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Market Research vs. Marketing Research: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Published on November 27, 2023
Market research focuses on understanding the market, including competitors and consumers, while marketing research encompasses all aspects of marketing processes, from product development to sales strategies.

Key Differences

Market research is primarily concerned with gathering information about the market itself, such as customer preferences, demographics, and competitor analysis. It aims to understand the external environment in which a business operates. Marketing research, however, takes a broader scope, encompassing not just the market but also various marketing strategies, including product development, pricing, distribution, and promotion.
The purpose of market research is to identify and analyze potential markets, customer needs, and market trends. This information is crucial for businesses to position themselves effectively in the market. Marketing research, on the other hand, is more comprehensive, aiming to improve the entire marketing process of a product or service, making it more responsive to consumer needs.
Market research tends to focus more on external factors such as consumer behavior, market size, and competition. It is often used to assess the feasibility of a new product or service in the market. Marketing research, conversely, includes internal aspects such as assessing the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, sales methods, and distribution channels.
In conducting market research, businesses often gather data on specific segments of the market to identify opportunities or threats. Marketing research, however, is more inclusive and may involve researching every aspect of marketing activities, from the initial concept of a product to the customer satisfaction after the purchase.
While market research is primarily about understanding the market environment, marketing research is a broader concept that involves researching various facets of marketing activities to improve overall marketing effectiveness.

Comparison Chart


External market environment.
All aspects of marketing processes.


Specific to market analysis.
Includes market analysis plus marketing strategies.


Understanding market dynamics and preferences.
Improving and refining marketing strategies and operations.

Key Elements

Consumer preferences, competitor analysis.
Product development, pricing, promotion, distribution.


Used for market positioning and entry.
Used for comprehensive marketing planning and evaluation.

Market Research and Marketing Research Definitions

Market Research

Gathering information about a specific market segment.
Their market research revealed trends in the youth demographic.

Marketing Research

Study of all aspects of marketing, from product to sales.
Marketing research was used to develop a new advertising strategy.

Market Research

Analysis of consumer behavior and competitive landscape.
The company’s market research focused on competitors' pricing strategies.

Marketing Research

Comprehensive study encompassing product, price, place, and promotion.
Marketing research showed the need for a more diverse distribution channel.

Market Research

Assessing potential market opportunities and threats.
The market research helped them identify a niche for their product.

Marketing Research

Analysis of marketing strategies and consumer responses.
Their marketing research focused on the effectiveness of online campaigns.

Market Research

Study of market conditions to understand consumer preferences.
Market research showed a high demand for eco-friendly products.

Marketing Research

Research to support marketing decisions and planning.
Marketing research influenced the decision to rebrand the product.

Market Research

Investigating market size, trends, and needs.
Market research indicated a growing market for organic foods.

Marketing Research

Evaluation of entire marketing process and consumer satisfaction.
Post-launch marketing research revealed high customer satisfaction.


What aspects does marketing research cover?

It covers product development, pricing strategies, promotion, and distribution methods.

Can market research influence product design?

Yes, by identifying consumer preferences and needs.

What is market research?

It’s the study of market conditions to understand consumer needs and competition.

Why is market research important?

It helps businesses understand market dynamics and consumer preferences for effective positioning.

How does marketing research differ from market research?

Marketing research is broader, covering all aspects of marketing strategies and processes.

How often should market research be conducted?

Regularly, to keep up with changing market trends and consumer behavior.

What role does marketing research play in advertising?

It helps in developing effective advertising strategies based on consumer insights.

What methods are used in market research?

Surveys, interviews, focus groups, and data analysis are common methods.

How does marketing research impact sales?

It helps in devising sales strategies that resonate with target audiences.

Is marketing research important for small businesses?

Yes, it's crucial for all businesses to refine marketing strategies and meet consumer demands.

Can marketing research help in pricing a product?

Yes, it can provide insights into optimal pricing strategies.

Is marketing research only about current markets?

No, it also involves exploring new markets and opportunities.

Does marketing research include competitor analysis?

Yes, it often includes analyzing competitors' marketing strategies.

Who conducts marketing research?

It can be conducted by the business itself or by specialized marketing research agencies.

Can market research predict future trends?

It can provide insights into potential future trends based on current data.

How can market research improve customer satisfaction?

By understanding and meeting customer needs and preferences.

What is a major challenge in marketing research?

Ensuring research is comprehensive and accurately reflects consumer behavior.

Is market research relevant for all industries?

Yes, understanding the market is crucial for success in any industry.

Can market research help in market segmentation?

Yes, it's key in identifying different market segments and their specific needs.

Is online market research effective?

Yes, it's a cost-effective way to gather a large amount of data.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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