© 2011 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved
A note on semantics
There is market research and there’s marketing research:
is specifically about the customer. It’s about finding out whatmakes them tick—who they are, what they care about, how they feel, whatthey perceive. The findings of market research can influence what products andservices a business offers, determine whether or not customer expectations arebeing met and pinpoint what drives purchase behavior.On the other hand,
is about discovering howmessages are received and processed by target audiences. It determineshow changes to the marketing mix can impact customer behavior. Thefindings of marketing research can influence the marketing strategyand communications plan, determine how a business should allocate itsmarketing budget and pinpoint what messaging will resonate the mostamong target audiences.While slightly different, both kinds of research are crucial in revealingnot only who your customers are but how they want to engage with your brand.These terms are used interchangeably among many marketers, and this paperwill follow suit. It’s important, however, to know the difference in the event thatyour business seeks assistance from research firms or vendors who tend to draw aclearer line between the two.
Determining an objective
The planning stage of market research is all about objectives because objectiveshelp determine the scope of marketing research endeavors. What’s more, settingobjectives allows for more defined budgets and more effective measurement.Before embarking on the road to research, ask these questions:1. What is the purpose of this research?2. What information is being sought?3. How will the information be used?The most effective research objectives, like any objectives, are focused andspecific; they include both what it is that is to be done and how it is known that ithas been achieved. For instance,