Karen Faust
karen@faustintel.com
T 708.305.0727
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River Forest, IL 60305

Primary Research

Definition of Primary Research:

Primary research involves collecting information about a given subject from the real world. This includes any information that does not already exist in published sources.

Why Primary Research Is Important:

Primary Research Information Advantage Benefit from Faust Market Intelligence It provides you with an 'information advantage.' Primary research findings set you apart by giving you information that is not commonly held by your rivals which can lead to strong competitive advantages.

Primary Research Addresses Specific Issues Benefit from Faust Market Intelligence It addresses issues specific to your own situation. Primary research is designed to collect information you want to know and report it in ways that benefit your business. It is not information created for the masses.

Primary Research Control Benefit from Faust Market Intelligence It gives you a high level of control over how the information is collected. In this way you can decide on such issues as size of project (e.g., how many responses), location of research (e.g., geographic area) and time frame for completion.

Primary Research Cost Advantage Benefit from Faust Market Intelligence It provides a cost efficient option for your marketing dollars. Unlike secondary research where you may pay for information that is not needed, the specificity of primary research guarantees that funds will be spent efficiently.

Primary Research Forward Looking Benefit from Faust Market Intelligence It is forward looking. While primary research can address questions about past and current activities, it can also dive into questions of future plans and initiatives. It provides the only way to really learn about what your competitors, and the market, might do in the future.

Types of Primary Research:

While primary research methodologies can be as unique as each custom project, there are some basic types of primary research that are usually employed to collect desired information.

Personal Interviews: Interviews are one-on-one conversations. Interviews will provide a lot of information from a small number of people. They are useful when you want to get an expert or knowledgeable opinion on a subject or when you need to know something that only a few select people in the world know. Talking to someone one-on-one allows a researcher to cover a lot of ground and to dig deeper into a respondent’s comments to find out additional details that might not emerge from initial responses.

Surveys: Surveys are a form of questioning that is more rigid than interviews and that involve larger groups of people. Surveys will provide a limited amount of information from a large group of people and are useful when you want to learn what a larger population thinks.

Expert Observations: Observations involve taking organized notes about occurrences in the world. Observations provide you insight about specific people, events, or locations and are useful when you want to learn more about a situation without the biased viewpoint of an interview. This type of research is usually applied to retail, restaurant, or other shopper/buyer interface situations.

Quantitative and Qualitative Research: In general there are two basic types of primary research – quantitative data collection and qualitative data collection.
Quantitative data collection involves the use of numbers to assess information. This information can then be evaluated using statistical analysis which offers researchers the opportunity to dig deeper into the data and look for greater meaning. Generally, surveys and expert observations are used for the collection of this type of data.

Qualitative data collection can provide a rich, descriptive, valuable understanding into individuals' attitudes, beliefs, motivations, opinions, and behaviors. It can also provide detailed information regarding specific competitor plans, initiatives, activities, and practices. Qualitative methods may be semi-structured or free flowing and they require the researcher to interpret the information gathered. Generally, one-on-one interviews and expert observations are used to collect this type of data.