Pros and cons of primary marketing research methods
Primary marketing research is a kind of way to collect information directly from a source (most often, a client). This is the original information, what is its big plus. In addition, primary marketing research is very specific and meet specific goals.
Benefits of Primary Marketing Research
Primary marketing research has several advantages:
They give greater control of information - primary research allows finding only accurate information, and not that which is irrelevant. This allows you to better control and filter the data that marketers receive.
They give the opportunity to research and interpret information - in the case of primary market research, the data can be analyzed and interpreted by the company itself (or for a particular company), and will eventually be more clearly done and more useful than in the case of secondary studies, where the assessment has already been held by someone else.
The addressing of research, the answers to the main questions - only the main problems are exposed to research, and what is really important for the company. During primary research, enterprises can focus only on a specific (necessary) audience or market, without extending to those areas and areas that are unnecessary for them.
The costs are only for the necessary information - unlike the secondary studies, in the primary, the costs go only to the information that will eventually be used.
Information as private property is a significant advantage of primary research: it allows researchers or business owners to claim the information they received (or which they collected specifically for them). In their rights to make it only for personal use or “public property”.
Methods for conducting primary research:
One of the most preferred forms of primary marketing research. Basically, this is a group of consumers or customers who are gathered in one place in order to get feedback from them. The groups are led by experienced researchers who are able to receive high-quality, in-depth opinions and responses from respondents.
Getting a wide range of opinions is one of the main advantages of focus groups. In a few hours of research you can get a large slice of opinions.
Interactivity - focus groups involve honest communication and exchange of opinions, and therefore they often give a clear idea of what people care about now, what their needs are and much more.
Using visual aids - respondents can share their opinions, based on what they have reviewed, touched, sniffed, listened to, etc.
The possibility of observing the public - the presenter can observe the respondents and evaluate their behavior, how much they are interested in the product, in the study as a whole, as well as how honest their answers and opinions are, etc.
Search for a researcher - you need to spend a lot of time in order to find a good and experienced moderator who can skillfully manage a group, giving it the opportunity for spontaneous development, and at the same time, direct it in accordance with a given topic, feel the respondents, etc.
It is difficult to collect respondents - the extent and size of the study, as well as the criteria for sampling, determine how difficult it is and, in general, how much it will be possible to collect the necessary number of respondents. There can be a lot of obstacles - from the geographical distance of the participants, to the excessive sensitivity of the topic of the interview, etc.
Cost - with all the positive aspects, focus groups - is the lot of large companies and large marketing research. Because, conducting focus groups involves a lot of spending - encouraging participants, the work of the facilitator, as well as renting premises for the event, and so on. All this can not always pay off with small marketing research.
Internet surveys and questionnaires
The Internet, one of the most popular sources for secondary research, however, it can also be an excellent way to collect fresh consumer reviews and opinions. There are many ways to use the Internet as a platform for primary research, the most popular of them are:
Request visitors to one or another website (related to the company) to fill in electronic questionnaires;
Request site visitors to fill out forms in exchange for any coupons, vouchers and more;
Request site visitors to fill out forms in exchange for free membership, newsletters, etc.
The Internet is also often used to mail surveys to real customers and consumers in order to get feedback from them. These surveys are used to assess the overall level of satisfaction of the potential audience of the company. On their basis, the company can draw conclusions and make appropriate changes in production.
Inexpensive way is one of the biggest benefits of online research. They are financially available even for small businesses and do not require huge investments.
Offering image data, images, video, etc. is also an important advantage of the method. As clients can give an assessment, not only relying on the verbal description of something, but also on visual aids.
User loyalty - sitting on the Internet, people are willing to spend more time filling out questionnaires and questionnaires than anywhere else.
Knowledge - representatives of large business, resorting to online surveys, can hire a whole staff of people making up their questionnaires, and conducting an examination of the survey. For small businesses this may not be possible due to the finances. While the quality of the questionnaire will depend on how customers respond to it, as well as subsequent errors in analyzing the survey.
The risk of scaring off customers - the use of questionnaires and questionnaires can sometimes scare off visitors, depending on how the questionnaire was compiled, what the research topic is, the number of questions, etc.
