Limitations of Marketing Research

limitations of marketing research business research

What are the limitations of marketing research?

One should not assume that marketing research can solve all the problems of marketing. While it is extremely rewarding to a firm, it is wise to remember that there are limitations to marketing research. One must be aware of these limitations of marketing research in advance so that one is clear about what marketing research can and cannot do.

Limited use

Many times, marketing research tends to be fragmentary in its approach s a result of which it becomes difficult to have an overall perspective in which a marketing problem is to be viewed and studied.


Marketing research is criticized on the ground that it becomes too superficial and faulty in industry. While the principles of marketing research are goo and based on scientific lines, in industry, marketing research is very often used by those who have had no formal training in the subject. Such persons avoid using detailed investigations and sophisticated techniques that require both time and patience on the part of marketing researchers.

Understanding Gap

There is an absence of a meaningful dialogue between the marketing management and the marketing research team. With the result, marketing researchers get divorced from the mainstream of marketing. This denies them of the opportunity to test their findings in a practical marketing situation. Marketing researchers tend to think that “research is the be all and end all.” This attitude further reduces the utility of research to the management and becomes one of the biggest limitations of marketing research.

Marketing Research is not a Science

Marketing research is not an exact science. There are several imponderables that come in the way of getting accurate results. For example, consumer behaviour is an area which is rather elusive and the theoru does not go very far in disclosing it very precisely. Analytical tools of marketing research are still deficient and cannot give us precise ideas especially on behavioural aspects.

Misuse of Marketing Research is quite frequent

Apart from the aforementioned limitations, one finds that it is sometimes misused. These misapplications, strictly speaking are not limitations of marketing research as such.

Lack of Clear View Point

One of the major limitations of marketing research is found when one uses it to support or substantiate his viewpoint or position. In such a case, objectivity, which is the soul of research, is non-existent. To collect data ad=nd to interpret them diliberately to prove or disprove a certain point does not qualify as legitimate research.

Delayed Decision

Another misuse of marketing research is deliberately delaying decision-making. In the hands of vested interests, it may be used to avoid taking a certain decision or delaying it until the complete findings of marketing research are available.

As a Tool for Grabbing Power

Finally, it is used to grab power and authority in an organization. Executives who are ever ambitious may use marketing research to consolidate and strengthen their position in the organisation as also to extend their authority over their colleagues.