Secondary Market Research: Definition, Advantages, And Disadvantages

Starting the research through secondary market research may not be glamorous as using the primary resources. It has, however, has its edge.

Before narrowing down the research, several researchers sought initial information from already existing data. As a result, they might decide to start with secondary market research.

There's a clear distinction between secondary and primary market research. ​So before starting the research project for your business, make sure you understand the ideas and methods between the two. This will help you maximize the resources and the value of the collected data.

Secondary Market Research: An Overview

Secondary market research, or secondhand research, is an activity that gathers data by examining secondary information such as trade associations, sales data, and others sources.

Instead of collecting data directly from primary sources, second-hand research fills in gaps in knowledge about products, markets, and customers.

This type of market research can be beneficial when there isn't much information about a product or when you want more detailed information than what's available from internal resources. It can also help determine if there's sufficient demand for a product before it is manufactured and distributed.

Secondary Market Research Sources

Internal Resources

Some companies often hold previous records on their database or file system that are proven helpful for future projects. As this has already been collected and approved by the company before, it can potentially hold significant information that can assist businesses in launching new research initiatives.

Some examples of internal sources include balance sheets, profit and loss statements, inventory records, and sales figures.

Internal resources of information are often the primary line of research since they are faster, cheaper, and more convenient than external sources. However, they can be incomplete or out of date because they were conducted several years back. In this case, companies will have to consider using external sources.

External Resources

When internal sources become irrelevant or incomplete, businesses often sort to collect information from outside sources. This is called the external sources, and it refers to information that is not generally found within the firm.

It's handy when you're just getting started on a project and don't have much information about the product or need more specific information than what's accessible from internal resources. It can also help determine if there is enough demand for a product before manufacturing and distributing it.

Journals, publications, trade groups, industry and market statistics, and even competitor information are some examples of external resources.

methods used for doing secondary market research

Methods Used In Secondary Market Research

Secondary market research is an activity that collects data by examining the secondary source or secondary information. The main methods used in secondary research can be categorized into three sources:

Public Sources

Any firm or company can use public sources to start their internal investigation into the product, service, or sector they wish to learn more about.

It is frequently collected by government agencies, reputable organizations, and market research firms and made publicly available on websites or libraries to the public without charge.

Public secondary data can be utilized for a variety of purposes. Analyzing sales volume and share, projecting future sales performance based on previous trends, identifying important rivals, and studying customer behaviour are just a few of the things that may be done.

Commercial Sources

Subscription-based publications and magazines, trade clubs or associations that charge membership fees, and data subscriptions are all commercial sources of secondary market research.

As a result, it is sometimes less accessible than other secondary sources due to the material expenses of obtaining it.

Educational Institutions

The most overlooked yet the best place to start your secondary market research. Instead of paying commercial rates, it is frequently conducted for free or at extremely low costs in colleges, universities, and other academic institutions.

While these types of sources may not provide you with accurate information on a specific product, they are beneficial in giving you a better idea of how to start your own business or company.

Difference Between Primary and Secondary Research

In the fields of market research and data analytics, secondary research refers to information that has been collected from sources other than a primary source.

It's different from primary research as this type of information does not come directly from consumers or customers but rather by looking at sales figures and industry trends.

Primary research, on the other hand, is information that comes directly from consumers or customers. This might be done through surveys, focus groups, interviews, etc.

Primary research can help companies better understand customer behavior and preferences, but secondary data does not provide the same degree of insight.

This is because secondary data provides a picture of what was happening when it was collected, while primary research offers more current and relevant information.

Another significant distinction between secondary and primary data is who owns them once they are created. Since secondary data comes from public sources such as government agencies or reputable organizations, it is considered a public domain that anyone can use.

Meanwhile, primary research belongs to the company that conducts it and cannot be legally shared with third parties without their consent.

This means that while secondary market research does not require a significant investment of time or money, primary data sources require companies to pay for interviews, surveys, etc., to gather the information they need.

Keeping this in mind, it's important to note that secondary market research cannot stand alone since it lacks context and a point of reference. It can only be utilized when combined with primary data.

