Primary and Secondary Research in Marketing

Keywords: marketing research qualitative, marketing research quantitative, marketing research methods

Critically analyse the effectiveness of primary and supplementary research put on product development (looking at qualitative and quantitative research).

Market research can be comprehended in terms of the way the activity is carried out, creating questionnaires, planning respondent examples, methods of data collection and analysis etc, quite simply the techniques of the self-discipline. The goal of general market trends is to aid and improve marketing decisions; selecting the maximum alternate or even establishing the decision-making agenda, i. e. what exactly are the true marketing issues facing us? In virtually any field, the basis of great decision making is having effective and exact information available and using it accordingly.

Almost any information required in or adding to marketing decision making and the methods used to obtain that information, can be considered to be market research but, as a definite and specialized activity, it is the provision of information about the market that is usually the central matter. People and organisations regularly need to comprehend the marketplaces that they find themselves in, including the needs of consumers that constitute these market segments. This understanding can be intuitive and based on common sense, where many successful decisions have been and continue to be based on only instinct.

However, in competitive markets where implementing a conclusion may require major financial resources and where in fact the costs of inability are high, there is a need for decision making predicated on more strenuous and reliable data. Also, many features of modern marketplaces and marketing such as consumer variety, internationalization and the ever before accelerating pace of change, increase doubt and make the informal and intuitive approaches to understanding less secure.

The more formal techniques of general market trends, which have been developed and matured during the last few years, generally give you a basis for increased confidence in decision making and so reduce a few of the risks that always will be present in markets. The principal purpose for general market trends is risk aversion, to comprehend what the marketplace wants, and not simply what a few customers want and decrease the risk of growing the incorrect product.


Product development is the phase in which the organisationdetermines if it is technically feasible to produce the product and when it canbe produced at costs low enough to make the final price affordable. To testits acceptability, the theory or notion is converted into a prototype, orworking model. Concept cars for example are used in the development of newvehicles. The prototype should disclose tangible and intangible attributesassociated with the merchandise in consumers' brains. The product's design, mechanicalfeatures and intangible aspects must be linked to wants in the marketplace. This includes the service aspects of the product, which can be a vital componentof many products. Inability to regulate how consumers experience the productand how they would use it may lead to the products inability.

For example, the Sinclair C5 electric buggy car, originated as a serious on-road, solitary seater car for city or country use. However, drivers felt unsafe in a tiny buggy, and campus students finished up using the rest of the companies on-pavement runabouts.

The development phase of a fresh product is frequently lengthyand expensive; thus a comparatively few product ideas are put intodevelopment. If the product shows up sufficiently successful during this phaseto merit screening, then through the latter area of the development phasemarketers get started to make decisions regarding branding, packaging, labelling, pricing and campaign for use in the test marketing stage.

With this at heart we is now able to move to speak about theeffectiveness of the utilization of major and secondary research in productdevelopment.


There are two types of data collection methods, they areprimary data collection and extra data collection.

Primary Data Collection: this kind of datacollection are usually detected and saved or collected directly fromrespondents. This type of data must be obtained by observing phenomena orsurveying respondents. Main data collection can be regarded as bespoke andtherefore time consuming and costly.

This process is more long and complicated, it is typicallymore costly, including experimentation, sampling, study methods, andquestionnaire development. The acquisition of principal data often requires anexperimental method of determine which changing or variables brought on an eventto occur.

Experimentation: this involves keeping certainvariables regular so that the ramifications of the experimental parameters can bemeasured. For example, when Apple testing a big change in its AppleWorks wordprocessing computer program, all sales and marketing parameters should be heldconstant except the change in the program.

Sampling: by systematically choosing a restricted numberof units, or test, to symbolize the characteristics of a complete people, marketers can job the reactions of a complete market or market portion. Theobjective of sampling in product development, therefore, is to selectrepresentative systems from total populace. Sampling procedures are used instudying the likelihood of events based on assumptions about the future.

Survey Methods: This consists of interviews by email, e-mail, or phone and personal interviews. Collection of a review methoddepends on the nature of the situation, the data needed to test the hypothesisand the resources, such as funding and personnel that exist to theresearcher.

Questionnaire Development: A careful constructedquestionnaire is essential to the success of any review. A questionnaire is abase report for research purposes that delivers the questions and thestructure for an interview or self-completion and has provision forrespondents' answers. Questions must be made to elicit information thatmeets the study's data requirements.

Observation Methods: This method enables a researcherto record respondents' overt behavior, being attentive to physical conditions andevents. Direct contact with respondents is avoided; instead, their actions areexamined and mentioned systematically. Observation is straightforward and avoids acentral problem of review methods: motivating respondents to state their truefeelings or ideas.

