Marketing Research or Market Research? A unhelpful distinction

Once again I have heard of somebody claiming that there is a useful difference between the terms marketing research and market research. However, there is not a useful distinction between these two terms. The meaning of words is determined not by experts, universities, or trade bodies, but by usage. We might not always like the consequences of usage, but just like King Canute, we need to acknowledge that we can’t turn back the tide. Four schools of belief Amongst people who believe that market research and marketing research are different there are essentially four camps, all of which have plenty of members. The key point about these four camps is not which is right, the key point is that all four exist, all contain experts and important sources. The four camps are shown in the image below (click on it to enlarge it). Camp A: marketing research is a sub-set of market research These people say all of marketing research is part of market research, but market research also contains many aspects that are not about marketing, for example social research, political research, and usability. Camp B: market research is a sub-set of marketing research. This is the mirror image […]

What is market research?

Market research (or marketing research if you prefer) is what you do when you want to understand customers in order to make better business decisions if there isn’t a faster/cheaper/better way. At first glance that might sound like a slightly amusing aphorism. But, when you consider it a little deeper, it highlights a number of the problems and opportunities that confront market research. Understand customers At its heart, market research is about understanding customers. This includes current customers, past customers, customers of other brands, and potential customers. It means finding out things like: what people want, what people might want, what people would pay for things, how people see the world, and many more customer related questions. It sometimes even means working with customers to create ideas, as well as to evaluate and shape them. Better business decisions Market research draws on academic and social research, but its purpose is to help businesses make better business decisions. An organisation might be a commercial enterprise, a government, or a not for profit organisation, but in each case market research is used to help it make better business decisions, even when the definition of business is contextual. When there isn’t a faster, […]

What are the Key Debates in Mobile Market Research?

I am involved in a new book, which we hope will be published early in 2014. As with The Handbook of Online and Social Media Research, I will be sharing the project with the #NewMR community and would hope to receive as much help and support as I received last time (all those who contributed are listed in the book). We should be able to publicise the publisher and the team shortly (final negotiations are taking place at the moment). The book will be informed by the work I have done with Navin William and Reg Baker to create a mobile marketing research course for the University of Georgia’s Principles of Marketing Research course – which will be available shortly. The first question So, here is our first question to the market research community. What are the key debates about mobile market research? My feeling is that the key debates in mobile market research are: How do clients move 20 to 30 minute tracking studies onto mobile devices? Closely followed by, what is the maximum length of a mobile interview? What sorts of techniques can’t be completed on a phone? Closely followed, by how do we adapt techniques that don’t […]

10 Reasons to buy ESOMAR’s new book

1 It’s not your classic textbook This book focusses on the questions that are part of the everyday practicalities of market research, the advice you don’t typically get from a textbook – the type of advice researchers would ideally have a mentor or more experienced colleague to ask – unfortunately not everyone has these support networks. 2 The contributors are practitioners The content has been prepared by a team of experienced researchers, so the advice is relevant for researchers who are talking to clients, writing proposals, managing projects, developing questionnaires, analysing data, reporting results, etc. 3 A great resource for the generalist or research all-rounder (Thanks to Sue Bell for emphasising this point.) Many conferences and events, social media forums, and journals focus on specialist areas. This book, doesn’t cover everything, but aims to give a solid grounding on the basics, written and reviewed by experienced market and social research industry heavy weights who know what you need to know. 4 A balance between traditional and new techniques The book covers the traditional areas – questionnaire design, qualitative, pricing research, B2B – as well as the emerging techniques, for example, communities and social media research. 5 A variety of views […]