Are you using best primary and secondary data, and why?
To analyze the similarity and difference between primary and secondary data sources, it is advisable that you know what a market study entails. As a Statista report explains , “ a market study is an important business strategy that requires the collection of information about a target market for the company .”
That is, before launching a new line of products or services, growing your team or establishing a social media campaign, you will most likely need to conduct market research. Collecting primary and secondary data ensures that you can make informed decisions to save time and money.
On the one hand, primary data is the information collected directly from the source of interest; in this case, the potential client . Normally, when a company needs primary marketing data, it does so to determine the viability of a product or service and analyze the buyer persona, market offers, investment risk, among other factors. Primary data collection methods include customer interviews, surveys, focus groups , etc.
On the other hand, unlike primary data, secondary data is based on information researched by other companies, institutions or platforms . Secondary data sources are usually public. Some of these include newspapers, government websites, media agencies, etc. In order for it to serve the company’s purposes, the collection of secondary data has to go through an analysis by the marketing team that selects the most convenient information.
Primary data types
To begin to understand the characteristics of primary and secondary data, we must start from their types. That way, data analysis in marketing makes sense and can help you plan market research. In the case of primary data, there are two types that you must take into account.
Quantitative primary data
As you might guess from the name, the importance of quantitative primary data lies in the quantities and numbers. Those in charge of conducting primary data research focus on the mathematical data and not on the subjective signals of people’s behaviors or opinions .
The information from primary data allows us to understand a problem in the market and analyze its implication for the consumer. By obtaining this numerical information, a company’s marketing team and managers can make decisions based on clear and objective realities.
Qualitative primary data
Numbers or statistics are not necessary here. On the contrary, qualitative secondary data offers information about the behaviors and emotions of potential customers of a product or service from audios, texts, videos or other formats for collecting opinions .
It is common for this type of data to be obtained from direct conversations with people of interest. Interviews are usually conducted with open-ended questions and other data collection techniques.
Primary data sources
In the process of obtaining primary and secondary data, locating the sources is the most important step. If you’re part of a marketing team with research underway, here’s a list of primary data sources to consider.
- Surveys: serve to gather direct information on the problems, needs and preferences of the potential client. In this way, survey information makes it possible to predict consumer behavior during the sales phases.
- Questionnaires: this format includes open and closed questions to determine the assessment that a potential client has of a brand, company or product. They can be made in different formats, such as phone calls, sending SMS, emails, etc.
- Interviews: These are conversations conducted by a marketing or market data research specialist. They tend to be long and deep conversations with people interested in a brand and product. Given their character, they offer quality information from verbal responses and even body language.
- Website: web analytics of a company’s website is also a primary database. From the SEO and user experience analysis carried out by the corresponding areas, valuable information can be obtained for the content marketing strategy, the creation of new products and the customer profile.
- Social networks: brand accounts on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and other social networks are sources of a lot of information for any marketing team. In them, existing customers and interested parties present their opinions, objections and ideas, which can be used to make decisions about advertising campaigns and organic content. That is, primary data in social media marketing has a lot of relevance for a company.
Secondary data types
If you are wondering how to do a complete market study , you need to also take into account the types of secondary data. These include the information that can be found in the company’s internal files and that which comes from outside.
Internal secondary data
Although this concept seems to reflect a similarity between primary and secondary data, the truth is that internal secondary data is information that is not collected directly from the ideal client or the specific audience at their current moment. These data are obtained from the internal and archived records of a company, such as reports from past advertising campaigns, accounts of former clients, accounting data, etc.
External secondary data
This information is what is commonly found outside of company records and files . They have been prepared and published by external sources for objectives that do not directly relate to commercial research objectives. That is, as we mentioned before, secondary data information comes from studies of competitors, magazines of public organizations, etc.
Secondary data sources
Just as with primary data sources, secondary data also exists in different formats. The nature of each of these sources and the information collected must be analyzed to select what is useful and what is not.
- Government studies and reports: many governments around the world carry out in-depth studies on the behavior of their populations, demographics and the sociocultural changes that occur in them. This offers a lot of valuable secondary data for any business’s marketing research.
- Private market research: using the power of data science , there are many companies that are dedicated to conducting user and consumer behavior studies. These usually sell this information to other companies that can leverage the value of this secondary data for their objectives.
- Sales data: the data obtained from sales processes is very important for any commercial organization. You can find useful secondary data in invoices, returned products, order documents, and delivery experience.
- Competitor platforms: in a secondary data investigation you cannot forget the information found on competitor pages, applications and reports. In them, you can locate information about potential customers, unresolved pain points, and gaps in your value proposition.
- Web search engines: Search engines like Google also offer invaluable data. Not only because they list the competition’s organic results for their websites, but because they allow you to see an overview of the advertising spending that these other companies make in search of the same type of client.