Syllabus query

Academic Year/course: 2017/18

27318 - Introduction to Marketing Research

Syllabus Information

Academic Year:
27318 - Introduction to Marketing Research
Faculty / School:
109 - Facultad de Economía y Empresa
228 - Facultad de Empresa y Gestión Pública
301 - Facultad de Ciencias Sociales y Humanas
448 - Degree in Business Administration and Management
454 - Degree in Business Administration and Management
458 - Degree in Business Administration and Management
Second semester
Subject Type:

1.1. Introduction

The subject “Introduction to Market Research” belongs to the module “Marketing and Market Research”. The aim of the subject is to understand the process of Market Research and its relevance for obtaining information and for decision making.

This is a semester-long, mandatory subject that is taught in the second year in all the degrees related to the Business area in the Universidad de Zaragoza (degrees in Administración y Dirección de Empresas, Contabilidad y Finanzas, Marketing e Investigación de Mercados).

1.2. Recommendations to take this course

It is advisable for the student to have passed the subjects Introduction to Marketing (1st year of ADEi) and have studied the subjects Statistics I and Statistics II. Students are strongly recommended to attend the lectures, to carry out the continuous work and to study on a regular basis.

1.3. Context and importance of this course in the degree

“Introduction to Marketing research” is a mandatory subject of 6 ECTS credits that is taught in the second year of the degree. The aim of this subject is to provide the students with the fundamental concepts and knowledge about the different market research techniques which can be applied to any functional area of the organisation and to the marketing area in particular. The student will acquire among others, the ability to detect and satisfy informational needs in any activity of the organisation. Moreover, this subject, together with “Introduction to Marketing”, lay the foundations required for the subsequent subjects in the marketing area, as well as other related areas such as Management.

1.4. Activities and key dates

The sessions will start in the first week of the second semester of the academic year The specific dates regarding the key activities of the subject will be arranged according to the official calendar: The students will be informed about the key activities through the subject’s program. In the first sessions, the students will receive a calendar containing the specific dates of the theoretical and practical sessions. This calendar may be modified by the professors depending on the teaching needs. Should this be the case, the students will be informed beforehand. In the practical classes, the students will carry out teamwork, problem solving and practice on real cases, as well as commenting on and discussing readings and/or news. These activities will be announced beforehand, giving the students enough time to work on them.

The seminars, tutorials, and global exams will be scheduled according to the official calendar of the faculty.

2.1. Learning goals

Understand the concept of market research and its scope, functions and importance to organisations.

Apply the market research process and its different phases.

Identify the different information sources and be able to choose the most appropriate according to the research context and goals.

Carry out, individually or in groups, activities and projects related to market research. The students are required to implement a correct planning of these activities and projects in order to attain their goals and to optimise time resources.

Communicate, both orally and in writing, knowledge, ideas and outcomes of the activities and projects carried out.

2.2. Importance of learning goals

These days, both profit and non-profit organisations need to be oriented towards their customers and to be aware of their needs and desires in order to succeed in the market. Market research provides the appropriate tools for obtaining valuable information for decision making in this field.

3.1. Aims of the course

The aim of this subject is to learn about the design and implementation procedures in marketing research that deal with the search for and treatment of information about facts, attitudes, opinions, behaviours, and social and economic activities, which can affect the performance of the organisation, especially in the marketing context. In sum, the aim is to introduce the student to the activities that configure the information-research system in the marketing area.

3.2. Competences

Specific competences:

  • Issuing consulting reports about specific market situations, industries, organisations, companies and their functional areas.
  • Comprehending and applying professional criteria with scientific rigour to the solving of economic, business and organisational issues.
  • Knowing the operations of all the functional areas of any company or organisation and having the skills to perform any task within these areas.

Transversal competences:

  • Ability to analyse and search for information from diverse sources.
  • Problem-solving capability.
  • Ability to analyse and synthesise. 

4.1. Assessment tasks (description of tasks, marking system and assessment criteria)

The assessment of the subject will consist of two parts, whether in the first sitting (June) or in the second sitting (September). The students must show that they have achieved the expected learning results through the following evaluation activities:

1st part (up to 6 points): mandatory final exam. A minimum of 2 points out of 6 will be required in order to pass the subject.

2nd part (up to 4 points): the student must choose one of the two following systems:

  1. Projects (up to 3.5 points) and end of session questions (up to 0.5 points). The projects will consist of the development of four or five practical exercises about the topics covered in the subject. They will be carried out in groups, partially during the practical classes, and they will later be presented and defended in the classroom. A minimum of 3 points out of 10 will be required in each of the projects in order to pass the subject through this system. There will be 5 end of session questions up to 0.1 points each dealing with specific questions about the topic that has been addressed in the lecture.
  2. Additional questions in the final exam (up to 4 points).

The sum of  the two parts should be at least 5 in order to pass the subject.

The students must choose one of the two systems. Should a student take the additional questions in the final exam (system b), it will be considered that s/he is renouncing system a), regardless of the system in which the student has achieved the highest mark. Nevertheless, the student is allowed to change back to system a) in the next sitting (if needed).

The final exams (in both sittings and both parts) will include theoretical questions assessing the students’ knowledge of the basic concepts and practical questions assessing the students’ ability to put the theoretical concepts into practice. The exams may contain open and test-type questions and will require the students to have knowledge of the contents of the subject and its competences. 

