Innovation Blog

Making Data-Informed Marketing Decisions

A cartoon woman giving a presentation, a man typing on a laptop, and another man holding up a giant magnifying glass to a computer screen.

You can walk around in the dark, but when it’s pitch black, there is a chance something bad could happen. You can stub your toe, run into a wall, or fall down some steps. It’s less likely that you will do those things if the lights are on. By the same token, you want to keep the lights on when you are marketing– it lessens the chance of something bad happening. One way to keep the lights on is through research to gather audience insights.

The Audience Insights department at Babcox Media has helped many advertisers see where they are going with their marketing. We’ve done brand studies of many different types of auto parts. These allow marketers to see what the professional auto technicians in our audience think about their products. We’ve asked collision shops which paints they use in their shops and why. We’ve helped advertisers test ad campaigns before they start, to see if the ads will have their intended effect on the audience.

Our research capabilities are not limited to our readers in the automotive aftermarket. We can also recruit consumer panels to glean audience insights. Here’s one example of how we did that. The goal of the Women’s Industry Network is to attract, develop, and advance women in the collision industry. Last year, they came to us to see if we could determine what factors were important to young people in choosing a career, and if there were any differences between the types of people who choose careers in collision or auto repair, and those who don’t.

We did this through a two-part process. First we recruited a general panel of 18 to 24 year olds, evenly weighted between males and females. We asked them a series of questions about how they are choosing (or had just chosen) their careers. We also asked them a series of aptitude questions that would be relevant to career choice. (I like to fix things; I was encouraged to go to college; I want to work in health care, etc.). Then we asked the same set of questions to a panel of people either enrolled in trade schools studying collision tech or auto tech, or who had recently started those careers. We found that gender was not nearly as important as finding people who liked to work with their hands and fix things. You can watch a presentation we did on the findings on BodyShop Business’s Facebook page.

Want to make data driven decisions? Go to the Research page at to see some of the ways our research and audience insights can help you market with the lights on.

Bruce Kratofil has been the Audience Insights Manager at Babcox Media since 2017. Prior to that, he was the Market Strategy and Research Manager at The Plain Dealer, in Cleveland, Ohio.

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