The Different Types Of Marketing Research

Over the past decade, marketing researchers have faced a rapidly evolving environment. There are more channels to research than ever before, and it has become harder to get people to participate in surveys. 

The good news is that there are also tools that allow researchers to work more efficiently and effectively. Below, we’ll cover the different types of marketing research, both traditional and modern, including how each technique works and when you should use them.

Types of Marketing Research – YouTube
1. Gain insights into various market research methodologies.
2. Understand the significance of tailoring research methods to objectives.
3. Explore qualitative and quantitative approaches for deeper insights.
4. Learn how market research guides product development strategies.
5. Discover the pivotal role of market research in informed decision-making.

Descriptive Research

Descriptive research is used to describe a situation or set of circumstances. It provides an overview of people, products, and services in the marketplace. 

Descriptive research answers questions like: Who are my customers? What do they think about my product? Where do they live? How old are they? What does their household look like?

Descriptive research is often conducted as part of exploratory research; it’s used to understand a situation and identify problems that need to be addressed with further investigation. 

You might use descriptive information from different sources (like customer interviews) when creating your business plan or marketing strategy.

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Exploratory Research

Exploratory research is often used by companies to generate ideas and hypotheses. It helps you to better understand the situation, identify opportunities, and make strategic decisions. 

The goal of exploratory research is to generate new insights into trends and patterns with a wide range of people that can be used to develop future strategies.

The most common types of exploratory research include:

  • Discovery interviews – Asking questions about what people think or feel about a topic in order to learn more about them
  • Focus groups – Meeting with small groups of people who share similar characteristics or experiences in order to discuss ideas or issues related (like your product)

Causal Research

Causal research is used to determine the cause of a problem. It is also used to identify the cause of a problem, but only after you have already identified the problem.

Descriptive research identifies characteristics of an area or population. This type of research can be used in markets where there are many different types of consumers. 

For example, if you sell replica swords, then it may be important for you to know how old your customers are or what gender they fall into.

In contrast, causal research looks at underlying reasons why consumers behave in certain ways when interacting with your product or service offerings.

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Online Versus Offline Research

You can conduct online research at low cost, but you’ll have no way of observing the behavior of your audience. While this is a hassle, it’s still an effective method for gathering opinions and information on products and services.

Online research can also be quick and easy to conduct, but again, you won’t be able to observe the behavior of your audience.

Online research is more impersonal than offline methods, since it involves communicating with respondents via computer rather that in person. 

This makes it easier for researchers to ask sensitive questions about topics like racial makeup or religious affiliations without offending respondents or causing them discomfort due to social pressures from their peers or family members alike.

In addition, online surveys tend not only provide more accurate results than paper-based surveys but also reach more people because they’re available 24/7 365 days per year – meaning there’s no limit on when someone can fill out a survey (as long as they have access).

Qualitative Versus Quantitative Research

Qualitative research is a type of market research that focuses on gathering data about consumers’ opinions, attitudes, and beliefs. Qualitative research involves collecting information through unstructured interviews or focus groups. 

Unlike quantitative research, which uses surveys and questionnaires to collect raw data for analysis, qualitative methods don’t include any fixed set of questions or answers. 

Instead, the researcher typically has a list of topics that they want to talk about  such as brand perception or customer service experience but lets the conversation flow freely from there.

Qualitative methods have several advantages over their quantitative counterparts:

  • They allow you to develop deep understanding of human behavior in general rather than specific behaviors among small groups of people;
  • They can be used across different cultures without needing translation;
  • You can use them early in the design process so you know which designs are most likely to succeed before investing resources into building them; and
  • They’re less expensive than standard surveys because there’s no need for sample sizes or large amounts of data collection equipment (e.g., computers).

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Primary Research

Primary research is original data collected for the purpose of gathering new information. It can be conducted by the researcher, or in some cases, it may be conducted by a third party on behalf of a client. 

Primary research involves more time and money than secondary research, but the information gathered is often more accurate and relevant to the situation at hand.

Because there’s no existing dataset to pull from, you’ll need to conduct your own primary research using interviews or surveys; 

This method can produce inaccurate results if participants aren’t honest or don’t answer questions honestly (for instance, if they feel like they’re being judged). 

However, when done right, primary research also offers unique insights into consumer behavior that cannot be learned elsewhere.

Secondary Research

Secondary research is a great way to find out the latest trends, developments and innovations in your industry. It can also be used to identify what the competition is doing and how they are responding to changes in the market. 

You will learn from what you have done previously, but this type of research will also help you improve on it.

You can use secondary research techniques such as desk research and surveys, which collect information about a topic without direct contact with sources (businesses or consumers). 

The information gathered will give you an overview of current events and trends that may impact on your business strategy.

The types of secondary research include market intelligence services like reports from trade bodies such as Ofcom or Ofgem; press releases; government reports; academic journals; 

White papers by thought leaders in an industry (e.g., McKinsey); customer feedback through social media posts or letters/emails sent directly to businesses

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Marketing Analytics

Marketing analytics is the process of collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data to reveal insights that inform business decisions. 

Marketing analytics can be used to measure the impact of marketing activities and campaigns. It also provides a way for businesses to identify the best customers and prospects.

When you think about it at its most basic level, marketing analytics is based on a statistical, mathematical, or econometric model that explains how your business operates about outside factors such as market size or competitor pricing strategies. 

