing(Chap 16)

Mar 24

Spring Break/No Class

Mar 31

Cesar Chavez Birthday/No Class

Exam I Review

Project II Paper Selection Due

Apr 7

Exam I

Correlation (Chap 16)

Apr 14

Regression (Chap 16, 17)

Regression (Chap 17)

Apr 21

Discrete Choice Model

(Class Notes)

Factor Analysis (Chap 18)

Cluster Analysis (Chap 18)

Apr 28

Exam II Review

Exam II

May 5

Qualitative Research (Chap 5)

Project II Presentation

May 12

Internet Marketing Research

(Class Notes)

International Marketing Research (Class Notes)

Advertising/Media Market Research (Class Notes)

Emerging topics in MR

Final Exam Review

Paper Critique Due

May 20 Final Exam: 12:45 pm-2:45 pm

  • This is a tentative schedule and may change throughout the semester

Bonus Points Case Sign-up Sheet
Chapter/Date Cases NAME (print)

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