Without this, companies are taking a gamble by basing their ideas on no longer relevant information.

Secondary research obtains information from external sources such as industry journals or studies.

In contrast, primary research collects data directly from customers through surveys or interviews regarding their preferences.

The Advantages of Secondary Research

Businesses that are new to the industry or have limited resources may only conduct secondary research. In fact, it offers several benefits such as:

  • No Need for Additional Funding- since you are not conducting research yourself, there is no need to invest your company's capital or personal assets.
  • Access to Multiple Sources - secondary research provides access to a number of information sources such as trade associations, government, and public records. You can also look at the primary data collected by other companies and organizations in your industry, which is reliable since it has already been verified before release.
  • You Can Focus on Other Areas of Your Business - with an efficient secondary research process, you can focus on the other areas of your business, such as product development and marketing.
  • Lower Risk - because it does not involve collecting data, you are less likely to encounter errors or other issues that may delay your business process. When the information comes from a reliable source, this can result in more accurate results when it comes time to use them.
  • Fast Results - results are typically obtained faster than primary data since secondary sources already exist. The only delay is due to the time it takes to find these existing information resources that will provide relevant insights about your industry or niche.
  • More in Depth - you can see a larger picture of who your customers are and exactly how they behave. This helps narrow down where there might be opportunities or dangers for your organization moving forward.
  • Easier Interpretation - this type of research primarily uses statistical methods to collect and interpret data which is easier to understand than primary research, which may use qualitative methods such as surveys, interviews, focus groups, and other methods.
  • A Useful Tool for Decision Making - Using secondary research properly helps companies make more informed decisions based on what is happening in their industry or sector.

Secondary research can be extremely helpful to organizations and companies that do not have an extensive background in marketing or who want more information than what they already know. It's an important tool that can help businesses make quick and better-informed decisions.

Disadvantages of Secondary Research

Secondary research is an essential instrument for decision-making in today's environment. It does, however, have certain drawbacks that should be considered before utilizing it.

  • Falling for False Results - when you rely on information from external sources, there is a chance that it may be inaccurate or false. While most reputable sources provide reliable and accurate data, not all companies do. If your organization decides to use this type of data without verifying it first, this can result in inaccurate results.
  • Decreased Access to Data - there may be times when you cannot find the information you need because secondary sources do not provide what is required or do not exist. This could happen if another company has already purchased these sources and only shares the information with their clients, which puts your company at a disadvantage.
  • Limited In-Depth Information - secondary research provides only the basics and does not provide in-depth insights into your industry or niche that can be gained from primary research. In some cases, this type of information is only available through expensive subscription services, making it difficult for smaller organizations to afford.
  • Lack of Engagement - secondary research is often conducted by people who are already experts in their field. These individuals may not provide the same insights that would come from an expert within your organization or industry. This can lead to a lack of engagement and failure to deliver high-value information that could help improve your company's performance.

There are many benefits associated with secondary market research. Still, these drawbacks make it essential for organizations to weigh them carefully against other options before deciding how best to proceed with their business process development strategies.

Should You Conduct A Secondary Market Research?

When done correctly, secondary research is a powerful instrument. In other situations, it may even be the best research method to utilize first!

The benefits of using secondary research are great, but it has its limitations that every organization should carefully consider before deciding how to proceed with their business process development strategies.

If your company needs to:

  • identify business opportunities that are available for your company
  • verify the credibility of the primary resources
  • collect data when primary resources are scarce or expensive
  • supplement primary market research when it spans a longer time frame

Then secondary market research may have been a fantastic place to start! It can provide valuable insight into aspects of your industry or niche space that you're not already aware of.

However, secondary research should never be considered a replacement for primary or internal sources, and organizations need to understand its limitations before relying too heavily upon them.

When it comes to market research, there are many choices available. Understanding them will help you decide which research methods are right for your company and how best to move forward with the development of your business processes.

If all this seems too complicated or you need help finding information on your industry or niche, let us know, and we'll partner with you with the most experienced and reliable market research company for your industry

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