woman using laptop for primary research
April 9, 2020

Primary vs. Secondary Research

You likely already know that market research depends on data. Market researchers perform studies to collect vital data that businesses can use to make informed decisions. However, there are two types of research – primary and secondary. Both are important for market researchers, but the way information is obtained varies depending on which type it is.

Primary and secondary information are both vital in market research, and which one is best depends on the data needed for that specific project. Some projects can require both primary and secondary research at different times. For example, many projects might begin with secondary research and move to primary later on.

Understanding the different methods of conducting research is important for everyone involved in a market research study. Here are the key differences between primary and secondary research.

Primary Research

Primary research is research that a person needs to conduct on their own and get information directly from a source. The information they obtain is brand new and can’t be found elsewhere. There are many ways market researchers can conduct primary research. This includes methods like interviews, surveys, and focus groups.

Of course, this type of research requires market researchers to find their sources first. Because of this, it is often the lengthier process of the two. However, there are many benefits to performing this type of research. Since it allows you to get information directly from sources you select, it’s more specific and tailored to your needs. You have control over the questions you ask sources, so you can get the types of answers you need. For studies that require highly-specific information, primary research is the best way to obtain it to ensure you get what you’re looking for.

Secondary Research

While primary research is research that a person conducts on their own, secondary research is research that someone else has already conducted. This means market researchers don’t have to go through the process of finding participants for a study. However, anyone using secondary research must ensure the information they’re using is from a reliable source, especially considering how easy it is to get inaccurate and false information on the internet.

You can obtain secondary research for free through some resources, but in some cases, you may need to pay to access this information. Data from secondary research is often faster and less expensive to gather. Secondary research wasn’t conducted for your specific study, and while it might be valuable, it might not be as exact as the information you would gain from primary research. If a project only requires general information, secondary research may be exactly what market researchers need.

Qualitative Recruitment Services for Your Market Research Project

At Focus Forward, we help find the perfect participants for your market research project and help you throughout this process through our qualitative recruitment services. We know how important it is to get the right people involved so that you can obtain much-needed data and that this can be challenging on your own. Our team has years of experience recruiting respondents for a range of market research studies and can help ensure you have the participants you need to conduct research.

Contact us to learn more about how Focus Forward can help you conduct market research.