Marketing Research Certificate Program


The Marketing Research Certificate Program is designed to provide you with an overview of the marketing research process and how it affects key business decisions. You'll come away with the basic skills necessary to conduct and/or manage qualitative and quantitative studies for your organization that will guide strategic and tactical decisions. This course will help you gain familiarity with both fundamental and state-of-the-art market research design and analysis techniques and procedures, offering a solid foundation to guide you through the entire research process. You'll learn how to identify the underlying business issue, design the research program, collect the data, tabulate and analyze the results, and prepare and present findings.
In this five-week program, you will learn practical ways to develop sample design plans and construct effective questionnaires appropriate for qualitative and quantitative studies. You will also learn when to use, how to organize and how to get the most out of your focus group sessions. You'll come away with a solid foundation of knowledge of common data analysis techniques and the confidence and skills necessary to excel in any research setting.
Marketing Research also counts as an elective towards completing the Integrated Marketing Communications Certificate Program.

For More Information, Contact:

Jurate Murray
  • Email:
  • Phone: (312) 362-5913
  • FAX: (312) 362-6540

Who Should Attend

Whether you are a hands-on practitioner or someone who manages or interacts with market researchers, whether you’re new to the field or an experienced professional, this program will give you a deeper understanding of the marketing research process.


  • Learn how to recognize situations that require market research
  • Gain an understanding of the research designs that could be used to address specific business issues
  • Broaden your understanding of critical research techniques and good research practices
  • Develop practical skills you can use to establish sampling plans, design questionnaires, and analyze research studies for optimum results


Week 1
Marketing and Marketing Research Overview
  • Marketing fundamentals and how they affect business success
    • Marketing mix
    • Product lifecycle
    • Market segmentation
    • Targeting and positioning
  • The role of marketing research as an information aid that guides decision making
  • Steps in the marketing research process
  • Identifying the business issue
  • Defining the research scope and developing research hypotheses
  • Custom research vs. syndicated services
  • Three types of research design: exploratory, descriptive and causal
  • Primary vs. secondary research techniques and when to use each
  • Advantages and disadvantages of various data collection methods:
    • Qualitative research techniques: observation, focus groups, depth interviews
    • Quantitative research techniques: Internet surveys, mail surveys, phone surveys, in-person
  • Key elements of marketing research proposals
  • Practical applications of marketing research
Week 2
Sampling Process and Sample Plans
  • Reasons for sampling
  • Sampling methods:
    • Probability techniques: random sampling, systematic sampling and stratified sampling
    • Non-probability techniques: convenience, judgement, quota, panel and referral
  • Specialized sampling techniques: disproportionate, double sampling and validation
  • Types of error in consumer sampling
  • Steps in developing a sample design plan
  • "Rep" consumer samples
  • Methods for determining sample size
    • Approaches: Arbitrary, conventional, cost basis, statistical analysis, confidence interval
  • Practical considerations in establishing sample size
    • Precision, reliability and validity
    • Confidence intervals for means and proportions
  • Sources of consumer samples for various research techniques
Week 3
Focus Groups
  • Key benefits of focus groups and when to use them
  • Disadvantages of focus groups
  • Online focus groups vs. traditional focus groups
  • Focus group selection criteria
    • Focus group composition
    • Recommended size of focus groups
    • Recruitment and selection of focus group participants
    • How to determine the appropriate number of groups
    • Selecting appropriate markets for groups
  • Creating effective focus group discussion guides
  • Focus group moderators:
    • Role and responsibility
    • Tips for choosing a moderator
    • Techniques moderators use to run successful groups
  • Focus group analysis
    • Pointers for summarizing focus group sessions
Week 4
Questionnaire Design
  • Steps in the questionnaire design process
  • Major differences between mail, phone and Internet questionnaires
  • Question design:
    • Suggestions for question wording
    • Common mistakes in writing questions and how to avoid them
  • Questionnaire organization and question sequencing
    • Flowcharts
    • Logical sequencing
    • Common approaches to question flow
  • Question formats and considerations in selecting the appropriate one
    • Open-ended, closed-ended (dichotomus vs. multichotomous) and scaled questions
  • Levels of measurement scales and why they're important
    • Nominal, ordinal, interval and ratio measures
  • Scaled response attitudinal measurement techniques
    • Modified Likert scale
    • Semantic differential scale
    • Graphic rating scales
    • Itemized rating scales
    • Stapel scales
    • Percentage scales
    • Paired comparisons
    • Ranking vs. constant sum technique
  • Considerations in selecting the types of questions to use
  • Types of bias and how they can be avoided
  • Designing effective Internet survey instruments
    • Checklist of recommended do's and don'ts
Week 5
Data Analysis and Communicating Research Results
  • Stages of data processing
  • Major elements of a tabulation plan
  • Preparing data for tabulation
    • Editing, cleaning and coding specifications
      • Developing master code lists for open-ended responses
      • Methods used for missing responses
    • Base considerations
    • Stub and banner specifications
    • Marginals
    • Cross-tabulation nomenclature
      • Direction of percentaging: vertical vs. horizontal
  • Weighting and sample balancing considerations and techniques
  • Summarizing research results:
    • Four types of bases
    • Principles to follow when classifying responses
    • Analytical methods for summarizing data and their appropriate uses:
      • Frequency distributions, percentages
      • Measures of central tendency: mean, median, mode
      • Measures of dispersion: range, variance, standard deviation
      • Indices
  • Statistical inference
    • Confidence intervals, hypothesis testing and significant differences
      • Directional and non-directional hypothesis testing
      • Z test for the differences between two means and proportions
  • Tips on ways to effectively communicate research findings:
    • Oral presentations and written summaries of research results
      • Presenting facts and offering actionable recommendations

Frequently Asked Questions

Click here for DePaul University Continuing and Professional Education departmental student policies.
Do I get DePaul credit for this class?
No, but some DePaul CPE courses have been approved for CEU credits. This is a professional education class with different requirements than courses taken for academic credit.
How big is the class?
Class size is limited to allow for a more interactive environment in the classroom. Most classes have fewer than 20 students.
Will I have to write papers and take exams?
While the assignments differ for each instructor and course, you will be assigned non-graded homework, and you will receive feedback on each of your assignments. Some courses also include in-class presentations.


Online registration is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Add the course you are interested in to your shopping cart and proceed to checkout. Registration is also available via phone, fax or mail. An Adobe Acrobat PDF of the registration form is provided for your convenience.

Course Availability

Course Section Add to Shopping Cart
KMC 225-00
Dori Hickey
DePaul Center, Room 7514, 1 East Jackson Blvd., Chicago IL
Tuesdays, June 3 - July 1, 2014, 6:00 - 9:00 PM
1.5 CEUs
15 Contact Hours
Required Fees: Price
Registration - $75 late fee applied to registrations received after 5/27/2014$795.00