Market research vs. marketing research – Know the difference

Have you ever put thought into the difference between market research and marketing research? They sure sound similar, but and people sometimes use them interchangeably, but there’s a difference between both the terms. 

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What is market research?

Market research investigates and analyzes a target market. Researchers use market research to collect consumer data within a marketplace. It deals with the collection, analysis, and use of market intelligence and market statistics. Market research deals with only one of Marketing’s four Ps – Place. In this context, place means a specific segment or market.

Market researchers collect, analyze, and study data about:

  • An existing product or service, or a developing concept
  • An existing marketplace
  • Clients and customers 

Researchers use market research to gauge the marketplace’s wants, needs, behavior, purchase behavior, and other characteristics. It helps them understand and compare their products and services with their competitors and industry standards. Businesses use market research to understand the behavior of their customers towards newly launched products and services. It is also used to explore fresh markets and understand consumers’ needs in the marketplace – both existing and new.

The market research process

  1. Identify issue
  2. Choose the research team (internal or external research experts)
  3. Choose the most fitting technique and approach
  4. Gather data
  5. Organize, analyze, and interpret data
  6. Create reports
  7. Make data-based decisions

What is marketing research?

Marketing research is a much broader concept than market research and deals with Marketing’s four Ps – product, price, place, and promotion. Its cover is much more diverse than that of market research. The areas that marketing research looks at are as follows:

  • New product research
  • Customer research
  • Public relations
  • Existing product development
  • Distribution methods
  • Sales
  • Advertising research
  • Pricing

Marketing research covers a lot – from the conception of the idea to the product’s development and placement. It does not stop there because it also covers the alterations and evolution of the products and services. It also looks into its growing customers and audience and helps in building brand awareness and brand equity. Market research plays a vital role in marketing research activities as it is a subset of marketing research.

The marketing research process

  1. Identify the issue, examine options, and set the objectives of the research
  2. Create a research program
  3. Collect research information
  4. Collect audience data
  5. Organize and analyze data
  6. Display findings
  7. Make data-based decisions

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Differences between market research and marketing research

Below is a comparison between market research and marketing research.

Market research Marketing research
Purpose It studies buyer behavior in the market and
the marketplace as a whole.
It systematically studies all the phases of a business’s marketing activities.
Nurses Marketing research. The entire marketing information system of the business.
Research scope Limited. Only studies the market and its consumer behavior. Wide. Studies the whole marketing process, marketing’s four Ps, and the whole market itself.
Research nature The research is specific to answering specific questions. The research is more generic and is used to solve a host of marketing problems.
Purpose To study the success of a product or service in the market. To gather data for marketing activities decision-making.