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Course: Marketing Research
University of Maine
In this class and generally within the Marketing Concentration, students apply concepts from marketing theory and research to real world marketing contexts. In this hands-on class, they use techniques and resources in market research, evaluate existing marketing programs, plan new marketing programs, and enhance existing programs. The students gain experience working with and solving problems for client organizations/community partners. They work in teams under the professor’s supervision. Teams take responsibility for fulfilling contracts with clients. They use writing and presentation skills throughout the experience, with fellow students and clients as audience and evaluators. The course emphasizes problem formulation and research design, data collection, instrument development, sampling requirements, data analysis and interpretation. It is designed to provide a broad and deep appreciation of marketing research. This includes providing an understanding of the importance of marketing research as a management decision-making tool; an understanding of how to conduct effective marketing research and evaluate marketing research reports; an understanding of the advantages to be gained by the appropriate application of marketing research techniques to address managerial information needs as well as the limitations of those techniques; an ability to use the insights from marketing research to build marketing strategy; an appreciation of the ethical issues associated with conducting and using marketing research; and an opportunity to participate in a realistic experience, learning about marketing and marketing research by doing it. Client organizations have included not-for-profit organizations such as WERU Community Radio, The Bangor Symphony Orchestra, The Stillwater Montessori School, the Bangor-Brewer YWCA, the Maine Lobster Institute, and quasi-governmental organizations like The University of Maine and many of its units, e.g. the Army ROTC, the Food Science and Human Nutrition Department, the Advanced Engineered Wood Composites Center, and Wood Science and Technology Program in the Forestry Department; as well as the Maine Office of Tourism and the Greater Bangor Convention and Visitors Bureau. For-profit organizations with which we have partnered include Fresh Samantha, Inc., The Ellsworth American, Union Trust, and several local veterinary clinics, as well as an industrial supplier of emulsions and adhesives for engineering wood products, the Henry Company. Clients visit the class to speak about their marketing information needs, their organization’s operations, and the context within which they operate. Clients also attend the presentation of project findings and quiz the students about research findings and recommendations for action. The experience of meeting the managers of these organizations and delivering valuable insights to them gives an extra excitement to class meetings, encourages heightened attention in class, and inculcates a sense of accomplishment when the outcomes are presented and the course is completed. The presence of a client/partner organization dependent on the students’ project outcomes encourages students to assume a greater responsibility for delivering those outcomes.
Civic Learning Goals
Daniel Innis, Ph.D.
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