Do you know where to start with your marketing research?

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1.1 Quick Scan

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Quick Scan          Broad Orientation          Purpose           Implementation
Before knowing where to begin with your marketing research, you need to have proper insight in your marketing problem. Through a quick scan you will acquire an expansive view of your market and organization  It is quite important to orientate yourself in this broad perspective. The broader the perspective, the easier it is to find these elusive hidden symptoms.

Employee vs marketing agency

How is your relation between you as a marketeer and the organisation that this research revolves around? How close are you with the organisation and its market? The answer to this question is the determining factor in the quick scan. When you work as a commercial employee for this particular organisation, you probably have a huge amount of experience and know-how about the market and organisation. But that does not mean the quick scan should be skipped followed by looking straight into the market analysis (step 2).

Marketing Agency

It is not unusual while doing marketing research to involve a party that understands the marketing process. A good example of this would be a commercial agency that focusses on communication and sales. These marketing agency’s have knowledge of the marketing process and in some cases even in the market in which you operate. The quick scan is an important tool for marketing agencies to orient in a wide market organisation and thus gain a valuable insight into the marketing problem. The marketing agency as an external party has the privileged position of gaining a helicopter point of view of the market and organisation. A successful communication, sales or marketing agency will use this helicopter point of view to put the finger on that sore spot.

Broad orientation

Often, the marketing problem might be deeper than you initially would think. How do other departments within the organisation think about the marketing problem? Despite the fact that other employees don’t really have a marketing and / or commercial background, they do however have valuable knowledge and vision in your favour. Go talk and involve various horizons in the process! A quick scan is a broadly orientated and superficial scan. You scan the different aspects of the market and organisation before you zoom in and go in-depth on the market and organisational analysis. The quick scan is a scan on a wide scale. What follows is a more content orientated analysis on a limited research area. The word quick scan also indicates that it is a superficial and efficient way of scanning.

Purpose of the quick scan

The bottomline of the quick scan is to have the widest and neutral insight into the market and organisation. By neutral is meant that you approach the marketing problem without tunnel vision. It is a pitfall to say that factor X is responsible for the marketing problem, with your blinders designed for the less visible symptoms.

Input for problemscanning

The quick scan provides the input for the problem scan (also called problem definition). The problem scan tries to pinpoint the problem by identifying the marketing problem.

Your quick scan

Do you work on the quick scan of your organization? Or are you perhaps active as a marketing agency? We have developed a blueprint for marketing and commercial professionals.

Quick scan implementation

Within the implementation of your quick scan you can use the following resources:

  • interviews with employees
  • conversations with customers
  • conversations with prospects
  • conversations with suppliers and other stakeholders
  • orientation on market developments
  • documentation within the organisation
    • enterprise vision / mission statement
    • current marketing strategy
    • existing marketing plans
    • annual plans

Try to define the information that exposes the marketing issue. Questions that can help you with your quick scan are:

  • Are there SMART objectives?
  • Is there an analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats?
  • Is the company positioned clearly?
  • Is there an understanding of market developments?
  • Is there a recent competitive analysis available?
  • Is there a newly established marketing plan?
  • Is there an annual fixed budget (revenue / cost)?
  • Are there established annual plans (personnel, resources, revenues, costs, results, growth)?
  • Are results-based budget and annual plans evaluated?
  • Is there an adequate management information and reporting system?

In the next step you will read how to use the inspection of the quick scan to identify the marketing problem and recognise the associated symptoms. You will also read what kind of marketing plan there is for the relevant marketing problem.

Jerome Knoot

Jerome Knoot


Since 2012 I'm working on the development of the 7 step Marketing Method. " Marketing accessible to everyone" that's my goal as an entrepreneur and marketer.

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