There are two main types of market research. These are Primary research (field research) and secondary research (desk research).
Primary research is data or information that does not already exist.
• First hand information
• Can be highly focussed and relevant
• Care needs to be taken with the approach and methodology to ensure accuracy
• Types of question – closed – limited information gained; open – useful information but difficult to analyse
• Collected by the entrepreneur
· Customer questionnaires
· Focus group
· Direct mail surveys
· Web-based surveys
· Customer interviews
• Expensive to collect, analyse and evaluate
• Difficult to carry out accurately
• It can be inaccurate therefore the business might make inappropriate decisions.
• Entrepreneurs often lack the skills and time to carry out Primary research.
Secondary research is data that has already been found by someone and published. That has not been collected specifically for the purposes of the entrepreneur.
• Company Accounts
• Internal Reports and Analysis
• Stock Analysis
• Retail data - loyalty cards, till data, etc.
• Government Statistics (ONS)
• EU - Euro Stat
• Trade publications
• Commercial Data - Gallup
• Household Expenditure Survey
• Magazine surveys
• Other firms’ research
• Research documents – publications, journals, etc.
• Internet - many web sites offer information and much government published data can be accessed for free through their web sites.
Random Samples – equal chance of anyone being picked
• May select those not in the target group – indiscriminate
• Sample sizes may need to be large to be representative
• Can be very expensive
• One in which each potential member of a group has an equal chance of being in the sample.