SectionA_Group8_Pandurang Pandilwar(13PGP038) : Session 2

Different Methods for Research Designing


Most important part of designing a research study is deciding the method of research that will be the best suitable in pursuit of getting answer to the research problem.

Researchers need to define the type of information needed before starting to collect the information and then they have to choose whether they want respondents to answer the what, who, when, where, why, or how questions.  

In marketing research, there are broadly 3 all-encompassing methods used to design researches: Exploratory, Descriptive, and Casual. No matter how complex your research problem is, one of these 3 methods will help you draw the answers to your research problem.

Exploratory Design

Whenever the problem hasn’t been clearly defined exploratory design is used to form hypothesis for further expedition.

The primary goal of exploratory research is to give researchers apt information and help them to form initial hypotheses about the subject. The objective is to understand what is causing a specific problem – answering the questions who, where, when, why, and how comes later.


  • If you want to research on how to get students to use the computer lab in an institute, you may first have to do exploratory research to find out which students would need the lab and what appeals to them.
  • A marketing manager notices a decline in product sales. And he has no idea what caused the decrease. He might use exploratory design to form the hypotheses for the problem and then work on creating a plan to increase sales to normal levels.

This research collects this primary information, but doesn’t elicit the ultimate conclusion. In general, this type of research is followed-up with secondary research methods.

Descriptive Design

In most of the cases, the marketers and researchers know what their problem is, and they’ve some specific doubts that need to be clarified. Descriptive research studies collect data that is exact and precise, answering the typical questions like whatwherewhen, who and how.

Descriptive research can be of both the quantitative and qualitative type. It can involve collections of quantitative information that can be tabulated along a continuum in numerical form, such as marks obtained in the exam or the number of times a person chooses clicks on a particular link on a website, or it can describe categories of information such as Age, gender or medium of interaction when using technology in a group situation.

Descriptive research is very useful in both longitudinal and cross-sectional studies as it permits researchers to derive a clear understanding of the changes that happen over time.

Case Example

There is a need of a study to find out why the people in community A have a higher chance of attracting a particular type of cancer than those living in community B.

To find out the grounds, researchers surveyed the individuals about their lifestyle, the type of businesses they were in and enquired about the medical records. Researchers found that one chemical plant is located in community A, the rate of cigarette smoking is higher in this community and residents often delayed or skipped the annual checkups. While in community B the largest employer was a department store and individuals didn’t smoke as much as residents from community A. yet, like people from Community A, the residents of Community B also delayed or skipped their annual checkup with doctor.

Casual Design
Casual design facilitates to answers the last question: why?

This design study lets researchers unveil cause and impact relationships through field experiments. In this type of design, a marketer or researcher is often trying to determine if changing an independent variable affects a dependent variable.

For example, a researcher may opt to use a casual research design if he wants to know what will be the effect on sales if a particular product’s packaging or tagline is altered. While using this particular design method, the study must be highly organized so that only the independent variables that are being examined are altered.

The results of these kind of studies are used to estimate what might happen if ‘abc’ changes in your current product.






There is a developer’s plan to build a leisure center.

Exploratory research design could be used to ascertain whether the local population would actually be interested in having this center.

Descriptive research design could then be used to find what type of activities the population would want to participate in at this center, and how frequently they would use it.

Causal study then helps in finding likely profits or losses to be expected if the leisure center is built with the previously collected data in mind.


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