Types of Secondary Research in Market Research
The kind of information that a business organization aims to collect about its competitors, customers and the prevailing market condition influences research procedure adopted by it. A business may collect the information either from primary or secondary sources. There are also different types of information that a business may collect such as qualitative and quantitative. Sometimes a certain business may even adopt the combination of all the above-mentioned types to gather the data that the business may need.
Secondary market research refers to market research that has already been assembled and put in an order for you such as, reports and studies published by trade associations, government agencies or similar business within the industry you work.
Secondary research, a commonly used research method involves making use of information gathered by others especially the information gathered through primary research. The examples of secondary research include the following:
- Information available on the internet.
- Prevailing results of market research.
- Data available on company’s own stock list and database of consumer.
- Information obtained from various agencies such as government and industrial bodies, trade associations, libraries and local council.
Secondary research enables an organization to get the utmost information about the market. But even then it may prove as a challenging task for a business to unearth the information that the business actually wants.
For gaining first knowledge about the market, secondary research is the best. Most of the time it becomes easier and faster to analyze the information by undertaking secondary research as compared to primary research as the information may have been already analyzed by someone and is readily available.
Exercising caution in the usage of Secondary research is essential as there are possibilities that the information may have been gathered for an altogether different purpose. Sometimes the data could have been collected even for a different section of market totally not relevant to the business.
A business also has to make sure that the secondary information collected has not become outdated as the market is constantly evolving. All this is likely to impact the results and so the performance of the company
Quantitative and Qualitative Research
Quantitative research involves the gathering of numerical data and includes the following:
- Surveys to collect information about the frequency at which customer return.
- Information about sales figures
- Surveys to gather data about industry product sales figures.
- Existing financial scenario or trend
- Phone or online questionnaires.
Qualitative research helps in the following areas of a business:
- Identification of the size of the market.
- Market worthiness to a business.
- Finding new areas of business.
- Demography of consumers such as the gender of the consumers, their age etc.
Quantitative research focuses more on obtaining statistics that is helpful in getting an overview of the business market. Relying only on quantitative information alone is not useful for any business, it is essential to consider every single aspect of information that a business has.
Qualitative research, on the other hand, focuses on collecting information about the attitudes and views and includes the following:
- Views and attitudes of existing and potential consumers towards the company’s product and services.
- Satisfaction level of consumers with respect to business through formal and informal chats.
- Study about competitors to understand the tactics adopted by them towards consumer practices and their products or services.
Analysis of qualitative information requires an altogether different approach as it takes long hours for interpretation due to the nature of data involved.