Inquiring minds want to know

Sampling plan The idea of sampling is the process of selecting some of the people in the population so that conclusions can be drawn about the entire population (Cooper, Schneider, 2011). The true test of a sampling plan is how well it represents the characteristics of the population. A sampling plan is a detailed outline of which measurements will be taken at what times, on which material, in what manner, and by whom (Sampling). It should allow all questions, as stated in the company’s goals, to be answered.

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Pennon used a multistage qualitative communication study to determine the long- ERM feasibility of the reader service card used that is used by readers to be able to request additional information from a particular advertiser. First, Pennon drew a small sample of participants from their database of 1. 7 million domestic subscribers. The research team then conducted phone surveys to pre-test the reader-targeted mail questionnaire. A telephone survey is described to be the workhorse of survey research (Cooper, Schneider, 2011).

It is a low cost and efficient means of contracting information from people. There are disadvantages or weaknesses when conducting loophole surveys that may have impacted Pennons data. One disadvantage is that there is a limitation on the interview length. A second disadvantage is that there are limitations on the use of visual or complex questions that are used in face to face interviews. Studies have suggested that the response rate in telephone studies is much lower than comparable face to face interviews (Cooper, Schneider, 2011).

Participants can find it much easier to terminate a phone conversation. Following the phone surveys, a second pretest through mail went out to a considerably small sample size of 300 subscribers. After the second pretest became finalized, the mail survey went out to 4,000 managers, executives, engineers, and purchasing agents that were selected from the database by using stratified disproportionate random sampling. A total of 710 questionnaires were received, but only 676 of the respondents indicated they were purchase decision makers for their respective organization.

Similar to the telephone survey, there are several weaknesses that may potentially exist when conducting surveys via mail. The survey cannot be long or complex and there is no interviewer intervention. Also, the artisans may represent extremes of the population. In this case, over 5% responded they were not decision makers for their organizations. In research, that is a large amount of variability. The number may actually be greater; some that responded may have not indicated they were not decision makers.

Using stratified sampling can be disadvantageous because there is a possibility of ignoring other subgroups in the population that could have a strong effect on the management dilemma that ultimately leads to the management decision. In this database. They were able to include a question in the survey that could simply identify who has this type of power in their organization. Pennon was able to significantly reduce the resources needed by investigating the specific audience it had intended to in the questionnaire used in their sample selection.

A disadvantage to this is that this does not accurately represent their entire 1. 7 million subscribers. This could change their findings on how the subscribers interact with advertisers through the publication. Research design Research Design is the blueprint for the collection, measurement, and analysis of data (Cooper & Schneider, 2011). The research design used by Pennon consisted off ultraists communication study. In a communication study, the researcher questions the subjects and collects their responses by personal or impersonal means (Cooper & Schneider, 2011).

Pennon started their research by first using exploratory studies. The company started their research by comparing inquiry responses options within the September issues of 12 Pennon magazines. This allowed Pennon to see that readers have more options when responding and the individuals increase in the use of email. The research conducted by Pennon used a two-stage design. The initial surveys allowed Pennon to begin a reporting study to obtain data from the users of the reader service cards. A reporting study provides data that allows the company to have a deeper understanding and generates numbers for comparison.

The data that was collected resulted in a reader-targeted mail questionnaire by telephone, and then Pennon mailed a questionnaire to a select 300 subscribers before finalizing the questionnaire to 4,000 managers, executives, engineers, and purchasing agents. The technique used in the questionnaire was qualitative, by asking specific questions on methods of contact between consumer and advertiser. A weakness of the design used by Pennon is the lack on observation and communication with the participants.

In the final portion of the study, Pennon should have conducted personal or group interviews to establish a better understanding of the user’s feelings. Personal interviews with the 4,000 managers and executives may supply a great depth of information regarding user preferences. As mentioned previously, a great deal of variability exists when dealing with telephone or mailed surveys. Pennon cannot fully verify the experience of the participants. In conclusion, Pennon Media believed that its magazine advertisements did not enervate as much revenue as they used to create.

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