Market research is any organized effort to gather information about target markets or customers. It is a very important component of business strategy. The term is commonly interchanged with marketing research; however, expert practitioners may wish to draw a distinction, in that marketing research is concerned specifically about marketing processes, while market research is concerned specifically with markets.
Market research is a key factor to maintain competitiveness over competitors. Market research provides important information to identify and analyze the market need, market size and competition.
Market research, which includes social and opinion research, is the systematic gathering and interpretation of information about individuals or organizations using statistical and analytical methods and techniques of the applied social sciences to gain insight or support decision making.
Market research began to be conceptualized and put into formal practice during the 1920s, as an offshoot of the advertising boom of the Golden Age of radio in the United States. Advertisers began to realize the significance of demographics revealed by sponsorship of different radio programs.
Market research for business/planning
Market research is for discovering what people want, need, or believe. It can also involve discovering how they act. Once that research is completed, it can be used to determine how to market your product. Peter Drucker believed market research to be the quintessence of marketing.
For starting up a business, there are some important things:
- Market information
Through Market information one can know the prices of different commodities in the market, as well as the supply and demand situation. Market researchers have a wider role than previously recognized by helping their clients to understand social, technical, and even legal aspects of markets.
- Market segmentation
Market segmentation is the division of the market or population into subgroups with similar motivations. It is widely used for segmenting on geographic differences, personality differences, demographic differences, technographic differences, use of product differences, psychographic differences and gender differences. For B2B segmentation firmographics is commonly used.
Market trends are the upward or downward movement of a market, during a period of time. Determining the market size may be more difficult if one is starting with a new innovation. In this case, you will have to derive the figures from the number of potential customers, or customer segments. [Ilar 1998]
Is a written analysis of the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats to a business entity. Not only should a SWOT be used in the creation stage of the company but could also be used throughout the life of the company. A SWOT may also be written up for the competition to understand how to develop the marketing and product mixes.
Besides information about the target market, one also needs information about one's competitors, customers, products, etc. Lastly, you need to measure marketing effectiveness. A few techniques are:
- Customer analysis
- Choice modelling
- Competitor analysis
- Risk analysis
- Product research
- Advertising the research
- Marketing mix modeling
- Simulated Test Marketing
Market research for the film industry
It is important to test marketing material for films to see how an audience will receive it. There are several market research practices that may be used: (1) concept testing, which evaluates reactions to a film idea and is fairly rare; (2) positioning studios, which analyze a script for marketing opportunities; (3) focus groups, which probe viewers' opinions about a film in small groups prior to release; (4) test screenings, which involve the previewing of films prior to theatrical release; (5) tracking studies, which gauge (often by telephone polling) an audience's awareness of a film on a weekly basis prior to and during theatrical release; (6) advertising testing, which measures responses to marketing materials such as trailers and television advertisements; and finally (7) exit surveys, that measure audience reactions after seeing the film in the cinema.
Top 9 of the market research sector 2009
From the Honomichl Top 50:
|Rank||Company||Sales in 2009
|Growth in %|
|2||Kantar Group - TNS, Millward Brown, BMRB, IMRB International and Ziment Group||4,692.0||2.5|
|3||IMS Health Inc.||1,958.6||8.5|
Global market research turnover in 2012
|Rank||Continent||Sales in 2012
(million USD) 
- Industry or market research
- Mystery shopping
- Quantitative marketing research
- Qualitative marketing research
- Nielsen Company
- McQuarrie, Edward (2005), The market research toolbox: a concise guide for beginners (2nd ed.), SAGE, ISBN 978-1-4129-1319-5
- McDonald, Malcolm (2007), Marketing Plans (6th ed.), Oxford, England: Butterworth-Heinemann, ISBN 978-0-7506-8386-9
- ICC/ESOMAR (2008), International Code on Market and Social Research. ICC/ESOMAR Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 4th ed. http://www.esomar.org/uploads/pdf/professional-standards/ICCESOMAR_Code_English_.pdf
- Drucker, Peter F. (1974). Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices. Australia: Harper & Row. p. 864. ISBN 0-06-011092-9. "There will always, one can assume, be need for some selling. But the aim of marketing is to make selling superfluous. The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well that the product or service fits him and sells itself. Ideally, marketing should result in a customer who is ready to buy. All that should be needed then is to make the product or service available..."
- Diaz Ruiz, C. A. (2013). "Assembling Market Representations". Marketing Theory 13 (3): 245–261. doi:10.1177/1470593113487744.
- Wherry, Julie. "Simulated Test Marketing: Its Evolution and Current State in the Industry".
- Drake, Philip (2008). McDonald & Wasko, ed. Distribution and Marketing in Contemporary Hollywood. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing. pp. 63–82. ISBN 978-1-4051-3388-3.
- ESOMAR Industry Report (2013): http://www.esomar.org/uploads/industry/reports/global-market-research-2013/ESOMAR-GMR2013-Preview.pdf
- Bradley, Nigel Marketing Research. Tools and Techniques.Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2010
- Marder, Eric The Laws of Choice—Predicting Customer Behavior, The Free Press division of Simon and Schuster, 1997. ISBN 0-684-83545-2
- Young, Charles E, The Advertising Handbook, Ideas in Flight, Seattle, WA, April 2005. ISBN 0-9765574-0-1
- Kotler, Philip and Armstrong, Gary Principles of Marketing Pearson, Prentice Hall, New Jersey, 2007 ISBN 978-0-13-239002-6, ISBN 0-13-239002-7
- Honomichl Top 50 - 2008. Annual business report of the top 50 players in the U.S. marketing research industry. American Marketing Association
- International Institute of Market Research and Analytics (IIMRA)