Skip to Main Content

Marketing Research: What is secondary research?

Archived Guide: Marketing Research Course--class project


Secondary market researchMarket research that's already compiled and organized for you. Examples of secondary information include reports and studies by government agencies, trade associations or other businesses within your industry.



"Secondary research uses outside information assembled by government agencies, industry and trade associations, labor unions, media sources, chambers of commerce, and so on. It's usually published in pamphlets, newsletters, trade publications, magazines, and newspapers." 


Resources include: public (free), commercial (possible cost), and educational. 



1st things 1st.

Reframe your project to get a grip on what you need to do.

The original project

Secondary research is often done by market researchers for two reasons: (1) To answer research questions fully or partially in lieu of original, primary research and/or (2) To establish a context for understanding the research questions, i.e., to know what questions to ask/directions to take, and how to interpret results. 

Research Purpose: The purpose of this research is to locate new market opportunities for the sustainable, long-term growth of the Log Cabin Democrat Newspaper

1. What constitutes a “good” local newspaper (identity, benefits, features) in the opinion of Faulkner County residents?  

2. What attitudes and preferences do readers and potential readers in Faulkner County have concerning the content, tone, and style of the LCD?

3. What routines, attitudes, and preferences do readers and potential readers in Faulkner County have concerning the accessibility of the LCD?

4. What is the current LCD brand identity (meanings, relevancy) within the community?

5. What avenues of promotion are best suited to attract new readers to the LCD?

 Project reframed

Secondary research . . . #1 to answer research questions . . . #2 to establish context: to ask what/when/where/to interpret your answers

Research Purpose:

#1: Who is the audience? Who is reading newspaper? What do they think makes a good newspaper?

#2: What are their preferences/attitudes about the look & feel of the newspaper?

#3: How do they get the newspaper?

#4: How/where does the newspaper's brand fit/work in the community? Does the newspaper have a brand? Are they using it if they have one? 

#5: How can the newspaper be promoted to  new readers?