When making a new product it is advised that you undertake secondary research first, if the data is available. Unless your product is so different then you should undertake primary research first. Though having secondary research alone is rarely enough. Secondary research is your starting point and it will help out with your primary research. Secondary research gathers background data but primary research gives a more detailed and up-to-date information.

Secondary research is sometimes called ‘Desk Research’ because without leaving your desk you can all of these information from the internet, past files or reports from an agency specialised in a certain field.

Sources of secondary data: Edit

  1. Government publications
    • In the Uk it would be referred to:
      • population census
      • social trends
      • economic trends
      • annual abstract of statistics
      • family expenditure survey
  2. Local libraries and local government offices
    • If the research dones i only for a small area for example making a new cafe in your neighborhood then you would need:
      • local population census returns with details of total numbers and age and occupation distributions
      • numbers of households in the area
      • proportion of different ethnic groups in the area
  3. Trade organisations
    • Trade organisations produce regular reports on a certain field. For example:
      • society of motor manufacturers and traders
      • furniture retailers association
      • engineering employers federation
  4. Market intelligence reports
    • Very detailed reports on individual markets and industries. It is known to be very costly and it is produced by a specialist market research agency. They are usually available in local libraries.

For example:

      • Mintel reports
      • Key Note reports
      • Euromonitor
  1. Newspaper reports and specialist publications
    • Marketing – this journal provides weekly advertising spend data and consumer ‘recall of adverts’ results
    • The Grocer
    • Motor Trader
    • The Financial Times – regular articles on key industries such as IT and detailed country reports – essential for potential exporters
  2. Internal company records
    • Internal company records can only be used for businesses that has been trading for some time, thus having a great quantity of secondary data.

•Customer sales records

•Guarantee claims

•Daily, weekly and monthly sales trends

  1. The internet
    • The internet has loads of secondary data from all over the world but you should always check the accuracy and relevance of the source, because it can be deceiving sometimes.

Advantages and disadvantage of secondary research: Edit

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Primary Research:There are two types of research in primary research, there are: qualitative research and quantitative research. Edit

Qualitative researchis a research into the in-depth motivation behind consumer buying behaviour or opinions. With this research you will be able to find out why consumers will or will not buy a particular product. Qualitative research will help you discover the motivational factors behind a consumer buying habits. This will help the business in its pricing and promotional decisions for the new product.

When doing qualitative research you would need afocus group. A focus group is a group of people who are asked about their attitude towards a product, service, advertisement or new style of packaging. These group of people are asked questions and are encouraged to actively discuss their answers. The discussion is filmed and is used by the market research department as data. Usually focus groups are used to obtain feedback about new products, new brand names, new advertisements and more.

A focus group is far more effective than individual surveys or questionnaires because this is more realistic and the people are actually discussing it rather than writing a one or two sentences. Researchers are also present in the discussion to stimulate the discussion not lead them into a certain conclusion.

Focus groups have been proven to be very successful in finding out problems and are used a lot in market research. The downside is that it is time wasting. Some members might discuss issues that are not related to the topic and the researcher must direct them to be ‘on topic’ at all times. The data can be be hard to analyse and presented to the senior managers due to it being a qualitative nature. Also, even though the researcher tried to be really careful there might be the risk of the researcher leading the group into a biased conclusion.

Advantages and disadvantage of primary research: Edit

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Quantitative researchis research that leads to numerical results that can be statistically analysed. There are three research techniques that can be used in quantitative research, they are: Edit

  • Observation and recording
    • Market research observes and records how consumers behave. For example counting how many people looked at the new window display or take a product from the shelves or maybe a simple stock check can also be used to record sales over a period of time. Though sometimes people would act differently if they knew they were being watched. Observations do not give the researcher a chance to ask for the explanation of such behaviour.
  • Test Marketing
    • Test marketing can take place after producing a limited quantity of product but not launching it in a full national scale. It is done in a region where they believe it has the same characteristic as the general population. They record consumer reactions and sales figures. Test marketing reduces the risks of a new product failing completely. Though evidence is not always accurate if the region chosen does not have the same characteristics as the general population.
  • Consumer surveys
    • Consumer surveys can be used to obtain both qualitative and quantitative research. These involves asking consumer for their opinion and preferences.

An example of questions used in a consumer survey of shoppers:

‘How many foreign holidays did you take last year?’

This question will give you a quantitative result that can be presented graphically and statistically.

‘What do you look for in an ideal foreign holiday?’

This question will give you a qualitative result and would give you a hint of what would influence consumer choice

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