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Task One

Task One

The data set features 3 different data forms including a summary of lifestyle apps used by college students studying in the US, green apps for an eco-friendly lifestyle, and the motivation for searching for a lifestyle app.

In the graph 1 above, the main apps used by college students studying in the US include Headspace, Moodpath, and ShopWell with 40, 42, and 43 users respectively. The least used apps include MapMyRun, HabitBull, and Runtastic with 5, 4, 6 users respectively.

From the second graph above, the Grid Carbon and Good On You apps are the most preferred green apps for an eco-friendly lifestyle with 68% and 62% users respectively.

In the graph above, the motivation for searching for a lifestyle is summarized in a graph format. The information shows that 43% of students are motivated to search for a lifestyle app when they need information followed by when they need to be entertained by 38%. Additionally, students are least likely (18%) to search for a lifestyle app when it is mentioned in class.

The three tables show that there are several lifestyle apps that students in the US can choose from for various purposes. From the number of students using these apps, it is evident that some apps are more preferred than others. Out of the base of 560 respondents used, 296 users reveal their preference for ShopWell and the least preference for HabitBull. Green apps are also a consideration for students as they move more towards an eco-friendly lifestyle. Consequently, some eco-friendly apps including Grid Carbon and Good On You are preferred by 68% and 62% of respondents out of a base of 880 UK students. The data reveals no large variations in usage and almost every category of green apps has a notable percentage of students using the app. There are several statements that represent why students are motivated to search for lifestyle apps. A large percentage (43%) agree that they are motivated to search for an app when they need information followed by a need for entertainment, and following a recommendation from friends and family. When an app is linked to a website used regularly and when it is mentioned in class are the least motivations with 19% and 18% agreeing in a base of 416 respondents in the UK.

Task Two

There will be three Focus Groups. Each group will have 7 participants made up of undergraduate students from a range of business / marketing courses delivered at the Marylebone campus. Hence, there will be one Focus group with First Year Undergraduates; the second with Second Year Undergraduates; and the third with Final Year undergraduates. The selection criterion will use a purposive sampling approach. The categories of undergraduate students mentioned above will be selected on the basis of how best they are likely to provide the best information. The characteristics of the population of interest in the university and the objectives of the research to launch a Lifestyle App for Business and Marketing students require that a purposive sample be used. A focus group works as a market research approach (Nyumba, Wilson, Derrick, & Mukherjee, 2018). Therefore, convenience or purposive sampling is the most superior approach possible for the focus group. A purposive sample will allow the market research to acquire qualitative data on a number of topics and preferences drawn from different users over a short period (Speak, Escobedo, Russo, & Zerbe, 2018: Holden & Lynch, 2004). The interaction of respondents with the characteristics of university marketing students will enable the generation of new ideas and possible new insights, thereby adding depth to the existing concepts. Another major advantage of this approach is how a researcher will be able to follow up more on issues that require greater depth and exploration (Basias & Pollalis, 2018). The purposive sample, according to Ames, Glenton, and Lewin (2019), will enable the researcher to squeeze information out of data collected. The main idea is to allow the research to better describe the main impacts of findings on the population.

To ensure that the right participants are attending the groups, the following brief recruitment questionnaire will be used.

Recruitment Script and Screener

Greetings. Thank you for showing interest in this exercise. My name is _________ and I want to talk to you about the possibility of you participating in a focus group study that intends to conduct research before the University can launch a Lifestyle App for its Business and Marketing students. Participants will be required to share their feelings and thoughts about the use of different apps and the motivation behind this usage (Sim & Waterfield, 2019). Would you mind answering these few questions to see whether you are able to participate in the focus group study?

Screening Questions

Q1. Have you ever participated in any study before, individual or otherwise, for the last 6 months?

Q2. Do you use different forms of lifestyle apps?

Q3. Are you aware of the differences between various apps that you may or may not use?

Q4. Can you identify your favourite lifestyle app?

Q5. What is your major in the university?

Q6. What year of study are you in?

Q7. On a scale of 1-5, how comfortable are you expressing your views in English?

Q8. On a scale of 1-5, how comfortable are you participating in a focus group discussion with other adults (approximately 5-6) on a variety of topics that may not be in line with your own ideas?

Q9. Are you willing in participating in the focus group study?

Q10. Will you be available for this focus group in the next 1 month?

Discussion Themes

The topics and themes that will be discussed in the focus group include: general smartphone application and use, overview of personal understanding of lifestyle apps, general impression of lifestyle apps, usage and appreciation of various apps, preferences for features on lifestyle apps, social-support requirements for applications, means of knowing existing lifestyle apps, and sharing of lifestyle apps.

The focus group will begin by gathering information on the understanding of lifestyle apps. Data will be collected by the researcher with regard to personal definition of lifestyle apps. The modulator will provide an overview of lifestyle apps as an application meant to support or accelerate individual facets that are definitive of a lifestyle. Then, the topic of the most popular mobile apps and their usage will be discussed. Apps related to food, dating, and fitness will be explored, and the focus group will discuss their general impression of each of the three categories. The usage and appreciation of various apps will then be discussed asking viewers to rate their own best preferred apps. The reasons for the usage and preferences will be discussed in depth, looking to gather personal opinions, and preferences and the main reasons why an individual prefers an app over the next. The main themes to be discussed include self-management, need-based usage, personal decision making, service provision, healthy living, dating support, fitness and health, trendy life, and recommendation-based apps.

