How to do primary and secondary market research

Market research is one of the most interesting and engaging areas of research that you can possibly be involved with. Unlike other areas of business, it is an active and exciting area to be involved with that puts you on the front line of changing company dynamics and will help you to ensure that you understand how businesses evolve in the world around them and how they can develop further than they already have to greater success. Market Research is often at the cutting edge of strides forward in business and knowing how it works and how best to use is to a company’s advantage is vital to the prosperity of any company. It is also, from a personal perspective, important to understand if you want to go into the world of business. Knowing the best ways to use Market Research to your advantage is an important area that all business people need to experience in order that they can grow their companies and ensure that they have profitable and fulfilling careers in business. However, if you don’t know how to do market research or don’t fully understand the concept then you may feel as if you are missing out. Don’t worry, this article will explain exactly what primary and secondary market research is and how you can use them to your advantage.


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Though you may have some idea as to what market research is, you may not know or understand the specifics as to what constitutes market research. Market Research is the system by which companies research the market of their particular brand or product to find out why it is either doing well or badly. It is usually used to help businesses develop different strategies that ensure that they can forge ahead with their agenda and ensure that their products sell as well as possible. The research that is found through market research often leads to the changing of a product’s image or of the entire company.

It is therefore important to get right, and it is vital that you understand the various types of market research there are and how precisely they can impact on a company’s standing. To help you understand how exactly it can impact on a company, let’s break down the various different ways that it can cause change in the image of the company or a particular product it wants to advertise more:

  • Price. One of the ways that a product can be affected by market research is a change in price. If customers seem to think that the product is too expensive or that, for an item in the luxury end of the market, that it seems too cheap, then the price of the product can be impacted which can help to change its image. This can often have a positive impact and drive up sales of the product or help it be exposed to more people. Price is one of the most important elements that impacts on a customers decision whether to buy a product or not and, therefore, if market research suggests that the price of the product is not appropriate in some way then it is certainly wiser to follow that evidence and change the price of the item accordingly. This is why market research is so important – it directly affects how much you pay for products.
  • Changes in the product. Changes that often impact on the way a product is perceived can come as a result of market research; often the market research will either cause a change in the product or it will result in the product staying the same. Often, when the research is primary, it will involve proposed changes to a product being presented to a focus group who will then express their opinion on whether they feel the proposed improvements help the product or hinder it. This is a key reason for the importance of market research – the entire look of a product can either be changed or prevented from changing because of the way consumers react to the change. This is particularly important to note when writing a business dissertation; consumers can often make choices and have opinions that surprise you and this is the reason that it is always wise to run any proposed changes past consumers to ensure that you have their backing. If you don’t then it would seem fool hardy to attempt to force a change on them that they do not want – it may mean that they turn away from your product.
  • Marketing Strategy. One of the most important elements of market research is how it informs the choices of the company as to how they should market their product or company. In this globalised, internet world, it is more important than ever to understand how to advertise your products in such a way that it gains as much traction as possible and one way to find this out is to conduct market research to find out as to what your target demographic is, how best you can address their concerns about the product and ensure that they see it in a positive as possible light. This is the key to market research – it unlocks exactly how to ensure that a product succeeds in the field of business.

Now that we have discussed market research in general, let us consider it in terms of the specific types of market research there are. Primary Market Research is where a company conducts the research that it needs to find out itself. Unlike other types of market research, it means that the aim of your research is as specific as possible; rather than projecting facts and figures onto your product you can understand exactly how the consumer reacts to it and personalise the data to ensure that you have the best possible picture of how the public respond to your product when they are asked about it.

It allows you to fully delve into the psyche of the consumer properly and will ensure that your future ideas about how to market your product are accurate and answer the needs of the consumer better than if you hadn’t consulted them. Without market research, you wouldn’t be able to properly track and test the idea you have for your product and thus you would be lacking in a full picture of the environment of the product.

A further point that means that primary market research is needed is that provides you with greater access to exactly what consumers think of your product – rather than having to rely on second hand data which may not apply entirely to the product you are researching and therefore make your research less than complete. As such it is vital that you ensure that your research, regardless of whether it is primary or secondary reflects your product and ensures that it is properly analysed and implemented in a way that will help your product rather than hinder it.

In contrast to primary market research, secondary market research focuses more on the analysis of data that is already available. This means that you analyse the data for how many units of a particular product is being purchased in an area that you might want to expand in or when the product is most bought during a particular period. This often means that, though the evidence is accurate, it may not relate directly to the changes you want to make to the product or the company. As such, it has to be extrapolated for it to properly make sense which may warp the data. However, it is considerably cheaper than primary research and that is why it is so often used.

Now that we have explained the meaning of market research and analysed the differences between primary and secondary research, it is time for you to decide which type of research you want to use for your project. Of course, if you have the time it may be wise to use both methods – to combine more expansive insight from the public with concrete facts from studies.

Hopefully, this article will have explained exactly what primary and secondary market research is and you will be confident in using it in whatever field you wish to. However, if there are some elements of the piece you didn’t fully understand then perhaps we can help?

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