This paper is a discussion in broad terms of the first two of these areas and in particular, the interaction between the two. Research data is one of the key inputs of the marketing planning process. However as with advertising or below-the-line promotion, its actual profit contribution is difficult to determine. Historically, expenditure on market research, has tended to be budgeted for, similarly to advertising, as a revenue expense. Such a placement of research expenditure within the accounting framework, is largely responsible for the size of the budgets set and the way in which they are spent.