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The Power and Promise of Secondary Market Research

Overlooking the potential of secondary market research can prove to be a costly mistake for marketers and businesses. While primary research – original data obtained directly from the customer – is seen as richer and more valuable, secondary research can be equally, if not more, insightful and provide immense benefits to a business. 

Just because secondary research requires less time and effort to gather, and is available to anyone with an internet connection, does not mean it cannot often outdo primary research in depth and richness. Larger businesses, research centers, and analysts often have access to greater resources than a small to medium-business owner and can produce insightful market data at a large scale. Savvy marketers can (and do) harness the power of secondary research and get business insights from it before conducting their own primary research. 

What is Secondary Market Research? 

Secondary or desk research is research that uses data from a pre-existing internal or external source. It often relies on readily available data to establish key facts about a demographic or service, and does not involve collecting new data. 

Secondary market research may rely on external sources such as published market studies, white papers, articles, or reports. 

Primary research, on the other hand, refers to the collection of data first-hand through questionnaires, surveys, or focus groups. 

The Biggest Benefits of Secondary Market Research

While certain questions are unique to a business and can only be answered through primary research, you might be surprised to know that the answers to many questions about your customer base are already available through previously conducted studies. 

Beginning your research by examining and getting the most out of secondary sources, before moving on to primary research, can avoid reinventing the wheel and help your bottom line. 

Secondary market research: 

  • is quicker and much more cost-effective
  • can include data from larger sample sizes and markets (something that can be inaccessible to primary researchers)
  • can be more detailed and in-depth than primary research 
  • provides valuable and sometimes surprising insights into customer behavior and preferences 
  • helps avoid the duplication of effort 

How to Conduct Secondary Market Research 

Conducting primary research can be fairly expensive, and cost as much as $15,000 to $50,000 for quantitative online studies. 

It’s best to look to secondary research before considering conducting a survey or hosting a focus group. 

In addition to internal research sources, many wonderful sources of data are available online, including company reports, digital intelligence platforms, government agencies, competitor sites or publications, news sites, NGO reports, journals, and the good old-fashioned internet. 

Scour these sources to get great business insights for free before you turn to primary research. 

Still have questions about secondary market research? Ebony Marketing Systems has years of expertise in extensive and multicultural market research and helping businesses design the best intelligence strategy for their needs. Call us at (718)742-0006 or contact us online.

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