Primary research is concerned with the design and implementation of original research; that is, data collected from the source. The advantage of doing primary research is that you can get information on the specific question or problem you need answered, not information that merely applies to your industry or type of business in general.
Primary research is generally divided into two categories: "experimental" research and "non-experimental" research.
Experimental research. Experimental research is where the researcher controls and manipulates elements of the research environment to measure the impact of each variable. For example, a group of test subjects (who are consumers meeting certain criteria, such as frequent users of the particular product or service in question) is shown several television commercials, and after each one the group is asked questions designed to measure the likelihood that they'll purchase the product advertised.
Experimental research is often used by large consumer goods companies to test:
Experimental research is further divided into two groups:
As a practical matter, most small companies bypass expensive laboratory studies and utilize the real market environment to conduct field studies, at less cost than larger companies.
Non-experimental research. Non-experimental research is research done in the normal course of business, where the environment cannot be as closely controlled as in experimental research. Also the many variables of the "business" can't be as easily isolated. This research centers on measuring the entirety of a project rather than its separate parts.
Non-experimental research is divided into two categories:
Non-experimental research is often used by companies to test: