What is the Difference Between Primary and Secondary Market Research?

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Market research is one of the most important keys to running a successful business. No matter how brilliant your product or services may be, without an understanding of the market it is going to be difficult for your company to make a splash in the marketplace.

Market research is generally conducted in two different ways:

  • Primary Market Research
  • Secondary Market Research

Both of these types of research are relevant for your company and your marketing plans. Primary market research is often the most insightful, but it is also possible for secondary market research to benefit your business. Below is an explanation of the different types of research available for your company that you should utilize if you want your company to compete.

Primary Market Research

Primary research includes any research conducted by the company itself, with the goal of gaining insight into the market. This type of research includes surveys, focus groups – anything that is designed to create data that is specifically relevant and conducted by the company. This is the most common – and arguably the most valuable – type of research, because it is designed to answer specific questions you have that are relevant to your business.

Secondary Market Research

Secondary research is any research conducted on data that is already in existence that was collected by other people or for other purposes. For example, looking at government statistical data or utilizing research papers can all count as secondary market research. Similarly, if you use data that exists within your company but was collected for other reasons (such as financial reports, etc.), that is considered secondary market research as well.

Which is Better?

There is no such thing as a “better” method of market research. Primary market research is the best way to answer questions you have for your company, while secondary market research can provide you with information that may be interesting in some way to your company. Both represent great ways to improve your business.

Market research is vital for a business to succeed. You will need to find as much information you can from as many resources as you can if you hope to get ahead in today’s economy. Sometimes you will need to find information yourself, other times the information may already exist through other channels. Successful companies will always find ways to utilize both new data and existing data into all of their business plans.

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