Primary market research is unique data collected through methodologies such as surveys, in-depth interviews (IDIs), or focus groups. Primary research is custom, meaning the data was collected specifically for a client or a commissioned study.
For example, a business may come to Drive Research, a primary research firm in Syracuse NY to: (1) understand the awareness level of its grocery store and (2) know key drivers behind customers' decisions to choose a grocery store. You may be able to source a study (through secondary research) that was conducted through syndicated research provided by a Nielsen or another agency. The study may reference several statistics regarding your grocery chain and other grocery chains but you will quickly find out the scope is limited. You will not gather insight on awareness or drivers to choice due to the limitations with the secondary research. Because you were not the sole sponsor of the research through Nielsen, you do not have the liberty to design the survey script for your needs.
The only true and relevant way you'd be able to tackle those two objectives is through a commissioned study or survey through a market research vendor like Drive. Through the use of an online survey or a telephone survey, Drive would collect unique and original data from consumers in your market area through primary market research. Your business would be able to customize the script according to your objectives without being limited by what is asked or what is available online. Interested in a customized study?