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Perry’s Business Blog

Hello my name is Adam L. Perry. I have created this blog as a requirement for my Marketing Research and Strategies class at West Virginia Wesleyan College. In this first blog post I am to introduce myself and explain the purpose of this blog.

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Hello my name is Adam L. Perry. I have created this blog as a requirement for my Marketing Research and Strategies class at West Virginia Wesleyan College. In this first blog post I am to introduce myself and explain the purpose of this blog.

I am a senior Business Administration Major at West Virginia Wesleyan College and Marketing Research and Strategies is my final class required for my major to graduate in May of 2017. The other classes I am taking this semester and to meet the 120 credit hours need to graduate from West Virginia Wesleyan College. After college my plan is to find a job and start paying off my student loans. Currently I do not have any specific jobs or careers in mind. However, if given the option I think I would enjoy something in retail. My current job experience includes two work study positions at West Virginia Wesleyan College in their alumni office and school of education where I file papers, run copies, scan papers, get mail and print jobs, and any other task that need done that day. I also worked at Macy’s logistics and distribution center in their packaging department. Where I would package items purchased online to be sent to the customer. I am a brother of Alpha Sigma Phi and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfoina which are two fraternities on West Virginia Wesleyan College campus. Other hobbies that I enjoy include Dungeons and Dragons, Magic the Gathering, reading, and creating.

There are ten blog post required for Marketing Research and Strategies and the topic very from this introduction, to the strengths and weaknesses of an on-site and an in-person interview, and the ethical or unethical practices researches have to consider. I hope to cover these topics in a way that is interesting and makes sense for everyone who reads my blog. If you wish to you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram. I plan to be more active on these social medias as time goes on.

 

Power and Ethics

In this week’s blog we were to talk about ethics. We were supposed to find an article discussing ethical or unethical practices and discuss what can be applied or avoided in life to succeed. The article I found was “Don’t Let Power Corrupt You” by Dacher Keltner in the October 2016 issue of the Harvard Business Review.

Keltner had done research on the process on being and becoming a leader and in that research he saw a somewhat disturbing pattern. Although leaders would use empathy, collaboration, openness, fairness, and sharing when they reached the top of their field. Those traits seem to fade. Keltner calls this “the power paradox” and in the article he goes over some leaders who have avoided this paradox and what everyone should be aware of to avoid the paradox. He suggest practicing graciousness, empathy, gratitude, and generosity. A lot of the suggestions he has in this article for practicing really should be used every day and not just in a business setting. The best pieces of advice I believe to be in the article is in the practicing empathy section “Before meetings, take a moment to think about the person you’ll be with and what is happening in his or her life.” I think that is very important for personal betterment and for ethical reasoning to remember that you are always dealing with other people that have feeling and their own lives. I have seen from time to time people forget that that they are speaking or working with other people. In business or in life. The cashier, wait staff, maintenance, co-workers, and others are all people with feeling and their own lives and easy to forget that.

Read the article and let me know what you think about the ethics of power. -Adam

The Limit

This week blog post we are discussing the limitations and boundaries in marketing research and what types of limitations and boundaries my group have for our final project. The biggest thing that I have taken away from the chapter about limitations and boundaries in our book and throughout the semester is that marketing research is expensive. Marketing research falls into more of a luxury then a necessity for many businesses. Not because marketing research is not necessary but because the cost of having it done out ways the cost of what the business is trying to change. A lot of business would benefit from having research done but after paying for it they would not have the funds to implement any results from the research.

The money limitations is the biggest limitation for our company for our final project. Our company is a non-profit organization that is a second hand thrift store with a very limited budget for all marketing. All other money goes to bills and paying employees. Other limitations is that they have no contact information to survey or have a focus group their consumers. If my class was not working with the company then I don’t believe that they would ever get the opportunity to have any form of marketing research done for them. What do you think of marketing research and its limitations and boundaries? -Adam

Sample Size

In this week’s blog post we will be calculating sample size. In our book we have been talking about how many people we need to take a survey, so that we can have an accurate representation of the population. That we can be confident in future decisions for a company. To calculate a sample size the books lays out three steps to follow.

Step one is to square the Z score that goes with your desired confidence interval. Which means that if you want to be 95% confident that the results of your sample is a true representation of your population then you want a 95% confidence interval and for each confidence interval there is a corresponding number called a Z score that you find on a table to see where it falls on a bell shape curve. The Z score for a 95% confidence interval is 2.0. In step one of finding a sample size you would square 2.0.

Step two multiply the result from step one by the population variance. If the variance is not given all you do is that the two items you’re trying to compare and multiply the first item by the second item subtracted by the first. If you followed that great! If not I am doing an example after step three.

Step three divide the result from step two by the square of your desired precision or margin of error. The precision or margin of error is your cushion around your result. Because you are dealing with approximant numbers you want to have a plus or minus so that you have a range that as long as the results fall between these numbers the results will work. They are the “give or take a few” numbers.

Example part C from question 4 in the book.

If I had a firm that was trying to find what sample size they need and I knew that they wanted a precision of + or – 0.05, a variance of 0.445, and had a Z score of 2. This is how you set it up.

2^2 * 0.445 / (0.05) ^2

4 * 0.445 / 0.0025 = 712 people

The firm would need a sample of 712 people. I believe that is a reasonable size to work with. Depending on the people the firm might want to think of an incentive to get a higher response rate but that number is not undoable.