To advance these topics and themes, the focus group will employ a third person projective technique. In this approach, the participants will elicit deep seated opinions and feelings held by a respondent. These feelings or emotions regarding a lifestyle app might be perceived as poorly or negatively reflecting upon an individual. It is commonplace for people to attribute virtues to their own characteristics and vices only to others. For example, when asked why they may choose a dating app, the response may include the quality of the app and opportunity to meet interesting people and gain different perceptions on life. However, when the same question is posed as to why others might use a dating app, the responses could include the need to just hook-up or for easier dating process. By giving a respondent an opportunity to discuss someone else, the third person projective technique allows a respondent to freely discuss an attitude, an opinion, a reasoning, a logic, and other important motivations. Using the third person approach will enable respondents to freely discuss what they would otherwise avoid or hold back. In this focus group study, a third person projective technique will be made more dynamic through incorporation of rehearsal and role playing. The respondents will be asked to predict why other people prefer a certain app over the other.

The moderator will be required to pay particular attention to the views presented regarding why a respondent thinks other people use other apps or what other people would consider in a lifestyle app. Before the focus group, the moderator will pay attention to the individual preferences, noting down how people classify their favourite apps and the reasons given. During the group, the themes will be addressed. Afterwards, the third person technique will be applied for extra opinions that will be directed away from the individual. The qualitative data gathered will be analyzed using constant comparison analysis. This qualitative analysis will be used because of how it will bring out the personal feelings, opinions, and ideas of people in the collection method.

Task Three

USER GENERATED CONTENT IS NOT PART OF PRIMARY DATA COLLECTION

User-generated content refers to all manner of content including reviews, videos, text, and images that are created by people as opposed to organizations or brands (Timoshenko & Hauser, 2019). Brands often share the user-generated content on their platforms and marketing channels. Marketers use their audience to create content and do their work for them. This type of content is most trusted by individuals and the content is regarded as authentic and credible (Liu, Burns, & Hou, 2017). However, the user-generated content is not a part of the primary data collection. Primary data collection is a process of data gathering through experiments, surveys, and interviews. For example, a household survey would include information collecting for a purpose of research with the respondent being aware of their participation in a research. Therefore, user-generated content cannot be a part of primary data collection because despite the originality of the data source, the information collected is not done so first hand by a researcher for specific project or research purposes.

SAMPLES ARE NEVER ADJUSTED AFTER FIELDWORK BEGINS

The adjustment of samples cannot happen after fieldwork begins because then that would require a restart of the entire process including the sampling process. Sampling means that a researcher has already identified the important variables and the impact on the parameter being estimated (Etikan & Bala. 2017). By changing samples, the important values will be reduced or altered, creating a need to redo the entire process. After fieldwork has begun, changing a sample would mean changing the perceptions of the researcher (Acharya et al., 2013). For example, if a researcher had used a purposive or convenience sample, changing it would mean that the information collected would have to be declared null and void, and a new sample established, before restarting the entire research. Studies use samples because one cannot research an entire population. The conclusions and inferences made, would be used to generalize and entire population. The sample is a representation of the entire population and should not be adjusted after fieldwork begins.

References

Acharya, A. S., Prakash, A., Saxena, P., & Nigam, A. (2013). Sampling: Why and how of it. Indian Journal of Medical Specialties, 4(2), 330-333.

Ames, H., Glenton, C., & Lewin, S. (2019). Purposive sampling in a qualitative evidence synthesis: A worked example from a synthesis on parental perceptions of vaccination communication. BMC medical research methodology, 19(1), 1-9.

Basias, N., & Pollalis, Y. (2018). Quantitative and qualitative research in business & technology: Justifying a suitable research methodology. Review of Integrative Business and Economics Research, 7, 91-105.

Etikan, I., & Bala, K. (2017). Sampling and sampling methods. Biometrics & Biostatistics International Journal, 5(6), 00149.

Holden, M. T., & Lynch, P. (2004). Choosing the appropriate methodology: Understanding research philosophy. The marketing review, 4(4), 397-409.

Liu, X., Burns, A. C., & Hou, Y. (2017). An investigation of brand-related user-generated content on Twitter. Journal of Advertising, 46(2), 236-247.

O. Nyumba, T., Wilson, K., Derrick, C. J., & Mukherjee, N. (2018). The use of focus group discussion methodology: Insights from two decades of application in conservation. Methods in Ecology and evolution, 9(1), 20-32.

Sim, J., & Waterfield, J. (2019). Focus group methodology: some ethical challenges. Quality & Quantity, 53(6), 3003-3022.

Speak, A., Escobedo, F. J., Russo, A., & Zerbe, S. (2018). Comparing convenience and probability sampling for urban ecology applications. Journal of applied ecology, 55(5), 2332-2342.

Timoshenko, A., & Hauser, J. R. (2019). Identifying customer needs from user-generated content. Marketing Science, 38(1), 1-20.


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