Descriptive Market Research

Generally considered the most popular form of market research, this research method has the objective of providing an accurate description for something that is occurring (e.g., monthly sales volume, customer preference).

Exploratory Market Research

Marketing research method that uses a less structured and often less scientific approach to discover general information about a topic that is not well understood by the marketer.

Partial-Service Research Firm

Research companies that offer expertise addressing a specific part of the research plan, such as developing methods to collect data (e.g., design surveys) locating research participants or undertaking data analysis.

Research Validity

A concept related to carrying out research that is concerned with whether the research is really measuring what it claims to be measuring.

Market Research Distributors

Companies that function as intermediaries in the research market by acquiring access to information, such as research reports, from producers of the research (e.g., market research companies) and then selling this information to those seeking research (e.g., marketer developing a new product).

Tracking Research

Method of data collection often associated with Quantitative Research, where the behavior of customers is monitored as they engage in regular purchase or information gathering activities in either an online or offline setting.

Causal Research

A method of research that is often highly structured and controlled in which one variable, called the independent variable, is manipulated to see how it may effect another variable, called the dependent variable.

Marketing Research

A critical component needed to make good marketing decisions by presenting a picture of what is occurring (or likely to occur) in a market and then offering alternative courses of action that may be followed by the marketer in order to reach their objectives.

Marketing Research Plan

A formal plan presented by researchers to clients that offers critical information outlining how research objectives and how research will be conducted.