Market Research vs. Market Analysis: Know the difference


One read of this article of the Rock Your Internship series would help you understand the difference between Market Research and Market Analysis. While these terms are used interchangeably, it will be extremely important for you to know the difference to deliver the right results for your company in your projects.

You have recently started an internship or a new job and you have been tasked by your manager to do a Market Research.

Or a Market Analysis.

Umm, no, it was Market Research.

Or was it Market Analysis?

Isn’t it the same thing?

It is common (and generally pardonable) to use these two terms interchangeably. However, for when someone, maybe your new boss, tells you particularly to do Market Research and you end up doing a Market Analysis, it might just not be appropriate.

So what’s the difference between Market Research and Market Analysis?

Market Analysis is the exercise of observing and exploring a market or an industry.

The implicit objective is to understand or to model how the market works with the objective of knowing about the market potential, the competitors, the customers and other stakeholders.

For a market analysis, you sort of put together historical data across parameters to gather a sense of the market and to forecast what could happen in the times to come.

Market Research, on the other hand, is specific to a particular target market and to the customers. A market research is conducted with a particular question in mind.

Market Research begins with one or multiple research questions in mind. The research is conducted in order to get a quantifiable answer to the question.


What is not the difference between Market Research and Market Analysis?

Students and practitioners often confuse the difference between market research and market analysis to be the same as the difference between primary research and secondary research.

Market Research by its nature of being more closely associated with the customers is thought to be the same as primary research. You would remember primary research is the method of collecting first-hand information by means of questionnaires, interviews or focus group discussions.

At the same time, Market Analysis is often thought of to be the same as secondary research. This is because Market Analysis is perceived to be a passive study with the help of the available data.

Both of these assumptions regarding Market Research and Market Analysis are incorrect. Primary and secondary research is by no means a parameter for the difference between Market Research and Market Analysis.

Market Research requires secondary research to take into account the context of the target market. Similarly, Market Analysis involves a lot of primary research i.e. first-hand information collection from the various stakeholders in the industry.

In fact, in one of my experiences of doing a Market Analysis for a business process outsourcing company for its pharmacovigilance product, I had to eventually interact with the academicians and industry people involved in the pharmacovigilance automation process to bring out a concrete analysis of what is the current picture of the industry and of the competitors.

You could read further about the different types of primary market research studies in one of my previous article. An article on Market Analysis will be subsequent after this post. Catch hold of my industry tested Market Analysis template in that post.

Found the article interesting? Share it with your friends:
  • 3

You May Also Like

About the Author:

Darpan has worked as a Marketing and Product development strategist at an edu-corporate in New Delhi. He has also worked at a multinational business process outsourcing company in their Marketing & Artificial Intelligence business. He is an engineer by qualification and is currently pursuing MBA from Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Udaipur.