What is Secondary Market Research? The Differences Between Primary and Secondary Research
When conducting market research, it is good to know what type of research you are undertaking. There are two main types, primary, and secondary market research; and they both have differences between them that lead to their advantages and disadvantages.
Secondary market research is also known as desk research. It consists of gathering data that already exists and has already been produced by external sources, known as secondary data. This research method involves research being collected from internal sources and external sources from a business. Internal research can include information pertaining to marketing, such as the number of people that responded to an advert previously sent out by a business, whereas external research can involve gathering information from internet research, market reports, and government reports.
On the other hand, primary research is known as field research and it involves the collection of new primary data and information that has not been collected before by a business or sole body. Primary research has the added benefit of providing a business or person with customised research that is specific to their own circumstances – often using a business’ own customers to find out the required information.
Whilst this is a time-consuming method of data collection, it does yield detailed and up-to-date information that is relevant to the needs of the business. Some methods involved are:
- Focus groups
The 3 Main Types of Secondary Market Research
There are three main types of secondary marketing research methods that can provide important information for businesses to decide how to tackle their next big challenge, what product to next manufacture, or how to advertise their service for the greatest number of potential customers.
The section below explains the three main types of secondary market research, and what you can expect the data collected from these sources to look like:
The process of conducting internet research involves taking and using data from competitors’ websites, articles from print and online newspapers, and from social media sources. This kind of research provides a business or organisation with an overview of information relating to the topic.
For example, this can be information relating to the industry of a business in order to gauge the products and services other businesses offer in order to gain an edge in the market.
Market reports are specific to the industry they are created and tailored for – created to give specific information about the current situation of the wider industry as a whole, or new developments going on that benefit or disadvantage that industry.
Examples of this kind of research would be:
- ‘in the year 2021, the mean age of those playing video games for over 4 hours a day was 24 years old.’
- ‘38% of adults aged 30-55 visit a coffee shop at least once a month.’
This type of research can help a business decide which customers to target, and how to target them effectively.
Although government reports may consist of information that typically is not industry-specific, they can still contain information that will prove useful for a business. Examples of this type of information would be:
- ‘65% of people aged 16-24 would not consider working for less than £7 per hour.’
- ‘75% of the population is aged under 60 years old’
A business would be able to use this type of information to decide what level of pay to offer potential employees, who their target market or audience should be, or what kind of products to develop that will benefit or intrigue the most potential people.
Advantages of Secondary Market Research
There are a variety of advantages of secondary market research that can greatly benefit your research and your business. Not only is this method far more cost-effective and less time-consuming compared to conducting primary market research, but it is far easier to collect as the data you will want is already waiting in multiple sources.
Some other advantages of secondary market research include:
- Information that is already compiled, collected, and easily gathered.
- Secondary research has the potential to provide specific information related to the business’ industry.
- Can be easier to analyse as the data has already been compiled and formed into an easy to understand format, either via pie charts, spreadsheets, bar graphs, or other mediums.
Disadvantages of Secondary Market Research
However, in contrast to the advantages listed above, there can be some large disadvantages too. This data can be lacklustre in terms of the details you need it to have, so you may have to go out looking for even more sources to support or contrast your data.
Some other limitations of secondary market research include:
- Information gathered is more than likely not going to be specific to the business and its needs.
- The information on the internet could be out of date, either by months or years, so circumstances of where this information can be used will vary.
- As it is on the internet, it can be easily manipulated, forged, inaccurately collected, or have a biased skew. E.g: a survey on racism could have only interviewed people of one race, and this detail may not have been disclosed.
Need More Information About Market Research? Contact Halkin Today
If you’re not fully sure on what secondary market research means, or how to conduct secondary market research yourself, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the market research experts here at Halkin. We’ll do all we can to help you grasp a firm understanding of the topic, as well as some insider tips and tricks on how to professionally and efficiently conduct secondary market research yourself.