Using this information helps you understand which types of customers are most profitable for your company; how much money each customer spends over time; 

What kinds of offers encourage them to spend more money than they otherwise would have spent; whether certain products need additional advertising support (or not); etc.

The optimal level of analysis depends not only on the size of your company but also on resources available for analysis (i.e., money). 

Smaller companies or startups may need fewer employees who do more work while larger corporations may require hundreds if not thousands of employees dedicated solely toward crunching numbers all day long!

Focus Groups

Focus groups are used for qualitative research. They’re great for exploring an idea or hypothesis, often in a more informal setting than a lab or interview room. During the focus group, you can ask participants things like:

  • “What do you think of this product?”
  • “How would you use it?”
  • “Why do you like/dislike it?”

Raters will rate every participant’s responses on a scale and then provide feedback on which comments best resemble their feelings about the product. 

This can help you determine whether your ideas are working or if they need tweaking before moving forward with your next phase of research or even refining your product itself!

In-Depth Interviews

In-depth interviews are the most common form of qualitative research and are very useful for gaining insight into the reasoning behind consumer behavior. In-depth interviews can be conducted with just one person or with a group. 

The interviewer asks open-ended questions about the subject matter; depending on how much time has been allotted for this type of study, they may also ask follow-up questions or try to gain clarification on points that seem unclear.

In-depth interviews are usually used to analyze specific issues in great detail, such as why consumers choose one brand over another or how they feel about an advertising campaign or ad copy. 

They’re also useful when you want to hear both sides of a story or get different perspectives on something that happened. 

Because they give you direct access into people’s heads (for better or worse!), this kind of qualitative research helps you better understand why people do what they do and gives you valuable information that can help guide future decisions as well!

Field Experiments

Field experiments are used to test the effectiveness of a specific marketing campaign. They can be used to determine whether or not a particular advertisement or sales promotion will have the desired effect on customer behavior.

An example of a field experiment would be if you were to test two different coupons for your product by distributing them at two different grocery stores in your town and see which one generates more sales or inquiries from customers inquiring about your product.

Field experiments are best suited for testing tactics that don’t require any significant changes in working practices, such as advertising campaigns and direct mailings (although they can still be useful when such changes are required).


Surveys are the most common form of marketing research. They’re used to gather data from a large number of people and can be conducted online or offline. 

Surveys are used to gather information about the attitudes and behaviors of consumers, such as their preferences, opinions, and habits.

Surveys can range from simple questioning where you ask one question at a time up to complex statistical analysis with hundreds or even thousands of questions answered by respondents. 

Common methods include phone interviews, email surveys, and face-to-face interviews with customers (also called “focus groups”).

Observational Research

Observational research is a type of research that requires the researcher to watch and record what happens during the research period. It is a type of research that is used in marketing, sociology, and psychology.

Observational research allows you to observe people going about their daily lives without any outside interference by yourself or your team. 

This can help you better understand why people behave as they do because you will be able to see things that might not come across in another type of research method (for example, surveys).

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Case Studies

Case studies can be used to tell the story of a specific customer or group of customers. They are most effective when they are tailored specifically for your audience, so you must know who that is before writing this type of research.

Case studies provide an opportunity for you to demonstrate how your product or service has helped others in their business endeavors. These stories can help potential customers understand how using your product or service will benefit them as well.

The goal of case studies is often to share with readers the results from implementing a specific strategy using your product or service.

Which will encourage them to make similar changes themselves and increase their sales revenue as well as customer base by showing their success with current clients/customers/patients/etc.

You should only use case studies if there have been significant improvements within an organization after implementing one of your strategies; 

Otherwise, it’s better not to mention any specifics because these details could change over time and lead readers astray when trying out different ideas under similar circumstances (e.,g., “This company implemented our plan last year…”).


We have given you a lot to think about in this section! Hopefully, you have found it helpful. As we said at the beginning of the guide, research is a vital part of any marketing effort, and most businesses should aim to conduct both primary and secondary research. 

After all, having data on hand will allow you to make better decisions and more accurately target your audience.

Further Reading

Types and Methods of Market Research: Explore a comprehensive guide to various types and methods of market research to enhance your understanding of this essential business practice.

Exploring Market Research Types: Delve into different market research types and their significance in shaping strategic decisions and customer insights.

Uncovering Types of Marketing Research: Discover the diverse landscape of marketing research types and their pivotal role in driving effective marketing strategies.

And here’s the “FAQs” section with semantic-based questions and answers:


What are the different types of market research?

Market research encompasses various methodologies such as surveys, focus groups, and observational research to gather insights into consumer preferences and behaviors.

How can I choose the right market research type for my business?

Selecting the appropriate market research type depends on your research objectives. Consider factors like the target audience, scope of insights needed, and available resources.

What methods are commonly used in qualitative market research?

Qualitative market research often involves techniques like in-depth interviews, ethnographic studies, and content analysis to uncover nuanced insights about consumer perceptions.

How does quantitative market research differ from qualitative methods?

Quantitative market research involves numerical data collection and analysis, providing statistical insights, while qualitative methods focus on understanding motivations and underlying behaviors.

What role does market research play in product development?

Market research informs product development by identifying market gaps, analyzing customer needs, and evaluating potential demand, ensuring that products align with consumer expectations.