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Market Research Blog

Updates from CFR

Consumer Insights vs. Market Research: Which One is Right for Your Business?

Posted by Colson Steber on 07/24/2017

consumer insights vs. market researchThere is a great deal of debate these days centered around whether consumer insights or market research will deliver the best data & results to your business. Many folks in the consumer insights camp proclaim that their approaches and methodologies are superior, while just as many in the market research space lay claim to the higher ground.

At Communications For Research, we don’t enter the consumer insights vs. market research fray or pick sides. Why? Because our experience demonstrates (repeatedly and clearly) that this is a false dichotomy that, frankly, is not based on objective analysis, but instead on subjective bias. In other words: many consumer insights specialists, consultants and firms argue that consumer insights drive the Marketplace Intelligence Bus, while many market research specialists, consultants and firms say the same about market research — not because the evidence establishes this, but because it’s what they do for a living.

Essentially, if an individual or company primarily or exclusively delivers (read: sells) market research, then they almost always endorse this approach and terminology. Of course, the same bias applies to individuals and companies that primarily or exclusively deliver consumer insights. Sometimes even without consciously realizing it, these people and groups start with answers — not questions.

And so, if the consumer insights vs. market research debate isn’t legitimate or necessary, what does the evidence reveal — and more specifically, what should businesses who buy these solutions demand? It’s simple: BOTH!

That is, consumer insights and market research are not polar ends of a spectrum. They are part of the same continuum, and must work together. In this sense:

  • Market research is a multi-faceted and strategic approach that helps reveal WHAT a marketplace (or multiple marketplaces) truly look like in terms of demographics, competitors, trends, and so on.
  • Consumer insight reveals WHY customers behave in certain ways based on variables and factors, such as brand perception, relevant marketing messages, and so on.

At Communications For Research, we have always combined the WHAT and WHY for our customers — that is, fused market research with consumer insights — because it’s how we empower our clients with actionable intelligence and complete picture they need to make smarter, safer, faster and more profitable business decisions. After all, market research without consumer insights is just data. And consumer insights without market research is just opinion. But if you skillfully put them together, you get what matters most: improved results!

Learn More

To learn more about leveraging the value and benefits of both market research and consumer insights — because one vs. the other doesn’t work and never will — contact our team today. Schedule a chat with our co-CEO Colson Steber where you will discuss your business goals and create an appropriate market research plan to reach them.

For more information on how to communicate the value of market research to your clients, download our FREE eBook:

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Topics: market research

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