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Secondary Market Research

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Secondary Market Research

Secondary market research includes data that is already compiled and organised for you. Examples of secondary information include reports and studies by government agencies, trade associations or other businesses within your industry.

Secondary market research uses outside information assembled by government agencies, industry and trade associations, labour unions, media sources, chambers of commerce, and so on. It's usually published in pamphlets, newsletters, trade publications, magazines, and newspapers.

Secondary sources include the following:

Public Sources: These are usually free, often offer a lot of good information, and include government departments, business departments of public libraries.

Commercial Sources:  These are valuable, but usually involve cost factors such as subscription and association fees. Commercial sources include research and trade associations, such as Dun & Bradstreet and Robert Morris & Associates, banks and other financial institutions, and publicly traded corporations.

Educational Institutions:  These are frequently overlooked as valuable information sources even though more research is conducted in colleges, universities, and technical institutes than virtually any sector of the business community.

In addition, every department within an organisation will have its own records that represent a potential source of valuable data.  For instance, records of past advertising campaigns within the marketing department can be compared with copies of invoices held in the sales department in order to judge their effectiveness and get ideas for future campaigns.  Past sales figures can also be used to spot trends and forecast future figures. The increasing availability and use of loyalty cards has given retail outlets the chance to gather a wide range of valuable information on customer buying habits, allowing them to target promotional campaigns more effectively.

Internal sources of data should always be considered as a first line of enquiry for any investigation because they are usually the quickest, cheapest and most convenient source of information available.  Internal data will also be exclusive to the organisation that generated it, so rival firms will not have access to it. However, internal data may be incomplete or out of date, and, if a project is new, there may be no relevant data at all.   In such cases, an organisation may need to consider using external sources of secondary data or conducting primary market research through a market research agency.

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