Business need tools to run properly and affordably. An automobile mechanic needs jacks, compressors, wrenches, and personnel to use the tools efficiently. Each tools has a specific purpose and if used correctly will make a repair quick and easy. Marketing research also uses tools for specific jobs and needs personnel who efficiently can manage the tools to satisfy customers. Marketing research can be broken down into two broad categories: primary research and secondary research. There are also two main approaches to marketing research: quantitative and qualitative. Organizations will use a mix of tools for each category and approach to complete their marketing research.
Primary versus Secondary Research
There is a central difference between primary and secondary marketing research, which is who collected the data and was it specific to the current marketing research project. Alvin C. Burns and Ronald F. Bush (2006) in their publication Marketing Research explain that:
Primary data refers to information that is developed or gathered by the researchers specifically for the research project at hand. Secondary data have previously been gathered by someone other than the researcher and/or for some purpose other than the research project at hand (p. 146).
This means that an organization may already have data collected, such as sales database, but the information is considered secondary data because it was not collected specifically for a current marketing research project.
Quantitative versus Qualitative Method
The method in which the primary and secondary research is collect effects the time, cost, analysis, and value of the data. Quantitative research uses, "structured questions in which the response...
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... when going through the marketing research process. The different styles and methods of marketing research need to be examined carefully and take time, cost, and value of information, into consideration. Secondary research should always be sought first to either answer the project questions with less expense or to help narrow the focus and effectiveness of primary research. Quantitative and qualitative methods of research should be considered when selecting tools with primary and secondary information. Each tools purpose is unique and may require a mix of many tools to complete the marketing research project.
Aaker, D. A., Kumar, V., and Day, G. S. (2007). Marketing research (9th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
Burns, A. C., Bush, R. F. (2006). Marketing research: Online research applications (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
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