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Market & Marketing Research Theory Page | Limitations of Market Research

Following a discussion with senior management about why marketing is important, you now want to conduct primary research into consumer "needs and wants" about the computer industry and general secondary research into the computer industry.

Primary Research

Your company LM Ltd needs to find out more about the potential of computer users.

A) What primary research methods can be used to find out about the needs of computer users.

  1. Questionnaires
  2. Personal Interviews
  3. Focus Groups
B) What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?
  1. Questionnaires
    • Relatively cheap compared to other forms of research methods.
    • Respondents can be guided through with ease.
    • Threat of bias from the interviewer.
  2. Personal Interviews
    • More qualitative and quantitative information can be obtained from these.
    • Respondents can be guided and questions explained if required.
    • Cost of personal interviewers are expensive.
    • Time consuming
    • Threat of a bias response.
  3. Focus Groups
    • In depth qualitative data can be collected from a group of respondents.
    • Discussion amongst groups leads to greater understanding of consumer needs.
    • Can be difficult to organise.
    • Costs of hiring a moderator i.e. the person who will referee the focus group.
    • Risk of bias from the moderator.

Secondary Research

A) Using the internet, find secondary research information about the computer industry in a country of your choice.

B) See if you can find the following information:

1. Market share of computer manufacturers within your country.

You should have researched the market share information about computer manufacturers within your chosen country

2. The value of the computer industry within your country.

You should have researched the value of the computer industry within your chosen country. The value of the industry is the total turnover of PC sales amongst all manufacturers.

3. Why is it important for LM Ltd to have the data relating to market share and to know the value of the computer industry?

  • The data will help management in decision making.
  • The data will give management, information about the competitiveness of the industry.
  • Market share information will help the organisation to set realistic objectives for themselves.
  • Industry sales will tell management if the PC industry is in decline, stagnating or growing


Why is it important for LM Ltd to conduct both primary & secondary research?

A combination of primary and secondary research will allow you to manage the advantages and disadvantages of each type of research.

Primary research allows firms to tailor the research in a manner that suits them and in a way that will allow them to answer specific questions. However primary research can be expensive and time consuming.

Secondary research is research that has been conducted by someone else so there are fewer set up and implementation costs. However it may not provide you with the answers you need, as the objectives for secondary research are unlikely to fully match your research objectives.

Secondary research will give the company initial/general information about whether the computer industry is growing or in decline. Primary research will provide LM Ltd with detailed/specific information about computer purchases such as the needs of particular users, the main reasons for PCs/laptops/tablet purchases and how people purchase.


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