Internet as a Tool in Marketing Research – Challenges

Internet has become a major source of information in marketing research. Online sources are used to collect data or cross validate the processed data from more than one source to check the consistency of the data. However, it has posed new challenges in the areas of data collection, interpretation and validation.

Drawbacks of Internet in Marketing Research:

Based on Netcraft’s data, Boutell estimates some 29.7 billion pages on the Web in February 2007. This giant source itself is a big challenge to find the available right information.

  • Excess Data
    As already stated, Internet contains vast amounts of data which is relevant as well as irrelevant to the user’s requirement. The problem is not the volume of information but finding that tiny bit that is necessary in this enormous ocean is a big challenge. To overcome this challenge the researcher has to be well versed with all the tools and techniques that are necessary to filter the unnecessary information.
  • Unreliable Data
    Internet houses information from all kinds of sources ranging from government portals to blogs. Though the information gathered is correct, it is necessary to make sure that the source is a valid one. The quality of the final Marketing Research report depends upon the quality of the information sources that are used to collect information.
  • Demands More Focus on Processing
    As there is a large amount of data available, processing this data into reliable information is a major task in the marketing research. To interpret, categorize, arrange and document this information requires more focus and effort from the market researcher.
  • Challenge of SEO optimized websites
    Internet is becoming a major tool of promotion for business. This lead to various consequences like emergence of junk websites and money making through search engines. This has posed as a challenge to the researchers to obtain relevant websites since many good sites do not appear on the top of search results because low quality sites are focusing on SEO to get them ahead.
  • Demands Different Mindset
    To access the right information, Internet requires a different mindset i.e. more focused and conceptualized research is necessary. Earlier, the amount of data available is very less when compared to the requirement. But now, a huge amount of information is pouring in from all directions. The Internet age market researcher requires a different mindset to process the data using various tools and techniques.

However, to overcome these challenges the Internet market researchers have the search engine and Meta search engine techniques, which filter the information and give thousands of narrow results, which leads to the target information.