Market Research vs Marketing Research

Is there a difference between marketing research and market research?  Within the research industry these two terms are often used interchangeably. Technically this is not correct, there is a difference between marketing research and market research however there is such an overlap of the two that either can be used in practice dependent on the objectives of the research. 

Market research is all about gathering information on a specific market and discovering elements such as market trends, competitors, customer expectations and needs.  In contrast - marketing research encompasses the whole marketing mix, including the four Ps of product, price, promotion and place.  Research conducted for marketing research purposes relates to the four p’s, such as product concept testing, pricing structures, advertising and public relations. 

Market Research and Marketing Research

According to Philip Kotler, "Marketing research is systematic problem analysis, model building and fact-finding for the purpose of improved decision making and control in the marketing of goods and services."

On the other hand Market Research is “the systematic gathering and interpretation of information about individuals or organisations using the statistical and analytical methods and techniques of the applied social sciences to gain insight or support decision making.” According to the ESOMAR (European Society for Opinion and Market Research)

As the chart below shows there is certainly an overlap between the two concepts which leads to the rather loose understanding of what market(ing) research should embrace. 

Market research is a much wider concept because it looks at markets, while marketing research addresses elements relating to marketing. 


Whether you refer to the research as “marketing research” or “market research” both provide you with information, analysis and data to make better business decisions.

Read more: Benefits of Market Research

Market Research Company

George Klein and Associates specialises in market and marketing research in the industrial and commercial industries and has experience in a wide range of business sectors in Africa.

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