General information on the Unit
Contact hours: 88 (64 lectures, 24 practicals)
Personal work hours: 137
Venue: Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Zaragoza
- Developed in the first academic year of the Master, at the end of the first semester.
- The assessment of this Unit consists of a continuous evaluation of some of the practical exercises and two written exams, the second one taking place at the end of the first semester.
Requisites and permanence
There are no previous requisites.
Combination of theoretical and practical sessions consisting of lectures, group work, computer work and solving of exercises and problems.
Lecturers may deliver the topics in Spanish or in English. In the second case, simultaneous interpretation into Spanish is provided. The documents supplied by the lecturers may also be written in Spanish or English.
Presentation of the Unit and context within the syllabus
The Unit includes two main topics: Consumer behaviour and market research, and Survey analysis and multivariate techniques in market research.
Concerning the first topic, an introduction to marketing applied to agro-food products is given. The starting point is the definition of marketing and concepts related with marketing objectives, strategies and the marketing mix. Different scenarios are presented both for sectors and for firms. Consumer behaviour is analysed from the traditional standpoint to the most modern theories. Neoclassical theory is the starting point, addressing both economic and non-economic factors. Different updated models are presented, incorporating dimensions related with convenience, nutrition and health, as well as food safety. The basic principles of research techniques are then studied: qualitative (observation, focus group interviews, etc.) and quantitative through surveys and panels. Market experimentation is also provided. All the procedure is presented from information analysis and interpretation to reports preparation.
Concerning the second topic, techniques are covered, starting with the simplest sampling techniques and going on to explore the more sophisticated methods. Elaboration of questionnaires covers a large part of this topic, as well as their relation with the types of analysis. Sampling for experimental economics and for the analysis of artificial markets is also analysed. Students carry out practical work on determining sample size and discussing different survey examples. The theory and the application of multivariate techniques according to data properties and research objectives are also analyzed. The techniques studied are: factor analysis, cluster analysis, non-metric multidimensional scaling, discriminant analysis and conjoint analysis, each with their respective applications and interpretation of results. Students carry out computers practicals to analyse data properties and apply different multivariate techniques.
- SC4 Using current information and communication systems to improve marketing strategies.
- SC6 Integrating food safety, labelling and product quality in marketing plans, considering the regulations established by agro-food policies at international and national levels.
- SC7 Mastering the concepts, components and phases of marketing and its specific application to agro-food products.
- SC8 Analysing consumer behaviour and carrying out market research studies selecting the most appropriate methodologies according to the specific objectives of research.
- GC1 Integrating scientific and technical knowledge and applying them discerningly.
- GC2 Performing scientific and/or technical information searches and processing them selectively.
- GC3 Analyzing results or strategies and elaborating conclusions which contribute to clarify the problems and to find possible solutions.
- GC4 Making decisions and generating new ideas and knowledge in complex systems.
- GC5 Learning and working autonomously, responding to unforeseen situations and re-aiming a strategy if necessary.
- GC6 Team-working and promoting exchange and collaboration attitudes with other students, researchers and professionals.
- GC7 Communicating reasoning and conclusions both to a general audience and to a specialized public.
- GC8 Writing presentations and synthesis, preparing and presenting oral communications, and defending them in public.
The student, at the end of the learning of this Unit:
- Masters the concepts, components and phases of marketing and its specific application to agro-food products.
- Analyses consumer behaviour using different existing models, as an essential element to establish marketing strategies.
- Is able to carry out a market research study, mastering the concepts and methodologies relevant to its planning, the securing of information and the analysis and interpretation of results, and has criteria in the selection of different research methodologies according to the specific objectives of research.
- Knows how to design and execute sampling plans, and to is able to conceive, develop and analyse surveys that match the market information needed in each case.
- Takes initial steps in the methodology of experimental economics applied to market analysis and in those relevant to artificial market analysis.
- Applies the different multivariate techniques (factorial and cluster analyses, non-metric multidimensional scales, and discriminant and conjoint analyses).
- Consumer behaviour and market research
- The marketing concept
- Evolution of agro-food marketing
- New trends in agro-food marketing
- Consumer behaviour
- Consumer behaviour patterns in food demand
- Consumer lifestyles
- Concept and methodology of market research
- Techniques for obtaining information
- Information analysis and interpretation techniques
- Survey analysis and multivariate techniques in market research
- Design and execution of sampling plans
- Elaboration of questionnaires
- Survey analysis
- Classification of multivariate analysis techniques
- Factorial, cluster, discriminate and conjoint analysis
- Non-metric multidimensional scaling
- Choice experiment
Learning activity 1: Lectures combined with illustrative examples
Percentage of contact: 37%
Learning activity 2: Work in groups
(A) The concept of agro-food marketing
Students work in groups of 4-5 persons with case studies of two different companies. The work has two steps. In the first step, each group has to search information about its assigned company on its internet site, analyse the company mission/vision, and make a SWOT analysis. In the second step each group has to discuss possible ways for market segmentation in its assigned company. In both cases the results of all groups are discussed in a joint session with the lecturer.
(B) The concept of agro-food marketing
Students work in groups discussing different cases exemplifying how to communicate specific consumer needs using products and packaging. The results of all groups are discussed in a joint session with the lecturer.
