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ales force reports represent a rich and largely untapped potential source ofmarketing information.

The word potential is used because evidence indicates thatsales personnel do generally not report valuable marketing information. Sales personnel often lack the motivation and/or the means to communicate keyinformation to marketing managers.To obtain the valuable data available from mostsales forces, several elements are necessary: (1) a clear, concise statement,repeated frequently, of the types of information desired; (2) a systematic, simpleprocess for reporting the information; (3) financial and other rewards for reportinginformation; and (4) concrete examples of the actual use of the data. Miscellaneous Reports Miscellaneous reports represent the third internal data source.Previous marketingresearch studies, special audits, and reports purchased from outside for priorproblems may have relevance for current problems.As a firm becomes morediversified, the more likely it is to conduct studies that may have relevance toproblems in other areas of the firm. For example, P&G sells a variety of distinctproducts to identical or similar target markets. An analysis of the media habitsconducted for one product could be very useful for a different product that appealsto the same target market. Again, this requires an efficient marketing informationsystem to ensure that those who need them can find the relevant reports. Internal Experts One of' the most overlooked sources of internal secondary data is internal experts. An internal expert is anyone employed by the firm who has special knowledge. The following statement by a senior research manager at a major consumer goodsfirm describes why his organization developed a research reports library and howthey ensure its use.On the average, each brand is assigned a new brand managerevery two years.These brand managers are young, aspiring, talented MBA-typesand they believe in the value of marketing research.They also know that their ownupward mobility is pegged to the mark they leave on the brand.So, the first thingthey require is marketing research: segmentation studies or attitude/usage surveys,typically followed by lots of qualitative studies in the copy concept or positioning/adstrategy areas.Hell, for most brands you don't need new segmentation orpositioning studies every two years!Go to the file and find the last one done, learnfrom it before you decide a new study is

required.The same is true for copyconcept issues.If the concept is worth a damn, it has been researched before. Reuse data, stretch it out to the max and reserve your budget for truly new,necessary primary studies.That's why we developed our "research library."Everything we have ever done is in there, including subsequent actions andresults.And, it is organized for easy access.Now it is company policy that any researchrequest has to include proof that the library has already been searched and foundlacking-before any newcan be conducted! related to the question at hand.While6

Chapter 6: Primary and Secondary Data Sources this knowledge is stored in individuals' minds rather than on paper or computer disk, it can be as valid and valuable as more formal sources. Had the marketing manager quickly asked the most obvious internal experts-members of the sales force-to explain the sales decline, work on a competitive newproduct could have begun almost a year earlier.In addition to the sales force,companies have discovered that marketing research personnel, technicalrepresentatives, advertising agency personnel, product managers, and publicrelations personnel often have expert knowledge of relevance to marketing problems. External Sources of Secondary Data Numerous sources external to the firm mav have data relevant to the firm'srequirements.Seven general categories of external secondary information aredescribed in the sections that follow: (1) computerized databases, (2) associations,(3) government agencies, (4) syndicated services, (5) directories, (6) otherpublished sources, and (7) external experts. Databases A computerized database is a collection of numeric data and/or information that ismade computer-readable form for electronic distribution. There are than 3,500databases available from over 550 on-line service enterprises. Those that areavailable that are useful in bibliographic search, site location, media planning,market planning, forecasting and for many other purposes of interest to marketingresearchers.

Associations Associations frequently publish or maintain detailed information on industry sales,operating characteristics, growth patterns, and the like. Furthermore, they mayconduct special studies of factors relevant to their industry. These materials may bepublished in the form of annual reports, as part of a regular trade journal, or asspecial reports.In some cases, they are available only on request from theassociation.Most libraries maintain reference works, such as the Encyclopedia ofAssociations that list the various associations and provide a statement of the scopeof their activities. Government Agencies Federal, state, and local government agencies produce a massive amount of datathat are of relevance to marketers. In this section, the nature of the data producedby the federal government is briefly described. However, the researcher should notoverlook state and local government data. There are also a number of specializedanalytic and research agencies, numerous administrative and regulatory agencies,and special committees and reports of the judicial and legislative branches of thegovernment.