Primary research is the collection of original information or the acquisition of first-hand data by different methods.
Secondary research is a collection of existing information, with a special focus on public sources of material.
Primary research can be defined as the collection of original information or the acquisition of first-hand data by different methods. For example primary research is collected by the person performing the research and addresses specific questions; it can involve questionaires, surveys, case studies, market discussions and focus groups. Data is collected, analysed and then shared with appropriate audience.
As a business, you can use primary research to take stock of what other players are seeing in the market you are a part of or are planning to enter, helping you understand other businesses’ challenges and successes and taking their experiences into account when creating your own strategy. It also identifies possible strong and weak points, and allows your business to adjust accordingly.
Secondary research is a collection of existing information, with a special focus on public sources of material. Examples of secondary research include information from government agencies, trade associations or other businesses within the industry.
Secondary research can be used for similar purposes as primary research. It assists businesses in identifying major socio-economic and industry trends by country or region. However, secondary research can be time consuming and may require an intensive process to determine what data points might actually useful to your strategy. One must also take into account where the information is acquired and if the sources are credible.
In order to provide the most thorough process with detailed and actionable data, Euromonitor International’s methodology utilises both primary and secondary research, allowing for a holistic view of markets and industries around the world. We take into account not only raw data from secondary research sources, but also the considerations of the industry at large. This two branch approach enriches our perspective and provides a well-rounded view of the market. Our research approach takes into consideration many sources and data types, ensuring accuracy and transparency.
Let’s look at both primary and secondary research in a more in-depth manner, understanding that both provide a well-rounded view of a marketplace.
Primary research can be defined as the collection of original information or the acquisition of first-hand data by different methods.
At Euromonitor International, primary research consists of meetings and trade interviews with relevant market players. During trade interviews, we seek to gain a more macro-view of the market, connect with the complete value chain and gain insight on the challenges that each market player has faced during the year. We also see trade interviews as an opportunity to hear about the industry’s concerns and receive feedback on our data and research focus. These meetings also make it possible for participants to get to know our analysts and establish ourselves as a reference point for global market trends.
This relationship with industry players allows us to deliver a transparent and strongly sourced figure that quantifies the current market’s worth and the direction it grows. Our forecasts are based on a variety of factors such as demographics, penetration rates, legislation and regulation, price analysis, the value of the local currency and expected rates of inflation.
Secondary research is the collection of existing information, with a special focus on official sources of material.
At Euromonitor International, this research process begins with a review of any type of public data that exists – that could include data from trade press, official sources or content from government institutions or customs, industry or trade associations and company reports. We take this information and use it as a reference point alongside primary research to ensure that the information compiled is a completely accurate view of an industry or country.
Although throughout this article we discussed primary research first, Euromonitor International always begins our research process with secondary research. As the industries we look into experience changes year-to-year, secondary research provides a great starting point and basis for collecting more information. That way, when we conduct primary research we take into account new trends or players that have entered the market, and adjust our research findings accordingly.
Primary and secondary research does not compete with each other. Instead, they work together to provide a holistic view of an industry or marketplace. Euromonitor International’s approach permits both research areas to occur simultaneously. The information gathered through each
complements the other when studied together. For example, if we are seeing a trend in our secondary research but industry players do not report observing the same phenomenon, surely something else must be going on. This allows us to identify new trends or can alert us to investigate further and fact-check the data we collected.
How to Use Primary and Secondary Research
So how does your business use these types of research as part of an overall business strategy, and how can you leverage the data with your specific needs?
The primary research Euromonitor International conducts addresses specific issues directly impacting 30 industries. We talk to all the appropriate trade contacts for you, uncovering the latest trends within a given industry or country. From there, we cross-check this information with hard data that we collect, providing our clients actionable insights based on what’s currently happening in their industry.
Euromonitor International synthesizes both primary and secondary research allowing you to be better prepared and understand what is happening in the markets you are a part of. In addition, you’ll be able to enter new markets, assess your competition and develop new products confidently.
To learn more about primary and secondary research or to gain more insights into our methodology process, please visit our methodology page.