Marketing and Market Research– Do You Know the Difference? 

  • February 9, 2023

  • Eyes4Research

Every brand, whether they just recently launched, or are an established brand looking to reach a younger audience, needs both marketing and market research. Marketing teams need to hone their brand’s messaging, and market research tells them which audience should be the target of their carefully crafted story. So what is the difference between marketing and market research? 

What is Marketing? 

The American Marketing Association defines marketing as the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large. This definition can be enhanced by adding that marketing has the long-term goal of increasing brand loyalty and ultimately driving sales. 

So with the definition of marketing established, what is the purpose of marketing? Successful marketing has achieved the ultimate goal of attracting customers to a brand through effective messaging that resonates with its audience. Ideally, that messaging is educational, aspirational, or otherwise helpful to a brand’s target audience so that the messaging converts that audience into customers.  

From the early years of marketing in the 1950s, which saw television take its place alongside print as a method to reach potential customers, and now with the internet, marketers can create campaigns that can broadcast a brand’s message across multiple platforms. As it has become even more difficult to capture and keep an audience’s attention, marketers have an increasingly challenging task to successfully fine-tune how a business sells products to customers. 

How Marketing Intersects with Market Research

As mentioned above, effective marketing needs the foundation of messaging that connects with a brand’s audience. But do brands learn what their audience wants and needs so they can be converted into loyal customers? That’s where market research comes in. Market research is the process of gathering and analyzing data about a target market. It is typically focused on a product or service and an intended audience for that product or service. 

Market researchers look at areas like spending habits and characteristics to reveal what potential customers in a target market might want or need. Market research is also helpful for researchers to collect geographic and demographic data. Market researchers can also help identify important factors for companies, such as: 

  • Viability of a new product or service in a specific market
  • Potential new target markets
  • What types of advertising are the most effective
  • Current market trends

What to Know About the Different Types of Market Research

When it comes to market research, there are many ways that marketers can approach gathering the insights they need from their target audience. Here are some examples of the types of market research brands can invest in to learn more about their potential customers. 

  • Surveys: Company representatives or market researchers hired by a brand can get direct input from a target market by conducting surveys. They might cold call, email questionnaires or talk to people in high-traffic areas.
  • Focus groups: In order to get more specific feedback, marketers can gather a focus group of people who represents the market they wish to target. Giving potential customers direct experience with the product or a longer explanation of its features could allow them to provide more detailed, informed comments.
  • Social media: If brands want to do market research on a product or service that customers already use, social media can be a great asset. By checking popular hashtags or replies or searching a product or company name, companies can find honest opinions from real consumers.
  • Pre-existing market research: Brands may want to check if another company or the government has already done the research they want to conduct. Companies can purchase data from a market research company, and they can find public data in government databases, libraries, and online.

How Do Brands Benefit From Market Research?

When a brand wants to promote a product or a service, it is important that its marketing team carefully identifies its ideal target market and points the messaging in that direction. For example, by promoting baby food to young moms, brands can ensure that they are effectively utilizing their resources. 

Here are a few additional ways you can benefit from market research:

  • Understanding what markets would most benefit from your product or service
  • Identifying what customers want and need
  • Identifying different or additional target markets
  • Gaining valuable feedback for adjusting and improving your product or service

Read more about marketing and market research on the Eyes4Research blog. Eyes4Research also has everything you need to collect high-quality insights from consumers. Our panels are comprised of B2B, B2C, and specialty audiences ready to participate in your next research project. Learn more about our specialty panels here.