Define the problem and explain why this problem is important for the company.

Based off what you have learned so far about research proposal in the last chapter, you’ll begin your individual project with a research proposal first. Feel free to pick a company that you already work for or one that will benefit from a few problems/issues they are facing. Or you may also pick a brand or an organization that you’re not affiliated with, but are interested in. Either way, it’s up to you what you want to pick. Make sure you understand a bit about what it is that they do, because you’re going to identify and clarify a problem statement and research objectives.

The research proposal will kick off your individual project for the semester. You will identify a company/brand/organization and develop a proposal to help them make a marketing related decision (example: marketing research designed to understand whether patrons are satisfied with the new outdoor dining options and what improvements can be made to increase satisfaction and loyalty). Note that you may work with a company that you are affiliated with to make the research more substantive (your employer, family’s restaurant, friend’s bar, etc.). It’s important to spend time crafting this research proposal as it will become your topic for the rest of the semester when you build your questionnaire, analyze the results, and communicate insights in an executive format.

These are the 3 pieces of information that your proposal should include. There is a rubric as a guideline to follow. Feel free to revisit the previous chapters to understand what some of theses definitions are. This is where you can let your creative side shine- by thinking about creative ways you would want to address problems through research questions. This proposal should be no more than 1-2 pages, double spaced. If you are struggling to come up with some ideas or if you simply have any questions regarding any of it, just reach out and we can walk through it together.

1) General introduction: Include details about the organization/brand, the problem they are facing and a single line summary of your objective.

2) Problem statement and decision alternatives: Define the problem and explain why this problem is important for the company. Provide a discussion of symptoms of the problem and probable causes of the symptoms. Brainstorm and identify possible decision alternatives to be made. If you still are unaware of the decisions or assessments, discuss why.

3) Research objective and questions: Based on the identified problems and decisions, provide an overview of your research objectives and how it will address the problem. Formulate two research questions aimed at achieving your objective (example: what promos are likely to attract grad students?).

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