Causal Research - Meaning, Importance, Types & Example

Published in Marketing and Strategy Terms by MBA Skool Team

What is Causal Research?

Causal research is a methodology to determine the cause underlying a given behavior and to find the cause and effect relationship between different variables. It seeks to determine how the dependent variable changes with variations in the independent variable.

The results obtained may not be very straight forward because, more often than not, the variability will be a factor of more than one variable. Therefore , while varying one variable, the other variables need to be held constant.

Importance of Causal Research

Causal research has a lot of importance in the field of business. Marketers and businesses use causal research to see impact of their changes to the business model or products on the customers and market. There are many instances where causal research can help organizations to determine cause and effect relationship between various variables like sales, revenue, expenses, products, variations. Let us assume that a company wants to see the impact of change in the attributes of a product like size, color, features on the sales of the product. Another scenario can be introducing a new variant of a car and its impact of additional sales. Causal research proves to an excellent methodology to determine that relationship between those variables and give valuable insights.

Causal Research Types

This type of research can take two forms:


The research performs structured experiments to vary one variable and find the effect on the behavior/end result. In marketing it can be test marketing or focus group studies to determine the cause and end result.

Simulation based

This uses mathematical formulae and statistics to simulate real life scenarios through modeling. Trend analysis based on historical customer sales data can give insights into behavior and can help drive useful decisions for the organization. 

Causal Research Example

For example, a marketer may want to determine the cause of dip in sales. He would test the sales against various parameters like selling price, competition, geography etc.

Also another example can be change in the customer experience in digital channels and its impact on the overall customer scores.

Hence, this concludes the definition of Causal Research along with its overview.

This article has been researched & authored by the Business Concepts Team. It has been reviewed & published by the MBA Skool Team. The content on MBA Skool has been created for educational & academic purpose only.

Browse the definition and meaning of more similar terms. The Management Dictionary covers over 1800 business concepts from 5 categories.

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