Market Research Versus Marketing Research

As a marketing research firm our core business is marketing research; however, one of the services we offer is market research. It is not uncommon in the business community and, more specifically, in the marketing community to get the two terms confused, though there is a clear distinction between the two. To confuse matters further, marketing research firms often apply their expertise and methodologies to other forms of research that are neither market research nor marketing research. All categories of research can include both qualitative and quantitative research methods.

Marketing Research

Marketing research pertains to all aspects of marketing — including price, product, place and promotion. Marketing research employs a number of methodologies to generate information that is used to:

• Outline marketing opportunities and problems
• Inform marketing actions
• Monitor marketing performance

Examples of marketing research studies include:

• Usage and attitude studies (“U&A studies”)
• New product development
• All forms of advertising research (e.g. advertising testing, advertising tracking)
• Competitor analysis

Market Research

On the other hand, market research centers on specific markets and focuses in on areas such as access and demand for specific products and services. The researcher might look at areas such as market structure and economic trends and perform a financial analysis. Examples of market research studies include:

• Market size and potential
• Market trends
• Market growth rate
• Distribution channels

Business Research

It is important to note that firms that bill themselves as marketing research companies also typically engage in business research that does not generally fall under the domain of marketing. Examples include:

• Brand strategy research
• Brand positioning research
• Employee studies

Our expertise and the methodologies we employ are also readily applied to other important areas such as public health studies and political polling.


This article was written by Kirsty Nunez.  Kirsty Nunez is President and Chief Research Strategist at Q2 Insights. Q2 Insights is a market research consulting firm with offices in San Diego and New Orleans. Kirsty can be reached at (760) 230-2950 and 

This entry was posted in Market Research and tagged Tags: , , on March 8, 2013 by Kirsty Nunez