Market research is the process of assessing the viability of a new good or service through research conducted directly with the consumer which allows a company to discover the target market and record opinions and other input from consumers regarding interest in the product.
The purpose of market research is to examine the market associated with a particular good or service to determine how the audience will receive it. This can include information gathering for the purpose of market segmentation and product differentiation, which can be used to tailor advertising efforts or determine which features are seen as a priority to the consumer.
Primary information is the data that the company has collected directly or that has been collected by a person or business hired to conduct the research. Primary information generally falls into two categories. Exploratory research is a less structured option and functions by asking more open-ended questions of those selected as part of the market research sample, and it results in questions or issues being presented that the company may need to address. Specific research obtains answers to previously identified issues that are often brought to attention through exploratory research.
Secondary information is data that an outside entity has already gathered. This can include population information from government census data, trade association reports or presented research that another business operating within the same market sector has already gathered.
Source: Market Research http://www.investopedia.com/terms/m/market-research.asp#ixzz4YxvzzoYc