Searching For The Research Your Business Needs

Computer ResearchFor those of you who have followed this blog for any length of time, you may know about different type of research that could help your business. Most of the items that I have talked about is research (or ideas for research) that is done specifically for the business. In the market research world, this is called primary research. Wikipedia defines primary research as consisting of the collection of original primary data. It can be accomplished through various methods, including questionnaires and telephone interviews in market research, or experiments and direct observations in the physical sciences, amongst others. Read more of this post

How To Use Market Research To Improve Your Marketing

so what's all this new marketing stuffEverybody wants to improve their marketing efforts. Improved marketing and promotion leads to more customers and better retention of your current customers.

However, many businesses spend thousands of dollars every year on a variety of marketing tactics without a lot of success. This is mainly due to the lack of understanding how to marketing and advertising in an effective way. If these businesses a little research before they develop their marketing, their messaging would be more effective. Although each business is unique, a few basic market research strategies can help. Here are two:

Determine a concise target market

Before you start any business or marketing campaign, you need to learn about who is the intended target for the business or marketing campaign. This can be done through either primary or secondary research. Before launching a new product, service, or campaign, you need to know:

  1. Who wants or needs the product or service I am selling?
  2. How many potential consumers are out there?
  3. Where are my potential customers located?
  4. How much are my potential customers willing to spend?
  5. Why will they buy my product or service?

By identifying your target market, you will be able to evaluate the viability of your business, increase its visibility, and make the necessary changes to increase sales. By developing a target market you are less likely to waste your advertising dollars on promoting to the wrong group of customers.

Develop a database

It is surprising to me the number of businesses, large or small, that do not have and maintain a database. By developing and maintaining a database, a company can get a full understanding of their customers’ profile. By using your customer data more effectively, new products can be developed more efficiently and a more cost effective direct marketing campaign can be achieved.

Many businesses do not truly conduct market research. They probably see it as too difficult, too expensive, or not a perceived value. However, the value of doing it ahead of time can prevent a considerable waste of money on products and services that potential customers may not want and marketing campaigns that they may not respond to.

–J. Nolfo helps companies understand their market and customers though a variety of market research strategies. He has over ten years of experience of market research for strategic planning purposes. He is the Director of Research at Rhino Market Research. He shares his thoughts about market research and business concepts with his blog “Pensare…Understanding Market Research in Business“. If you would like to discuss this blog or how J. can help you understand your market and customer needs, email him at

Differences between Primary Market Research and Secondary Market Research

I was asked today at a networking opportunity whether I did primary or secondary market research. My immediate answer was, “Well, both.” However, the question got my mind mulling over if people understand the difference between these two forms. Market research is a key aspect when starting a new business venture, product line or service. But both have positive and negative aspects associated with them.

Secondary Market Research

Secondary market research is research that was previously done for some other needs, but being used to support the research needs of the organization. Generally, this is used to either provide a foundation for a study you want to do or provide additional information that would be time and/or cost prohibitive to do on your own. Think of secondary research as something you would do when looking to buy a new car. You would look at car company and dealer websites, maybe even Consumer Reports or These all have a lot of information done by others for their purposes, but to inform others of the subject topic. For business purposes, these are demographic studies, Census data research, or using other published research by market research organizations, trade associations, or other similar organizations. This can be done online a lot of times. [Side note, the US Census Bureau released the Summary File 1, SF1, recently. It can be found here.]

What are positive aspects about secondary research?
• Cost effective.
• Very short lead time.
What are negative aspects about secondary research?
• Not customized for your needs.
• Data may be too generic (or too detailed) for your needs.
• Data could be out of date.

Primary Market Research

Primary market research is research specifically done for the needs or questions of the organization. This is done through either quantitative or qualitative market research. To read more about these, you can look at my last blog post here. Keeping with the car buying example from above, primary research would be talking with owners of the cars you are interested in buying, talking with the salespeople, and even taking a test drive. This is done specifically done by you for your purposes.

What are positive aspects about primary research?
• Customized specifically for your needs.
• Timely.
• Delivers specific results.
What are negative aspects about primary research?
• Potentially very expensive based on needs and amount of sampling needed.
• Could take a long time to acquire all the data and analyze it. Longer lead time.

When dealing with a new opportunity, businesses should do both primary and secondary market research when they are looking at new business venture, product line or service. Companies and organizations should do secondary research first as it can be considerable more cost effective as well as provides some insight to the needs you are wanting to satisfy. Then primary research can follow once you get a better understanding of the market that you found in the secondary research.

What do you think about this?

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