History of Market Research

Why Aristotle would appreciate the idea of market research?

A History of Market Research

Thus, it seems that Aristotle explained to us that being part of market research is nothing but understanding how to satisfy all aspects of our consumers, stating: ‘All human actions have one or more of these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsions, habit, reason, passion, desire.’

However, this still remains a big question, and the answer to it changes day by day. Nevertheless, the roots and the concept behind market research remain the same – TO LEARN MORE!

From trade routes to trends

Have you ever wondered how businesses understood their customers’ needs before the era of panels, surveys, Instagram polls, and TikTok trends? What methodologies did they employ to understand demands? How has the landscape of market research evolved over time to become the important tool it is today?

These questions serve as portals into the following case study on the historical overview of market research conducted by the MR Tech Ops Team.

MR Tech Ops - Present the history of Marker Research trough internal education

Our objectives

The scope of the objectives for this case study is:

  1. Introduce the basics of historical evolution and market research methodologies.
  2. Interconnect the philosophical insights of Aristotle in market research.
  3. Present the significance of market research in business practices.
  4. Provide recommendations for incorporating market research.

Our methodology

Our findings are based on the literature review and secondary data from our own experience with clients, scholarly articles and online reports. We used content analysis to organize and synthesize the data with the goal of identifying key trends, defining historical implications, and the influence of technology on the market research industry.

Key findings

Starting from defining the context of market research, there are plenty of views and definitions that mostly connect market research with the term insights, meaning that we are exploring something.

If you ask Mr. or Ms. Chat GPT 3.5. they pretty much poetically explained: “Market research is the compass that guides businesses through the turbulent seas of commerce, revealing hidden treasures of consumer insights.”

The journey of understanding consumer demands, behavior, and dynamics has been marked by ups and downs, with a lot of innovation and adaptation.


Looking back at history, the process of market research is interconnected with the concept of exchanging goods and services among nations. Why? Because people then needed to understand and express their needs and demands, and they wanted to exchange as much as they can to expand it. However, local production and consumption become popular in the late 18th century which led to minimized need for market expansion. Then, the industrial revolution has reshaped market landscapes, creating opportunities for firms and businesses to demand a detailed consumer information. This revolution enable the existence of diverse businesses, giving consumers more choices. but for manufacturers, it was the beginning of starting, what is today termed, product differentiation and market segmentation. Moving forward, the big milestones were achieved by George B. Waldron and Charles Coolidge Parlin, when Parlin established the first in-house market research department that was focusing on market research to a science. These findings served as the foundation for the following events that enhanced market research process and established tools that became essentials parts of the businesses.


The following picture illustrates the important events of the 20th  century that shaped the market industry:

In today’s world of AI involvement and ads that pop up on any screen, it is obvious that understanding consumer behavior and market trends remains the primary tool to stay. Therefore, the 21st century demands real-time data collection and predictive analysis based on the online surveys, social media analytics as well as big data analytics gathered from the market research methodologies.


The characteristics of today’s market research is the availability of various methodologies tailored to obtain the most beneficial information for further analysis. Now, we have everything, from traditional surveys and focus groups to advanced analytics using artificial intelligence.


MR Tech Ops’ recommendations for your success

Let us break down Aristotle’s 7 causes of human actions as recommendations for your next project:

  1. Find a place for MR in your business strategy

Chance – Whether your business is focused on the healthcare industry, financial services, or education, in MR Tech Ops, we believe that gaining insight into preferences of your target group will not only benefit you in terms of revenue streams but also improve customer satisfaction and loyalty, thus making your business recognized.

  1. Invest in cutting-edge MR technologies

Nature – It should be a natural part of your business culture to continuously explore the roots of your target group and how you can tailor your solutions to them.

  1. Cultivate a customer-centric mindset

Compulsions – Next time, ask yourself, ‘What forces bring my consumers to me?’ How can you get an accurate answer? By communicating with them.

  1. Stay agile and adaptive

Habit – Allow your team to develop a new business habit of investing more in market research.

  1. Integrate historical insights

Reason – Haven’t we reached a point, where you now have enough reasons to start incorporating MR?

  1. Collaboration and knowledge sharing

Passion – Both your business and the end consumers have their own passions. Identifying them through MR will strengthen the purpose of your service and products.

  1. Foster a culture of continuous learning.

Desire – Be curious but also wise in examining what and how you can change things and make improvements.


Looking back, moving forward:

As we reflect on the technological evolution of market research over time, it becomes evident that Aristotle would indeed appreciate the progress this industry has made in understanding consumer behavior. The synergy between his advocacy and the evolution of market research lies in their shared emphasis on the same essentials which are: empirical observations and systematic analysis with the aim of exploring findings crucial for understanding humans behavior.

Just as Aristotle believed in the power of questioning, observing and inquiring with the ultimate goal of uncovering truths, market research exploits the tools of technology to uncover hidden insights about consumer preferences and trends.

What we have seen is that the history of market research marks not only the innovative spirit of humankind but also the expedition on knowledge and understanding. Therefore, while we may be wary of technology, on the other hand, it helps us to unravel the mysteries of our own behavior and business to create solutions and assist us. 

Instead of fearing it, let us remain curious, open for the new views, adaptable and wiling to unlock the hidden aspects of our customer’s needs and serve them in overcoming daily challenges.

Company: MR Tech Ops

Author: Mirza Mujdžić – Jojić

The research conducted by: Stefan Mrđa and Asmir Smajlović