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Q1. The Distance Education Council (DEC) wants to conduct a research among the various distance learners across different colleges, universities and courses across India. Since the population of distance learners is widely dispersed, the research team at DEC feels that it may be effective to conduct an online or telephonic survey. However, these methods have their own drawbacks. Besides, the information to be collected is quite detailed which is prompting the researchers to consider other approaches such as a face-to-face survey.
Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the various data collection methods available to the researchers at DEC and recommend an approach (10 Marks)
Q2. Nestle wanted to understand the key challenges that their brand Maggi is likely to face in its comeback; in the wake of more aggressive competition from competitors such as Sunfeast Yippee noodles and Patanjali Atta noodles. The research agency took this brief from Nestle and gave instructions to its team to find out the customer satisfaction with Maggi and its arch rivals. “Specifying the research objective in the most clear and precise form, is the most crucial step involved in the research process”. Evaluate this statement in the light of this case and discuss how the steps involved in this research process (as proposed by the research agency) will turn out to be different from what Nestle expects as the research outcome. (10 Marks)
Q3. Scene 1: Nivedita, an interviewer for a data collection agency, approached a couple at the mall seeming to be hailing from a rural background and asked the woman, if she would like to participate in a marketing research survey. The couple quickly walked away. A group of teenage girls overheard Nivedita and asked her if they could participate. They were from rural areas, and they would like to answer Nivedita’s questions. Nivedita was ecstatic! She could fill a good portion of her sample with these helpful girls! Scene 2: Nivedita had a list of names and contact details of 100 women in Faisapur in U.P. She started with the top 5 names. In 4 out of 5 cases, the women either didn’t respond to her request or refused to participate. Only one woman took the survey. How will she reach out to these 100 shortlisted women in one week? It seemed to be a daunting task as of now. Nivedita was confused.
The reason was simple: The “normal” rules for conducting a marketing research survey do not apply when the target sample is a Rural population. Nivedita was one of the women researchers who had been appointed by an NGO for conducting a research on the sanitation and personal hygiene methods being used by women in rural areas. The objective was to capture the aftermath of the awareness campaigns been done on account of the Indian Household Latrines (IHHL), School Sanitation and Hygiene Education and Anganwadi toilets. After a whole lot of debate and discussion, it had been decided that the respondents for this survey shall be rural girls / women ranging from a broad age group of 12-60 years. For conducting a survey among this wide audience, two things were done:
A list of women was procured from secondary sources of data
The women were segregated on the basis of age into the following categories: 12-17, 18-25, 26-35, 36 – 45, 46-60
The sampling method had also been very scientifically decided. However, reaching out to these women unknown to the researcher, unrelated to each other, was not working out, no matter how scientific the approach may be. With this very first experience shared by Nivedita as a part of the pilot, the team was a bit confused on whether their understanding of the rural research methods is correct. Anxiety was creeping in as to what should be the ideal method to choose this sample of rural girls / women?
a. To choose this sample of rural girls / women, which sampling methods will you consider most appropriate and why? Suggest any two methods and justify your answer. (5 Marks)
b. Suggest some innovative interview methods to reach out to the target audience (5 Marks)