Designing Experiments for Marketing Research

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  • 0:04 Marketing Research Experiment
  • 1:12 Hypothesis
  • 2:23 Analysis
  • 2:59 Conclusions
  • 3:48 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Yuanxin (Amy) Yang Alcocer

Amy has a master's degree in secondary education and has taught math at a public charter high school.

Read this lesson to learn the components of a marketing research experiment. You'll also learn how you can design one that meets your needs and is able to gather the information you need.

Marketing Research Experiment

Meet Sarah. She is the marketing director for a women's clothing line. Her company makes fashionable yet comfortable clothes for women of all shapes and sizes. Sarah needs to conduct a marketing research experiment for her company, an experiment designed to answer market research questions. She wishes to find out why some of her customers are returning their items. There aren't a high number of returns, but Sarah wants to decrease them as much as possible. She needs to design an experiment that will give her the right data to find this answer. To design this marketing research experiment, Sarah follows three steps:

  1. She comes up with a hypothesis, or an assumption that answers her problem.
  2. She figures out the best way to test this hypothesis and then conducts the experiment. This can be either in a simulated laboratory environment, such as a fake store, or a field experiment conducted in real life.
  3. After collecting it, she analyzes the data to determine whether her hypothesis is true.

Let's take a look at these steps in detail.


Sarah's first step is coming up with a hypothesis. Her hypothesis is the basis for the experiment and will determine how it is conducted.

Sarah wonders why customers are returning items. Her hypothesis is that they are mostly online shoppers who aren't able to try on the clothes before purchase, therefore they return them because of the wrong fit.

Sarah's second step is designing her experiment and then conducting it. Because she wants to find out why her customers are returning their items, she needs to conduct a field experiment instead of a laboratory experiment. She wants the real answers as to why people are returning products. She does not want to get simulated answers from a fake scenario.

So to set up her field experiment, she asks the customer service department to follow up with each person that requests a return. She also asks cashiers at the store to ask customers why they are returning their items. After the customer answers, they are asked what the company can do differently next time to prevent future returns.

Sarah then implements the field experiment. Field experiments take some time to gather enough data, so she runs hers for a month to collect enough data.

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