What did we cover?

This lesson was focused on marketing information/ data and research, why we need insight as marketers, and how we can use it to make better judgements and more effective campaigns.

Another aspect of reviewing marketing information is the form it comes in and how we collect it, read on to learn about what we did in week 4!


Marketing information – What’s the need?


The first thing to understand is that data + information = INSIGHT


To know what your customers are thinking is one reason why we need marketing information. Once you know this you can begin to imagine the steps they take before they make a purchase. From looking at the customer journey we can identify barriers and eliminate these, for a smoother transaction.

As a marker, we need stats. Why? Because a hunch just isn’t enough these days! Marketing research provides you will all the information you need to be able to back up campaign ideas; if there’s a trend then we need to be able to justify and back up with stats provided by data. Trends are what allow us stay ahead of competition, if we can identify these before they do then we have a competitive edge.

Measuring how well we did can only be done if we can compare how well we did on our previous campaign, and how do we do that…? With stats of course! I must sound like a crazy stat lady, but you get what I am saying here – we do need them.

Brand perception is gauged by marketing information, we use it to understand what the overall perception of the company is from an outsider’s view. I’ll move onto what we collect, and where we get later in the blog, but without marketing information we’d struggle to understand where we are as a company, and with that, we wouldn’t know how to improve.


“to manage the future is to manage informationHarper, 1961


How do we get insight?

There are two main types of information and research that we can use to get insight from, these are:

  • Marketing research – this would be used upon starting a campaign, it involves analysis and collection of information to assist in decision making for marketing projects.
  • Market research – this is used for when you are looking at a given market place. It will analyse the bigger picture and look into the demographics of the end user of the company’s product.


Forms of data

Companies will often carry out the task of collecting data before many events. This can include a launch of a new campaign or product, or a move into a new market. The forms of data vary, but you will usually need to explore all forms of data below to get a well-rounded perspective:

  • Descriptivewhat products are being bought and where
  • Comparativebenchmarking
  • Diagnostic why the customer is doing something
  • Predictive how will the customer/ market react?


Sources of information

The data you collect will either be secondary or primary.


Secondary data

This data should be collected first, confusing – I know. It’s the kind of data you can collect from sitting at your work computer with access to internet and previous marketing campaign data/ results, any existing data that has been collected for another purpose. It’s great because it’s free and ready to hand, but the important thing to bear in mind is that it has been collected for another purpose, it wasn’t created to answer the questions you’re asking. Secondary research can either be internally or externally sourced.

Internal sources

External sources

– Sales figures

– Directories

– Number of employees

– Government statistics

– Operational data e.g. stock levels

– Published marketing reports

– Customer feedback and complaints

– News and media sources

– Advertising spend

– Trade and industry stories

– Previous campaign data

– Competitor data (what’s available)

– Previous marketing reports

– Online information sources (desktop research)

– Personnel

– User generated media (social media feeds and forums)

– External database


Primary data

To follow on from your secondary data research, comes primary data. Primary data is created specifically to achieve one objective and is sourced usually after you’ve exhausted all your secondary resources. This type of data has been created for the purpose of answering your question, making it highly relevant but also expensive as it could involve some of the following techniques.

– Surveys

– Interviews

– Focus/ Discussion groups

– Panels

– The Delphi technique

– Observational and participating

– Experimental