Marketing research

Why market research and marketing research are very different disciplines – and how to best use them

Market research and marketing research are not the same, but many marketers use the terms interchangeably. Both are important parts of marketing efforts and seem similar, but they are inherently different.

The distinction between these types of research is when each occurs. Business owners and marketers conduct market research during the early stages of developing a product or business model. Marketing research, on the other hand, comes later.

To tell them apart, think about the question you are asking. The first asks: “Is there a place in the market for a suggested solution?” The latter asks: “How can we reach this place and its associated audience with our marketing efforts?” In other words, market research is only undertaken if the market research has revealed that there is indeed a demand for your product or service.

Let’s take a look at both of these endeavors and explore how and when to get the most out of each.

Market Research: Understanding Your Audience

In marketing departments and advertising agencies across the country, you’ll hear people mistakenly confuse terms like qualitative research with quantitative research despite significant semantic differences. Market research and marketing research merge in the same way, but distinguishing them will help to clarify marketing processes.

Market research is about identifying your audience (and if that audience even exists). If you discover a segment of people who could benefit from your product or service, you will need to determine if it is large enough to make your business viable. People may like the idea behind your business or the concept blueprint for your product, but if enough people aren’t willing to pay, it might not be worth the risk.

On the other hand, if there is a large addressable market, you will need to collect as much relevant demographic, psychographic, and behavioral data as possible. What are their most common pain points? How much money do they usually earn? Where do they live and work?

During this step, you will also collect information on the industry as a whole. By evaluating your competitors and understanding the business environment, you can assess the potential success of your product or service. Ask: “Is there a need in the market? »

Without an affirmative answer, you risk failing. Imagine, for example, that you open a hamburger restaurant in a place where there are none for miles. Sounds like a slam dunk, right? Except maybe the reason there’s no competition is that locals – your target market – just don’t want burgers.

With market research, you can create business concepts with solid foundations and increase your chances of success. However, a business opening or a product launch does not mean the

end of the market research phase. Industries and markets are constantly changing, so continuous research will help you navigate these changes; frequent searches can lead to profitability gains of almost 9 percentage points. In short, the more you know about your market, the more likely you are to succeed.

Marketing research: reach your audience

When it’s time to conduct marketing research, you should already know who your audience is, because you’ll be focusing on the best ways to reach them. Understanding how you will interact with the audience impacts everything, which is why marketing research should be completed before you spend a dime on marketing.

You can be sure that iconic campaigns like Nike’s “Just Do It” wouldn’t exist today without an exhaustive marketing research process. The slogan – a statement of intent – resonates deeply with the brand’s target audience of athletes and runners. That’s the goal of all marketing campaigns: to find the message that will resonate with the audience.

Many organizations use avatars or customer personas to guide the marketing research process, while others use historical empirical data, diving into what has worked and what hasn’t worked in previous campaigns targeting similar audiences. Thanks to incredible advancements in marketing technology, you can gain an abundance of transformative information during this process to help you understand how to communicate with those you are trying to reach. This information will guide you in crafting messages that will reach your target audience.

Testing a variety of messages with certain segments is key to discovering which ones resonate best. Trying to reach an audience with a singular marketing message – especially without any supporting data – is risky. Instead, you should develop at least two or three messaging angles and test them on equal footing. For example, you can run three slightly different Facebook ads targeting the same audience and see which performs best.

Message testing can be effective for one channel, but if you plan to run a campaign across multiple channels, you need to use data to back up your plans. You can collect this information through channel testing: deliver a similar message to similar audiences through two or more channels, then use metrics like clicks and conversions to identify the most effective channel for your specific strategy.

No matter what marketing stage you’re in, it’s essential that your key decisions are guided by data from in-depth research. Without data, your strategy will be based only on assumptions and opinions (which is not very strategic). Do your research, test your assumptions, and use the data you collect to make your marketing more effective.

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