Chapter 2, Table 2.1 in Digital Marketing: Strategy, Planning and Implementation lists a selection of free and paid-for services that can be used for online marketplace analysis. I’ve provided them here for convenience for readers.
The first 6 sources mainly give primary data with insights on consumer usage and behaviour and for benchmarking businesses.
The final four groups of sources publish reports about consumer and adoption covering secondary data – 9 and 10 are the best sources covering consumer and business adoption.
By reviewing insights compiled by searching these information providers, digital marketing strategist can build an informed picture of customer behaviour, competitive performance and make forecasts for strategic planning.
1 Google and Facebook tools
The two largest digital ad platforms provide tools to help forecast campaign results and encourage advertiser investment, yet they also provide the best sources of free, accurate tools for marketplace analysis.
- Google compilation of tools from Think with Google
- Facebook IQ – recommended tool is Audience Insights – provides Facebook audience country breakdown by gender, age, interests and job titles, plus information on top page likes.
Recommended Google tools are:
- Display planner tool: this Google Ads tool shows the relative size and audience composition of publishers in the Google programme.
- Google Trends: trends in search volume by country – no sign-in required.
- Keyword Planner – this tool requiring registration in Google Ads gives details on number of searches each month.
- Find My Audience – this YouTube tool defines in-market and affinity audience.
Unfortunately, Google Trends is the only tool that now enables comparison of consumer search volume through time without requiring sign-on.
Freemium tool enabling comparison of visitors to sites and which channels prompt the visits. Sample dependent on users of the toolbar.
A paid alternative is Alexa. Hitwise and Jumpshot are no longer available.
Freemium tool with some free tools for benchmarking brand social media popularity, e.g. Facebook page popularity.
Paid-for global audience panel service with useful insights on social media adoption via its blog.
Nielsen is an alternative, but limited free data.
Paid-for home-panel tool but free reports on consumer behaviour including mobile and e-commerce adoption are available from the Insights section.
Free and paid-for services, which provide insights into website traffic. Includes competitor benchmarking. Only available to companies who have verified their site in Google search console
7 Internet or Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)
IABs are managed separately in different countries with the US and European reports on ad spend having the most insight
Research focusing on investment in different digital media channels, in particular display ads and search marketing.
Data, Analysis and insights for the retail industry in the UK. The IMRG Capgemini Sales index provides statistics on UK e-retail sales, mostly limited to members.
9 Government sources
Government statistical agencies compile data on Internet, E-commerce and social media. Don’t miss the excellent OfCom Communications Market reports if you’re looking for UK insight.
- UK: Office of National Statistics – home Internet and Social media use and National Statistics household Internet use
- UK: OfCom – rather than the annual communications market report OfCom has simplified their offering to:
- Europe: Eurostat
- US: Data.gov
10 Non-government organisations
- Data reportal – Datareportal from WeAreSocial publishes an excellent adoption guide covering data from other sources including Global Web Index – their blog is also worth reviewing for insights from their panel, particularly for social media adoption.
- Pew Internet Surveys – Good for US social media adoption and attitudes to privacy
- International Telecoms Union – The ITU covers mobile adoption by country and annually
- Statista – Internet category – you’ll know this behemoth for compiling insights from other sources. You need to be signed in to find the original sources.
- Marketing Charts – Publishes data from a range of other sources like Statista