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Primary Research Methods

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❶The following are some suggestions for gathering information from your customers or potential customers.

Content: Primary Research Vs Secondary Research

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If you obtain completed surveys for ten out of forty customers, chances are much greater that the results are representative. Step 5 Summarize and evaluate the information gathered.

Determine if similar responses indicate a trend within your target market. Many times survey or interview information may not be accurate because respondents are not committed to purchasing the product but merely giving their opinions.

Also, since most surveys and interviews are very brief, it is not possible to collect in-depth information. A focus group is a simple but effective way to obtain in-depth customer information. This research technique is used to collect information from a group of people instead of using a one-to-one approach.

Follow these steps to prepare for a focus group:. Step 1 Develop questions to ask participants and an agenda for the focus group s. Step 2 Invite focus group participants who have demographics and psychographics similar to potential customers. It is best to record or videotape the focus group discussion rather than taking notes.

Findings can then be analyzed to interpret feedback from participants and relate it to the business. Want to be up-to-date with the latest news and updates from Kauffman Entrepreneurs?

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Conducting Surveys and Questionnaires Step 1 Prepare a questionnaire that includes any important information the customers should know before they can formulate a response. Focus Groups A focus group is a simple but effective way to obtain in-depth customer information. Follow these steps to prepare for a focus group: Step 3 Plan the logistics.

Schedule the focus group meeting at a convenient time for participants. A typical focus group takes one to two hours. Find an unbiased, skilled moderator to lead the group. The moderator asks broad questions at the beginning and then focuses the group discussion on the specific information you want to obtain. Moderators can skillfully probe the group, stressing the importance of sharing different points of view and emphasizing that there is no right or wrong answer.

Thumbs Up Thumbs Down. Writers often conduct primary research simply to dispute the conclusion of a previous study or challenge a consensus in their discipline. Two approaches will help you invalidate pre-existing research.

First, you can duplicate a pre-existing study and perform it yourself in anticipation of obtaining different results from the original study. Second, you can design a study that tests the same research question through new methods. If your research yields contrasting conclusion, you can cast doubt on previously accepted beliefs that were supported from the previous research.

Unique research opportunities exist all around us. Is your uncle the CEO of a Fortune company? Does your roommate know the governor of Montana? You can use these connections to obtain interviews, administer questionnaires, or make observations for your essay. Personal connections provide the opportunity to gain access to information that broadens your understanding of your research topic.

While these guidelines will help assess when primary research might be appropriate, they are not the only justifications for conducting original research. When in doubt, a professor or academic tutor can advise on the best research methods for a particular project. Researchers have a countless number of tools and methods at their disposal when they are conducting primary research.

Fortunately there are only four main types of primary research that the majority of students need to know about. The following primary research methods can meet almost any research need. Interviews are conducted by holding in-person, telephone, or email conversations with the people or group of people you wish to study.

During an interview, the researcher asks a series of questions to the interview participants and documents the answers. Surveys are conducted by distributing questionnaires to a large group of respondents.

There are two main types of survey questions: Open-ended questions are questions that solicit a written response from the survey respondent. Close-ended questions come in the form of yes or no questions and scales that ask participants to assign ranks to different response choices.

This type of survey question is valuable for obtaining numeric data that can be used to compile statistical evidence. Researchers make observations when they visually examine a person, event, or place and take notes on the details they witness.

Observations allow the researcher to obtain information that subjects of a study might lack the objectivity to provide. Data analysis involves the organization of data based upon criteria that is established by the researcher. This type of research is especially useful for identifying trends to describe a certain phenomenon.

For example, researcher who wants to determine whether robberies are more likely to occur at night or during the day might look to crime report figures to conduct a data analysis. Writers are in good shape if they are adept at any one of these types of primary research tools. The majority of research designs will use one or more of these research methods. In addition to understanding the different types of primary research, it is equally important to know when it is beneficial to conduct interviews, surveys, observations, or data analysis.

Here is a look at the advantages and disadvantages of each primary research method. Interviews are beneficial for obtaining information, perspectives, or opinions on a research topic. Because interview questions are open ended, participants are free to fully express their answers to the interview question and provide detailed answers. The downside of interviews is that they can be time consuming. It can take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours to interview each study participant.

Because interview questions are hard to quantify, this form of research is undesirable for research topics that require you to identify trends in data. Surveys allow researchers to obtain feedback from a large number of people in a short period of time. One questionnaire can be distributed to thousands of participants and used to find meaningful trends from the responses. Since surveys call for the opinions of research participants, the feedback they obtain can be subjective in nature. Even questions asking for concrete information, such as the number of times the survey taker purchased a certain product in a month, relies upon the accuracy of the respondent.

Without careful controls, survey responses can be very unreliable as evidence. Observations allow researchers to obtain objectivity that might not be lacking from interviews and surveys. For example, a researcher might choose to observe a family at the dinner table and record their conversations. By directly observing the family, the researcher does not have to rely upon the correct recollection of the research participants to access accurate information.

Making observations can be the most time-consuming method of conducting research. Because the researcher must be present to observe the event, a significant amount of time must be allotted to watching the research subject and recording the results. Data analysis enables researchers to organize and make sense of large amounts of information.

Data collected and analyzed from credible sources can significantly boost the authority of any research project. This method of research is the most beneficial method of obtaining an objective evaluation of trends and patterns. Drawing meaningful conclusions from data might require an advanced background in statistics. To eliminate errors or misinterpretations of the data, the researcher must have a keen understanding of data analysis techniques.

Draft a research question to be answered through your research. Determine which research methods will answer your question.

Key Differences Between Primary and Secondary Research

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Primary research is designed to meet your unique and specific needs. This fundamental research is conducted by you (if you're on a tight budget), or by a research firm that you hire for the project—usually a firm that comes recommended by a colleague. The research can include focus groups, surveys, interviews, and observations.

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Primary Market Research Methods. There are two forms of research: primary research and secondary research. Primary research is proprietary research, which means the data is collected directly from the research subject/area, by the researcher.

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Secondary research is defined as an analysis and interpretation of primary research. The method of writing secondary research is to collect primary research that is relevant to a writing topic and interpret what the primary research found. Primary research is more expensive and time consuming but it will give better results than secondary data (Gratton & Jones, ).There are several methods that can be used for research like interviews, questionnaire, surveys, observation etc.

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On the contrary, Secondary research is a research method which involves the use of data, already collected through primary research. The main difference between primary and secondary research lies in the fact that whether the research is conducted previously or not. This article describes a process to conduct primary market research, such as gathering information and data from customers, suppliers, vendors, as well as your own employees.