What is Primary Market Research: The Basics

I don’t mean to offend anyone but overlooking market research when launching a new product or when starting a business is foolish, the least. And please don’t tell me about your priceless gut feeling and your brilliant intuition. I know everything about that kind of stuff. And I am not saying you should not listen to your inner voice, I am rather trying to say that doing your research is important, too.

There are two forms of market research: primary research and secondary research.

Since I have recently written about secondary market research, I will put the focus on primary market research this time. So, how do we define it?

Primary Market Research is basically the data that comes directly from the source i.e. the potential customers. You have two ways of getting this information: either yourself or by hiring someone who can do it for you. We’ll discuss the research methods below.

Why do you need to conduct primary market research? Well, in order to:

  • Validate your product idea
  • See if people actually need your product/service
  • Find out how much potential consumers are ready to pay for your product

You can gather two types of information when conducting primary market research: exploratory or specific. The exploratory research helps you define a specific problem. It is all about unstructured interviews where a small group of respondents answers to open-ended questions.

Obviously, these interviews can take quite long and the information gathered can be a lot. Exploratory market research is a good thing to use in order to find out the general feelings regarding the product or service you are intending to launch. It helps you understand whether you should do it or not.

The second type of primary market research is the specific research. It is exact in scope and is mainly meant to investigate the patterns that exploratory research had brought about. And if we were to compare the prices of these two types of primary market research, we would see that the specific research is way more costly.

I usually apply the following primary market research techniques:

There are a lot of types of interviews like telephone interviews or face-to-face interviews. They allow quicker feedback than most surveys. But the downside of telephone interviews is that people sometimes are too busy to give you detailed answers. As for the face-to-face interviews, they can be quite expensive but they are worth the money.

This one is becoming one of the most popular methods. And it is relatively affordable, too. I know a few small businesses that use online surveys quite often. Because these are a really good way of capturing the views of existing and potential customers.

It’s when you gather groups of potential customers in one place and ask them open-ended questions to explore their feelings about the market and the product. Focus groups can be a perfect way to gather information about the customers’ preferences, interests, and tastes.

This method involves watching how consumers behave when interacting with a product. The product can be something similar to the one you are intending to create. I like observing people while they are interacting with mobile apps. It’s a damn interesting thing to do, and you get a lot of authentic insights, too.

OK. Now that you know quite a lot about primary market research, it’s time that you actually try it out. Market research is fun! It’s not that scary. I used to overlook it when I was a beginner product manager. But through time, I got to understand how precious market research is and how much information it can provide you with.

Product Management Consultant • HIVE 30 Under 30 in Tech • 400,000+ views 45,000+ claps • Need help? Email me at contact@productguy.io

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