Primary and secondary market research studies are useful to stakeholders in the home improvement industry for a variety of purposes, from product development and understanding market sizing to informing strategies for success in go-to-market strategies broadly or even specific means, like digital marketing and advertising efforts.
It’s important for home improvement brands to regularly review industry data and insights to stay competitive and innovative. Secondary market research provides a cost-effective way to maintain awareness of the general home improvement landscape.
There are two main types of market research: primary and secondary. The former refers to first-person data-collection methods that you conduct yourself to get direct insights and information from individuals involved in the industry, such as customers, distributors, professionals and target buyer personas. The most common methods for collecting primary market research include surveys and interviews, which can be custom designed to answer your specific brand’s questions.
Secondary market research, on the other hand, refers to data that is collected by third-parties, such as reports published by research institutions; academic studies; journal articles; news reports; and demographic information collected by governmental agencies. From these already existing resources, your team of research analysts can pull data that is relevant to your product categories and target buyer personas, but you will be limited by the kinds of questions asked and analyzed by these third-parties.
You must determine the appropriate balance in how much you should allocate annually to secondary market research versus custom, primary market research to get the data and statistics you need to thrive in the home improvement industry.
It’s your responsibility to ensure you are maximizing your company’s market research budget well and utilizing any existing, internal customer insights resources effectively.
Because secondary research is not proprietary to your organization, and therefore not customized to answer your teams’ specific questions, it is generally costs less and takes less time to access. Accurate secondary research within the home improvement industry is hard to come by!
That’s why The Home Improvement Research commissions custom market research studies on behalf of member organizations to help fill the information void and enable your team to conduct further primary market research on your brand specific questions.
HIRI members have on-demand access to valuable insights and the raw data regarding various topics and trends within the home improvement industry, including
Deciding how much to invest in secondary research for your home improvement brand depends on your overall marketing budget. Most companies dedicate a portion of their annual budget to access paywalled secondary data that will help them understand their competitors and customers better; the exact amount can range from more than $500,000 annually to less than $25,000 depending on the size of your company.
As a general rule of thumb, you should allocate roughly 25 percent of your total market research budget to secondary research. For a brand that has a total market research budget of $120,000 annually, this would amount to about $30,000, whereas a mega-company, like a home improvement retailer, with a market research budget of $1,000,000 across departments might spend close to $250,000 on secondary research.
As a point of reference, a full-market report, which includes details about the market’s current state along with future projections, typically ranges from $3,500 to $5,000, per secondary research report. For a basic industry report, you might spend just $100 to $1,000, while a detailed report on a particular product or service could cost closer to $15,000 per report.
In contrast, an annual, company-wide HIRI membership is but a small fraction of the cost to employ just one FTE research analyst.
When deciding how much of your budget to spend on secondary market research, it’s important to understand what factors impact the cost and value to collect the data.
There are a variety of market research services and methodologies currently in use for the home improvement industry. The type of methodology used to collect data for a report or study will affect the cost. This includes
All impact the overall cost of market research for the party conducting it.
When you pay for various kinds of secondary research, your cost will often vary based on factors like
You should expect to invest more to get highly detailed industry data and insights from a reputable source, but this kind of research will also provide greater value to you in terms of accuracy, thoroughness and relevance.
As with any investment, the value of secondary market research depends on how you apply it within your company across product development and inform channel, marketing, and sales efforts. All forms of market research are valuable for furthering your brand’s growth, prioritizing new markets, and increasing revenue, but only if it’s used effectively to identify tangible actions and inform strategic decision-making.
Budgeting for market research is a sizable investment for brands looking to understand their market and their customers accurately; but, for small- to medium-sized companies, it can feel difficult trying to keep up with larger brands that have more resources to spend.
What is now known as The Home Improvement Research Institute was formed as a cooperative between six of the largest home improvement manufacturers and retailers in 1981 to solve that problem. HIRI members have unlimited, on-demand access to home improvement industry specific research used by over a hundred top brands in the home improvement industry, Lowe’s and Home Depot included.
HIRI members get detailed reports and the raw data sets covering about the home improvement market, channel, and both project and product specific research among Pros and DIY customers. That means you, as a member, have access to roughly $1 million worth of secondary market research annually, giving you a greater return on your investment and creating a more level playing field with larger competitors.
If you’re looking to maximize your market research budget and grow your company, consider membership in HIRI.
HIRI is composed of the top retailers, manufacturers, distributors, publishing companies, and trade associations in the home improvement industry. With members from every corner of the home improvement market, we can ensure detailed and well-rounded research that’s essential to keeping you on the leading edge of the market.
As a cooperative, our goal is to provide companies of all sizes serving within the home improvement industry with actionable resources, ranging from raw data to digestible executive summaries, to help shape and guide your strategic business decisions.