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Descriptive Research

Part 2. Marketing Research

  1. Vikas Mittal

Published Online: 15 DEC 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444316568.wiem02002

Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing

Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing

How to Cite

Mittal, V. 2010. Descriptive Research. Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing. 2.

Author Information

  1. Rice University, Houston, TX, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2010


Descriptive research is a term used to describe many types of survey research that are undertaken by marketing researchers to understand customer perceptions, judgments, and intentions. Common types of descriptive research studies include buyer-behavior studies, brand perception studies, customer segmentation studies, customer satisfaction studies, lost-customer studies, advertising evaluation studies, and employee attitude and satisfaction studies. We describe the key considerations that guide the design of a descriptive study such as survey method (e.g., phone versus mail versus email), cost, and data analysis technique. We also provide a brief overview of key analyses that can be undertaken to gain insights from survey research.


  • survey research;
  • tracking study;
  • cross tabulations;
  • satisfaction study;
  • cross-sectional research;
  • buyer-behavior study