What Scope Does Desktop Research Have?

Many techniques can be used to achieve the objectives of Marketing Research. The methods chosen to answer study questions will depend on the nature of each project. Within the quantitative and qualitative methodologies we find Desk Research. The review of sources is perhaps one of the ways of answering questions that is most linked to academic activity at Universities. However, it has its niche of use in Marketing.

In other posts on this blog we have clarified that when a topic is very recently created, it is necessary to review the available documents to exhaust all the existing background information. When the subject of study is not so close in time, it helps us to verify and strengthen the findings obtained in the field.

Today we share four scopes that Desk Research has.

  • Available resources. Although it seems a somewhat obvious statement, the depth and detail of the result of a document analysis depends on the number of sources reviewed. Before the computer revolution, it was at the expense of the availability of printed books and databases. This made this work very laborious and limited desktop investigations. Today, the search for data and information can be done largely virtually, but even now analysts face some obstacles such as restrictions on charging fees, data in non-public formats and excess of sources in some circumstances.
  • Desirable specialization. Carrying out an investigation has a universal procedure. However, not all themes are of the same nature. In Marketing it is common for different areas of knowledge to be touched depending on each client or brand. A study at the beginning of the year can be about the bathroom furniture market and the next one can address the consumption of milk in supermarkets. For each topic, the analyst should devote an initial stage of the analysis to becoming familiar with the technical terms and practices and organizations of the sector.
  • Social discipline. Still today, desk research is carried out by human analysts who study people’s behavior. For this reason, the criteria and experience of researchers is crucial to discern between tens and hundreds of data and information that exist. Despite the fact that the areas of opportunity that humans have due to our subjectivity is a known fact, artificial intelligences still have problems distinguishing the cultural and empirical meanings of certain concepts that can cause, in the best of cases, an embarrassment.
  • Operational regionalization. Although we live in a globalized world, geographic differences persist based on language, culture, and nationality. As a general rule, it is desirable to have specialized analysts for each regional market due to the complexity of the analysis requirements to fully understand each local source. Otherwise, inaccuracies, too superficial conclusions and delays may be incurred.

It is also a fact that in many areas the time of a lifetime would not be enough to make a review (even superficial) of all the existing documentation at a given moment. Here the analyst’s ability to discriminate between what is priority and genuine and what is not is crucial. For these reasons and some others, desk researchers are still used to meet the needs of brands and companies that invest in Market Research.

At Acertiva we have experts in this technique. Write us today so that you can share your plans for future studies and so, in turn, we can put at your disposal our almost 20 years of experience in the sector within LATAM.

Imagen ilustrativa de una laptop y una computadora de escritorio (español) / Illustrative image of a laptop and a desktop computer ( English) / Imagem ilustrativa de um notebook e um computador desktop (Português)