Types of Market Research Methods and Which One to Use?

How would you feel when somebody asked for your opinion first, before making a decision?

Attention and approval are given by consumers when businesses give importance to their perspectives and stress great significance to their suggestions. And this is precisely what Market Research does.

This set of techniques gathers information from a potential customer through several research methods to manufacture a product or service in the market.

As a result, manufactured products are better, the user experience is improved, better decision making, and increased sales and revenue.

But as an owner or marketing manager, you have to conduct and outsource market research from individual prospects and agencies' expertise in a specific field and make use of several market research methods suitable for your business.

Types of Market Research Methods

Market research can be split into two categories: primary market research and secondary market research.

Primary Market Research

This type of research market method is considered the most valuable as this allows you or any researchers to conduct research and gather information directly from the target market.

Thus, seeking an actionable insight into the consumer's overall experience while considering your business' strengths, weaknesses, and marketing strategies that can be improved or retained based on the respondent's answers.

The data collected are a combination of two approaches which are:

  • Qualitative Research - investigative approach gathered from the small yet highly validated sample size. This focuses more on observation.
  • Quantitative Research  - scientific approach gathered from quantifiable data. This focuses more on numbers. The most common methods used are online surveys, questionnaires, and polls

Furthermore, the researcher can proceed in gathering data that can either be exploratory or specific.

  • Exploratory - more general and answers open-ended questions allowing lengthy interviews to happen.
  • Specific - more precise in gathering information and answers pre-defined or close-ended questions. It is used to solve problems identified in the first research with more structure and formal interview concepts.

Primary Market Research Methods

Primary market research methods are a key component of any marketing strategy. The information gained from this data helps companies make decisions about pricing, the target audience, and what products or services are needed to meet customer needs.

We are here to introduce you to some of the most popular primary market research approaches.

Focus Groups


A simple concept of putting together a small group of people shares the same demographics, interests, and opinions. The focus group may consist of 6 to 10 people who discuss relevant topics chosen by the researchers to answer personally or through online meetings.

The discussion may go around unexpected levels and topics which can potentially add new information the researchers might or might not need.



Nothing beats a face-to-face concept that revolves personally on the consumer and collects direct information from them for the benefit of the research. This yields more personal and specific results.

Hence, it's crucial to get an experienced interviewer to get the most out of the interview.

Ethnographic Research


This is also called an 'experiment' and 'field trials' which demands in-depth research requiring researchers to adapt to the respondent's natural environment to get the most results. This type of research method may last for a few days, weeks, or even months.

In addition, field trials are also applicable. Ethnographic research happens under real-life selling conditions such as placing a new product in the store and observing the customer's behaviour towards it.

Surveys, Questionnaires, and Polls


A versatile series of questions that can be conducted in-person, over the phone, or on the internet. The questions can either be open-ended, just like how essay writings work, or close-ended questions, in which respondents have choices of answers to choose from.

Secondary Market Research

This type of market research uses the information and data gathered by other people or organizations that have already been compiled and published. This information includes government data, local newspapers, magazines, books, and so on.

Small industries and businesses resort to secondary research since this is more affordable and faster to obtain. Although the information comes from an official source, they are still publicly accessible and freely used by third-party.

Secondary Market Research Methods

Secondary market research is conducted for a variety of reasons. It can be used to gather information on competitors, gauge customer sentiment, or explore emerging trends in the industry.

Many different methods can be employed when conducting secondary market research, and we have outlined some of the most common ones here.

Public Sources


Libraries and the internet are good examples of public sources that researchers can acquire information. Any place where you can get public and free accurate information.

Commercial Sources


Publications that are openly used but require small payment before acquiring one. A few of these are newspapers, magazines, television media, and others.

Educational Institutions


Unpopular source of research, yet advantageous in collecting data and gathering information. The most common types are the research projects carried out by students and professors in a university or any educational institution.

What Type of Marketing Research Method Should You Use?

Primary research is best for people who want to get initial information and candid ideas about their target customers. On the other hand, secondary market research is better in understanding a particular industry and identifying your competitor's operation.

Consider the ability you have to show, the time you have to spend, and the finances you need to lend in conducting any of these marketing research methods.

Don't know what it takes to do market research on your own?

Appointment Setting UK has years of experience in helping businesses and large companies to apply the best market research method suitable to their needs and target audience.

If you would like to know more about this, you can fill out our contact form or give us a call today at 020-80599450!

Regardless of your choice, this only shows how important and necessary applying market research as one of the marketing strategies to make your business successful in any industry.

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