The term ‘desk research’ comprises (most generally speaking) any study which does not require any field work. There is also no need to build survey forms; there is no need for surveyors and coordinators. Respondents in the ‘desk research’ are needed, though primarily as experts providing branch information knowingly or unknowingly (e.g. through their posts provided on the Internet fora).
‘Desk research’ represents the lowest cost and relatively rapid form for realization of market study tasks. It is primarily focused on reutilization of available secondary data such as publications, reports, bulletins, databases, catalogues, information available on WWW websites etc. Prior to their utilization, such data is examined in terms of their reliability and whether it presents immediate interest to the given study. Part of such data is verified empirically.
Depending on the goal and subject-matter of the target study, ‘desk research’ can be used for primary market study or as introductory, market recognition study, preceding any future survey study.
Desk study’ is primarily focused on branch market study, including:
- market structure analyses
- market size and quality study
- analysis of market trends
- characteristic of legal regulations applicable to the given branch
- analysis of primary players in the given market
- analysis of suppliers and recipients
- analysis of distribution channels
- analysis of market opportunities and threats
Some of the increasingly common subject-matters for realization of such ‘desk research’ studies include analysis of Internet communities, contents of for a, blogs, fan clubs etc.
Using the method, it is possible to realize among the others:
- Study of customer brand image as compared with competitive brands among Internet users based on the analysis of comments related with examined brands
- Study of utilization of the particular type of products (what, when, how and why is purchased most often by Internet users)
- Consumer segmentation for the particular product type (according to their sex, age, education, interest, employment etc.)
- Examination of market trends based on comments from people working in the given branch.
During such studies, information about popularity of particular websites is also collected – such websites where Internet users exchange their opinions about particular products or services. Such types of studies can also comprise collecting information related with demographic and psychological profiles of users of particular websites. Such information is then used among the others to plan advertising campaigns in Internet.