Successful businesses are what they are because they deliver what customers demand, whether it is a product or service. Consequently, whenever “business” is mentioned, the words “marketing” and “research” are often cited as well. Some companies specialize in these concepts – market research companies. But how exactly are they related to business?
Research is the process of acquiring information. In a business setup, research is a necessary step in every process a company undertakes. It allows decision-makers and employees to know anything and everything vital about their business – from production to advertisements
There are different methods of acquiring information for a business. One example is called the “focus group,” wherein a specially organized group discusses a product, service, or other business concerns in an interactive setting to extract valuable information from the participants.
Following the group’s data gathering process is a thorough analysis of the collected data. Subject matter experts interpret the data and return useful insights that can give you important ideas that could be different from quantitative data.
Marketing is known as one of the fundamental pillars of business. The process is all about the clever and creative selling of products and services to target audiences. Through marketing, you provide valuable information about your brand, what products or services you offer, and turn your audiences into buyers – a process called “conversion” in the digital world. Its “4 P’s” is the backbone that will keep your business going: product, price, place, and promotion.
Combining the two concepts yields two fields of business study: market research and marketing research. Both are data gathering tools that contribute to improving businesses through various methods such as quantitative and qualitative research. But before we head to the modality, let us first discuss the differences and similarities of the two.
Market research is the study of a specified marketplace that contributes to marketing research. The effectiveness of the product in a market is scrutinized to further understand and know the consumers’ preferences.
Meanwhile, marketing research covers the marketing mix or the “4P’s”. It is primarily done to develop and improve the overall business process – from branding to actual selling, pricing, advertisements, and so forth. Maintaining existing markets and looking for new ones are the biggest goals of marketing research.
Next, let us consider the similarities of the market and marketing research methodologies. Qualitative research, such as focus groups, as mentioned previously is the gathering of descriptive data. Preparing questionnaires, appointing roles to members, and exchanging ideas are some of the processes included in focus group planning. On the other hand, quantitative research is the accumulation of measurable data that can be used to predict and direct business objectives such as sales targets.
Marketing research also has several categories based on relationships. The most common is the business-to-customer or B2C, while another is business-to-business marketing research or B2B.
Marketing is a broad field of knowledge and study, and B2B is dedicated to processes between businesses. B2B “customers” does not only include companies but other types of organizations too. It can also include government agencies.
A common B2B relationship is the “supplier and distributor” model. For example, paper-producing companies do business with printing service companies, where the latter buys paper supplies from the former to use in their operations.
B2B marketing highlights the process in which suppliers (e.g. the paper producers) sell their products to distributors (the printers), establishing relationships with them to ensure the continuity of business. This can also go upwards, where suppliers buy from sources of the raw material they need for production.
Combining research and market is a powerful tool to improving business strategies. Used accurately, you can know all your business’s strengths and weaknesses, and figure out solutions to keep existing clients and capture new markets.
Gathering and analyzing data is no easy feat however and must be done in an organized manner. Market research companies such as Media Manager, have teams of marketing professionals to help you avoid wasting time, effort, and talent as you push your business or organization towards success. With our expertise in handling market research and data, you can be sure you deliver exactly what your market wants.