External Information System Of Secondary Information For Marketing Research

When internal records are not sufficient in a research investigation or the required information is not readily available, then external sources are explored to collect the necessary data. This implies the collection of material from sources which are external to the concern for which the research is being done.

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The various types of external data are so

numerous that in order to effectively use them, a researcher must be a skilled user of indexes, abstracts and directories otherwise much time will be wasted in information search. The external data search procedures depend upon the general nature of the data sought. In many cases the researcher will not be aware of specific information source, so some type of organized search procedure must be initiated.

While gathering information from external sources, it is important to systematically use indices, abstract directories and other available guides. An abstract gives the summary of the contents of a publication whereas indexes present only minimum information about the publication viz., author, publisher, date of publication etc.

The starting point of secondary data collection is to properly identify the topic about which one is seeking information. The broader the advantage point taken by the researcher, the better the chances of covering all possible data sources. Once the possible subject headings have been established, attention can be turned to aids that will direct the researcher towards the desired information. The aids can be books, periodicals, newspapers and business news, government information channels and miscellaneous aids.

The investigator is never going to uncover all pertinent secondary data, but if the various sources are effectively used, search time will be minimized and the utility of findings is maximized. The external sources can be:

  • Original research

  • Published material

(a) Original research: Marketing research can take the form of an original research either by the manufacturer or the distributor. This involves the collection of information by means of interview or observing some individuals of a population. The two main areas of investigations requiring original research are:

  • Trade investigations among wholesalers, dealers or retailers.

  • Final consumers of the product.

The records of original research conducted from time to time can be valuable source of the secondary information for an investigation.

(b) Published material: Valuable, relevant, accurate and reliable information is generally available from the publications of the various organizations. These can be:

  • Survey reports.

  • International organizations, like ILO, IMF, World Bank etc.

  • Reports of some specific projects.

  • Reports of financial institutions and various business enterprises.

  • Government and other statistical agencies.

  • Central Statistical Organization, trade associations Ministry of Labor etc.

  • Census and registration data.

Know more about the external information system of secondary information for marketing research only at the University Canada West.

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