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Research design assignment

This is the most crucial part of your study, the chapters 11 to 15 will offer much guidance. Ensure you have the constructs, measurement that are clearly delineated before you begin doing the work. The research design part of the work concerns the procedure you will undertake and methods that will be used in executing the research

You will have to include the following in your research design assessment

Type of the research (Identify whether it is longitudinal, correlational or experiment kind of research)

Population that the study targets and sample size

Unit of Analysis

What are the confounds and/or controls

Ommitted or measured variables

If experiments and bias in treatment and selection

For the survey, the instrument of data collection, cover issues on validity and reliability of the data collection tool

How will you conduct the study

.1. Introduction

The third chapter of this study details the methodological choices made in the course of the research process and the justification for the choices. The researcher took note of the fact that no research method is better than the other. However, the choice made during a research process is informed by different factors such as the personal experiences of a researcher, the research questions and objectives and the overall assumptions guiding a study. The methodology is an important step in a research study because it delineates how it should be undertaken.  One common research methodology construction follows the theoretical assumptions proposed by Saunders et al (2016) in the concept of a research onion. The current study adopted the concept of research onion and offers description of the stages of the research and a justification for the choices made.

Research Philosophy

A basic research comprises of numerous philosophical assumptions that guide the course of a research inquiry. Historically, a research philosophy comprises of two major assumptions: positivist and interpretivist (Saunders et al, 2016). The positivist mirror the natural stance of the scientists and argue that credible knowledge can only be derived from the observations of actions of existing external to social factors, events and regularities in functional relations and casual law-like events. This ontological position argues that the realization of credible empirical data can only be achieved without interfering with the natural set up of the phenomena under observation. On the other hand, the interpretivist thought argue that to collecting and analyzing credible knowledge can only be achieved by interfering with the phenomena of interest. Facts and knowledge are not only evolving, but are also subjective and relative. Saunders et al (2016) report that existing social reality can be best studied through small changes in the natural set up of phenomena of interest.

The purpose of the current study was to find out the most effective e-commerce platform digital marketing strategies that are appealing to the millennial and are capable of influencing their purchase behavior. Saunders et al (2016) observed that no research philosophy is good or bad and the decision to adopt particular research assumption during a research study is dependent on an interplay of numerous factors. However, to achieve the main objective of the study through a collection of credible and robust amounts of data and undertake a through data analysis, the researcher sought not to interfere with the phenomenon of interest. It was on this basis that the positivist research philosophy was adopted to guide the research study.

3.3. Research Approach

Saunders et al (2016) defined research method as the detailed analysis of the plans and procedures adopted in the course a research study. Researchers often adopt different research approaches to meet the expectations of a research and respond to the research questions. The two most common research methods are the deductive and inductive research methods (Edson, Buckle & Sankaran, 2017). The deductive approach adopts a general to specific rule reasoning and is often used in testing of existing theories. On the other hand, the inductive research approach often adopt a specific to general rule and is a way of building a theory. The definitions of the above theories explain why the deductive approach is used in theory testing and the inductive approach is used on theory building.

As presented in the literature review, there is no doubt that consumer behavior has been a topic of interest for numerous researchers (Blythe, 2013). Past researchers have presented different theories in attempts to gain deeper understanding of consumer behavior and their relations to products and services. The purpose of the current study was to find out the most effective e-commerce platform digital marketing strategies that are appealing to the millennial and are capable of influencing their purchase behavior. In recognizing that the study began with observation of existing theories and searching for patterns in the behavior of the identified consumer segment, the current study adopted deductive research approach.

The successful completion of a research study largely depends on the ability to either identify and research on existing theories or build new theirs (Bryman & Bell, 2015). In studies encompassed by lack of clear guidelines in inquiry, researcher adopt inductive research design. On the other hand, the existence of prior knowledge and theories in a given area often call for the adoption of deductive reasoning. There is no doubt that the researcher has presented a detailed analysis of the requirements of the study and the research question. Besides, there is large volumes of research on the area of consumer behavior. The above explanation provides additional reason for the adoption of deductive approach in the study. For a study focusing on the interactivity of digital marketing and consumer behavior, the existence of different models have been proposed. However, knowledge is constantly evolving and so consumer behavior keeps shifting. There is need to ensure that researchers update the status of current research and test the applicability of the existing theories.

