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Marketing Research

Sep 14, 2017 in Marketing

Introduction and literature review

Marketing research involves a number of procedures with the aim of establishing opportunities, problems and other issues affecting an institution. Collecting the necessary data to come up with solutions to monitor a certain trend within an organization is therefore crucial in any research. The process of going to the field to collect data may involve a large number of skilled personnel as well as time must be allocated for the research to be successful in terms of findings. (BELL, 2005). Marketing research includes a known goal and the team must hence focus on finding information related to the particular objectives within a timeframe. After the findings are acquired, the results are analyzed and thereafter forwarded to the related persons with inclusion of the implications of the findings.

While carrying out research especially in a field with diverse people, the team sent to collect data must be well trained to deal with all categories of individuals. It is crucial to include both genders in the field as data collection methods may limit one gender where for instance female participants may prefer answering questions to their fellow females. The team must also adhere to the goal of the field work as well as maintain professionalism. Wide research has been conducted on the demerits and merits of social media use by the majority of the civilized world. The findings are diverse but similar in some aspects. Collecting data from different institutions may give a different turn for the research. Marketing research is therefore about dealing with all possible members of a certain market from the jobs, to schools to homes.

Social media is currently the largest world universally with millions of people following all activities that take place on the sites. The world of social networking is larger than the physical world in terms of the number of people who socialize with each other physically on a daily basis. Everyone has opted to go digital with special focus on the young people in the universities. The youth generally spend their days at the back of their computers with internet access from morning to midnight. A majority of students if not all from the university are on Facebook as well as other social media sites such as twitter. The admiration and form of obsession by the students for Facebook and the social networking world is huge. Time spent on social media is more than time spent on anything else constructive by the university students especially those without jobs other than studying.

The use of Facebook with university students has gone to the extent of them creating accounts and pages for their schools as well as for their respective courses. The increased use of Facebook might be the reason for poor performance generally due to the time wastage that students admit to spend on a daily basis on social networks. The idea of Facebook is for students to interact but some go to the extent of using the site to gain fame in terms of followers and friends. Popularity on social network has become a day time job where students strive had to gain as much fans as possible depending on their posts on the site. The use of Facebook is purposely to interact and engage in fun conversation and not a popularity platform, a factor that most students fail to understand.

The research was basically conducted to portray the impacts the addictive use of Facebook has on most students in relation to their personal and academic life. (MEYERS, 2012). Most students use the site for social reasons while a few who are considered the less popular use it for few academic projects where they post important school related information. The few academic activities that take place on Facebook are on the class pages and groups where classmates post on lectures, assignments and several other academic related issues. The university pages are important on updating students on the crucial semester dates especially due to the fact that most students spend the better part of their day interacting on Facebook.

Facebook is a platform where people from the same high school meet up following the numerous groups of different schools. It is important and fun for the university students to meet up with their old friends through social networks but this goes further into ruining their academic performance. Students from different universities are able to interact as well as the larger facebook family where people are not necessarily in school. Users with the same interests are able to like pages with their interest and thus interact better on such pages. Hence there is so much on the social networks that students find necessary to engage in as no one wants to be left behind when in comes to online news which spread fast like bush fire.

Problem Statement

In the modern world, technology use has taken tall in all organizations as well as institutions and people of all ages need internet access for various purposes. However, with the worldwide use of the internet, the social media is slowly taking over the world as everyone is spending time on social media application trying to converse on diverse issues. The social media has become the workplace for everyone including working adults and students in high school and more so in the university. The use of social networks particularly facebook and twitter is a common enemy to students as well as the working class. The time and impacts of these social networks are severe in that most time is spent with people engaging in social chats as opposed to carrying out constructive business. (BLAXTER, 2001). The social networks especially Facebook is a social culture that is affecting most university students who spend the better part of their day on the site with friends. A research was therefore conducted to look into what impacts the social media has on university students especially in relation to their academic performance.

Research Objectives

The effects of the addictive Facebook use by university students were established from the research where most students got an opportunity to discuss their reasons for their daily use of the site and the impacts the site has on their academics. The reason for the research was therefore to come up with the general idea of why students choose to spend their time o social media and not on books and the impacts these decisions have on the students and his university performance as a whole. From the research a solution to this addiction problem was sort in a bid to improve performance of students and helping them prioritize matters with the little time in a day. Most university students are aged between the ages of 18 and 25.

Qualitative Research Method

After realizing the research problem or rather the goal for the research a methodology was employed to conduct the research in the field. Designing the methodology was not a difficult decision as the field work involved working with the students who are fairly friendly and open for any discussion. The problem was to find out if students are wasting too much time on Facebook rather than on school work and are these decisions by students affecting their academic performance. The research methodology chosen was to carry out all activities within one month in the school locality and the surrounding areas of the school.

The role played by the research team was to collect reliable and first-hand information from the students without much effort or seriousness as most students fail to respond to uptight discussions. The methodology employed also took charge of the research team which was inclusive of well-trained professions who have experience so as to help give accurate data in a more efficient way. The team chosen had worked on an earlier project on students though the objective was quite different.

Topics of Discussion

The research team identified the areas in which they would carry out their research and these were in the university hostels where most students spend most of their time, as well as the cafeterias in the school compound. The topics of discussions were on why they spend time on facebook as well as whether they thoughts on the importance and disadvantages of Facebook. The research would not be carried out in classrooms so as to prevent the few constructive students from being destructed. The researched aimed at students with free time and not those in the libraries on in classes studying. The university being surrounded by a busy neighborhood with cyber cafes, it was important to include the local residents as part of the research where the team was to visit them and dig out information as related to the topic or rather the problem at hand.

