Desk Research refers to the identification and analysis of information that has already been compiled and published in some form or other. This type of information is known as "secondary" because it already exists as opposed to "primary" which would require a survey or research study to produce new data. Typically, examining what is already available is the first step in any marketing research process and has obvious economic benefits.
Marketing desk research is usually undertaken for the following two reasons:
- to examine a market into which a business is considering entering;
- to continuously monitor the markets in which a business is already operating.
Whatever the reason be – desk research is necessary to:
- understand the current state of the industry or product
- examine and identify actual and potential markets
- identify and monitor competitors and customers
- explore promotional methods and alternatives
Secordary Data Sources Explored for Desk Research are:
- Census, housing, social security as well as electoral statistics and other related databases
- Semi-structured and structured interviews of related & concerned people
- Focus groups transcripts, field notes, observation records and other personal research-related documents
- Literature reviews and Case studies
- Published texts and statistic - in periodicals, journals and reports.