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External Marketing Research

Nobody in the business world will tell you that marketing research is a waste of time. On the contrary, it is one of the most valuable sources of information that a company can come by. The best thing about external marketing research is that the information gathered is representative of the way the rest of the world sees a company. That perspective is not always easy to come by from within, so the data collected from this process is critical to understanding if everything is running smoothly.

How is External Marketing Research Different?

External marketing research is different from internal marketing research in that all the information collected comes from outside the company. There are several sources for this data and these can be divided into two main categories. There are primary sources and secondary sources, and each comes with its own benefit. Areas of focus for external marketing include all the outward-facing aspects of a company, such as a website, a blog, advertisements, and so on, while internal marketing research might also involve these areas, but it does so with a focus on the company itself and the employees rather than the customers and company image.

Primary Sources

Gathering primary sources for external marketing is carried out by the researcher first hand. Primary sources include taking consumer surveys, conducting interviews, collecting secret shopper logs, and so on. This information is then considered within the context of how to improve aspects of the company.

Secondary Sources

Secondary sources are much easier to come by than primary ones, because they are already in existence. The researcher’s job here is to know where to look and then collect all of the information that is pertinent to the company and its research request. Examples of secondary sources are official statistics, information about competitors, market research agencies, government records, and so on. Depending on the purpose and scope of the research, the person or group collecting the secondary sources is able to collect whatever attainable information they need in order to achieve their goals.

Concluding Thoughts

As you can see, there are options for even the busiest organizations to take advantage of when they want to collect the information necessary to make intelligent business decisions. A business nowadays can obtain vast amounts of useful market data without having to compile original data on their own. However, there is definitely a place for original data, which is why both primary and secondary sources are still being accessed for research information by most major companies.


Nepa is taking the concept of actionable insight to the next level – to more levels and more people in an organization and more clearly explained. We believe in distributing the right data, in the right format, to the right stakeholder, at the right time, enabling decentralized and customer-centric decision-making. We have an end user-perspective where we find and solve customers business issues that our competitors don´t. We enable our clients to invest their efforts where innovation, development and sales is created.


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