Category Archives: secondary research

BMGT 311 (Wednesday): Assignment #2 Data Visualization


As we learned in the first assignment and first couple of chapters, visualizing data can be a powerful tool for marketing researchers.  There is an over abundance of data – and it becomes more powerful when managers can use it to make decisions that affect their marketing strategies.

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Example of Data Visualization:

In assignment one, I gave you a series of data and asked you to visualize it using excel or other method – to help show current users of popular social media networks.  In this assignment, you will be tasked with finding the data for yourself, and then using tools to visualize the information and package it.

For this assignment, please use the American Community Survey (As shown in class):

1. For Pittsburgh and your hometown, please use the ACS to develop a market profile (Note: If from Pittsburgh, choose any other city in the US to compare against Pittsburgh).

2. The Demographic Profile should include, at minimum, a graphical comparison of these two cities that include:

  • Population of each city
  • Percentage of traditional college aged students (18-24)
  • Race Distribution (Percentage of each race)
  • Median Income Ranges and Percentages for each city
  • Educational Attainment for each city
  • Unemployment statistics for each city

3. Show this information graphically, comparing the two cities

4. Based on your findings, which city, in your opinion, would have more opportunities for a recent college graduate.  Did any of the data surprise you?

5. Place your findings in a powerpoint or pdf, and upload to slideshare.  Please be prepared to share your findings in class on September 24th after the test.

Assignments are due before class on the 24th.

Chris Lovett


BMGT 311 (Wednesday) Assignment #1 (Due 9.10.14)


As we get into the class, we are going to find that an important part of marketing research is finding and using secondary data to help support your AlthleteTrax project.  Finding the data is the first step.  The second step is visualizing that data so it tells a story.  The third step is to develop a point of view (POV) from the visualizations as it relates to the project or task at hand.  Since the AlthleteTrax project involves digital and social media marketing, you are going to be tasked with taking raw data sets and forming charts that help visualize the story they are telling.

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Listed below are raw data sets from 2013 on a variety of social media sites.  The raw data is available here:

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Your first assignment is as follows:

1. Pick one of the social media sites listed above (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, or LinkedIn)

2. Using Excel, develop charts and graphs that showcase the following for the site you choose:

  • Usage, Men Vs Women
  • Demographic usage
  • Age Group Cohort usage
  • Usage by Educational Attainment
  • Usage by Income and employment
  • Breakout of usage (Urban Suburban, Rural)

3. Please place your charts into a PowerPoint, and in summary, please answer the following questions in summary:

  • Do you feel the users of this social network meet the target market for AlthleteTrax (College Age, College Club Sports Managers?)
  • If so – why?  If not – Why not?
  • Did any of this data surprise you?  In what way?

4. Please save your PowerPoint as a PDF, and upload to slideshare and include the link in the comments section of this blog post.  Be creative in your responses!

I look forward to seeing your visualizations and your POV’s on the data.

Chris Lovett


The Changing American Family

Source: General Mills/Betty Crocker
Source: General Mills/Betty Crocker

Marketing research today has become a lot about story telling.  In today’s technology driven environment, telling a story often means being very visual.  A good example of this is The Families Project by Betty Crocker/General Mills.

This report is all about the changing profile of the american family.  If this was a regular report, you might have glanced over it, maybe taking in a few details and moved on.  Betty Crocker went a step further.  They provided the data in a way that was easy to absorb.  This type of digital story telling is a becoming more common in marketing research.

Source: Betty Crocker/General Mills
Source: Betty Crocker/General Mills

Sure – adding pictures, doing a video, developing a microsite – those things take time.  But that effort is well worth it when you are trying to force change within an organization or sell an idea.  Based on my experience in CPG, this was done to drive change.  It was done to show senior managers that marketing the same way they have always done may not work.  The american family is changing, and so must the way we market to them.

Chris Lovett