Market Research and Marketing Research: Definition and Differences

market research

Knowledge about the market where you plan to launch your product is important to run a business successfully. Proper research provides you facts, and based on the fact you can build your business strategy to lure the customers. Business owners mainly invest their time and money in two types of researches- market research and marketing research. The terms may sound similar, but they are not. However, market research and marketing research are somehow interrelated.

What is market research?

It refers to researching the factors related to markets. While doing market research, you dig into things like market trends and, key players (competitors), the nature of the target market, what customers wants etc. It is broader phrase than marketing research.

What is marketing research?

While market search gathers information about the market, marketing research tries to explore why people buy and from whom people buy. Let me explain this simply. Market research can tell you that there is a demand for smartphones in the market. Now, there are already dozens of smartphone manufacturers in the market. So, you need to do some marketing research because it tells you why people love smartphones (social network, mail, GPS features, games, apps) and from which company (Samsung, Apple, LG) they prefer to buy.

This type of research concentrates on each P of the four P’s (Product, Promotion, Place, Price).The main purpose of marketing research is to identify the buying preferences of potential customers in a particular market. You try to understand how people react to marketing propagandas. When marketing research is done correctly, the final report tells you how to push the emotional buttons so that people will respond to your message.

There are lots of differences between market research and marketing research. Read on to find out.


1. Market research collects data about market, competition, trends, demand and supply ratio, etc. Basically, it gives you the answers to the following questions.

  • What should I sell?
  • Where can I sell it?
  • When should I sell?
  • What should be the price?

market research

Market research also predicts the demand for new products.

2. Marketing research gathers and scrutinizes data to solve marketing issues. It also helps you take marketing decisions. For example, if brochure marketing is not working, then you may need to change the content of the brochure or invest in email marketing because target market responds to online promotion. This type of research is quite systematic, objective and scientific.


1. Market research has two core objectives.

  • Study the entire market. It means that this type of research concentrates on the nature, location, size, demand and potential of a market.
  • Determine the sales territories and quotas.

2. Similarly, marketing research has two core objectives.

  • Find solutions of the current marketing problems.
  • Discover the present and future marketing opportunities.


1. The scope of market research is very limited. It studies the market only. There is no in-depth, minute research options.

2. Marketing research focuses on all the small things related to marketing. It concentrates on things like

  • product
  • pricing
  • packaging
  • market
  • sales


Is there a relation between these two? Certainly. If you have read the science principal “all alkali are bases but all bases are not alkali”, then you will easily understand the relation between market research and marketing research. Market research is a branch of marketing research.

Marketing research covers everything that market research can cover. Due to this, more and more companies are moving away from market research and investing in marketing research. Both provide data, but market research provides soft and vague data. On the contrary, marketing research provides solid, fact based intelligence.

There are indeed various differences between these two types of researches and what type of research you want to do is completely your decision. Just hire a reputed company for the job and whatever data you get after the research, ensure that you take some actions based on the knowledge you have gathered. Competition among the companies is very high and timely decision can help your organization immensely.