Secondary Collection Data: These kinds of dataare normally compiled inside or beyond your organisation for a few purpose otherthan the current investigation. Extra data include general reportssupplied with an business by various data services. Such information might concernmarket show, retail inventory levels and consumer buying behavior. Commonly, secondary data is already available in private or public reports or have beencollected and stored by the company itself. Because supplementary data arealready available, which does save valuable time and money, they should beexamined prior to the assortment of any primary data. Marketers often begin themarketing research for product development by gathering supplementary information. They could use available reviews and other information from both inside andexternal sources to identify a marketing problem.

Internal sources of secondary data can contribute to productdevelopment. For instance, an organisation's marketing databank may containinformation about previous marketing activities, such as sales files and researchreports that can be used to test hypothesis and pinpoint problems. Organisations accounting records are also an excellent way to obtain data, butstrangely enough have a tendency to be overlooked. The large level of data that anaccounting team collects will not automatically flow to the productdevelopment area.

Secondary data can also be retrieved from periodicals, censusreports, administration publications, the World Wide Web and unpublished resources. Periodicals such as Investors chronicles, Marketing, The Economist, Marketing campaign, Marketing Week, Wall Streets Journal, and Bundle of money, print general informationthat is helpful for determining problems and developing hypothesis.

Other external resources of secondary data are Trade journals, trade organizations, international options, commercial options, governments, books on the net, periodical indices and computerized books retrievaldatabases.


Broadly speaking there are two types of marketing researchmethods, they are really qualitative and quantitative methods. The names illustrate thebasic difference in the results. Quantitative methods use examples large enoughthat there exists statistical confidence in the results. Qualitative methods usevery small samples without statistical significance. A total research planincludes both types of research. The combine will depend on the level ofdevelopment, the study objectives available cash, and other factors.

Often, qualitative like a focus group may be used to better identify what the problems are to do with a fresh product. Quantitative research is then utilized to regulate how prevalent the issue or need is.

Qualitative research is the term applied to research that is known as exploratory or

conceptual. Qualitative research provides context, insights, and ideas for more research. The theory for the use of this kind of research method is to obtain the participants to talk about their experiences, give viewpoints about situations, also to react to situations or prototypes. The basic characteristics of qualitative research are, wide-ranging objectives; small samples, results usually do not be generalizable or target population; and it is best used early in order to recognize issues and again later along the way to validate. The following methods under qualitative methods will be the mostly used. They are simply: overview of secondary information, concentrate categories and related techniques (brainstorming lessons), and observations/ ethnographic studies (insetting where in fact the product is in fact used.

Quantitative research is the word put on researchthat is known as conclusive. A researcher might use quantitative research totest hypothesis, explain the market or target population characteristics, andcheck interactions among changing. The results lead to formal conclusions andrecommendations to inform decision-making. The idea is to get enough responsethat the study will feel positive that the results represent the market.

The basic characteristics of quantitative research are:defined goals including hypothesis, focused research design identifieswho, how, what, why and when, large enough sample to permit for generalization(projection of results), and heart of the research.

The most usual quantitative research methods are: Surveys, which could be mail, cell phone, online; usability studies; field tests;laboratory screening and conjoint research. Quantitative research is alsoconcerned with calculating aspects of a market or the population of consumersmaking up the market. This includes soft phenomena such as consumer attitudesas well as the hard things such as market size, brand shares, purchase frequenciesetc.

Quantitative research and sampling: Quantitative data on a market or consumer group can be obtained through carrying out a census on the general populace, so as to obtain the relevant measures from every solo consumer or (regarding business-to-business research) player on the market. In practice general market trends through the census is very uncommon; for one thing as well as prohibitively expensive to obtain data out of every individual (the federal government only bears out a society census once every a decade) and even when the money is manufactured available the timescales included will tend to be too much time to meet commercial deadlines. Quantitative general market trends is, therefore, almost always based on pretty much strenuous sampling methods which have in common the assumption that the data from samples can betaken to signify, within estimated levels of accuracy, the populace or universe from which they are really retrieved from.

Types of Quantitative Data: The number of information which is often and is gathered through quantitative research is extensive if not infinite. In relation to deciding how data should be accumulated, all possibilities can be slotted into a simple threefold classification. These are: market solution; customer information or segmentation; and attitudinal data. Market steps quantify and illustrate a market. Common examples include: market and sector size; shares of the market held by suppliers or brands; penetration levels (what percentage of all potential consumers own or buy a product); purchase and intake frequencies; patterns of intake and seasonality.

