In market research, time and money is often wasted reinventing the wheel when there is no need – not when we have secondary research at our disposal.

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Secondary research – costs little, delivers a lot

Secondary research (or “desk research“) refers to the collection of secondary data – that which has already been collected. Libraries, online databases, speaking to someone at a trade association, or carrying out an interview with an industry expert are all good sources – the internet in particular becoming increasingly important.

Indeed, the internet has opened up a realm of new possibilities in research methods and applications. With the continual development of the global internet landscape and the rapid increase in penetration in all industrial markets, internet research (or e-intelligence) is here to stay.

Our solution

B2B International has been at the forefront of internet research since 1998, and our resource pool is second-to-none. Whatever industry or geographical territory you would like to investigate, we often carry out secondary market research at the start of a project to gain background knowledge and useful leads. There is no better way to maximize your market research budget than secondary research.

To read our white paper on desk research, follow the link below:

How To Get Information For Next To Nothing

Desk Research


What is involved?

The problem with secondary market research is that you don’t know what you will find until you look for it. It is therefore difficult to build a study based entirely on secondary market research. The desk researchers may spend three or four days looking for something and, even with their best efforts, come away empty-handed. Equally, they may hit gold after just a few minutes.

So how can we promise to use secondary market research exclusively to answer a marketing problem?

Our approach is to build some secondary research into most surveys. Just one or two days can yield a huge amount of data. We know that desk research is one of the best sources of intelligence on ‘who’ to interview. This could be built up slowly from LinkedIn, or we may find directories online which provide excellent sample frames. We can certainly learn a lot about products and competitors through secondary market research.

Case study: Targeting larger companies

Business challenge

Our client provides training services to large companies, employing at least 1,000 people, and wished to target its services to more of these large companies.

What we did

We used Hoovers’ website to establish how many companies there are, globally, employing more than 1000 people. Hoovers also told us how many of these companies are international in their reach – a critical driver affecting the need for the type of training of interest. In this way, we determined the number of companies in each country that could potentially use the training, and we knew from other sources what percentage of people in each company qualified for the training.

Using simple arithmetic, we calculated the Total Available Market (TAM). We then created a new formula using the Total Available Market and applied a percentage according to how many companies are currently providing the training to their employees today. This enabled us to calculate the Served Available Market (SAM).

Secondary research enabled us to build our model of the market, which our client can modify and use continuously to assess potential throughout the world.