Marketing research is the systematic gathering, recording, and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data about issues relating to marketing products and services. The goal is to identify and assess how changing elements of the marketing mix impacts customer behavior.
This involves specifying the data required to address these issues, then designing the method for collecting information, managing and implementing the data collection process. After analyzing the data collected, these results and findings, including their implications, are forwarded to those empowered to act on them.
Market research, marketing research, and marketing are a sequence of business activities; sometimes these are handled informally.
The field of marketing research is much older than that of market research. Although both involve consumers, Marketing research is concerned specifically about marketing processes, such as advertising effectiveness and salesforce effectiveness, while market research is concerned specifically with markets and distribution. Two explanations given for confusing Market research with Marketing research are the similarity of the terms and also that Market Research is a subset of Marketing Research. Further confusion exists because of major companies with expertise and practices in both areas.