A vital concern in any marketing is knowing and understanding the potential customer base, what type or organisations are they? What other types of products or services do they own or use? What is required to meet this need is customer profiling or segmentation data which is quantitative in character because reliable breakdowns are necessary for the complete market or population

Additionally attitudinal data is also found in a quite standard sense to cover ideas such as consciousness, perceptions, values, evaluations, preferences, and propensities. Quite simply they can be, in their various forms, subjective and have a home in the minds of individuals (attitudinal data is accumulated in business-to-business research but in the end it is still attitudes of individuals within organisations or companies, as such, don't have attitudes). Much of market research can be involved with attitudes and attitude dimension because behaviour are assumed to effect if not determine behavior; understand consumer attitudes and the marketing may mould consumer choice in the products favour.

Level of Dimension: With regards to the level of product development, research way of measuring can be used to focus on particular market levels and use techniques appropriate for find out the possible level of satisfaction which will be gained from using the product. For instance, manufacturers transferring on sales numbers, in assurance, to an authorized (e. g. trade association) which collates them. Retail sales and brand stocks will tend to be collected most accurately at the retail level by having a retail audit. Patterns of ingestion and profiles of consumers, however, will demand data collection at the ultimate level through some type of interviewing program.

The market level from which data is required, therefore, comes with an important bearing on the study methodology. How big is market, for example, can be predicted by grossing the utilization levels among an example to the total population within the market. With adjustments (e. g. for brought in products, 'shrinkage' through the retail chain, etc) estimates also can be made of manufacturers' and vendors / retail sales. However, in making such estimates various uncertain assumptions nearly will have to be made and this affects the trustworthiness of the ultimate data.

Frequency of Way of measuring: General market trends data is often required of them costing only a single point in time; the existing market, the stocks kept now by each brand, the profile of current consumers etc. In such cases the research technique is often designed as a one-off and the project(i. e. product development). Additionally it is possible that at some future day it could be made the decision be the organisation to acquire the same type of data again and an identical research design maybe used but at that time the first project is considered this not to be of significant importance at the time. In terms of research expenses, most market research budgets are taken up buying repeat steps through ongoing research.

Continuous data allows important measures to be tracked overtime; actions in brand shares for example show progress (or drop) against competition and changes in the craze provide an early on warning to do this. Discrete trends also can be interrelated to other actions used the continuous research programme (e. g. press vulnerability) or unbiased parameters such as economic indicators and all the info ca be built-into a model which allows for predictions to be produced or enables 'what if' questions to be solved. Ongoing data can be collected from matched examples (each consisting of different respondents) and in some applications this is actually the preferred approach. Because of the high costs associated with executing continuous research, a lot of the wok is commonly syndicated with costs shared among lots of clients.

The aspect of the respondent: The positioning of potential respondents may for example, impact any decision to work with telephone or visit interviewing. Other things to consider may favour face-to-face methods but if the selected sample of say 50 potential buyers of something is propagate allover Western Europe, mobile interviewing maybe ruled out if an important area of the sample is seldom found there; e. g. the elderly. Respondent's personal capabilities may also impact the research design.

Self completion surveys aren't appropriate among an illiterate or semi-literate respondent group or where interest in the subject of the research may very well be low. In the same way, the wording of questions may need to reflect respondents' language skills and familiarity with terminology: computer jargon may have a location in a survey of IT personnel however, not among the overall population. Where as is common, the test is blended in these respects, the look must actually work least expensive common denominator assumptions. Access to communications and the status of respondents are also relevant to a proper design. While most business-to-business respondents can be contacted by cellphone, this will be less the truth where shop floor behaviour have to be set up or where employees are very mobile. In such cases respondents may need to be recruited away from their place of work.


The origins of the words qualitative and quantitative imply one is dependant on quality and the other on quantity. There is some fact in this. Qualitative research is centrally concerned with the understanding as opposed to the measurement of things. The trouble is the lack of measurement means that it is never possible to be sure that the findings are appropriate.

It is his incapability to validate qualitative research that triggers some consternation in relation to its utilization in product development. For instance, the government recently commissioned little qualitative research as it is bothered that the studies would not stand up to public scrutiny. Recently, though, because the 1997 Standard Election, interest by federal government in focus categories and similar possessed become a news item. The focus on quality and small numbers of respondents allows the research consultants to gather much of the data themselves as opposed to qualitative surveys where in fact the numbers of interviews are too great for any solitary person to make greater than a dent.

One of the strengths of qualitative research is which it deeply requires experienced and skilled professionals in the topic who can lift data and turn it into creative research results. Here too there are problems as well as advantages. A lot of the information accumulated through qualitative research depends on the skills of the practitioner.

