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Case Study in Marketing: Critical Evaluation of the Questionnaire

6 pages
1414 words
Middlebury College
Type of paper: 
Case study
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Typically, a questionnaire involves a set of specific questions which have been written with an objective of extracting particular information from particular respondents. In this case study, Roxanne is focused on conducting a survey to determine how much business Hometown can offer for her young travel agency. She also wanted to learn whether people were aware of Canterbury Travels and the services it provides. Through this survey, Roxanne intends to determine the effectiveness of her advertising. However, some of the questions in Roxanne questionnaires are not properly formulated and cannot collect the desired information.

The first question of the questionnaire asks respondents whether they have traveled outside the state. Unfortunately, this item is too general and will not elicit the type of information desired by Roxanne. One of the fundamental principles of designing questionnaires is preciseness where the question is detailed and seek specific information (Burns, Veeck, and Bush, 2016). Roxanne is interested in the number of people who have traveled outside the state. However, this information is of little value if there is no specific period being addressed. Question 3 should flow from question one and should seek to know the number of times the respondent has traveled outside the state in the time specified in item 1. According to Burns, Veeck, and Bush (2016), questionnaires should have a logical flow from the most general to more specific details of the information being sought.

Question 4 asks whether the traveler makes travel arrangement through airlines or travel agencies. In contrast, a good question would be to ask the traveler the number of times he/she has used a travel agency to arrange out of state visits (Malhotra, Birks and Wills, 2013). By asking such a question, the researcher will be able to know the number of times the respondent has used the services of travel agents.

Question 6 contains responses such as good and bad which are not necessary for the question. Instead a better formulation for question 6 should ask the respondent to tick the qualities they look for when selecting a travel agency (Malhotra, Birks and Wills, 2013). By doing this the researcher will be able to identify the combination of factors that lead a traveler to choose a particular travel agency. Question 7 also asks the respondents to comment about their satisfaction with the travel agency they have been doing business with. This question should begin by first requesting the respondent which travel company they use. In the second part a simple questions of whether they are satisfied should suffice. Unfortunately, Roxannes questions violate the principle of simplicity while formulating questions (Burns, Veeck and Bush, 2016).

Question 8 should be an open-ended question where respondents give their comments on why they are dissatisfied with the services offered by their present travel agency. Item 9 is unnecessary and is duplicated in issue 9, 12 and 13 which asks the respondents to list the travel agencies he/she knows in town. Item 11 also has inadequate responses as the researcher assumes people frequently travel each month. Instead, the researcher should identify a specific period and ask the respondents to say the number of times they have flown in the mentioned period. Question 15 should also ask whether they have seen the advertisement for Canterbury Travels. Issue 16 should follow question 15 and ask where the respondent has seen the ad for Canterbury travels.

Item 18 to 25 seek to collect biodata and other confidential information from the persons being interviewed and should be at the beginning of the questionnaire (Burns, Veeck, and Bush, 2016). The questions on marital status and sex should not be directed at the respondents. Instead, the researcher should fill these details from observation. Issue 23 also contains too many choices for the question and should be limited to just three levels of education. The questions regarding the household income of respondents have the wrong options for the amount of income earned by each household in each year. In contrast, the average salary in the Hometown area is $100,000. The response categories in question 24 should reflect the average household income in Hometown area.

Item 21 is concerned about the number of years respondent have lived in Hometown area. However, information about the number of years a person has lived in Hometown has little relationship with their likelihood to seek the services of a travel agency. Question 11 asks respondents whether they have visited the offices of the new travel agency in town. The question fails to specify that the researcher is seeking to know whether the respondent has visited the offices of Canterbury Travel Agency.

Using this questionnaire, will Roxanne gain the information that she needs from this survey?

Roxanne will not be able to get the information she is seeking about the travel agency market in hometown. The lack of a period in the questionnaire will mean that the information obtained is not time bound and hard to analyze. The duplication of questions in the questionnaire may also be confusing to the respondents and may lead to inconsistencies in the information collected through the questionnaire. Roxannes questionnaire even fails to ask the respondents whether they are interested in the travel arrangement services provided by the travel agency.

Redesign the questionnaire of Roxanne in proper way (using the recommendation from course 10) and added all the necessary questions to satisfy Roxanne Freemans information needs.

Respondents Sex


Respondents Marital Status



What is your current Profession?

LaborerBusiness and Professional

StudentSkilled Worker

Salaried and semiprofessional

What is your highest level of educational qualification:

CollegeHigh School

Trade or Vocational School

What is your yearly household income


$100,000-$150,000$150,000 and above

How many times have you traveled out of state in the last two year?

If 1 or more, what was the purpose of your travel?



How many times have you used a travel agent to make your travel arrangements?

Are you aware of the services offered by travel agencies, and what they charge?

What are the qualities that you would expect in your choice travel agency tick where appropriate?

Free Services

(Reservations, advice, and delivery of tickets and literature)

Convenient Locations

Knowledge personnel

Friendly personnel

Casual atmosphere

Revolving Charge Account


Personal Sales Calls

7. Which travel agency do you use currently, are you satisfied with their services?

8. If not satisfied, why are you dissatisfied with their services? Kindly explain?

9. Kindly list the travel agencies that you know in Hometown?

11. Have you ever encountered the advertisement for Canterbury Travels?

12. If yes, where did you see the advertisement for Canterbury Travels?

10. Have you used the same travel agency repeatedly over the last two years, if yes, how many times?

12. How do you pay for your travel expenses?

13. Would you be interested in an all-inclusive travel arrangements that complete all travel arrangements for you?

4. Advice Roxanne about the best type of survey and sampling methods in her case. Justify your answer.

Cross-Sectional Surveys

Cross-sectional Surveys as the most suitable survey method for the research that Roxanne hopes to undertake. Cross-sectional surveys work well with questionnaires to provide current information about research question at a given point in time (Levy and Lemeshow, 2013). In this case, the research will seek to know the frequency of out of state travels for respondents in the last two years. The cross-sectional survey can be used to show the relationship between any two variables. For example, Roxanne can identify the relationship between income levels and frequency of travel. Another advantage of the cross-sectional survey method is that it can help disapprove or approve assumptions. The approach also records a snapshot of specific information at a given point in time.

Stratified Sampling

Roxanne can use the random stratified sampling method which ensures that sampling error is reduced in the research. In this process, the population is divided into subsets called stratum that share some common characteristics (Cochran, 2007). For example, Roxanne can divide the population by age categories. After identifying the stratums, Roxanne can use random sampling to select subjects for the survey from each of the stratum. Utilizing the stratum method will allow groups that would have otherwise had little possibility of being randomly chosen to be included in the research (Malhotra, Birks and Wills, 2013). Stratified sampling increases the likelihood of any unit in the strata being selected for the analysis.



Burns, A. C., Veeck, A., & Bush, R. F. (2016). Marketing research. Boston: Pearson.

Malhotra, N. K., Birks, D. F., & Wills, P. (2013). Essentials of marketing research. Pearson

Cochran, W. G. (2007). Sampling techniques. John Wiley & Sons.

Levy, P. S., & Lemeshow, S. (2013). Sampling of populations: methods and applications. John Wiley & Sons.


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