Market research 03 1

What is Marketing Research?


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What is Marketing Research?

Marketing research, sometimes referred to as marketing management, is an umbrella term that refers to all research activities conducted for the management of marketing. It is the objective and systematic study of markets, product design, transfer activities, sales, management, and more. It is therefore concerned with all avenues from the beginning to the final stage of the marketing process. 

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Marketing Research vs Market Research

It’s easy to get confused between the terms “marketing research” and “market research”, however, they do have some distinct differences. Market research can be thought of as an umbrella term that includes market research, as well as all the other significant marketing functions. Market research is particularly concerned with identifying and predicting how a target market will respond to a product or service while marketing research goes beyond and also has to do with product analysis, sales analysis, place and media advertising, personal selling and more.

What is Marketing Research used for?

To understand the reasons for the use of marketing research, let’s take a look at the different its objectives:

  • To Identify New Markets for a Product/Service: Marketing research can be used to gain a better understanding of the market and can help find new target markets for a product/service.
  • To Determine an Optimal Price for a Product/Service: Marketing research encompasses all activities conducted in pricing research and therefore is a useful tool when trying to arrive at an optimal price for a new product or service. 
  • To Create Plans: An important function of marketing research is to provide organizations with a base for the creation of marketing plans and processes. Proper planning will help an organization achieve better results. 
  • To Identify and Evaluate External Forces: Marketing research helps organizations obtain valuable information regarding the external forces affecting them. This includes the different impacts of the government, policies and regulations, foreign markets, competitors, and consumer incomes. 
  • To Conduct Competitor Analysis: Marketing research also includes the varied activities conducted to gain a better understanding of the competition. Having a good understanding of competitors and their strategies can be pivotal for good future planning. 
  • To gain a Better Understanding of the Market: Marketing research involves the collection of vast amounts of data regarding the market. This provides organizations with a well-built understanding of the market, allowing for better decision-making. 


Types of Marketing Research with Examples

Let’s take a look at some of the different types of marketing research and their examples:

  • Brand Awareness Research: This is the research conducted to understand how familiar consumers are with a brand or its products. 

For example, a company that conducts brand awareness surveys to identify the degree of consumer recognition of their product by its name. 

  • Brand Association Research: This refers to the research conducted to understand the positive and negative associations attached to a brand. 

For example, an organization that conducts online surveys to discover the positive and negative opinions associated with their brand. 

  • Marketing Effectiveness: The research that is conducted to measure the efficacy of an organization’s marketing efforts.

For example, an organization that conducts research to measure the sales of their product before and after a marketing campaign has aired, to measure the efficacy of their campaign. 

  • Sales Forecasting: The research conducted to forecast how much a company is expected to sell within a specific time period. 

 For example, a shoe company that conducts research to forecast how many shoes they are likely to sell within the financial year.  

  • Trendspotting: This refers to the research activities directed toward identifying new and emerging trends. 

For example, an online clothing store that conducts research to identify the type of clothing that is currently trending so that they can begin retailing similar items.

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Explore all the survey question types possible on Voxco

Types of Marketing Research Studies

There are three main approaches used to conduct marketing research studies:

  • Exploratory Research: Exploratory research is a preliminary research method used to gain a better understanding of research problems that aren’t clearly defined or understood. When used in marketing research, it helps organizations identify the variables relevant to the study and develop a hypothesis.
  • Descriptive Research: Descriptive research is generally conducted after exploratory research and is used to understand the different variables being studied, as well as their characteristics. Although it does not provide an explanation as to why a phenomenon occurs, it does provide a deeper understanding of the phenomenon, allowing it to be investigated more effectively. 
  • Causal Research: As the name suggests, causal research is used to identify the cause-and-effect relationship between two variables; the independent and dependent variables. This is used when organizations want to identify how a change in one variable will affect a change in the other. For instance, how a change in price will influence demand.


Limitations of Marketing Research

Marketing research can help an organization in a number of different ways. However, it does have two key limitations:

  • Does not Make Decisions: Marketing research provides us with the tools and information required for better decision-making, however, it does not make decisions. Managers within the organization will have to use the information collected through marketing research to identify the best course of action. 
  • Cannot Guarantee Success: Unlike in fields such as engineering and science, the links found in marketing research are not direct and are therefore not guaranteed. For instance, if an organization conducts market research to predict sales at a specific price, the value predicted may not actually reflect in the actual market. 

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FAQs on Marketing Research

Marketing research can be defined as the objective and systematic study of markets, product design, transfer activities, sales, and management. It is therefore concerned with all activities conducted from the beginning to the final stages of marketing.

Marketing research encompasses a range of different activities including; brand awareness research, brand association research, trendspotting, sales forecasting, and marketing effectiveness. 

There are two key limitations of marketing research; it cannot make decisions and it does not guarantee success. 

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