Primary research

Also known as: Primary survey

Primary research is an empirical tool that is used to collect and analyze data. The main area of application is market research to analyze current market trends.

Types of studies in primary research

In primary research, a distinction is made between different types of studies.

Exploratory Studies - Problem areas are broken down in exploratory studies. They are used to get a more detailed overview of the situation. The data recorded here are used for further processing in other studies.

Descriptive Studies - Descriptive studies are used to make marketing decisions. The market and its environment are examined and characterized.

Explanative studies - Explanative studies are the third option. They serve to bring cause and effect together.

Primary research instruments

With the help of primary research, data can be collected that is specifically tailored to the research purpose. There are various instruments to obtain this data.

Surveys - Interviewing is an effective way of collecting data. It can be carried out by telephone, in person in one-on-one or group discussions, in writing or via the Internet.

Observations - With the help of the observation, data can be obtained in a natural environment, e.g. at the front door, or in a prepared laboratory environment.

Experiments - Experiments can provide data (e.g. through product tests)

Panel research – Ein weiteres Mittel ist die Panel research, zum Beispiel in Form von Verbraucherpanels

For all of these instruments, subjective opinions and attitudes are collected and then evaluated.

Goal of primary research

The data that is collected reflects the picture on the market. In this way, market trends can be identified. Based on this knowledge, the products in a company can be restructured, which can result in a market advantage. In addition, the right time for a product launch can be filtered out.


However, primary research is only used for important products, since the implementation of such a research unit is very time-consuming and associated with high costs and is therefore not always financially viable.


  • Primary research is used to collect and evaluate data
  • three types of primary research: exploratory, descriptive and explanatory studies
  • various instruments: questioning, observation, experiments, panel research
  • Aims of primary research: Recognize market trends and derive a market advantage from them
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