When conducting secondary research, keep your plan and project goals at the top of your mind. It’s easy to fall down a rabbit hole of data and become overwhelmed. Maintaining focus on your pre-established goals will keep you and your market research surveys on target.
Step one is to determine your questions.
Do you need to learn more about the market to help determine your target demographics? Are you hoping to learn more about the competition and how they operate? Do you understand consumer preferences and how they’ll play into your business model?
Next, you’ll need to figure out what kind of information you need to answer your questions. Definining what data you need will keep you on track during your research and help you sift through the mountains of data.
Ask yourself what would be most beneficial to you: statistical data such as annual reports and financial records, or location-specific data and consumer information.
Once you know what questions you need answered have an idea of the information that will best answer them, you are ready to start the research.
We suggest the following resources for successful secondary research:
Public sources such as libraries and government departments
Banks and other financial institutions
Educational institutions such as universities and technical institutes
Online periodicals and industry studies (try searching in Google Scholar)
HOW TO CONDUCT PRIMARY MARKET RESEARCH
Once you’ve completed your secondary research and have a solid understanding of your particular market, your target demographics, and the competition, you’ll want to get started on your primary research.
Your primary research will get more in-depth about the particulars of your business, products, and location. The questions you ask will be specific for your situation but often the questions include:
Which factors do consumers consider when making a purchase?
What do they like/dislike about our current products?
Where could this product improve?
What is a fair price for this product?
COLLECTING RESPONSES FOR PRIMARY MARKET RESEARCH SURVEYS
There are a number of ways to get answers to these questions, however, when in the primary research stage, you want to make sure that you are collecting information from specific segments of people. Use qualifying questions to ensure that your sample meets your demographics are a great way to make sure that your data is practical and actionable. This can involve offering incentives to respondents.