Market research is an essential aspect in developing an approach that will guide the company towards achieving its set objectives of timely goals. Majorly, it involves finding information related to the industry and learning about existing consumers. Every company must have a marketing department as well as a research and development division to help in understanding market dynamics. Since marketing research is an extensive process that demands the utilization of different organizational resources, it is important to understand the application of both primary and secondary research.
Primary Research Methods
Primary research entails going directly to the source to collect relevant information regarding the topic under study. Many companies are proactive in acquiring first-hand data since it positively contributes to the formation of informed decisions. It entails the use of different data collection methods, including interviewing, questionnaires and surveys, observations, focus groups, and oral history (Phillips 2015). During interviews, the company can ask the respondents open-ended questions that relate to products and services in the industry to acquire relevant information that defines the nature of the market.
Most companies prefer using this research method due to its various benefits. Some of the common advantages include the ability to resolve specific research issues, provide accurate data, provides a high level of control as well as the ability to provide reliable and up to date information. These benefits may help an institution to not only have reliable information to make informed marketing decisions but also ensure it understands the existing trends in the market (Bhat, 2019). However, its different disadvantages, such as cost, time-consuming, and that it may not always be feasible, may limit its application in marketing research. Contemporary organizations are keen on the types of strategies they employ and the effects they may have on them. Therefore, they ensure only affordable and viable approaches are utilized.
Secondary Research Methods
The secondary research involves gathering relevant data from other studies conducted regarding a particular market. The published information should be acquired from reliable sources for the company to remain updated on the changing trends of the market. Information sources in the secondary market study are categorized into external and internal. External data is gathered from the outward environment of the company and is accessible to the public. For instance, trade unions provide information that describes the nature of the economy and directs firms on the recommendations to implement for profit maximization.
Internal secondary data sources are found within the company. Pervious market studies can act as reference points for current research as it generates an active literature review that results in the collection of accurate information. Sales figures and inventory records provide evidence if the market is either making progress or not (Wolf, 2016). Therefore, informed decisions on the marketing strategy are made by firms after analyzing internal financial records to ensure an increase in amounts of profits. Companies should select relevant secondary sources to promote accuracy in gathering data.
Currently, companies have sales and marketing departments that overlook the external environment outwards of the company. Frequent research is conducted when agents are sent to the field to engage consumers and determine how they feel about the products and services of the company. Primary methods ensure direct interaction between the respondents and the researchers. Therefore, the company determines the departments that require improvement through analysis of information gathered. Potential competitors also get identified, resulting in the company developing strategies to maximize production.
Bhat, a. (2019). Primary Research- Definition, Examples, Methods and Purpose | Question Pro. Retrieved from https://www.questionpro.com/blog/primary-research/
Phillips, A. (2015). What is Market Research? Market Research Handbook, 37–60. doi:10.1002/9781119208044.ch2
Wolf, A. (2016). Primary Data vs. Secondary Data: Market Research Methods. Retrieved from https://blog.marketresearch.com/not-all-market-research-data-is-equa