NYU Stern School of Business

Undergraduate College


Spring 2011

Instructor Details

Hui, Sam


Thursday 1:30pm - 3:00pm

Tisch 910


Course Meetings

TR, 9:30am to 10:45am

KMC 4-60


Course Description and Learning Goals

The main objective of this course is to equip students with the key concepts and methods of marketing research, and allow student to understand how to apply those tools to solve real-life business problems. This course focuses equally on (i) technical competence and (ii) application to real-life problems. We cover the technical aspects of marketing research (both qualitative and quantitative research methods) through the lectures and seven (short) individual homework assignments. We also discuss real life application using various mini-cases. The other important element of this course is a marketing research project (more details under the “Marketing Research Project” section below) where students identify and solve a real business problem using marketing research methods.


This course is divided into three separate modules.


Module I —Basic concept and tools: We discuss the basic research process and briefly discuss the four major steps of a marketing research project, which includes the followings.


Module II— Advanced methods: Having mastered the basic concepts and tools of marketing research, we move on to study three more advanced and specialized tools most commonly used by qualitative marketing researchers. We study the application of these techniques to optimize the marketing mix (pricing, promotion, product design, positioning). The techniques that we cover include:


The focus is on understanding the basic concept behind these techniques and their real life applications. We do not cover the technical aspects of the statistical techniques.


Module III— Emerging trends and project presentations: Marketing research is a constantly evolving field. In the third and final module, we explore some of the current developments and new application areas of marketing research. We may cover some of the following topics:


The course will conclude with student presentations of their group-based marketing research project.


Course Pre-Requisites


Note: A working knowledge of statistics (C22.0001 / C22.0103) is essential for understanding the quantitative aspects of this class. Students who have not taken the pre-requisite course should talk to me before enrolling in this class.


Course Outline

Course Schedule (Tentative and subject to change)






Assigned Readings*


Module I: Basic Concepts and Tools


T Jan 25

Introduction to Marketing Research

[Pack] Note on Market Research

“If you’re creating ads…”



R Jan 27

Research Process and Problem Formulation

[Pack] Backward Marketing Research

[Pack] Cost-Conscious Marketing Research

[Pack] The Coop: Market Research



T Feb 1

Research Design: Exploratory Research


(Deadline for forming groups)


[Pack] Marketing Research: An Overview of Research Methods

“The girl with the gun”

“10 reasons to monitor your brand…”

“Giving Indians the phone they want”

“The museum is watching you”



R Feb 3

Research Design: Descriptive & Causal Research

[Pack] AKD Ch.5, p111-118, 144-145

“How to survive in Vegas”

“Nielsen ScanTrack data specs”

“Online Experimentation at Microsoft”



T Feb 8

Data Collection: Survey design


(Research proposal due)


[Pack] AKD Ch.11, p292-304

“What the heck is a television set”

“Maritim hotels survey”

“Notes: Qualtrics tutorial”



R Feb 10

Project Group Meetings (Problem definition)




T Feb 15

Data Collection: Sampling and Sample Size

[Pack] Z&B Ch.12, p301-320

[Pack] AKD Ch.15, p422-426



F Feb 17

Data Analysis: Intro. To SPSS and basic analysis

“Notes: SPSS and Basic Analysis Tutorial”


T Feb 22

Data Analysis: Chi-square test and t-test

“Notes: Basic Hypothesis testing in SPSS”



R Feb 24




T Mar 1

Midterm I



Module II: Advanced Methods


R Mar 3


[Pack] Simple Regression Mathematics



T Mar 8


[Pack] “Newfood Test Market”



R Mar 10

Project Group Meetings (Research method)


(Research method proposal due)



T Mar 22

Conjoint Analysis

[Pack] New Way to Measure Consumers’ Judgment

[Pack] Conjoint Analysis: A Manager’s Guide



R Mar 24

Conjoint Analysis



T Mar 29

Factor Analysis and Perceptual Maps

[Pack] Analyzing Consumer Perceptions


R Mar 31

Factor Analysis and Perceptual Maps



T Apr 5




R Apr 7

Midterm II



Module III: Emerging Trends and Project Presentations


T Apr 12

Emerging Trends



R Apr 14

Marketing research for movie industry [Guest]



T Apr 19

Emerging Trends



R Apr 21

Marketing research with social media [Guest]



T Apr 26

Project Preparation



R Apr 28

Project Preparation



T May 3

Project Presentations



R May 5

Project Presentations



*[pack]: available in the reading packet purchased from the bookstore.


Other readings will be given out before class.


[Guest]: Guest lecture. You must attend this class unless you have a medical emergency. 


Required Course Materials

No textbook is required for this course. We will cover articles, notes, and cases in the required reading packet (please order from the NYU bookstore).


Require software:  IBM SPSS Statistics 18 (Student version cost about $35 for a 6-month license on www.onthehub.com)


Assessment Components



Exams (40%)


The purpose of the exams is to assess your analytic skills and technical competence. Midterm I covers material in Module I, and Midterm II covers only materials in Module II (i.e., the exams are not cumulative).  Exams are closed book, but you are allowed to bring in one letter-size sheet with notes on one side only. I will provide you with some sample practice questions before the exams, and will go over them during the review sessions. The focus of the exam would be on understanding and interpretation, rather than memorization.



