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Primary Research Methods v/s Secondary Research Methods

There are two kinds of research when it comes to marketing: primary and secondary. Primary or secondary marketing decides the course of action for the future that helps businesses reach their desired target audience and convert them into customers.

Here we will see the difference between the two so that you can choose accordingly for your business.

Primary Research

  • Primary research is done in-house by an organization or by hired marketing professionals. Primary research helps gather information directly from the source, i.e. your target audience.
  • Primary research involves collecting data first hand through interviews, questionnaires, surveys, analysis of competitor websites, research on target groups, etc.
  • Primary research usually has two goals – to explore the market and identify issues and troubleshooting those issues. Exploring the market involves long interactions with an individual or a specific group. The interviews cover topics broadly. The troubleshooting problem is the second stage which involves more formal and structured interviews with specific groups or individuals.
  • Primary research is usually more expensive because it involves conducting large-scale surveys and interviews to determine and target the right audience.
  • Primary research is also time-consuming since accumulating data from so many sources, arranging them, and then analyzing them takes a huge amount of time.
  • Accumulating and analysing primary data necessitates the hiring of a professional for accurate results.

Second Research

Secondary research is the analysis of data gathered by other institutions. Published annual reports, Government reports, etc serve as a source of secondary data.

  • Data for the secondary research is available on web portals, trade and business magazines, publications, reports by government agencies, etc. While most data is available for free, some may require permission to access but the costs are usually reasonable.
  • Secondary research may not get you all the information you need but it is cost-effective and is often the preferred route for many emerging businesses. Since the mammoth task of collecting data is already done, secondary data does not cost much.
  • Since data is already collected and ready for use, secondary research is also available in a shorter time.
  • Secondary data may not necessitate the hiring of a professional if there is a person who has some knowledge of marketing in-house. This is also because collected and published data is analysed many times by many people.

While primary research is clearly the better choice, keeping in mind your needs and expenses, you may choose whatever you feel is best for your business.

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