What are the differences between primary and secondary data in market research process? What are the pros and cons?

What are the differences between primary and secondary data in market research process? What are the pros and cons?

Expert Answer

 Primary data in marketing research is generated by an individual or an organization which is proprietary and context specific. Secondary data from market research is any data or informatio which is available “a priori”. For example, I want to launch a fruit based drink. Now, what types of research I may do?

I will start from secondary market research on fruit drinks available, competition in the industry, preferences of different age groups for different flavors, prepferable pack sizes, growth rate of industry etc. All this information will give me a broader idea on what to launch. Once I have decided that I will launch a 100% fruit drink meant for age groups between 15-45 years who will consume it “on the go”. Now, I will start by primary research either through focus group, survey or administering a questionnaire to know more about my target segement, their preferences, their spending patterns etc.

Summarizing, Secondary research gives a broader picture while primary research is more in depth and purpose oriented.

Pros and Cons: Primary research becomes necessary when there is no specific survey results are available. Both have different purposes. Primary research is more need based and hence, specific. Secondary research is more about mega trends, trends and patterns.

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