Planning & Secondary Research
Secondary research is one of the most common methods that are employed in collection of data in studies. It entails accessing already gathered information from primary research sources. This involves collection of data from third-party sources or any previously collected information from both external and internal sources, (Nargundkar, 2003). On the other hand, planning can be defined as setting expectations of performance and goals as well as entities to direct their endeavors toward achievement of predetermined objectives, (Malcolm & Hugh, 2011). Besides, it encompasses measures of determining the goals and expectations are being attained. As a matter of fact, both secondary research and planning have advantages and limitations in marketing, as well as in other fields.
The first advantage of secondary research is ease of access. Before advancement of technology, marketers were forced to visit libraries or depended on mail transfer to access reports. However, this is never the case in the current times. With the internet, it is much easy to access various kinds of secondary information from almost every part of the world. Secondly, secondary research is relatively cheaper, (Gordon, 2007). This based on the fact that, the markers need not to go to the field to collect this information; thus, it is relatively cheaper than carrying out primary research. Lastly, the data collected in this case is real as it is based on actual figures or research that involved big samples.
On the other hand, one of the advantages of planning is that, it acts as a tool of minimizing uncertainties. This based on the fact that it entails anticipation of the events of the future as well as preparation for any probable risks, (Bellis, 2010). Secondly, planning facilitates co-ordination due to the fact that, all the activities are focused on common goals. Besides, it is important in the identification of work performance problems and aims at rectifying such problems. Lastly, it acts as a controlling tool, (Malcolm & Hugh, 2011). Basically, it enhances existence of certain planned performance standards and goals. Moreover, it acts a basis of controlling as actual and standard performance can be compared.
However, as mentioned early, both secondary research and planning have their limitations as well. The first limitation of secondary research is that the data is not updated often. Therefore, there are high chances that the data will not be helpful in addressing the specific needs of the researcher; which may be involving current market issues, (Andrew, 2011). Another point is that, the information that is obtained through secondary research is usually incomplete. Precisely, the research is unlikely to obtain full version of the information.
Finally, one of the limitations of planning is that, it is rigid. This due to the fact that it involves prior determination of procedures, policies as well as programmes which are supposed to be strictly followed. Thus, it will be difficult to change plans whenever there is need. The other limitation is that, planning is usually undertaken based on probabilities. Therefore, there is some degree of uncertainty in planning, (Bellis, 2010). The third limitation is that planning might be misdirected. For instance, it might be used to address individual interests rather than addressing the interests of the organization as a whole. Besides, there is a lot of biasness in planning as the entire process is influenced by the attitudes, preferences, likes and dislikes of the planners. Lastly, a lot of monetary and time resources are required during the planning process, which makes it relatively expensive.
Andrew, P. (2011). Advantages and Disadvantages of Secondary Data. Retrieved on 14th
September 2011 from http://prosandconsofsecondaryresearch.blogspot.com/
Bellis, M. (2010). Marketing Plan for the Independent Inventor: The Advantages and
Disadvantages of a Marketing Plan. Retrieved on 14th September 2011 from http://inventors.about.com/od/licensingmarketing/a/advantages_mark.htm
Gordon, L.P. (2007). Using Secondary Data in Marketing Research: United States and
Worldwide. New York: Greenwood Publishing Group.
Malcolm, M & Hugh, W. (2011). Marketing Plans: How to Prepare Them, How to Use Them.
New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Nargundkar, R. (2003). Marketing Research-Text & Cases 2E. Washington: McGraw-Hill.