Marketing research vs market research

Research is generally carried out to perform a study in a systematic manner, with the aim of determining facts and making conclusions. It is a very important tool and is the foremost step of a marketing process. Market research and marketing research are two terms that are quite often used interchangeably. However, in reality, the two terms are quite distinct from one another. Marketing research is a broad field that seeks to examine and evaluate the different activities that are part of the marketing process, and to determine how changes in any of these activities can have an impact on consumer behavior. In contrast, market research is a more narrow term that refers to the study of a single aspect of marketing, i.e. place. Its objective to analyze consumer behavior in just a single target market. Hence, it can be said that market research is a part of marketing research.

In this article, marketing research and market research will be explained in greater detail so that the differences between the two can be understood.

Definitions and explanations

Marketing research

Marketing research is a very wide field that comprises of all the activities that are carried out by an organization to examine the entire marketing process, including data collection, analysis, and information utilization so as to enable the managers to make decisions about a product and gain solutions to marketing issues. A critical part is played by marketing research in determining the requirements and expectations of consumers from a certain product or service, in addition to the methods that can be used to fulfill those needs. It involves different activities, such as research pertaining to the market, product, pricing, customer, sales, promotion, distribution channel and advertising.

In other words, marketing research includes all the activities that are part of the marketing mix, which are known as the four Ps of marketing: Product, Price, Place and Promotion. These four aspects of marketing are considered in marketing research so as to obtain information about the product and determine and comprehend consumer preferences.

Market research

Market research refers to the study of the target market. In this process, information regarding the market is obtained, as well as the consumers within the market. Through market research, the market structure and size can be determined, as well as the requirements of customers, most important market players, latest trends, and customer preferences and buying behavior.

Market research is a more narrow process that pertains to only a single aspect of the market, which is the place. The purpose of market research is to obtain information regarding a market, product or service to be sold in the market and the previous, current and prospective customers, and then analyze and comprehend this information so as to determine consumer behavior. It involves assessing the attributes, location, spending behavior and requirements of the company’s target market, the overall industry and the relevant competitors of the company.

Differences between marketing research and market research

The main difference between marketing research and market research is given below:

1. Meaning

Marketing research refers to the organized and planned study of all aspects of marketing, with the aim of identifying problems, determining solutions and making decisions. Market research, however, is one part of marketing research that pertains to the study of markets and the behavior exhibited by consumers in that market.

2. Nature

Marketing research is generic and is relevant to the study of all the marketing activities undertaken by a company, whereas market research is specific, pertaining to the analysis of the target market.

3. Objective

The purpose of marketing research is to examine and analyze all the information pertaining to the marketing mix (people, price, place and promotion) so as to determine how changes in either of these aspects influence consumer behavior. Market research, in contrast, pertains to the analysis of a single aspect of the marketing mix, i.e. the place. Its objective is to comprehend consumer behavior in a single target market.

4. Outcomes

Marketing research is undertaken to ensure that the correct decisions are taken with respect to the marketing activities and that any problems that are faced in the field of marketing are resolved in a timely and effective manner. On the other hand, market research is carried to determine how feasible a product or service is for a given target market.

5. Component of

Marketing research is part of the field of marketing information system, while market research falls under the domain of marketing research.

6. Dependent upon

Marketing research is independent; whereas, market research is dependent on marketing research.

Marketing research vs market research – tabular comparison

A tabular comparison of marketing research versus market research is presented below:

Marketing research vs Market research
Meaning
A systematic analysis of all of the marketing activities of an organization, so as to determine any issues regarding marketing A process of collecting and analyzing information pertaining to a given market
Nature
Generic Specific
Objective
Analyze information regarding the 4 Ps of the marketing mix (Price, Place, Promotion and People) and how these influence customer behavior Analyzing information regarding just a single aspect of marketing, i.e. the place (target market)
Outcomes
Take accurate and effective decisions regarding any marketing problems that emerge Determine the viability of a product/service for a given market
Component of
Marketing information systems Marketing research
Dependent upon
Independent Dependent on marketing research

Conclusion – marketing research vs market research

As discussed earlier, there are various differences between marketing research and market research. However, the method used to carry out the two forms of research is the same. They both involve the use of qualitative and quantitative methods to obtain information that helps them in answering the research questions, for example surveys, focus groups, questionnaires and interviews.

Marketing research and market research play a very important part in enabling businesses to make effective decisions regarding the products/services to be served to customers, the location where the business is to be set up, promotional and distribution channels to be used and customers to be targeted. Hence, an understanding of the two terms is crucial for the success of a business.

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