Market research is a term which can mean different things to different people. To most professional market researchers it means the use of a defined set of qualitative or quantitative research techniques to obtain data which describes and analyses markets or potential markets. To the layman it means ‘surveys’. A word association test carried out on ‘market research’ will invariably produce responses such as ‘clipboard’, ‘interviewer’ or ‘statistics’ — classic ingredients of a sample survey. Another common response is ‘waste of time’, meaning ‘a waste of my time on the street, in the home or at an airport when I am asked to provide information’. The relationship between research and surveys is a strong one but to the businessperson, market research encompasses any activity which provides him with the market information he or she needs. There is therefore a narrow definition, which covers quantitative and qualitative surveys, and a broad definition, which extends to all formal and informal methods of acquiring information.
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- 2.Graham Hooley and Chris West, ‘The Untapped Markets for Marketing Research’, Journal of the Market Research Society (1984), pp. 335–52.Google Scholar