Quantitative Research Sample Plan

The sampling plan used for the research was diverse as students engage in a lot of activities within the school compound. (BRACKEN, 1964). A probability sampling plan was employed for the research so as to engage a large number of students in different circles as some are always alone others in small cliques while some are always in large groups of about ten to fifteen members. The sampling plan was to engage probability design where the plans are diverse. The research team employed simple random sampling where they interrogated and gave almost all university students in all departments an opportunity to take part in the discussion where they gave different opinions.

The team of researchers further employed systematic sampling, especially in the hostels. They gave the students in a room an opportunity to take part in the discussions and answer questions t only two people per room out of four so as to work swiftly within the time frame of the research. Interviewing all the four students in a room would take plenty of time as not many rooms would be accessed in a day. Area sampling was also applied especially in the public area around the school compound where students stayed in cliques in the sports ground as well as in the dining areas and cafeterias.

Participants

The researchers engaged with a group of students where they asked one particular question and took the majority of the view as their answer to that question. Another group for instance the football team would answer and give opinions on other questions hence taking group opinions to save time and energy which was less. The area sampling also known as cluster sampling was fast and time saving throughout the month. The sampling plan employed all the discussed probability designs so as to come up with the answers to the problem on Facebook and time wastage within the set time frame of the research.

Data Collection Method

The research used few in depth interviews with students from the university who gave information at length about the impact of Facebook use on the academic performance of most students. The chosen students were five and they constituted the largest departments in the university especially those with the most notorious students when it comes to missing lectures and academic trips. The reasons for the behavior of most students were well spelt out through him in depth interviews. The university chairman was one among the five students chosen to participate in the in depth interview. These five interviews were recorded on video as well as on script by the researchers for accuracy purposes on the data collected and it gave a form of first-hand answers from the students perspective on the issues facing them with Facebook addiction.

A number of questions were prepared as questionnaires for all students in form of small leaflets so as to enable the students to answer them fast. The students were all to be involved with the questionnaires as well as the local residents especially the cyber operators who are located outside the university or near the university premises. These questions were on the average number of students who participate in late night chats on facebook as well as during daytime. Another question based on honest was a yes or no question which required the students to answer if they log in onto Facebook during lecture hours. The leaflets did not have an option for names hence the honesty was automatic as no student would lie to protect their name which was automatically not on the leaflet. The students were also asked on their opinion on whether Facebook is a waste of time or not. This was also a yes or no question hence the questionnaires were not difficult to come up with answers.

Other questions included in the questionnaire were on how much time spent on Facebook as well as other social networks. The students were to give answers based on three options which included, never, always and sometimes. Through those answers a general overview of whether students spend so much time on the internet would surface. The students were to answer as many questions as possible as the leaflets had around ten simple questions based on time spent on facebook. An opinion from students on the importance of facebook was conducted alongside the other questions so as to determine if the students can really survive without the use of facebook and focus on their school work.

A number of different data collection methods were used in the research in which most include questions conducted in different ways. Personal interviews with the five chosen students were quite fruitful as they took ample time as well as a recording was done. (BLANKENSHIP, 1993). The interviews were free-flowing whereby the students were to give their opinions on the effect of Facebook use on their performance and if time spent on Facebook should be drifted to school work so as to improve the individual performance of most students. Interviews were fruitful in some way as the chosen students were willing to give their opinions and the general opinion from their friends.

The research time also incorporated observation as one of the methods to collect data. The team of researchers camped in the school compound for the whole month and was on a day and night observation schedule. The team went online and joined the groups on facebook as well as friend requested the most popular university students which gave them information on how much time the students spend on facebook engaging in not so constructive conversations. The observation also took place in the hostels where the discussions of students were gauged and their activities. Most girls were seen taking photos all the time while posting them online while boys were busy discussing online stories.

The questionnaires were given to any student as they were in form of leaflets. The answers were quite simple since they involved a yes or no answer hence the research team provides the students with pens to answer them quickly and return the leaflets after they have written their answers. One on one interview with the local residents near the university premises took place on a daily basis where they were asked to list the approximate number of students who visited the Facebook site using the cyber servers. The information from these residents was not accurate as estimates can be deceiving as well as most people feared giving out such information without pay.

Ethical Considerations

The ethical implications of the research methods employed during this research at the university were quite diverse as some were as a result of the challenges encountered in the research. The researchers in most cases fail to have no adequate experience with university students hence dealing with them can be quite difficult. University students are known to be the friendliest to strangers and open to social discussion but on the other hand, they appear to be the most rebellious people while working on a project. The implication of the research method used was mainly on patience with the students. In essence, the researchers had to humble themselves while trying to ask the student's questions as some refused to even talk to the research team.

The other ethical implication that followed was the form of respecting the students' privacy. Conducting the observations required the researchers to pay close attention to the activities of the students both online and physically and this was to be done cautiously so as not to provoke the students who always want their privacy and no form of research should go beyond their privacy. Moreover while interviewing the students, the researchers had to be careful on the questions they pose to the students and must develop a sense of respect where some questions which are too personal must not be asked. The nature of university student is that they prefer keeping their personal life private and one must not force them to disclose private issues. (SCOTT, 2011). For instance, the researchers decided not to ask any student of their username unless their willingly chose to disclose.

Conducting interviews and questionnaires to the local residents needed a code of ethics from the research team. This is because most of the local residents working in cyber cafes around the university were hesitant in revealing information about the Facebook use of students who are their day to day customers. Most of the local residents opted to ask for a pay so an s to answer the questions which is not right according to the code of ethics of the research team as well as other researchers. One must not pay anyone to get information unless they are from a culture which does so. Therefore it was the responsibility of the researchers to ensure they work within the code of conduct of the research.

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