What is the difference between primary and secondary data in marketing?

Market research is generally either primary or secondary. Primary market research is when a company carries out research first hand. Primary market research is more reliable than secondary research because you know that the information you have gathered is accurate, as you have collected it yourself. It is also specific to your type of product/service. On the other hand, it is very time consuming and costs more, for example in consumer panels, products have to be given away for free so that they can be tested. This type of research can also be called field research. Some forms of primary market research are as follows: Ø Questionnaires/Surveys Ø Interviews (can be done one-to-one, in a group or over the internet) Ø Observation Ø Focus Group/Consumer Panel - asking customers how they feel about their products In secondary research, the company uses information from other sources that has already been researched by somebody else. Instead of carrying out research yourself like in primary research, you simply use somebody else's results that have already been collected which have been carried out in similar ways to how you would have carried it out. The advantages of secondary research are that it is relatively cheap, easily accessible and can be done very quickly. Disadvantages of secondary research are that it is often not specific to your area of research and the data used can be biased and is difficult to validate. As you have not collected it yourself, you cannot be sure how accurate it is as it could be biased. This type of research can also be called desk research. Some forms of secondary market research are as follows: Ø Websites Ø Magazines Ø News/Newspapers Ø Textbooks Ø Journals - specialist magazines Ø Other companies financial reports