Market Research Vs. Marketing Research
What is Research?
Research a term we hear extensively throughout our academic and professional careers; now, did you actually know the meaning? Or even the most appropriate use of the term? Academically, research tends to be more along the lines of proving a point or statement without a shadow of a doubt. On the other hand, research in a professional setting is not necessarily finding three sources that support your claim. Instead, it’s about identifying insights within those findings that we can use for a deeper purpose. It is a known fact that we have a wealth of resources with information on every subject imaginable right at our fingertips, and with the data that we collect and compile, we can use these resources and the information gained to make informed decisions. However, due to our human nature, we are averseto uncertainty. We begin an endless quest for information every time we try to find a solution to a problem.
The Quest for Information
However, this endless need for information can hinder our ability to be agile marketers who use real-time information to formulate and implement product launches, marketing campaigns, and social media. Often times in our sales and marketing careers, we will have to make high-intuition and low-data decisions when it comes to positioning our products in markets.
By high-intuition, we’re referring to the process of focusing on key data points, prioritizing the information in them, and creating solutions based off of that information. And by low-data, I mean that we will find sources that only tell us a snippet of the information we need. Some projects require you to sift through tremendous amounts of data and others have more explicit findings and require less time. As marketers’ research is the most valuable and necessary tool in our tactical arsenal, it enables us to avoid making general statements that do not persuade customers because our job is to speak as if we are the person buying the product.
This point is further reinforced by Al Ries and Jack Trout in their book, “Positioning: The Battle For Your Mind.” They mention that you and I, as business owners or marketers, must look for the solution inside the minds of prospects. And the reason why you look for the solution inside the prospect’s mind is because they hold the power to elevate our brand through repeat purchases and recommendations. But more importantly, consumers use established knowledge to consider multiple products. Thus for this reason, when you launch a new innovative product, you must tell someone what it is not. This allows your brand to anchor itself in the mind of the consumer, and also gives the added opportunity to establish points of difference.
We have talked at length about the tactical elements of research in marketing, but we cannot forget to discuss the strategic elements which allows us to implement these. Before we can ever consider launching a product, we must have a clear vision regarding the market that we want to enter, the segment we want to target, and the message we want to deliver.
The Marketing Layout
When it comes to marketing, how can we be sure that we’re doing the right thing? How can we be sure that we’re targeting the right audiences, hitting the right KPIs, and ensuring the largest ROI for all those with something at stake? Among some of the most important things to consider as a marketing specialist, it is imperative that we understand the difference between market research and marketing research because – yes – there isa difference, indeed! And understanding how the two processes differ, but also go hand-in-hand, is integral to ensuring the success of any targeted marketing strategy or advertising campaign.
Let’s break it down!
According to Qualtrics, market research is a “more narrow concept,” due to the fact that it involves research only as it relates to a specific market. On the other hand, marketing research includes a broad range of items as they relate to the marketing process/strategy as a whole, including things like product research, distribution modes, and even product development.
So, with this newfound knowledge into how market research and marketing research differ, let’s now explore this concept just a bit more.
The Key Difference
How different are the two?
While market research and marketing research are two different processes that address different needs, we can use the information and insight learned from both processes to help us design an effective marketing strategythat encompasses everything learned from the two! For example, before designing a product, we conduct marketing research.We look to get information about a particular product, consumer preferences, and perhaps a void in the market that needs to be filled.
With this crucial information, we can now identify if there is a potential for opportunity here for a company (ahem, you!) to design an innovative product that helps to better meet the preferences of the consumers involved in our research.
From there, if we’ve been able to design a product that we are certain will fill the voids identified throughout our marketing research, we’ll now conduct market researchto help us identify the right place to sell our products.
Our market is going to be highly specific and unique to the product that we’re selling, the problems that our products or services are solving, and the consumers we’re offering our products or services to. So, for example, we’d have to conduct a highly specific market research study to help us determine just how we can reach our identified target market and how we can ensure that our product is more appealing than the competition. In addition, we’ll want to take a long hard look at related industry issues that could hinder distribution, reach, or ROI for our new product or service.
Forbes says that, “by doing your homework before starting your business, you can be assured that your product or service is properly priced and positioned, and you are offering the most sought after attributes.” And in fact, they’re right! Doing your due diligence and conducting both marketing research andmarket researchwill help to ensure that your overall marketing strategywill help to drive conversions and get your product out there! In fact, renowned management guru, Peter Drucker, is quoted as saying, “Because its purpose is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two — and only these two — basic functions: marketing and innovation.” Ultimately, the point of weaving research, intuition, and data together is to assemble stories that touch every aspect of the customer journey, so that your business, product, or service can connect with consumers on a deeper level than ever before.