Types of Market Research

Published on: Mar 21 2011 by Zaheer

Market research is basically a procedure in which a systematic collection of data about any certain target market is made such as competitors, customers, market trends etc. The main purpose of conducting a market research is to get a detailed understanding of any certain market related subject. One major cause behind conducting a market research is the day by day increasing competition among different associations. Associations either conduct this market research by forming a team or they may take help from any of the market research consultancies or agencies to conduct market research the association’s behalf.

Market research has an important role to play in any type of business firm or organizations, especially for the organizations who are aiming to explore the market trends regarding the demand for their existing products and the products which they are planning to introduced in the market in order to boost their business profits. As market research is always objective oriented, you need to have your objectives and goals well-defined before conducting market research in one or another way.

Types of Market Research

Primary research and Secondary research are the two major ways to carry out the market research. The objectives you defined determine the selection of the type for carrying out a market research.

Primary Research

Primary research is a process in which systemic collection of data is done straight from the source. This means that if an organization is willing to know the demand of its certain product, a research will be conducted where the feedback is collected directly from the customers. Different ways are used to collect the feedback from the customers such as interviews, surveys, or group sessions etc. However, primary research is a time consuming as well as pricey. Primary research is further subcategorized into two different types, i.e. quantitative primary research and qualitative primary research.

Quantitative Primary Research: This type of primary research deals with collecting a numerical data through surveys. Market Research Survey is one of the most widely used quantitative method. Researchers then make an analysis on the basis of collected numerical data. The surveys under quantitative technique normally based on questionnaires. These questionnaires contain close ended questions and the numbers of questions in a questionnaire are fixed. These surveys are not time consuming as customer has to tick the selection of his/her choice on the questionnaire. The answers of the questions are normally excellent, very good, good or satisfactory. Researchers collect the data and analyzed it statistically before giving their conclusions. Different means are used to conduct these surveys, i.e. face to face with customers, through email, telephone, or through post.

Qualitative Primary Research: Qualitative primary research is a technique which focuses on interviews or group sessions for the collection of data. Unlike quantitative technique, this research technique focuses on open ended questions. In this sort of questioning technique, one is not required say yes or no or tick the relevant answer box instead it includes a detailed interviews or group sessions. An experienced executive is assigned a duty to interview one or more respondents. Different questions are asked to the respondents and data is collected that based on likes and dislikes, trends, requirements, emotional motivators of the market and of course feedback – positive or negative it may be. It is not necessary for experienced or trained executive to follow a certain format of questions. He/she can ask the questions in accordance with the situation at the time of interview. Unlike quantitative technique where respondents are only allowed to answer in yes or no, qualitative technique gives the respondents a freedom to express themselves freely.

Secondary Research

Secondary research is a type of market research in which the data collected has already been in compiled and organized form which is used to analyze things. In secondary research, the data is collected from different means such as government publications, libraries, Internet, magazines, chamber of commerce, trade associations etc. The collected data can either be in the form of charts, set of articles, research work, or demographic or statistical data. Different organizations make use of this data to understand the prevailing market conditions and scope of their products and services.

Chambers of Commerce: Organizations can collect information and data from the chambers of commerce regarding local firms and organizations.

Business Information Centers: Business information centers are another great source to gather data in the form of books, videos, publications etc.

Trade Associations: Trade associations are the best source to collect data regarding the industry leaders, trends, competitors etc.

Marketing Departments of Local Colleges: Organizations can also benefit from the research publications prepared by students on different projects.

Wholesalers and Manufacturers: Wholesalers and manufacturers are another great source to collect data based on customer’s likings and disliking, costs, complaints, etc.

Magazines and Newspapers: The best sources of gathering important data are through newspapers and magazines. The data collected from newspapers and magazines gives an important account for the market’s latest trends.

Competitors: Another way to gather crucial data is through conducting research regarding products and services of rival firms such as prices, brochures, marketing techniques used by them etc.

There are numerous other resources from where organizations can collect data easily, e.g. libraries, publications, books on different subjects, banks, real estate companies, and insurance companies. Qualitative research technique is far easier than the primary research technique. Also, qualitative technique is time efficient and cheaper than its counterpart. Apart from these positive points, there are some negative aspects as well with the qualitative research technique. For instance, in qualitative research technique, the data is mostly collected through different sources and one cannot be sure of its accuracy and authenticity because it is collected by other organizations or people in respect to their own demands and requirements. The data may be outdated and don’t serve the purpose for the respective organization or firm.

These are some of the different types of market research. Market research is an integral part of business firms and organizations because without conducting a proper market research, these firms cannot be able to understand the market trends and the customers bend (liking or disliking) towards certain products and services.  It is important of business firms to conduct market research to achieve their objectives.


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