Notes for CIM Certificate in Professional Marketing Unit 4

Unit 4: Identify Options for Gathering Relevant Marketing Information

Unit 4: Identify Options for Gathering Relevant Marketing Information

Identify types of internal and external information

Internal sources of information:

  • company
  • extended supply chain information
  • records
  • reports
  • accounts
  • annual company reports
  • past research on related topics


  • government and industry trade associations
  • journals
  • research reports
  • regulatory bodies
  • consultancies
  • business schools
  • non-government organisations (NGO)

Describe and distinguish between primary and secondary data

Secondary data already exists – has limitations but inexpensive
Primary data is for a specific problem – conducted by the organisation or company.

Describe qualitative and quantitative research techniques

Quantitative research is data-driven, think facts and figures.
Qualitative is more subjective – think emotions, opinions and feelings.

4.3 Identify relevant sources of secondary information on markets, consumers/customers and competitors. 

Identify sources of information on customers

Customers data:

  • Internal databases and records
  • Real-time data
  • Big data (eg Clubcard)

Identify sources of information on markets and competitors.

Marketplace data:

  • Government sources
  • Commercial market research reports (Keynote, Minitel)
  • Trade and industry sources (CIM)
  • Media
  • Online mentions
  • Blogs
  • Financial, demographic and geographic databases.

Competitor data:

  • Who are they?
  • What do they say about themselves?
  • What do others say about them?
  • How do they promote their products and services?

4.4 Demonstrate the management and interpretation of information as insights

Explain the components of an MKIS (marketing information system) and its purpose in environmental scanning 

The purpose of an MKIS is to collect data to inform decisions and protect against risks and threats. It’s to give the right information to the right people at the right time in the most cost effective and efficient manner possible.

Sub-elements of an MKIS may be:

  • The internal reports system
  • The marketing intelligence system
  • The marketing research system
  • The analytical marketing system

Understand the role of scenario analysis

Scenario analysis is a way to predict future trends and scenarios by using data to decide where to invest time and money.

Demonstrate how interpretation of data leads to insight.

Market scanning takes place to get the most relevant and up to date data out there, to provide early alerts. This information needs to be interpreted to find out what it means and what implications, impact, consequence and influence it has.

Data is organised to become information, analysed to become insight and then shared to become knowledge.

Explain how insight is used to inform innovation and planning to build and maintain a competitive advantage

Insight is used to give information on market trends, development and customer behaviour to stimulate creative ideas.

1. noun: a female blogger that writes about her own experiences, observations and opinions. 2. verb: to act like a complete idiot or to do something stupid. e.g: She did a Corinne.

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