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“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well, the product or service sells itself.” – Peter Drucker

Different organisations and websites may use some of the terminology around business planning differently, and you may come across overlapping definitions of some terms. Don’t worry! We will look at some of the terminology now.

For the purposes of this course, we are using market analysis as an umbrella term to cover all aspects of exploring a specific industry at a strategic level. This can include factors such as ‘market size, growth rate, profitability, cost structure, trends, distribution channels and competitive environment’ [1]. (Note – this definition is important for the assessment, if you choose to do it.)

Here are some other useful terms you may come across:



Market research [1]
refers to research that pertains to, well, markets. This is where you will dig into things like market trends (political, economic, social, technology, etc.), market players (e.g. direct and indirect competition), target market attributes, customer wants and needs, etc.
Marketing research [2]
involves research related to marketing… think of the marketing mix (product, promotion, place, price) and consider the types of research that relate to one of the four P’s. Examples include advertisement testing, product concept testing (e.g. usability testings), pricing research, channel research, etc.
Market intelligence [3]
is information compiled from internal and external sources about a target group of consumers… this might include data on existing clients, targeted consumer habits, product and market trends, and what the competition is doing.
Marketing information system (MIS) [4]
is a system that analyzes and assesses marketing information, gathered continuously from sources inside and outside an organization. Timely marketing information provides basis for decisions such as product development or improvement, pricing, packaging, distribution, media selection, and promotion.


Required reading

  1. Read the article on Market Research vs. Marketing Research: What’s the difference?
  2. Conduct a web search for the terms ‘market intelligence’, and ‘marketing information system’
    • Ensure you understand the differences for the terms outlined above.
  3. In your Learning Journal Blog, briefly answer these questions:
    1. Why do companies conduct market research?
    2. Why is marketing research important?
    3. What activities are part of market intelligence gathering, and why are these important?
    4. What ethical issues do you need to think about when gathering market intelligence?
    5. How does the timeframe for conducting market intelligence differ from the timeframe in which marketing research data is gathered?
  4. Remember to tag or label your post using the course code: IENT101 (This is needed to harvest a link to your blog post in the course feed.)


  3. BusinessDictionary
  4. BusinessDictionary