market research

Qualitative and quantitative research on the tastes, values, and perceptions, on the personal, household, and neighbourhood characteristics, and on the purchasing behaviour, of individual consumers of (or industrial customers for) equipment and services. Usually carried out by agencies who specialize in this activity, although some large companies have their own market-research divisions, and some market research companies are also involved in academic research (for example large-scale surveys) on a contract basis.

Dictionary of sociology. 2013.

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