“Bottom-up” information (i.e. blogs and video reviews) is low cost and can
provide valuable information to organizations about customer needs/wants.
Managers complain or needing better information rather than needing more
o Also need to make better use of the information that they already
Customer insights: fresh understandings of customers and the marketplace
derived from marketing information that become the basis for creating
customer value an relationships.
Customer insight groups collect customer and market information from a
wide variety of sources and then use this information to develop important
customer insights from which the company can create more value for its
Marketing information system (MIS): people and procedures for assessing
information needs, developing the needed information, and helping decision
makers to use the information to generate and validate actionable customer
and market insights.
o Steps it goes through:
Interacts with information users to assess information needs.
Interacts with the marketing environment to develop needed
information through internal company databases, marketing
intelligence activities, and marketing research.
Helps users to analyze and use information to develop
customer insights, make marketing decisions, and manage
o A good MIS will balance the information users would like to have
against what they really need and what is feasible to offer.
A manager may not know about information available that
would be useful and the MIS should monitor the marketing
An MIS will have its limitations and may not be able to find out
ALL information wanted/needed.
Companies need to determine is the benefit of added information is worth
the cost of having it (i.e. storage, analyzing, obtaining).
Needed information can be obtained from:
o Internal data
Internal databases: electronic collections of consumer and
market information obtained from data sources within the
All departments of a company contribute to this
database. o I.e. customer service keeps records of customer
satisfaction or service problems; accounting
department prepares financial statements etc.
If this information is harnessed, it can provide powerful
customer insights and competitive advantage.
Highly sophisticated systems are required in order to store the
vast amounts of data that a company can produce.
Data can age quickly, needs to be kept up-to-date.
o Marketing intelligence
Competitive marketing intelligence: the systematic collection
and analysis of publicly available information about
consumers, competitors, and developments.
Helps to improve decision making by understanding:
The consumer environment
Assessing and tracking competitors’ actions
Providing early earnings of opportunities and threats
How consumers talk about and connect with their
System for Electronic Document Analysis (SEDAR): a database
of the documents and information filed by public companies
and investment funds with the Canadian Securities
Competitor information can be obtained through:
Competitor financial statements
A company should not “stoop to snoop” (don’t break the law
for information or accepted codes of ethics to get information).
o Marketing research
Marketing research: the systematic design, collection, analysis,
and reporting of data relevant to a specific marketing situation
facing an organization.
Gives insight into:
The effectiveness of pricing, product, distribution, and
Defining the problem and research objectives
o Manager knows the problem best; marketer
knows how to obtain the information. o Exploratory research: marketing research to
gather preliminary information that will help
define problems and suggest hypotheses.
o Descriptive research: marketing research to
better describe marketing problems, situations,
or markets, such as the market potential for a
product or the demographics and attitudes of
o Casual research: marketing research to test
hypotheses about cause-and-effect relationships.
Developing the research plan
o Outlines sources of existing data and spells out
the specific research approaches, contact
methods, sampling plans, and instruments that
researchers use to gather data.
o A research plan should be presented in a written
proposal which should cover:
Management problems addressed
Information to be obtained
How results will help management
Estimated research costs
o Secondary data: information that already exists
somewhere, having been collected for another
o Primary data: information collected for the
specific purpose at hand.
Implementing the research plan
Interpreting and reporting the findings
Secondary data can be collected from within a company (internal database)
or from other company’s (i.e. information sold by marketing companies).
o Commercial online databases: collections of information available
from online commercial sources or accessible via the Internet.
Internet search engines make finding sites easier.
o Secondary data is usually cheaper to obtain than primary data.
o Secondary sources may even provide data an individual company
cannot collect on its own.
o The researcher must make certain that the secondary information is
relevant, accurate, current, and impartial (objectively
Designing a plan for primary data collection calls for a number of decisions
o Research approaches Observational research: gathering primary data by observing
relevant people, actions, and situations.
Not only actions but also what people are saying (i.e.
social networking conversations).
Can help collect information that people are unwilling
or unable to provide.
Things that can’t be observed:
o Private behaviour
o Long-term or infrequent behaviour
Observations can be very difficult to interpret.
Ethnographic research: a form of observational
research that involves sending trained observes (i.e.
psychologist/anthropologists) to watch and interact
with consumers in their “natural environments”.
Netnography research: observing consumers in a
natural context on the Internet.
o Can provide insights into both online and offline
buying motives and behaviour.
Survey research: gathering primary data by asking people
questions about their knowledge, attitudes, preferences, and
Best suited for gathering descriptive information.
Problems with surveys:
o Inability of people to answer questions due to
lack of knowledge or never having thought about
o Unwillingness of people to respond
o People not responding truthfully (i.e. trying to
o Busy people resenting the intrusion into their
Experimental research: gathering primary data by selecting
matched groups of subjects, giving them different treatments,
controlling related factors, and checking for differences in
Best suited for gathering casual information.
Tries to explain cause-and-effect relationships.
o I.e. McDonald’s introduction of new item and
testing different prices.
o Contact methods
Mail Telephone Personal Online
Flexibility Poor Good Excellent Good Quantity of data that can Good Fair Excellent Good
Control of interviewer Excellent Fair Poor Fair
Control of sample Fair Excellent Good Excellent
Speed of data collection Poor Excellent Good Excellent
Response rate Poor Poor Good Good
Cost Good Fair Poor Excellent
Personal interviewing takes two forms:
o Talking with people in their homes or offices, on
the street, or in shopping malls.
o Products can be shown and questions tailored to
each individual situation.
o Focus group interviewing: personal interviewing
that involves inviting 6 to 10 people to gather for