What Is The Difference Between Market Research And Customer Research?

What Is The Difference Between Market Research And Customer Research?

Market research and customer research are two different methods of collecting and analyzing data to inform business decisions. Market research focuses on analyzing the overall market and its trends, while customer research centers on understanding the needs, preferences, and behavior of specific customer groups.

The terms market research and consumer research are used almost interchangeably. While this may be right to some extent, there is a difference between the term definitions and practice.

Market Research

Market research is the study of the requirements of various markets, the acceptability of products, and methods of developing or exploiting new markets. Market research investigates and analyzes a target market. Researchers use market research to collect consumer data within a marketplace. It deals with the collection, analysis, and use of market data and market statistics.

Market research is vital for any company that wants to succeed. It allows them to learn about their target market and get feedback from consumers. This feedback can be used to improve their product or service, or to understand how consumers feel about newly launched products. Market research is also used to identify new markets that a company could enter. It is essential for businesses to understand consumer needs in order to create products and services that they will love.

Consumer Research

Consumer research is a branch of market research that zeroes in on the motivations and purchasing behavior of a company or brand’s target customers. By understanding customer psychology, conducting in-depth profiles of purchasing behavior, and systematically collecting information about customer needs, consumer research provides brands with a bird’s eye view of their target market that they can use to their advantage.

Enumerating the information gathered during market research, consumer insights give brands a more customer-centric approach by making changes to products and services, resulting in an increase of customer satisfaction.

Through consumer research, brands can make specific and relevant changes to their products and services, making them more focused on the customer. By doing this, customer satisfaction will increase.

Market Research Vs Consumer Research

Market research provides data that can be analyzed and used to make recommendations. On the other hand, consumer research delivers data in the form of narratives and stories, which focus on providing insights into customer behavior.

Purpose of Data

Market research strives to answer specific questions and deliver on research objectives. Consumer research, on the other hand, seeks to recommend actions for effective decision making based on the information gathered.

Relationship to Marketing

Market research helps marketing professionals make data-driven decisions. When marketing and consumer insights are well aligned, they work together seamlessly. A best practice is to include marketing in the process of synthesizing the learning from consumer insights projects to gain applicable insights and build deeper knowledge in the organization. This way, marketing professionals can rely on data when making decisions about their next steps, rather than guessing or going with their gut feeling.

When You Should Do Market Or Customer Research

When developing and changing aspects of your business, including offerings to customers, it’s important to do thorough research to have confidence in the actions you’re taking, including research into:

  • Pricing
  • Branding
  • Product Names
  • New Retail Outlets
  • Advertising Campaigns
  • New Products or Services.

There are several methods you can use to do research, including:

  • Conducting your own research using customer surveys, feedback and interviews
  • Conducting analysis of your own business using your past performance in sales, goods returned and repeat business
  • Researching industry and market trend information
  • Reviewing reports, industry journals and government information.

Understanding Market Research and Customer Research

Market research is a methodology used to gain reliable data about specific markets and target customers. Market research organizations and industry associations provide data and statistical reports on markets and future trends.

A subset of market research is customer research. Customer research tools help you target and understand your buyer’s behaviour and demographics.

The differences between market research and customer research are:

  • Market Research involves data and statistics for
    • Overall industry market attributes economic and population fluctuations technology innovations internet and mobile phone usage
    • Competitor activities
  • Customer Research involves data and insights into
    • What, when and how often customers want to buy (quantitative data)
    • Why they make their decisions (qualitative insights).

By exploring customer profiles and motivations, you can gain insight into demographics such as geographical populations, buying habits, preferences and the projected growth or decline of targeted groups.

Using a combination of market and customer research helps you to keep up to date with market trends and build reliable customer profiles to target. It is important to build more than 1 customer profile to prevent marketing too broadly.

The Value of Market Research

Market research is valuable at the start-up stage of your business, and you should conduct research regularly to ensure you adapt your business to changes in the market.

Planning and conducting your market research involve using methods and tools to ensure your marketing activities will be:

  • Profitable and cost effective
  • Linked to the needs and trends of the market
  • In line or ahead of competitors.

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