18 Jun A Level Business: Is Secondary Market Research Effective?
Secondary market research is the process of collecting data, information and sources that already exist. Essentially, it is a way for companies to understand their market without the costly process of funding their own research. Cost is a key factor in a company’s decision to perform secondary market research; as such, this post will be assessing the effectiveness of secondary market research against this post. If the secondary market research process can provide a valuable basis of information, while remaining cheap to carry out, then we can say it is indeed effective. Drawing upon the example of trade magazines along with more rudimentary methods of research, this post will be arguing that secondary market research can meet these criteria.
Often, businesses can refer to trade magazines for facts, figures and advice on their respective market. One such example of a trading magazine is ‘The Grocer’. This magazine was first published in 1862 and provides in-depth market analysis of the grocery industry to subscribers. One way in which the magazine aids subscribers is through the provision of data denoting high-selling products, and, conversely, those that are not performing as well. If companies are able to find out the sales performance of specific goods, then they can tailor their output. In 2014, this argument proved to work in practice, as The Grocer reported that annual sales of chilled pies amounted to £240 million, with a substantial increase in the ‘meat snack’ market. This allows distributors and shops to tailor their inventory, without having to pay a substantial fee to do research of their own; The Grocer had done it for them.
The grocery industry is not the only one that benefits from magazines of this type; every major market is served by one or more magazines written for people within the trade. From this, we can infer that valuable, detailed information is available to all businesses, large or small, irrespective of their field.
But, are they is secondary market research cheap to carry out? Taking The Grocer as an example again, we can see that they are. Currently, this magazine costs £4.65 a week. So, we’ve argued to this point that market magazines offer a valuable service, and that they are relatively cheap. In sum, invaluable information can be found cheaply by businesses. Google is an even cheaper method of research, with a simple search for “Grocery market research” returning about 222,000,000 results. There is a wealth of information out there available, particularly to small businesses, for very cheap, or in the case of Google – free.
The goal of this post has not been to compare secondary market research with primary market research, though posing the two against each other helps to emphasise the effectiveness of secondary research. In primary research, interviewees, data and such must be generated by the company themselves, a costly, time-expensive exercise often involving specialist researchers. By contrast, Google and magazines are available, and easily understandable to all.
Above, we’ve demonstrated the ways in which secondary market research can be deemed to be effective, by highlighting the use of market magazines and search engines in giving companies a wider perspective of the market within which they operate.