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 one of the key factors used in maintaining competitiveness over competitors. Market research provides important information to identify and analyze the market need, market size and competition. Market-research techniques encompass both qualitative techniques such as focus groups, in-depth interviews, and ethnography, as well as quantitative techniques such as customer surveys, and analysis of secondary data.
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.
The market research industry has grown steadily over the last five years, but new innovations could rapidly increase potential revenue in the future.
According to a recent report by First Research Inc., the global market research industry produces $45 billion in revenue each year. Although Europe and the United States lead the industry overall, other countries such as China, Brazil, Russia, and India are experiencing increasing demand for services related to market research.