What do you think? –Adam

Surveys

In this week’s blog post we are discussing surveys. Surveys are typically those questionnaires you get after completing a services by a company or organization. They can also be used to gather information for new projects that a company or organization want to do. Surveys are anonymous so they ask questions about sex and age. Then ask questions about the experience you had with the service or what you think of a new idea. Sometimes these questions will be yes or no questions but most of the time follows a rating system. Like on a 1 to 5 scale or a strongly agree to strongly disagree scale.

In my time here at Wesleyan I have been a part of a few surveys. My sophomore year there was a survey in my mailbox from the business communications class when they were doing there capstone project. I remember being confused on why there was a survey in my mail box because I didn’t know anyone in that class at the time. I later found out that they used a random number generator that was set up with the numbers of the mailbox and that’s how they ended up choosing the mailboxes. The survey itself was a page to a page and a half long asked so simple questions about who I was and then asked questions about whatever their project was. I don’t remember anything about the project or if they did will on it but nothing on the survey jumped out as bias or a bad question so I assume it was not terrible.

The only other surveys I can remember taking are the course evaluation at the end of each semester. I will say that my first two years of college I did do the course evaluation without the promise of extra credit or if I didn’t think the professor was very good at instructing. Now I do the course evaluations to give bad reviews to professors who deserve them and good evaluations to the ones who deserve those. All in the hopes that the professors who are knowledgeable in their field, as all Wesleyan professors are, and can teach about their field can stay and get tenure. While those who are knowledgeable in their field but cannot or can no longer teach their field are released from their teaching obligations. Extra credit doesn’t hurt as an incentive to do the evaluation but will not change my results of the eluviation. The course evaluation is simple and only takes a few moments. It is anonymous so it ask you questions like sex and age. Then goes to a lot of the strongly agree to strongly disagree questions about the class content and the professors teaching skill.

What do you think about surveys?- Adam

Qualitative Research Discussion 1

In this weeks blog post I was to find an article discussing qualitative research in business and its effectiveness. Qualitative research is used to gather consumer’s thoughts and feelings about a product, services, or other anything else about a company that can’t be answered with numbers and yes or no questions. Qualitative research is one of the driving forces behind Marketing Research. The article I found to do this blog with is focused more on the future of qualitative research and how text analytics can be used in in sorting the massive amount of data that can be gathered off line. Just Facebook and Twitter allow are fool of people mostly unconcerned opinion and if you start to look a blog post I’m pretty positive you’ll find a wide view of opinions out there as well.

Having your consumer’s opinion is a good thing most of the time even if it is a bad. One of the biggest set backs the qualitative research is time consuming and expensive. That is a reason businesses and their head administration tend to ignore the problems that could be fix with qualitative research looking for a more quantitative way to fix there issues. Also, if the qualitative data comes back and shed light on something those administrative heads don’t like then the data could get ignored and then the money and time spent on the research would go to waist. I believe that the solution to this problem is using text analytics on sites like Facebook and Twitter. Consumers of those sites even us hashtags and send their opinion to the profiles of business that have accounts on those sites. Using these peoples opinions that post on social media inquirers very little time to gather especially if the company invest is a software that can gather the information for them. What do you think about using text analytics for qualitative research? -Adam

Focus! groups

In this week’s blog I shall be talking about focus groups. For this blog my class was required to watch Moderating focus group on Youtube. In this video Richard Krueger discusses his tips on moderating a focus group from the beginning before the meeting to during the meeting and after. Before the meeting you have to find relevant participants, recruit the participants, schedule a time that the participants can meet, and prepare the questions for the focus group. Once those things are covered and you have the meeting time you should arrive to the meeting early to check to meeting room. You want to make sure that there is enough chairs for the participants and that if your are recording the meeting that the hardware is set up. If you have food or concession make sure that it is there before the participants come.

As the participants arrive make sure introduce yourself so that they know that they are in the right place and that there is food for them and a place to sit. When everyone arrives and you are ready to start the meeting make sure to cover Krueger four points of beginning. The welcome and introduction, background, ground rules, and the opening question. Once the awkwardness of the participants and they start talking to each other the real data can start being gathered. When you ask a question and you see a participant starts to ramble wait to find a breath in their speech ask another participant what they think of the question. If you have a participant who isn’t talking you can you can use list to get their answers and possibility get them to talk.

Once the meeting is over if you have an assistant mediator give a summary or you can summarize the focus group meeting and then allow them to leave giving them what ever they were promised for their time.

I have never been a part of a focus group but do see the usefulness of them. I think they are a valid option if you have the time and the finances. -Adam

 

Big Data What is it?

This weeks blog is on Big Data and the use of it? Big Data is all the information that given off by technology that is then collected then analyzed. If you have ever heard that the Internet never forgets that is the information used in Big Data.

There are many who hear about Big Data and become scared. People fear that they are giving up their right to privacy when companies like Facebook uses their information. However, Facebook clearly states that to use their services that your information is forfeit and that’s how the service stays free.The other type of big data that people fear is the information that wasn’t being collected because it seemed random but now people are finding a purpose for that information. Though this information could be used for the wrong reasons most organization are not using it for that reason. Big businesses use it to figure out different stats from across the nation like the demographic of their customers or what items are selling and when. Scientist have been using big data to create new invitations and discover new ways to diagnose disease even before physical symptoms appear. I like to believe that big data is a good thing and that although it can be used for bad there is more good that out ways it. We can choose weather we live in 1984 or learn to control what we put on line and how big data can be used for good. It is up to use to do so.