More specifically, theories explaining the underlying reasons for consumer behavior have existed for long (Blythe, 2013). However, the relation between these theories and the emergence of digital marketing platforms and how the latter affect consumer behavior is insufficient. There is need to explore the relations to gain a deeper understanding of the relevance and impact of these platforms and ensure that research remains up to date with changes in the marketing sphere. It is on the above reasons that the deductive research is active and lively in the current study.

3.4. Research Strategy

In the research onion by Saunders et al (2016), the research strategy occupies that third layer in peeling of the onion. It offers a detailed explanation of the relevant assumptions and perspectives of worldview adopted by the researcher in the course of the study. The three major research strategies widely adopted by researchers are descriptive, normative and explorative. Churchill and IancoBucci (2005) reported that there is no particular research strategy superior to another in the research. It is a common practice to find a researcher adopting one or more research strategies in a particular research. For example, Churchill and IancoBucci (2005) reported that a research may start from explorative design and end with descriptive design.

The decision to adopt a specific strategy is informed by numerous factors such as availability of resources, time factor, research aims and objectives scope of a study and philosophical assumptions adopted by a researcher. The analysis of the literature review as well as the research question reveals the need to find answers to the existing gaps in literature. Research study emphasizes on the realization of the research objectives and achievement of credible results (Bryman & Bell, 2015). This means that a researcher has to adopt a detailed plan in the collection, storage, analysis and reporting of data and results that lead to an empirically sound research outcome.  The complementary nature of research strategies means that their similarities as well as differences are seldom important. The underlying aim of a researcher in adopting a particular research must be informed by the ability of a particular research design to sufficiently lead a researcher towards a collection and analysis of credible data. To achieve the objective of the study, the study began with the explorative design.

The beginning of a study largely depends on the ability of a researcher to design formulate a research problem (Bryman & Bell, 2015). The analysis of the diverse perspectives at the beginning of a study are descriptive as well as exploratory. It is on the above basis that the study began with the exploration and description of the diverse perspectives of consumer behavior. The whole process leads a researcher towards gaining insights into the existing gaps in literature and the formulation of a research problem, a research objective and research questions. The descriptive design offers a deeper analysis and presentation of the issues encompassing a research study. The adoption of both the explorative and descriptive research design in the study does not implicitly mean that other research strategies cannot be adopted. It simply means that two research designs complement each other in the realization of the research purpose and achievement of empirically sound results.

3.5: Research Choices

The choice of a research is often informed by the research question, the research problem, resource availability, time and the overall objective of a study. The three major research choices for a study include the mono, mixed or multi methods (Saunders, Lewis & Thornhill, 2016). In the knowledge that the purpose of the research is explore the behavior of consumer in regards to the application of digital marketing methods, the current research adopted a mono research choice.  The main reason for the choice stems from the scope of the study, resource and time availability.

3.6. Time Horizons

Depending on the objective of a study, a researcher can opt to go for long term, mid-term or short-term strategies (Saunders, Lewis & Thornhill, 2016). In recognizing that the research does not involve the observation of the behavior of the sample population over a long period of time and primarily relies on the data collected from the respondents at a particular time of study, the research adopted a short-time time horizon.

3.6 Techniques and Procedures

The survey design was adopted in the study to collect data from the sample population regarding their views towards diverse digital forms of advertisements. The researcher made use of questionnaires to collect data from the participants. The decision to make use of survey questionnaires for data collection stems from their relatively lower costs and ability to enable a researcher collect large volume of data within a short time (Saunders, Lewis & Thornhill, 2012). To collect credible data, the researcher sought to enlist a high number of millennial from different locations in UK. The sample consisted of millennial drawn from selected universities in the UK. Age was the major determinant for inclusion of the participants in the study; only individuals aged between 18 and 23 years will be included in the study. As such, the researcher employed a purposive sampling technique to subjectively select the participants believed to be within the desired age group from the college student population.

Data Collection and Analysis

The data collected was analyzed on the basis of emerging trends, similarities and differences in the perceptions of the millennial towards various forms of website digital advertisement such as pop-up ads, banner adverts, personalized video ads, internet reviews. The respondents were required to identify the digital advertisement strategy that they prefer, those that they consider intrusive, those that are likely to attract their attention, and those that influenced their purchase intention. Different questionnaire items were presented to determine, their preference, the avoidance, and the possibility of the advertisement strategies to influence their purchase behavior. The quantitative data collected were analyzed using statistical methods of data analysis. Descriptive analysis, percentages and one-sample t-test were used in the analysis of the data collected.