So, what is Market Research?

I often get the question at networking events, “so…what is market research”? One of the things I love about market research is the learning and discovery process that happens with it. Market research could be defined as the process of collecting, analyzing, and interpreting information from customers, and about their social behaviors related to a product or service. It is also about asking the right questions, looking at the past, present, and/or future, is how we the costumers adapt to changes, what we like or don’t like in a product, or looking at ways of improving it. In other words, market research is about market trends, market segmentation, target market identification, and market sizing and competition. Below are some of the ways a business could benefit from market research and its results.

By exploring the feasibility of a new service or product: learning if a new service or product is going to be well received by current or potential customers, and what are some of the features the customers would like to see in a new product or service. Thus, avoiding unnecessary marketing expenses down the road, and increasing the potential for more revenue, and better marketing strategies.

By learning more about the industry: market research could also help determine where the industry is heading, or what the competition is doing to attract the clients they are attracting.

By learning more about a type of potential customers: to better develop a product or service specifically designed with the customers’ needs in mind. For instance, which types of consumer groups (teenagers vs. young adults, or Caucasians vs. Spanish proficient Latinos) are more likely to buy this product over the other one, or would they even be interested in this product or service? A few years ago, I conducted a market research study across Colorado for a nutrition education program. The results showed that the Spanish proficient Latino customers wanted brighter more colorful pictures and headings for printed marketing materials related to this program. On the other hand, the Caucasian groups I interviewed did not care so much for brighter colors, but suggested other ideas that made the product more appealing and efficient for them to use.

By differentiating a product or service: if results are used successfully, market research helps businesses or organizations gain a deeper understanding of their costumers, thus meeting or exceeding the customers’ needs with the right product or service.

In times where social distancing is important, data can still be collected from focus groups or individual in-depth interviews through surveys, telephone interviews, and online. If you are wondering how market research might benefit your business, feel free to reach out to me at or visit

Natalia Infante Caylor, PhD is the owner of Infante Consulting and Research, and has been doing research and business translations for nearly ten years, interviewing consumers from different ethnic groups, in English and Spanish across the U.S.