Secondary Marketing Research Certificate

Find tips and links to resources for exploring.

About Secondary Marketing Research Certificate

The Secondary Marketing Research Certificate program is a collaboration between the UTSA Libraries and the College of Business.  It is currently offered to students enrolled in selected MKT 3083 Marketing Research courses.


  • Introduce you to research strategies, core resources and search tools for common business and market research questions
  • Help you better understand the advantages and limitations of secondary resources
  • Sharpen your search skills

You will qualify for the Secondary Marketing Research Certificate if:

  • You explore these resources and answer questions. You don't have to turn in your notes.
  • Successfully pass a quiz in the course Blackboard (80 % or above, two attempts, may use any support materials).
  • Answer a survey in Blackboard.

Topics include industry, company and market research, and consumer demographic and psychographic information.

We will use food trucks in San Antonio as an example for researching small private companies and McDonald's as an example of researching a public company. 

You will need to explore the resources on your own to find answers to the questions.

DUE DATE for the quiz and survey: May 1st, 2022, 11:59 pm.

Your digital certificates will be emailed to you after the final exam.


Secondary Market Research

Secondary research is an exploration of resources that have been created in a course of research previously conducted for other purposes. 


  • May lead to savings in cost and time
  • May provide enough information to resolve your problem
  • Source of new ideas
  • May be used for benchmarking
  • Helps define the problem and formulate hypotheses for primary research


  • Was created for other purposes and not always meets your needs
  • May be out of date
  • May be too expensive

Producers of Secondary Research

  • Government (federal, state, local)
  • Trade associations
  • Organizations (chambers of commerce, unions, non-profits, etc.)
  • Market research companies
  • Research institutions and universities
  • News organizations
  • Publishers
  • Industry experts (through interviews, reports, and white papers)

Focus on Published External Data

Lots of business data are collected internally and considered confidential or proprietary.  These types of data are not available outside organizations. Examples include:

  • Salesforce records
  • Transactions
  • Customer records
  • Inventory records
  • Cost of transportation
  • Website visitor records
  • Trade secrets
  • Financials for private companies

Some data may be available for purchase, for example, Facebook or Google collect and sell customer online behavior data.


  • Datasets
  • Statistics
  • Scholarly articles
  • Trade articles
  • Magazines
  • Newspapers
  • Web sources  (government, NGOs, intergovernmental organizations, industry groups, research institutions, think tanks, news, expert blogs, social media, etc.)
  • Proprietary reports (industry, company, market, analyst, etc.), and more


  • Free / open source
  • Proprietary / licensed / fee-based

Evaluate Sources

A quick and critical evaluation of your sources is an important research skill.  This easy-to-remember framework may help:  


  • What is the purpose of your research project?  What is the expected output, for example, a presentation, report, analysis, research paper, etc.? 
  • Are you expected to use any specific sources?
  • What sources may have relevant information?
  • Is the information you are finding relevant to your topic and research goals?
  • How deeply do you need to dig in? How much time do you have and what is the deadline?


  • Are the sources credible?
  • Are the methods of collecting data and analysis disclosed?
  • Is the methodology sound?


  • 'Who cares' enough to collect particular data or information? This question helps identify relevant sources.
  • Is the author qualified to write on a topic?
  • What are his/her credentials and qualifications?
  • What are author's affiliations and how these affiliations influence their work and analysis?


  • Do you need current or historical data?
  • When was the information created/updated?  Is it out of date?
  • Have any major events happened since the information was published? What is the effect of those events?


  • Why was the information created?
  • Is there a discernible conflict of interest?
  • It the topic presented from alternative viewpoints?
  • Is the language neutral or emotionally "loaded"?
  • Is it factual or opinion-based?