Difference between Primary Research and Secondary Research

difference between primary research and secondary research

Primary and Secondary Research is a very common research technique in the field of Market Research but most people get confused when we talk about the difference between primary and secondary research. Market Research is one of the best techniques to create and implement the best strategy for your business in a competitive market to beat your competitors. Online Survey Tools becoming the trusted component for performing market research. It gives a complete overview of consumers’ wants, needs, and beliefs. It starts touching every kind of industry, whether it is an online industry or an offline industry. 


The availability of research influences the vast number of customers all over the internet. It has become a growth factor now for the big ventures to study the consumers. According to the “Small Business Administration (SBA)” a thriving business is significantly committed to gaining knowledge about the customers, competitors and the associated industry.  


Market Research can be done in two major ways:

Primary Research:

It is a research which can be performed by you or you hired a company or build a team to do the research for you. It is simply known as a type of research that is directly based on a specific interest of your business. For example, If a small business wants to know the response of its particular service in a specific region then they conduct a survey to querying about the service they deliver. It can be conducted in

  •  Focus Group
  •  In-depth Interviews
  •  Ethnographies
  •  Mystery Shopper
  •  Workshop
  •  Online Community

primary research

“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well, the product or service sells itself.” – Peter Drucker

  1.  The advantage of Primary Research is, it returns a very accurate & realistic result. It is highly significant for a company to keep in mind before launching any product or service.
  2. The data gathered from the sampling is statistical which comes from a tiny market but helps to understand better about the extensive market. Sample management Software is one of the most useful components for data gathering.
  3. Primary Research considering mainly specific issues, which indicates undivided attention is directed to attain the best solution.

The dis-advantage of Primary Research that it can be expensive because of the goal of the survey to get feedback from a very specific audience in a specific region. Customized Survey Tools make it easy in performing Primary Research, it reduced the cost of the research. Using one Primary Research method may not be work every time. In this type of condition, the use of more than one method at a time is required. Which might increase the cost and time to administer the research.


In current scenario Sample Management Software are in demand as most of the Primary Research performed via online survey tools. In the condition of using more than one method at a time. It allows you to execute one method with a different- different questionnaire in a different-different region at the same time. So, by default, it gives you one more opening to get your method more productive. It is cost-effective and can give more accurate results than expected.  

Secondary Research:

It is a type of research that involves the summary, collation and/or synthesis of existing research. Secondary Research adverse to Primary Research in that primary research involves the generation of data. Whereas secondary research uses Primary Research as a root of data.


It is a research that has already been compiled, organized, gathered and publishes by others. Secondary Research can be mostly done by small businesses because it does not take much time as compared to the primary research. The data has already been gathered by others. So, the researcher does not need to invest their time and money on the research. While using this type of data just keep in mind that the data should not be too old for use.


Secondary Research will help you to know about the facts that you don’t know before. It will help you more to educate yourself. The information can previously be gathered by government agencies, trade associations or other businesses. 

The sources for data in Secondary Research are:

  1. Documents
  2. Letters
  3. Magazines
  4. Autobiographies
  5. Market research reports

secondary research

“Doing research on the web is like using a library assembled piecemeal by pack rats and vandalized nightly.” – Roger Ebert

The dis-advantage of Secondary Research is that it will not give you result as accurate as primary gives it to you.

For example:-

If you want to know how much money todays working-class will spend on clothing. The secondary result will tell you. But, it will not tell you about which brand working-class most likely to spend their money. 


You can use both the research for your business. Secondary Research helps you understand your problem more deeply. So, you can better understanding and a mindset that in what particular area or region you should execute your Primary Research. Secondary Research helps you to identify your target audience.


Smart entrepreneurs study everything before delivering any kind of service or product into the market. Customized Survey Tools are one of the preferences, preferred by entrepreneurs. Once they get to know about their audience via Secondary Research. They start to study about targeted audience needs and their fulfilments. Prepare a questionnaire and execute it by using Online Survey Tools is a preferable choice of tech-savvy entrepreneurs.