Marketing Research Tools
Both the primary and secondary research are useful tools, especially in the marketing research with its several differences. In the marketing research, the differences between the primary and secondary research are simple, but several confusions may occur. Correspondingly, the market research is all about finding out what the patrons (customers and consumers) think, need, or want, respectively. The main purpose of the marketing research is to assist the organizations to decide the best products or services to offer in the market. However, before the market research process, the aims and objectives of the research are well-defined in order to achieve what does the clients or organization needed to find out and its significance. As a result, the market research process leads to successful outcomes and helps the organization improve the products and services in accordance with the needs of the public consumers. On the other hand, it is necessary to identify the differences of both research tools when using the qualitative and quantitative approaches. At times, those who undertake market research often encounter difficulties or not aware of the significant differences between the qualitative and quantitative approaches. The primary research is simply considered as a new research that is carried out to answer relevant issues or queries specifically. It involves surveys, observations, field tests, questionnaires, and interviews with the individuals or groups. While the secondary research used information that is previously researched by other individuals available publicly or for other legal purposes. The secondary research involves the published research reports in the library, surveys, or online and other scientific reports that are produced by the government or educational institutions. It is significant to indicate the tools (primary or secondary) are appropriate to use in every approach (qualitative or quantitative) and its relevant reasons of utilization.
The primary research is considered as a proprietary research; an original research own by the researcher. The researcher conducts the research that produces the original information with a competitive edge and the primary research produces beneficial information with the objectives. Particularly, in the primary marketing research, the research conducted answers the specific questions about the business, clients, or competitions and the precise information on the study. The researcher obtains the raw data directly and collects the specific information needed. Stewart and Kamins emphasize that the researcher collects the new data to meet the needs of the study or research considered as a primary research. The tools of the primary research involve surveys, interviews, questionnaires, and observations with its direct method of conducting the research. Entirely, the tools are different from the secondary research. Particularly, the primary research tools are videos, films, laboratory experiments, diaries, records, and the observed events. It demonstrates that the common tools of the primary research involve the personal observation performed by the researcher; the experience and interviews with the respondents. Holt discusses the perspective that the primary research is a first-hand observation and collection of information from direct investigations. Frequently, the primary research is the main portion of the research itself; the collection of the primary information from the respondents is the integral component of the study. Its objective is to search the original data for the study; it covers the data collection, inputs of data, process, analysis, and results. However, the primary research takes a lot of time, effort, and cost in conducting the study. Overall, the primary research has its significance because the methods and tools serve the aims and objectives of the research.
The secondary research is based on the information that is previously conducted by another researcher from the trade associations, government, and educational institutions. For example, the United States Census Bureau information and the Nielsen Ratings are secondary market research. It only shows that the secondary research is easy to search because the information can be found online at the respective websites such as government, industry, library, and newspaper websites. The information can be retrieved from the Internet or even from the competitor’s website. Typically, the secondary research covers the broad areas of generalized inquiries, for example, the journals available from the libraries or online sources. Alred, Brusaw, and Oliu essentially presents the ideas of the tools for the secondary research in gathering and selecting the relevant information for the study. The sources of the secondary information are the research books, reports, journal articles, scientific journals, and even critiques of the literary works or narratives of some of the historical events. In particular, the government publications, consumer reports, and university journals are among the authentic sources of the secondary research information. Moreover, the online search is a relevant secondary source in a certain study. However, a research should be cautious enough in using the online sources. The online research is risky because some information is not peer-reviewed sources. It is the responsibility of the researcher to choose authentic sources retrieved from the internet. Technically, all the sources from the internet that are used in the study should be cited appropriately to avoid plagiarism. Holt emphasizes that a responsible researcher checks the authenticity of the website through official consultation of the professionals for verification. In the corporate world, the American Marketing Association can help the researcher resolve some issues in the collection of information from organization reports, medical reports, and public records. Some information obtained from the secondary sources are not equally valid and reliable. The information should be evaluated properly and weighted in accordance to the recency and credibility of the sources. It implies that the researcher of the secondary information possesses the healthy skepticism regarding the information provided by the previous researcher. Particularly, the secondary source has the similar idea necessary for the study, however, with different level of analysis from the interest and focus of the objectives that may result in unnecessary information. Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches
Primarily, the qualitative approach is an exploratory research that gains an understanding of the underlying opinions, motivations, and reasons. It gives the insights in the problem and helps to improve the ideas for potential research and uncovers the trends in opinions in order to submerge deeper into the problem of the study. The quantitative approach is used to quantify the problem of the study through generating numerical data that is transformed into statistics. It quantifies the attitudes, behaviors, opinions, and other variables and generalize the results from a larger sample population. Both qualitative and quantitative information is available from the primary and secondary sources. The most common methods of conducting a primary research are the surveys, questionnaires, interviews, and observations; the primary research can be used both in the qualitative and quantitative approaches. In a quantitative approach, surveys are the most common form while in the qualitative approach, the interviews and observations are tools commonly used in the study. On the other hand, one of the important sources of the quantitative secondary data is the US Bureau of Economic Analysis. Similarly, the quantitative approach presents information numerically by using the percentage, for example, all the respondents in the interviews or questionnaires answer identical questions to ensure consistency. In the qualitative approach, it finds out the opinions of the respondents through the open-ended questions and the researcher talks to the groups of consumers.
The design to help understand how people feel or reason is the qualitative approach. The primary research is the collection of in-depth information from the people through the questionnaire. Significantly, the primary qualitative research tools are the group discussions or interviews. In addition, the methods are focused in the interviews, case studies, and observations. While the primary quantitative research refers to the larger sample sizes that involve conducting surveys or experiments. Both the primary and secondary research are collected in accordance with its objectives, only the primary research is a raw information while the secondary research is a previous information by another researcher. The key benefits of the primary research are specific to the needs of the researcher and controls the quality. The secondary research is usually cheap and quick. However, both research has its disadvantages; the primary research costs more and takes longer while the secondary data can be too old or not specific enough for the needs of the research.
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