Small amounts of respondents and just a few people carrying out the interviewing allows more open-ended questions than in quantitative surveys. Open-ended questioning is the textile of qualitative experts. There is absolutely no solid rule as to the break in sample size between qualitative and quantitative research. Most experts would agree that 30 or fewer respondents would definitely constitute qualitative work. Others would claim that any sample much below 200 interviews is verging on the qualitative method because such low figures produce findings with extremely large bands of problem.

According to Goodyear (1990), qualitative and quantitative research differs in four important ways, they may be: in the type of problem that all can solve; the methods of sampling; the methods of sampling; the techniques and style of collecting information; and the approach to and techniques of examination.


The research cycle is different depending on what level of product development the research is performed for. An average research pattern would include most or all of the steps described below. These steps should be regarded as categorised as a combination both major and extra research. They may be

Secondary Literature Search: An amazing amount of information is accessible here, or is being accumulated about consumer needs, needs their behavior, about market segments, prices, opportunities, etc. A list of questions and assumptions is necessary at this stage to identify what customers would see in the product. One could make an online search to locate studies that relate with it. That is a cheap way to prepare for the other research steps. At this time the primary concern for the researcher are, opportunities, and probable of the product, and identifying information to help in formulating ideas.

Exploratory Focus Organizations: These categories permit the researcher to hear about people's needs, wants, current products (especially the talents and weaknesses), how they compensate for what they don't have, attitudes about the market segments, etc. At this time the researcher continues to be considering opportunities, potential, etc, and looking for information to formulate programs.

Ethnographic Review: One may want to see people using related products and services in real time. This helps clarify what's gathered in research studies and read in focus groups. At this time the latter of opportunities still holds.

Large Scale Survey: The study allows one to acquire quantifiable information about assumptions, questions raised by the focus groups, planning, and standard market conditions of the product from the general populace. At this time the researcher would already have concrete assumptions about potential clients, their needs, and the marketplace generally. In this situation one is looking to verify those assumptions and ideas, with statistical self confidence. Additionally one may want to conduct research throughout the development process to clarify issues, help you create selections etc.

Usability Examining and Laboratory Assessment: the test here helps someone to refine various features of the product as it has been developed. Will be the keys in the right place, etc? At this point a prototype has been built, based on the information already collected through most important and secondary resources using qualitative and quantitative methods of research. As the major the different parts of the new product are being come up with, you need to test their functionality with real customers.

Prototype Focus Organizations: These communities test the research workers execution of plans gathered previously. For instance, do the features of the prototype meet their needs of the market? At this point specific information with regard to feedback about the look, feel, feasibility, etc of the prototype is gathered. (The researcher should expect at least two or three rounds of groupings to refine the new product).

Field Test: This allows the new product to betested. Users place the prototype through its paces. One should makesure that the product is tested in a number of settings to make sure theproduct undergoes the range of possible experiences. At this point the producthas been designed and built. Now could be to see how good the product has been regardto its market category, in which substantial evaluation has recently beencarried away.


This paper has looked at this is of product development, thetwo types of data collection methods particularly, main data collection andsecondary data collection methods. Under major data collection itidentifies, the kind of primary data collection, specifically, experimentation, sampling, study methods, questionnaire engineering and observation methods. Under extra data, we've identified the utilization of periodicals, census report, government publication, trade journals and the internet being the mostused method under this kind of data collection. We have also detailed thetypes of general market trends methods, namely, qualitative and quantitative researchmethods

Under quantitative research we've looked at sampling, the types of quantitative data used, level of measurement, occurrence of dimension, and characteristics of respondent or prospects for the new product. Additionally, we've also identified a few differences in the use of research options for product development including the dimension of the concluded results for a research etc. Finally, we viewed the research cycle with regard from what point of the cycle a fresh product would be evaluated and examined in real markets. The research pattern explains to us about the use of secondary books search, exploratory concentrate groups, ethnographic review, large scale study, usability evaluation and laboratory screening, prototype focus organizations, and field trials in product development.

It is useful to summarize here that although secondaryresearch, which is based on already existing data or information; i. e. datafrom primary research is the one which is collected straight from the foundation, whilesecondary research develops on key research already collected, you need to notethat information collected for supplementary research is probably not as appropriate asone might expect. The reason for this is that, a secondary data collectionresearcher might possibly not have been area of the major research team, and thereforethe end result of the results of secondary research regarding quantitativeanalysis might prove to be inaccurate in its use for product development.

Further work is required to develop this approach to see if the benefits can in fact be realised used. Additionally, there should be a greater account of the issues involved in supplementary analysis of sole, multiple, and blended data collections. Finally, even more specific suggestions are needed for analysts about the moral issues to be considered when undertaking qualitative work that maybe re-used in the future such as being biased rather than taking on plank important conditions that would affect the outcome of the merchandise in the final phases of development.


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