Secondary Research: A Jumping-off Point

by Jenny on July 11, 2016 Comments Off on Secondary Research: A Jumping-off Point

As a business owner, I am faced with making important decisions every day. Not only guiding the day-to-day activity of our staff, but also helping our clients make decisions that are in their best interest.

Some decisions are easy, others are not so easy; that’s business.

Lately we’ve been exploring ways to position ourselves to make the best possible choices offering the highest probability of success. In order to do so, we want to have as much information upfront as possible. By understanding things like consumer trends or market conditions, we can make educated, informed decisions moving forward.

With the emergence of user-friendly data collection websites, it’s easier than ever to create an online survey and start collecting data to build an internal data inventory. However, this can be very time consuming and may require substantial resources.

Furthermore, if your data collection methodology is flawed or if your line of questioning is misguided the resulting data will neither be reliable nor useful. So while we encourage everyone to acquire as much data, information, or insights as possible, it’s necessary to have a strategic plan and a clearly defined objective prior to launching any Primary Research efforts.

One approach we at MacKenzie have found to be very beneficial in this regard is leveraging Secondary Research.

Whereas Primary Research involves collecting new data, Secondary Research is finding, organizing, and analyzing data that already exists. This encompasses ALL the data that currently exists in the world. Pretty big pool to start with, right? This in itself can be an opportunity, or an issue; where does one look first?

Whether Primary or Secondary Research, it is good practice to narrow the focus of research efforts to address one specific question. The more clearly defined an objective, the more effectively you can use data to guide decisions or strategic processes. For example, Secondary Research can be used to better understand questions such as:

Who are the market’s biggest competitors?
What trends currently exist within the target market?
When are the best times to communicate with consumers?
Where are consumers shopping online?
Why are industry-sales dropping when demand is seemingly increasing?

Gaining insights on questions like these present an opportunity to be positioned for success before officially launching a project. Through Secondary Research we learn new verbiage, identify key attributes or decision drivers, and gain a deeper understanding of the industry in which we are operating. Ultimately, this information will help better communicate with customers or prospects in the future.

As a data-based company, we are comfortable handling the volume and assessing the validity of information floating around the internet. This seemingly endless bank of information can certainly make it difficult to know where to start, especially when including buzzwords like “Big Data.”

Getting going can be as easy as pulling a loose thread, but then there’s also the danger of having everything unravel before you know it. This is why our clients choose MacKenzie Corporation for everything related to data and business analytics. We combine traditional research techniques with a modern approach leveraging all that our technologically-advanced world has to offer.

Keep an eye out as we will continue this discussion and share more ways to use Secondary Research for decision making.

Looking for more information? Feel free to email or call, we are always happy to nerd out on data with friends!

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Jenny Dinnen is President of Sales and Marketing at MacKenzie Corporation. Driven to maximize customer's value and exceed expectations, Jenny carries a can-do attitude wherever she goes. She maintains open communication channels with both her clients and her staff to ensure all goals and objectives are being met in an expeditious manner. Jenny is a big-picture thinker who leads MacKenzie in developing strategies for growth while maintaining a focus on the core services that have made the company a success. Basically, when something needs to get done, go see Jenny. Before joining MacKenzie, Jenny worked at HD Supply as a Marketing Manager and Household Auto Finance in their marketing department. Jenny received her undergrad degree in Marketing from the University of Colorado (Boulder) and her MBA from the University of Redlands.

JennySecondary Research: A Jumping-off Point