Integrated Primary & Secondary Research

3 Major Techniques for Primary Research

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In the case of primary data, the most commonly used tools and techniques are:

Surveys (Questionnaires and Interviews)

Surveys are the most common of all techniques for data collection as far as the field of marketing is concerned. They are conducted over a sample to learn about individuals’ awareness, liking, and preferences for an offering or a brand. They may also be undertaken to measure customer satisfaction.

Example: Surveying people about their opinions on social norms, roles, behaviour, or current events.

Focus Groups

Focus group research is conducted with a group of people that are monitored by a moderator. The moderator focuses on the group of people, usually between 6-10, who are carefully selected based on demographic, psychographic, and/or behavioural considerations.

Example: How do people feel about their upbringings, culture, societal opportunities, or political beliefs in the current climate?

Observational Research

The observational research technique is based on observing people and drawing conclusions. The technique helps gain insight and an in-depth under­standing of how people behave in their environment by carefully watching them interact with others or with an object.

Example: Are there significant power dynamics between race, ethnicity, education, age, gender, sexuality, culture, or class?

Behavioural Research

Behavioural research is based on a individuals’ genuine response and actions, which are recorded and analyzed. The assumption is that there is a difference between a customer’s action when other’s are watching versus how they would genuinely act on their own accord.

Example: Are people more likely to respond and donate to a fundraiser that’s hosted online or in-person when they are approached by a representative?

Experimental Research

Experimental researchstudies the cause-and-effect relationships between independent (cause) and dependent (effect) variables. This technique is the most time consuming, but the most scientifically valid and reliable approach towards conducting research studies and solving problems. In controlled settings, where the sample is treated as a test group, the variables under study are altered/manipulated and the reactions of the sample are recorded; thereafter these findings are generalized.

Example: Study human reaction based on societal changes, movements, political statements, or injustice through videos. One group would continuously watch videos that highlight the necessity of using force to control a situation whereas, the other group would view videos that demonize physical altercations.


This page contains material taken from:

Management – Consumer Behaviour. (2012, February 01). Retrieved July 23, 2020, from


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An Open Guide to Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) Copyright © by Andrea Niosi and KPU Marketing 4201 Class of Summer 2020 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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