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The requirements of marketing research using the internet

Marketing research is gathering, analysing, and interpreting information about a market, a product or service to be offered for sale in that market, and about the past, present, and potential customers for the product or service. It is a vital component of a company’s marketing strategy.

In today’s digital age, the internet has become an essential tool for marketing research. It allows companies to reach a wide audience quickly and cost-effectively and to gather a vast amount of data that can be analysed to inform marketing decisions.

Search engines are an important tool for conducting marketing research on the internet. They allow you to quickly find information on a wide range of topics, but it’s important to use them effectively to get the most relevant and accurate results. Here are a few tips for using search engines effectively:

  1. Use multiple-word searches: When searching for a specific phrase or concept, enclose the words in quotation marks. This will tell the search engine to look for the exact phrase rather than individual words.
  2. Use the minus sign: If you want to exclude a specific word or phrase from your search results, use the minus sign (-) followed by the word or phrase you want to exclude. For example, if you want to search for “marketing research” but exclude the term “internet,” you would enter “marketing research -internet” into the search bar.
  3. Restrict searches to a particular website or domain: To limit your search results to a specific website or domain, use the “site:” operator followed by the website or domain you want to search. For example, to search for “marketing research” only on the website www.example.com, you would enter “marketing research site:www.example.com” into the search bar.

Using these techniques, you can narrow your search results and find more relevant and accurate information for your marketing research. It’s also a good idea to try different search terms and combinations of words to see which produces the most valuable results.

Advantages and disadvantages of different internet data collection sources

Public bodies

There are advantages and disadvantages to using internet data collection sources from public bodies, such as government departments and the Office of National Statistics (ONS), for marketing research.

Some of the advantages of using these sources include the following:

  1. Reputation for accuracy: Public bodies, such as government departments and the ONS, are generally considered reliable and trustworthy information sources. This means that the data they provide will likely be accurate and up-to-date.
  2. Wide range of data available: Public bodies often collect and publish a wide range of data on various topics, making it easier to find the information you need.
  3. Free or low-cost access: Many public bodies offer free access to their data or charge a minimal fee. This can be a cost-effective option for marketing research.

However, there are also some disadvantages to consider:

  1. Limited control over data collection: As a researcher, you may not have as much control over the data collection process when using public bodies as a source. This can make it harder to tailor the data to your research needs.
  2. Potential for bias: Public bodies may have agendas or biases that could affect the data they collect and publish. It’s essential to be aware of this and to consider the potential for bias when interpreting the data.
  3. Time lag: Public bodies may take some time to collect and publish data, meaning that the information may not be as up-to-date as you would like.

Using internet data collection sources from public bodies can be a valuable tool for marketing research. Still, it’s important to be aware of the potential limitations and carefully consider the data’s relevance and reliability.

Private organisations

There are several advantages and disadvantages to using internet data collection sources from private and non-governmental organisations for marketing research.


  1. Relevant and specific information: Private and non-governmental organisations often specialise in a specific industry or topic and may have access to more detailed and specific information than government sources.
  2. Timely and up-to-date data: These organisations may provide more current and timely data than government sources, as they may have access to real-time data or be able to conduct their research more quickly.
  3. Access to specialised expertise: Private and non-governmental organisations may have experts who can provide valuable insights and analysis.


  1. Potential bias: These organisations may have agendas or biases that could influence the data they collect or how they interpret it.
  2. Limited access: Some private and non-governmental organisations may not make their data freely available to the public or may charge a fee for access.
  3. Lack of objectivity: These organisations may be more likely to present data in a way that is favourable to their interests rather than presenting a completely objective view.

It’s important to consider the advantages and disadvantages of using internet data collection sources from private and non-governmental organisations and carefully evaluate your data’s credibility and reliability. It may be helpful to triangulate your data by using multiple sources and methods to ensure the most accurate and comprehensive results.

Online sources

There are several advantages and disadvantages when using different internet sources for marketing research.

Advantages of online sources:

  1. Ease of access: Online sources are typically easy to access and can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection.
  2. Cost: Many online sources are free to access or may cost less than other sources, such as printed materials or in-person research.
  3. Accuracy: Some online sources, such as government websites or academic journals, maybe more reliable and accurate than others.
  4. Independence: Online sources may be more independent and unbiased than sources affiliated with a particular organisation or company.
  5. Currency: Many online sources are regularly updated, providing current and timely information.

Disadvantages of online sources:

  1. Limited scope: Some online sources may only cover a narrow range of topics or industries, limiting their usefulness for more comprehensive research.
  2. Quality: Not all online sources are of high quality or reliability. It’s important to evaluate the source’s credibility and the information it provides.
  3. Bias: Some online sources may be biased or have an agenda that could influence the information they present.
  4. Privacy: Online sources may collect and use personal data, which could be a privacy concern.

It’s important to carefully evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of different online sources and consider their suitability for your specific research needs.

The importance of confirming the accuracy of information retrieved from the internet

It is essential to confirm the accuracy of information retrieved from the internet because not all information online is reliable or accurate. The internet is a vast and decentralised network; anyone can publish information online. This means you can find misinformation, biased perspectives, or outdated information if you are not careful.

Confirming the accuracy of information retrieved from the internet is especially important when conducting marketing research, as it is essential to have accurate and reliable data to make informed decisions. Here are a few steps you can take to confirm the accuracy of information retrieved from the internet:

  1. Evaluate the credibility of the source: Consider the reputation and expertise of the source, as well as any potential biases or agendas it may have.
  2. Check for other sources: Look for information from multiple sources to see if the information is consistent and supported by other sources.
  3. Consider the date: Check when the information was published or last updated. If the information is outdated, it may no longer be relevant or accurate.
  4. Look for evidence: Check for evidence or sources cited to support the information. If the information is not supported by evidence, it may not be reliable.

By taking these steps, you can increase the chances of finding accurate and reliable information on the internet for your marketing research.

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