(C) Consumer behaviour
Students in groups will be assigned an article to read, summarize, critique, and formally discuss in front of class. Each group will be required to submit a 3-page report on the article assigned to them, and this should include a summary and their critique of the article. Their critique should include their thoughts about the merits and limitations of the article and what they think should be future areas of investigation on consumer behaviour related to the topic of the article. They will then need to briefly present and share their report with the whole class during the last hour of the course.
(D) Survey analysis: design and execution of sampling plans
The objective is to gain skills in the design and preparation of surveys for different products and different marketing objectives. Each group prepares a brief report with the results and presents it at the end of the practical. Students receive advice from the lecturer during the process.
Hours: 9.5 (A: 3, B: 0.5, C: 4, D: 2)
Percentage of contact: 47% (A: 33%, B: 100%, C: 25%, D: 100%)
Learning activity 3: Solving of exercises and problems
(A) The concept of agro-food marketing
Students work individually with statistical data to analyse changes in market size and potential. Students receive the lecturer’s support to clarify their doubts.
(B) Survey analysis: design and execution of sampling plans
Students work individually solving sampling problems based on different population data, marketing objectives and products, to determine sample size, stratification and sampling error under different assumptions. Students receive advice from the lecturer during the practical and present their results at the end of it. The lecturer comments the results with all students.
(C) Choice experiments
Students work individually on exercises to apply choice-experiment concepts, design and analysis. These exercises are similar to those to be included in the written exam, so that students can practise to respond them.
Hours: 11.5 (A: 0.5, B: 2, C: 9)
Percentage of contact: 48% (A: 100%, B: 100%, C: 15%)
Learning activity 4: Practical work with computers
(A) Market research
The objective is to gain skills in the design and analysis of surveys for market research and the application of univariate and bivariate analysis of their results. Additionally, the students enlarge their experience in the use of statistical software.
Students work in pairs with data contributed by the lecturer coming from different marketing surveys. The work is structured in three stages. First, students carry out an analysis and discussion on the pertinence of the structure and content of the surveys. Secondly, they code the different parts of the surveys in order to be able to carry out the statistical analysis. In the third stage, students introduce the surveys’ results in the computer, make a univariate and bivariate analysis using pertinent statistical software, interpret the results of such analysis, and explain the marketing implications. Students receive advice on the processes needed and they have to summarize all the work performed in a brief written report. The report is to be presented by each pair one week after the end of the practical work.
(B) Multivariate techniques in market research
The objective is to gain skills in the application of diverse techniques of multivariate analysis in marketing research. Additionally, the students enlarge their experience in the use of statistical software. Students carry out 5 exercises on: factor analysis, cluster analysis, multidimensional scaling, discriminant analysis and conjoint analysis.
Students work in groups with data contributed by the lecturer coming from different marketing surveys. Students receive advice on the processes needed and after completing the exercises they have the right results available to compare with their own results. Then, each group has to prepare a worksheet on the evaluation, interpretation and marketing implications of the results.
Hours: 32 (A: 14, B: 18)
Percentage of contact: 44% (A: 29%, B: 56%)
Assessment system 1: Written exams, composed of questions provided by the different lecturers of the Unit, covering the lectures and exercises similar to those carried out during the practicals. The exams are made up of concrete questions requiring a short answer, being possible also multiple-choice tests. Short-answer questions are marked according to the technical and conceptual precision of the answer, and to the reasoning approach.
Weighting: 63.1% of the final score of the Unit (Concept marketing: 10.0%, Consumer behaviour: 8.5%, Survey analysis: 18.2%, Market research: 4.0%, Multivariate tech.: 14.4%, Choice experiments: 8.0%)
Assessment system 2: Global assessment of the work in groups C and D by the lecturers based on the reports presented by each group. Understanding of the methodology and the validity of the results will be assessed.
The score is the same for all members of the group.
Weighting: 5.4% of the final score of the Unit (C: 1.5%, D: 3.9%)
Assessment system 3: Individual assessment of the exercise B by the lecturer based on the results presented by each student. Understanding of the methodology and the validity of the results will be assessed.
Weighting: 3.9% of the final score of the Unit
Assessment system 4: Global assessment of the practical work with computers by the lecturers:
(A) The assessment is based on the report providing the results of the practical work and their interpretation and marketing implications. Understanding of the methodology, the validity of the results, the accuracy of their interpretation and the pertinence of the comments concerning the marketing implications will be assessed.
The score is the same for the pair.
(B) The assessment is based on the worksheets. Assessment will concern the accuracy of the evaluation, interpretation and marketing implications of the results.
The score is the same for all members of the group.
Weighting: 27.6% of the final score of the Unit (A: 6.0%, B: 21.6%)
Vicenzina CAPUTO, Michigan State Univ., East Lansing (United States)
Ildefonso GRANDE, Univ. Pública Navarra, Pamplona (Spain)
Lisa HOUSE, Univ. Florida, Gainesville (United States)
Rodolfo M. NAYGA, Univ. Arkansas, Fayetteville (United States)
Mitchell NESS, Newcastle Univ. (United Kingdom)
Jutta ROOSEN, Technische Universität München (Germany)