Market Research vs. Marketing Research: Similarities & Differences

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Making assumptions about your customers, market, rivals, or processes when running a business may waste time, money, and effort.

To make successful decisions to help your firm expand and manage its resources properly, you must devote part of your resources to market research and marketing research.

These two terms appear to be synonymous with a difference of just three letters, but they are not. Market research should not be confused with marketing research. Market research often covers market-related research, whereas marketing research includes marketing-related research activities. 

Even though tons of resources talk about market research vs. marketing research, there still seems to be an underlying confusion about the two in terms of their application.

This is why, in this blog, we’re going to throw light on the similarities & differences between market research & marketing research. Let’s start with the basics.

What Is Market Research?

Market research establishes the feasibility of a new service or product via direct customer study. Market research enables a firm to identify its target market and obtain comments and other customer input on their interest in a product or service.

Market research examines the market for a certain commodity or service to determine how the audience will react to it. 

It may involve obtaining information for market segmentation and product differentiation, which can be used to customize advertising efforts or identify which attributes are viewed as important by the customer.

To finish the market research process, a company must do several tasks. It must collect data depending on the market sector under consideration. The generated data must be analyzed and interpreted by the company to evaluate the presence of any patterns or important data points that may be used in the decision-making process.

Market research enables businesses to understand their product’s demand and feasibility and how it may perform in the real world. 

Market research is performed using primary or secondary information, providing distinct insights into a company’s product. Market research is an important part of a company’s research and development (R&D) stage and its success and growth.

Here’s an example of a typical market research procedure:

  1. A problem is discovered.
  2. Determine who will carry out the research (in-house or an external agency)
  3. Select relevant market research methods.
  4. Collect information
  5. Data organization, interpretation, and analysis
  6. Please report your results.

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What Is Marketing Research?

Marketing research systematically collects, records, and analyzes qualitative and quantitative data about marketing goods and services concerns. The purpose is to discover and analyze how changing marketing mix elements affect customer behavior.

This includes defining the data needed to solve these concerns, establishing the strategy for gathering information, managing, and implementing the data collection process. 

After reviewing the acquired data, the conclusions, findings, and consequences are transmitted to those with authority to act on them. The goal of marketing research (MR) is to offer management knowledge that is relevant, accurate, trustworthy, valid, and up to date. 

Marketing research must deliver good information because of the competitive marketing climate and the ever-increasing expenses associated with bad decision-making. Sound judgments are not made purely on gut instinct, intuition, or even pure logic.

Following is an example of a typical marketing process:

  1. Determine the problem, consider alternatives, and establish research objectives.
  2. Make a research plan.
  3. Gather research information
  4. Gather audience information
  5. Data organization and analysis
  6. Showcase your results
  7. Make data-driven judgments

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Marketing Research vs. Market Research: Components

Market research and marketing research are frequently used interchangeably; in some cases, they are, particularly for those outside the sector. However, the two names are not interchangeable in the business. 

Because they are similar, the names are frequently used interchangeably. They are both fundamental parts of marketing, which implies they occur before selling the product or service. 

Marketing research entails investigating new goods, distribution channels, and product development. Depending on the setting, it can also involve promotion research, pricing, advertising, and public relations. It has a considerably broader reach and may thus be utilized to determine a marketing plan. 

Marketing Research is also far more technical, systematic, scientific, and objective than Market research.

Components of market research:

It aims to provide a broader overview of the industry, potential customers, and external factors influencing the market. Here are the key components: 

  • Market size and growth analysis helps estimate the overall size of the market and predict future growth.
  • Market segmentation helps categorize markets into distinct segments based on unique needs.
  • Competitive analysis helps identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
  • Trends and opportunity analysis to identify potential opportunities for growth and innovations. 

Components of marketing research: 

Marketing research, however, delves into aspects related to promoting and selling products or services. It focuses on the practical application of insights derived from market research. Here are the key components: 

  • Consumer behavior analysis helps study how customers make decisions and identify the factors influencing purchasing choices.
  • Product positioning allows you to determine how the target market perceives a product.
  • The competitive analysis identifies opportunities to differentiate your product from the competition.

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Differences Between Market Research and Marketing Research

We understand that these terms might be used interchangeably, but they have distinct meanings.

Let’s go straight into the differences between market research and marketing research. The distinction between market research and marketing research is easily discernible on the following grounds:

1. Market research is the study of customers and the market.

2. Marketing research is the study of all aspects of marketing.

3. Market research is reliant.

4. Marketing research is autonomous.

5. Marketing research has a much broader reach since it involves doing product research and customer preferences.

6. Market research involves gathering market information.

7. Marketing research has a much broader reach since it involves product research and customer preferences.

8. Market research investigates the market success of a product or service.

9. Marketing research collects data for marketing intelligence activities and decision-making.

10. Market research is focused on answering particular questions.

11. Marketing research is more general and utilized to solve various marketing challenges.

Learn how Apple leveraged Market research to deliver exceptional experiences, which helped them engage customers globally.

Similarities Between Market Research and Marketing Research

Now that we’ve established the distinction between these two, let’s look at some of their commonalities:

  1. Both are important to the success of a business.
  2. Both types of research generate useful data.
  3. Surveys, focus groups, questionnaires, and interviews are examples of quantitative and qualitative tools and approaches that may be used to acquire information. 
  4. Effective for making judgments on the type and quality of items and services given to clients, appropriate company sites, the best advertising, and the most efficient distribution methods and networks.

Related: Market Research Mistakes to Avoid

Market Research toolkit to start your market research surveys and studies.

So, Is Marketing Research and Market Research the Same?

No, they’re not. 

Following the preceding debate, it is well-understood that marketing research is a broader word than market research. In reality, market research is a subset of marketing research. 

Both of these researches use quantitative and qualitative procedures to collect information, such as focus groups, surveys (telephonic or face-to-face communication), interviews, and questionnaires.

Whatever research you undertake, you must follow the whole research technique to get a conclusion that will assist your organization. If your results result in a solution to your issue statement, you can choose the next actions for your company.

If you failed to find an answer to the research question, this does not imply that your study was flawed. That is, maybe, because the issue was much more complex than imagined. You just need to ask additional questions and keep researching until a solution is found.

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