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Research for Marketing Decisions: The Art and Science of Surveys

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Babyak, MeganMegan Babyak, an Eastern Illinois University business school graduate, is using the Crosby MBA program as an opportunity to continue to build her skills in marketing analytics. She has taken on leadership in the Mizzou Analytics Society, serving as the President, and represents the Crosby MBA program as a Student Ambassador. When reflecting on her decision to join the Crosby MBA community, she said the following: “I chose the Crosby MBA program because there are many opportunities to grow. The coursework has refined my analytical skills; my involvement in student organizations has strengthened my communication skills; and the community has given me a place to try new things without fear or judgement!”

 

 

 


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As part of the Marketing Analytics Certificate, the Crosby MBA program offers a class called Research for
Marketing Decisions. This course is taught by Dr. Marsha Richins, the Bailey K. Howard World Book Chair of Marketing. I was fortunate enough to take Dr. Richins’ Applied Statistics for Marketing course the previous spring, so I was excited to have her in class again.

Research for Marketing Decisions is an imperative class for those interested in data analytics. Our coursework frequently deals with how to use different types of software such as SAS, SPSS, R, SQL, etc. Although we do get to dabble in SPSS in this class, we are mostly focused on how to craft high-quality surveys. Developing a useful and easy-to-complete survey is more complicated than one would realize. This class has taught me that survey development is both a science and an art form.

ukatsuWhat I especially love about this class is that we get to apply what we learn in a real-world project. I am in a small group that is consulting for Ukatsu, a local start-up that focuses on child development through online gaming. For our client, my team is working to develop a survey that we will distribute to parents around Columbia. We had to ask ourselves – what are the client’s objectives? What information is needed? How will we gather this information? How long should the survey be? Where will we find our sample?

My team included fellow MBA students Yen Le and Arjun Anantharam. We spent a large amount of time trying to decide the correct wording for our survey, since asking anything about children is rather sensitive. Since we had to distribute the surveys in-person, we also needed to make sure we would be strategic about where and how we’d reach parents. We decided to go to special events, such as football games and the Missouri Tech Challenge, as well as position ourselves downtown by restaurants during lunch time. We only had 2 weeks to find over 100 parents. It was a lot of work, but we wanted to make sure we coukatsu 2llected a large enough sample size to perform accurate statistical analysis on.

The Crosby MBA program offers many classes that provide real-world experience. This is luckily my fourth consulting project since I began the program, and this is only my third semester!  By the end of this project I will not only know how to successfully craft a survey, but I will have analyzed results and presented recommendations to my client. This is great experience to have when going in to future interviews for full-time employment.

 

 


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