Assesment criteria

The students’ knowledge, understanding, and abilities to use the concepts and tools in different contexts, will be evaluated. Moreover, the students’ ability to integrate and summarise the acquired knowledge will be taken into account.

Regarding the projects, the professors will consider the troubleshooting of the cases proposed, as well as the public presentations delivered in the practical sessions. The students’ ability to reason during their presentations and their participation in the virtual forums (for example, ADD) will also be taken into consideration.

5.1. Methodological overview

The learning process designed for this subject is based on a combination of lectures, teamwork, problem-solving activities and case studies, as well as the discussion of texts, readings, situations and information needs.

5.2. Learning tasks

Lectures: introduce the theoretical concepts together with real examples which facilitate the comprehension and application of these concepts. These lectures will deal with the contents of the subject’s syllabus (see the last paragraph).

Problem solving and presentation of real problems and cases, elaboration and presentation of projects. All these activities will be carried out both inside and outside the classroom, individually or in groups.

Tutorials and/or seminars: the teachers will supervise the projects carried out by the students, clarify their doubts about the theoretical and/or practical contents of the subject, and propose specific tasks in which the theoretical concepts will be put into practice.

Autonomouswork: this includes the study of the theoretical and practical contents, the resolution of practical exercises, the development of individual and/or group activities, the search for and analysis of information, among others.

Assessment activities.

5.3. Syllabus


 UNIT 1 – Marketing Research Process

1.1.- The role of marketing research.

1.2.- Uses and applications of marketing research.

1.3.- The marketing research process.

1.4.- Marketing research organization and planning.

UNIT 2 – Design of Marketing Research

2.1.- Classification of marketing research.

2.2.- Typology of marketing research designs (exploratory, descriptive and causal).

2.3.- How to choose a design.

UNIT 3 – Information Sources

3.1.- Information sources.

3.2.- Secondary data.

3.3.- Primary sources.

3.4.- Advantages and disadvantages of the different sources.

UNIT 4 – Qualitative Research

4.1.- Definition and characteristics.

4.2.- In-depth interviews

4.3.- Focus group

4.4.- Projective techniques

UNIT 5 – Observation Research

5.1.- Definition and characteristics.

5.2.- Advantages and disadvantages.
5.3.- Typology and designs.

UNIT 6 – Information Measurement

6.1.- The concept of measurement.

6.2.- Scales.

6.3.- Subjective variables.

6.4.- Measurement of subjective variables.

UNIT 7 – Communication I: Survey

7.1.- Survey and communications techniques.

7.2.- Survey typology.

7.3.- Error sources.

7.4.- Questionnaire design.

UNIT 8 – Communication II: Syndicated Sources of Data

8.1.- Omnibus.

8.2.- Consumer panels.

8.3.- Retailer panels.

8.4.- Audience panels.

UNIT 9 – Experimentation

9.1.- Definition and symbology.

9.2.- Validity.

9.3.- Experiments typology.

9.4.- Test market.

9.5.- Advanced designs.

UNIT 10 – Ethics in Marketing Research

10.1.- Ethics in marketing research.

10.2.- The ESOMAR Code.

10.3.- Current legislation.


5.4. Course planning and calendar

The planning and timetable of the lectures and practical sessions will be announced at the beginning of the semester through the subject’s program.

5.5. Bibliography and recommended resources

[BB: Bibliografía básica / BC: Bibliografía complementaria]


BB [ADE-i] - Malhotra, Naresh K.. Marketing research : an applied approach / Naresh K. Malhotra, David F. Birks, Peter Wills . 4th ed. Harlow : Pearson Education, 2012
BB [ADE-i] - Saunders, Mark. Research methods for business students / Mark Saunders, Philip Lewis, Adrian Thornhill . 6th ed. Harlow, England ; New York : Pearson, 2012
BB [ADE-i] - Shukla,Paurav. Essentials of marketing research . 2012 [(Introduction, part I and Part II) (disponible e-book con descarga gratuitade algunas partes desde google académico ) ]
BB Kinnear, Thomas C.. Investigación de mercados : un enfoque aplicado / Thomas C. Kinnear, James R. Taylor ; traducción Gloria E. Rosas Lopetegui ; revisión técnica José Nicolás Jany Castro . - 5a. ed. Santafé de Bogotá[etc.] : McGraw-Hill, cop. 1998
BB Malhotra, Naresh K. : Investigación de mercados : conceptos esenciales / Naresh Malhotra; traducción, Leticia Esther Pineda Ayala. - 1ª ed. México D.F. : Pearson Educación de México, 2016
BC Manual de investigacion comercial / [coordinador] Enrique Ortega Martinez ; [autores, Jesús Álvarez Encina... (et al.)] Madrid : Pirámide, 1998
BC Trespalacios Gutiérrez, Juan Antonio. Investigación de mercados : Métodos de recogida y análisis de la información para la toma de decisiones en marketing/ Juan A. Trespalacios Gutiérrez, Rodolfo Vázquez Casielles, Laurentino Bello Acebrón . - 1ª ed. Madrid : Thomson, 2005
BC Weiers, Ronald M.. Investigación de mercados / Ronald M. Weiers ; traducción , Rosa María Rosas Sánchez, revisión técnica Marcela Benassini Félix . - Reimp. México [etc.] : Prentice-Hall-Hspanoamericana, 1986