Homework assignments and Class participation (25%)


There will be several individual-based short homework assignments during the course of the semester. These homework assignments seek to reinforce the concepts and methods learnt in the lectures by applying them to (simplified) real-life situations. I may also give out some in-class exercise to provide some hands-on experience with the marketing research tools.


Given that marketing research is an applied subject where participation and discussion is very important for efficient learning, I encourage class participation and interaction as much as possible, especially for the case discussions that we will go through in class. Class participation is mainly evaluated by the following criteria:



Marketing Research Project (35%)


The objective of the research project is to provide students with experiment in applying the concepts and methods learned in class to a real world problem. Students may choose any problem of their own. For example, students may conduct a marketing research study to test a new product/service concept, or they may conduct a research study to offer recommendations to existing product and services. Either way, the problem should be relevant to a business or governmental organization. The project is to be done in groups of four or five students. The project proposal must be discussed and approved by the instructor in its early stage (see course schedule for exact dates).


Guidelines for the course project and project report


  1. When selecting a project, make sure you have a clear understanding of the research problem(s) at hand, a realization of the organizational constraints for dealing with such a problem (including time and budgetary restrictions), and an understanding of how the information provided by your research will facilitate decision making.
  2. Identify the information needed to address the research problem.
  3. Choose a research design and justify its choice (e.g., survey, experiment, focus group, or combination of methods)
  4. Develop the data collection method(s). This should include a sampling plan and instrument design (e.g., questionnaire).
  5. Collect data. For the purpose of this course, you are required to collect at least 50 completed responses (See the instructor if your research design does not permit this).
  6. Analyze your data using appropriate statistical techniques.
  7. Present your recommendations based on your findings and discuss the limitations of your research.


The entire final project report (excluding questionnaire, tables, figures, etc.) should not exceed 15 double-spaced pages. In addition, you will be required to submit a copy of your data file in either EXCEL or SPSS format.


Group members can evaluation each other’s performance on the project. If no evaluation is turned in, I will assume that everybody in the group contributed equally. Individual project grades may be adjusted up or down depending on the evaluations.



At NYU Stern we seek to teach challenging courses that allow students to demonstrate their mastery of the subject matter. Assigning grades that reward excellence and reflect differences in performance is important to ensuring the integrity of our curriculum.

In general, students in this elective course can expect a grading distribution where about 50% of students will receive A’s for excellent work and the remainder will receive B’s for good or very good work. In the event that a student performs only adequately or below, he or she can expect to receive a C or lower.

Note that the actual distribution for this course and your own grade will depend upon how well each of you actually performs in this course.


Other Class Related Issues

Course Website: All relevant material related to the course will be posted on Blackboard. Schedules, reading material, cases, and class notes will be made available at least one week before they are needed.


Grading: You can only appeal a grade if there is a clear misreading of what you wrote. I can give you suggestions for improving your work, but will not respond to emotional appeals.  


Due dates: All due dates are strictly enforced without valid reason and prior permission. Only 50% credit is given after the due date.


Feedback: My goal is to make this an excellent course and maximizes students’ learning. If, at any time, you feel that this course is not meeting your expectations, or if you want to provide feedback on how to how the course is progressing for you, please contact me.


Stern Policies

General Behavior
The School expects that students will conduct themselves with respect and professionalism toward faculty, students, and others present in class and will follow the rules laid down by the instructor for classroom behavior.  Students who fail to do so may be asked to leave the classroom. 


Collaboration on Graded Assignments
Students may not work together on graded assignment unless the instructor gives express permission. 


Course Evaluations
Course evaluations are important to us and to students who come after you.  Please complete them thoughtfully.


Academic Integrity

Integrity is critical to the learning process and to all that we do here at NYU Stern. As members of our community, all students agree to abide by the NYU Stern Student Code of Conduct, which includes a commitment to:

The entire Stern Student Code of Conduct applies to all students enrolled in Stern courses and can be found here:

Undergraduate College: http://www.stern.nyu.edu/uc/codeofconduct
Graduate Programs: http://w4.stern.nyu.edu/studentactivities/involved.cfm?doc_id=102505

To help ensure the integrity of our learning community, prose assignments you submit to Blackboard will be submitted to Turnitin.  Turnitin will compare your submission to a database of prior submissions to Turnitin, current and archived Web pages, periodicals, journals, and publications.  Additionally, your document will become part of the Turnitin database.


Recording of Classes

Your class may be recorded for educational purposes


Students with Disabilities

If you have a qualified disability and will require academic accommodation of any kind during this course, you must notify me at the beginning of the course and provide a letter from the Moses Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD, 998-4980, www.nyu.edu/csd) verifying your registration and outlining the accommodations they recommend.  If you will need to take an exam at the CSD, you must submit a completed Exam Accommodations Form to them at least one week prior to the scheduled exam time to be guaranteed accommodation.


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