Search Researches, Secondary Data, Internal Sources...

CHAPTER 4. Search Engines

4.1. Secondary data

Now let's look at exploratory research designs. We said that such studies help to set the task and develop an approach to its solution. Doing the same final conclusions only on their basis is quite dangerous.

Search engines include analysis of secondary data and qualitative research . Let's start by analyzing the secondary data.

Secondary data are called, collected regularly or collected once, but not for solving this particular marketing problem, but for some other reason. Secondary data is divided into internal (registered inside the company) and external.

Internal sources of information

Many companies carefully accumulate and regularly analyze their internal marketing information: detailed information about their sales, data collected through their own standardized questioning of their customers, etc. For the accumulation and analysis of such information there is a special software. There is it in our country. So, one of the well-known programs for warehouse accounting of goods (the program "Folio Win-warehouse") allows you to conduct various types of analysis. For example, by registering the source from which the buyer learns about the product, you can study the effectiveness of different types of product promotion. Here is a sample table, which, with the help of its program, makes up for its own needs the company Folio (Table 4.1).

Table 4.1. Distribution of sales of software products of the firm "Folio". by sources of information about them

Number of sales

Folio sources


Magazine Glavbukh


Re-purchase previous user


Recognized from the user


The magazine Products


From the firm Turbo Accountant




Salon Financier


Journal Money


Financial Newspaper


The Guarantor system


From a dealer


At the Mitin market

Many firms have standard forms of presentation to managers and data management on different parameters, for example:

o by product group;

o at the address of the purchase (for legal entities or individuals, for men, for women, for children or for the whole family);

o for individual stores;

o by region;

o by way of payment (cash, credit cards);

o in time.

This analysis allows you to notice the emerging trends in time.

Fig. 4.1. Dynamics of sales by days of the week

Here, for example, how do the tables containing such an analysis look like using the "Folio Win-Warehouse" program. Studying Fig. 4.1, the manager may notice that his goods are most intensively sold on Wednesdays and Sundays.

The report on the dynamics of sales allows you to find timely commodity items, the demand for which begins to fall. A fragment of this report, shown in Table. 4.2, allows you to notice that the fashion for golden cosmetics begins to pass.

Table 4.2. Dynamics of sales of individual commodity items by month

Product Name

Item number


Amount, RUB

Bio-gold gel for eyelids 30 g










Bio-gold tonic for face 90 g

6,000 WRIGHT









If the firm has a developed system of marketing information you can conduct important experiments on your own .

Consider some examples.

Example 4.1

Exploring an ad campaign

Suppose a retail company is concerned about falling sales and wants to conduct an advertising campaign. Before this you need to figure out which of the two advertising arguments is more convincing. The firm prepares three thousand types of letters per thousand letters and sends them to representatives of three similar groups of potential buyers.

All letters include coupons with the same, for example, 10% discounts. The letter of the first type contains nothing but an offer to buy a company's goods at a certain time and place. In the second type of letter, emphasis is placed on price factors (installment plans or other convenient forms of payment ). The letter of the third type emphasizes the unique properties of the goods. If we take the reaction of people for whom the letter of the first type (neutral) was sent for comparison, then we can determine which advertising argument is more effective, and then decide on a strategy for a large-scale advertising campaign. Later, these data can be used as secondary data.

Example 4.2

Researching an online store

Different visitors to the site showed different prices for the same product to study the elasticity of demand. Combining trade with research is a serious violation of generally accepted trade rules. To avoid scandal, the management of the store promised not to conduct any such price experiments anymore.

Similar, but quite correct, studies are conducted in our country. For example, in September 2001, the company "Purchases at Home published coupons in a number of United States newspapers (in particular, in "Antenna"). Everyone who sent a coupon by mail could win a chain with a gold coating. The coupon is provided with a code on the basis of which the company can find out which publication in which newspaper reached the goal in the best way.

Example 4.3

Time of arrival and departure of clients from the fitness club

In the club Swim and Gym ( on the basis of this information were identified, so to speak, the risk zone. Since most visitors buy club cards for a certain period of time (year, half a year or three months), the less frequent the club the client, the more expensive each visit costs him. A comparison of the attendance of the club with information on whether the client bought a new club card after the end of the previous one, led by one of the authors, revealed the threshold for the intensity of the visit, below which the probability of losing a client sharply increases. Tracking customers in the "risk zone" allows the club to take timely measures to keep them.

Another important example of internal marketing information is the data supplied by the United States company WATCOM. Today this company has equipped a significant part of the domestic shopping centers with equipment for counting the number of visitors. (The dynamics of this indicator for shopping centers is especially important due to the lack of centralized accounting of sales figures from independent tenants.) By collecting information from different shopping centers, the company calculates the WATCOM Index ( Shoping Index ™ ), which shows the average attendance dynamics in calculation per square meter of sales area (Figure 4.2). This gives customers the opportunity to compare the dynamics of activity of visitors to their shopping center with the average dynamics of competitors. Indeed, it is one thing if there is a drop in the number of buyers not only here, but also for the market as a whole, and the other, if only for us, while the market is stable or growing.

However, the WATCOM Index, formed by aggregating internal marketing information, can serve as an example of an external one, i.e. coming from outside, marketing information. We will now turn to the sources of such information.

Fig. 4.2. Index of consumer activity WATCOM in Moscow (source -

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