Collecting the right information to make a rational and informed marketing decision sometimes simply means using your knowledge to make a decision on the spot. At other times, it entails collecting an enormous amount of information, or simply put data: the facts and figures related to the problem. Facts and figures that have already been recorded before the project at hand are Secondary data, whereas Primary data are facts and figures that are newly collected for the project.
Gathering primary data during marketing research is only the first step in retrieving the necessary information to continue in the marketing research process. Primary data can be supported significantly with the use of secondary data. Secondary data can greatly substantiate all information gathered during primary research if primary research is even required. In some instances, secondary data alone can solve the problem, eliminating the need for primary data.
There are many ways in which a marketing researcher can retrieve secondary data. The largest and frequently least expensive source for secondary data is the World Wide Web. There are many reasons as to why secondary data is utilized, especially from the internet. The first and foremost reason for the use of online secondary data for marketing research is because almost any data imaginable is readily available. Secondary data can be retrieved from thousands of places on the internet. Many organizations list secondary data on the internet for instant access to marketing researchers. This allows marketing researchers quick access to information, which consequently, allows marketing researchers to make faster, more precise decisions.
Not all problems can be solved with the use of secondary online data. Despite that online secondary data is low cost, by utilizing secondary data over primary data, companies can save thousands of dollars in marketing research expenses every year. A focus group or depth interview is always more appropriate than online secondary data when a corporation needs to know the inner most thoughts and motives of customers. Information retrieved through internet market research tools always calls into question the legitimacy of the research findings because of the ever growing presence of false and inaccurate information.