A Story About Marketing Research

As Told by Primary and Secondary Data

How does one make data-driven decisions without the data? Tricky. This is why marketing research is so important to move a business forward.

               Businesses utilize two types of data; primary data and secondary data. Primary data is new, exploratory data that does not currently exist. Secondary data is metrics that exist through databases or a variety of internal and external resources.

The Background – Primary & Secondary Data

               How can these two data types be used in marketing? Let’s find out. I work for one of the largest private aviation companies in the world. Our product lineup is 22-deep. This means, there is data on each product and how consumers operate the product. My company collects this data two ways.

First, we find what resources are already out there. Our company uses sources like JetNet and partners with the FAA. We compile this third-party data with internal customer databases and qualitative client surveys. This gives us all the secondary data we’ve been looking for.

Next, it is time to find the information gaps and create primary data. Depending on what the data is collected for, this could look different for every company. For us, if we are looking to gather more information on how our consumers operate each of our products, we will likely start with customer advisory boards (CABs) or small focus groups. The questions formulated will need to be able to answer the data gap we have.

Surveys are another great way to engage customers. During this pandemic time, it is harder to pull together groups of people (even globally). Therefore, surveys and polling options serve as a way to still connect with the individuals who fly our aircraft the most.

The Results – Data Storytelling

Once data is collected from surveys, polls, customer advisory boards and focus groups, we can start to narrow down what metrics fill our gaps in the product/consumer information we’re looking for. After the data is compiled and mined through by our analytics team, we need to be able to tell a story with this data.

Depending on what a company’s objective is in collecting the data in the first place, the story should always tie back to the main objective. For us in the aerospace industry, the objective was to find out more about product operations and how consumers interacted with our product. The results were piled high and from there, we were able to pull out insights and KPIs. Those then ladder back to the overall objective which in turn should tell a story.

And finally, a decision can be made on how to move forward with new product innovation based on operator feedback. More data-driven decisions can now fall into place thanks to marketing research.

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