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By James M. Livingstone (auth.)

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Chapter 3 An Introduction to Quantitative Methods for the Mathematically Unenthusiastic This chapter and the next are intended to illustrate some of the statistical techniques and methods of presentation which are commonly used in market research. They assume no knowledge of statistical method at the outset, are certainly not intended to be intellectually rigorous, and attempt to filter out from the normal elementary statistics course anything which is not readily applicable to a market research situation.

All the usual problems arise in contacting the individual, and at the end of the day all that can really be established is whether or not some sort of interview did take place, not whether the interviewed person said what he was supposed to say. In the last analysis the only security is to have conscientious interviewers, who like the job. As often as not, the 'stringers' who have been hired by other market research agencies are the best source available. They are not highly paid, however, and in so far as they are likely to be paid per completed interview, the temptation to take the easy way is always there.

If there is any reason to suspect the motives or even the simple ability of the original suppliers of the information, then it should be treated with respect, but with caution. Inaccurate or biased information does not suddenly improve in quality or reliability because it is well packaged by the publishing body. SUMMARY Market research findings can be derived from two sources. Primary sources, which are obtained by carrying out specific enquiries outside the company, are the more expensive but THE RAW MATERIAL OF MARKET RESEARCH 27 are tailored to obtain the information needed.

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