This method can be used in many different variations. As a rule, there are two most important types of observations: strict observation without interaction with the observed, or interacting with the object of observation. Examples of observations that are widely used today:
Eye movement tracking is an advanced method that works especially well for website owners. Observation is carried out in order to see what the eyes of visitors focus on to a greater degree. For this purpose, a special heat map is created that tracks the movement of the eyes, and thus finds out what customers are paying the most attention to.
The mystery shopper is a fairly popular method that implies a situation in which a specially hired person makes a purchase. In this way you can find out how well the services provided by the staff.
Contextual survey - conducted directly in the natural environment of consumers. Allows you to find out not only what they buy, but also why they make the choice of this particular product.
The actual behavior of people can be measured - a big plus in that people can be observed in their natural environment, where they cannot behave artificially or dishonestly, in contrast to surveys, interviews and other methods.
Reliability and usefulness of conclusions - in this method it is practically impossible to obtain incorrect data and the formation of false conclusions in the event that it was properly organized and conducted.
Difficult to carry out - one of the main problems is that observation is sometimes not so easy to organize. Even the organization of a secret purchase can cost the company a considerable amount depending on the value of the goods, etc. Not to mention such technically complex and expensive methods as tracking eye movements, etc.
Tests and experiments
One of the valuable ways to get marketing information. Quantitative information in it is not obtained through dry questioning, but based on the opinions and feelings of customers.
Test and experiment
High efficiency is the most fruitful research in terms of results. Only one this method can encourage the company to make serious and important decisions.
It does not need direct contact with respondents - one of the few studies in which you can get results from people without contacting them. Like for example, when a company needs to decide on the choice of packaging, it simply releases two different types, and then finds out which one is more popular.
Expensive - again, this type of research can be costly for a company, especially when it comes to large and expensive products. Not everyone, even a large company, can afford this kind of research.
Long in time - field experiments can take a lot of time, sometimes they take more than one month, and often a year.
Face-to-face (in-depth) interview
This is a very fruitful study, which in some cases can be extremely useful for the company. It comes down more to a smoothly ongoing conversation, without a clearly delineated number of questions, and is directed, most often, to gather as much information as possible about the needs, motives, preferences of customers. For the most successful of such a study, respondents are offered any "incentives" - vouchers, discount coupons, vouchers and more.
Personal research is one of the main advantages in that it is researched.
It is very personal. The form of a tete-a-tete implies the existence of personal questions, and is also oriented to the fact that the respondent will give more honest answers. The depth of the research implies a long conversation and a thorough clarification of all the underlying motives and needs of the respondents. It can give much more information than questionnaires and surveys. The possibility of observation - the researcher can observe the respondent and draw any conclusions, which greatly simplifies the process of evaluating his behavior and preferences. In contrast to focus groups, attention is paid to only one person. Disadvantages: High cost of research - while for some companies this type of research will not cost a lot of money, for others it will be large expenses. It all depends on the level of the organization, the research topic and how the company intends to encourage the respondents. Excessiveness of the respondents - sometimes the topic can be really complicated, or the researcher is not professional enough to attract the respondent. As a result, this may affect the quality and honesty of respondents' answers. Telephone interviews Another approach that also provides a large amount of information for primary research. Since telephones are today the primary means of communication, the implementation of this method is much simpler than many others. It allows you to cover a huge customer base. These interviews are rigid in structure, follow a certain pattern, and are quite fast in time. They do not involve long conversations, studies of the human reaction, only clear and precise answers. Telephone interview Benefits: Relative cheapness - if you don’t need to ring thousands of subscribers for a company, then such research may well cost a small amount for the company. At the same time, compared to an online survey, it can provide much more information. Overcoming geographic boundaries — using mobile communication, you can interview clients at any geographic location, which allows you to reach a large number of respondents, regardless of territorial barriers. Disadvantages: Many answers can to lose - many people due to lack of time or lack of interest may be from passing the interview. Because of this, a lot of time and effort will be spent, as there may be several refusals per person interviewed. The risk of incomplete information - the success of this study depends largely on skillfully composed questions and on the professionalism of the interviewers. Otherwise, the company may receive incomplete or dishonest data, which can "kill" in the end all the research. Moreover, such interviews are always strictly limited in time. It is impossible to observe the respondent - a significant disadvantage is that the interviewer cannot see the respondent, evaluate his behavior, how honest his answers are, and whether he is interested in the topic at all.