A few days ago I ran into an article about Primary and Secondary market research on the Market Research Information blog (link can be found at the bottom of the page). The article was written by Eric Brandenburg, and he talks about the pros and cons for both types of research.
Having just finished College, these two terms are still very fresh in my head. I was always more of a primary research guy than secondary research. While I agree with everything Eric talks about, I still lean towards primary research more in terms of importance. Now before you all jump at me, I want to state that I have conducted both types of research in the past and I do believe secondary is an important step in the research process. While I liked the simplicity that secondary research provided, I did run into some problems. Like what Eric mentioned, finding previous data that fits the data that you’re looking for is no easy task. Depending on what kind of data you’re looking for, you may be searching for that data for days or even weeks at a time. On the flip side I also agree on the positives that Eric mentioned for secondary research. Being able to instantly bring up data that’s already been researched can help greatly for a business. Retrieving that data in a short amount of time saves time, money, and effort.
But as I said, I’m more of a primary research kind of guy. I agree that conducting primary research generally costs more money to do, however I believe that as long as the information gathered is useful enough that it drives more revenue, the cost of conducting primary research becomes insignificant. I also believe that primary research gives marketers a better understanding of their target audience by engaging and interacting with them in surveys or focus groups. I always enjoyed conducting primary research, just because it gives me an opportunity to really see how a target market behaves. Take focus groups for example, seeing the group interact with each other and seeing their reactions allows me to immerse myself in that group and helps me understand their needs and wants on a more effective level.
How about all you fellow marketers out there? Do you prefer one type of research to the other?
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