Definitions & Responsibilities for Primary Research

Primary Research using a variety of research techniques, determines the company’s and competitors’ marketplace position on a wide variety of characteristics (such as satisfaction, brand image, pricing, ease of use etc.) and associated implications for the company.

It conducts customized primary research to address specific information needs that will be used in business planning to help us gain or maintain a competitive advantage. Primary Researchers team with other Market Intelligence professionals to ensure all primary research efforts fit into a larger, holistic research model that provides an efficient approach to gathering market data and business information.

Working with the business unit executive sponsor, Primary Researchers collect and evaluate all appropriate, available business data and primary and secondary research, and determine if new primary research should be conducted to answer the sponsor’s specific questions. Primary Research can determine ours and competitors positions in the market, and identify relationships between them on a wide variety of aspects, such as product characteristics, pricing, brand image, buyer behavior, ease of use, commitment, customer satisfaction, etc.

This information can be used in business planning to help gain or maintain a competitive advantage. Primary Researchers identify and validate with the sponsor, the key business question to be addressed. They select the proper research methodology, identify the appropriate data sources, design and execute the proper data analyses, derive the most impactful recommendations, and determine the most effective way to present the results and recommendations.

Primary Researchers possess a high-level of consulting and project management skills, including problem identification and analysis, research design, sample design, data analysis, communication of results and overall management of the research process.

Primary Research activities include all blind qualitative or quantitative studies. These include campaign effectiveness evaluations, positioning research, messaging development research, deep dive one-time research, advertising effectiveness, copy testing, new market sizing, key partners/competitors assessments, market or customer segmentation, economic and industry trends analyses (for a select industry or market segment), customer satisfaction research, brand image evaluations, e-business adoption/absorption and buyer behavior, as well as tracking studies, product and offering development, pricing research, market measurements (except market share), and ad hoc research.


  • Consults with the executive sponsor of the research project to define the questions to be addressed
  • Evaluates the available resources for relevant information, and determines if new primary research should be conducted to answer the sponsors questions
  • Selects the appropriate research methodology (e.g., qualitative, quantitative or a mix. Blind or identified, etc.) commensurate with the goals and objectives of the research project
  • Designs the appropriate research instrument (e.g., questionnaire, individual interview guide, focus group guide, etc.)
  • Designs the appropriate sample frame and selects the appropriate sampling methodology
  • Designs and performs the appropriate data analyses
  • Derives insightful conclusions and actionable recommendations from the resulting research information
  • Produces highly-effective, concise reports and data communication vehicles, including written and oral presentation materials
  • Presents research results, implications and recommendations clearly and effectively, gaining executive sponsor agreement and buy-in
  • Manages all aspects of the research project and vendor (if appropriate). Ensures all projects are completed on-time and within budget

Definitions of related intelligence disciplines