Skip to main content

"Marketing [sic] Research"

Some people say "market research". Some people say "marketing research". Which term is correct?

Well, maybe both terms are correct in some sense, but they mean different things. Common sense dictates:

market research - research into a market
marketing research - research into marketing

Webster's formal definitions agree with common sense:

market research - research into the size, location, and makeup of a product market
marketing research - research into the means of promoting, selling, and distributing a product or service

I suspect that most people mean "market research" when they say "marketing research".


Unknown said…
I have the same challenge with the phrase "MarketING requirements." Development hears it as "ideas from the marketing department." That's why I advocate the phrase "Market Requirements" -- that is, requirements from the market.

Market research is how we determine what the market will buy. And thus what we should build. But the trick is to learn what the market needs, not just what it is asking for.
Unknown said…
Forget the word research. The issue is that people are misusing the terms Market and Marketing. They are two completely different things. When you understand the definition of each, it becomes quite clear what Market Research and Marketing Research are.

Another example would be the words analysis and analytics. People accidentally treat them as synonymous.

Popular posts from this blog

Why Spreadsheets Suck for Prioritizing

The Goal As a company executive, you want confidence that your product team (which includes all the people, from all departments, responsible for product success) has a sound basis for deciding which items are on the product roadmap. You also want confidence the team is prioritizing the items in a smart way. What Should We Prioritize? The items the team prioritizes could be features, user stories, epics, market problems, themes, or experiments. Melissa Perri  makes an excellent case for a " problem roadmap ", and, in general, I recommend focusing on the latter types of items. However, the topic of what types of items you should prioritize - and in what situations - is interesting and important but beyond the scope of this blog entry. A Sad but Familiar Story If there is significant controversy about priorities, then almost inevitably, a product manager or other member of the team decides to put together The Spreadsheet. I've done it. Some of the mos

Stop Validating and Start Falsifying

The product management and startup worlds are buzzing about the importance of "validation". In this entry, I'll explain how this idea originated and why it's leading organizations astray. Why Validate? In lean startup circles, you constantly hear about "validated learning" and "validating" product ideas: The assumption is that you have a great product idea and seek validation from customers before expending vast resources to build and bring it to market. Indeed, it makes sense to transcend conventional approaches to making product decisions . Intuition, sales anecdotes, feature requests from customers, backward industry thinking, and spreadsheets don't form the basis for sound product decisions. Incorporating lean startup concepts , and a more scientific approach to learning markets, is undoubtedly a sounder approach. Moreover, in larger organizations, sometimes further in the product life-cycle, everyone seems to have an opinio

Henry Ford's "Faster Horse" Quote

You may have heard the ( apocryphal ) Henry Ford quote: If I'd asked customers what they wanted, they would have said "a faster horse". Over at the On Product Management blog , Saeed gives his take on this infamous quote. He "hates" it, and gives some compelling reasons. Saeed is spot on in his explanations. Personally, I think the quote is great, but it's a matter of interpretation. The valid point of the quote is not that it's a bad idea to facilitate a conversation with your market to better understand it. The valid points are: You must ask the right questions to get valuable answers. You must interpret the answers thoughtfully - often outside their direct meaning - to glean reliable information. Asking questions is not always the best way to "listen" to your market. (E.g., sometimes pure observational studies are more reliable.) Nonetheless, I find the quote is helpful to combat "armchair product management" in the