The paper defines marketing research for financial institutions and services and indicates how research should be employed in support of marketing planning. A brief history of the development of marketing as a concept and market research as a service function for the clearing banks in Great Britain is then outlined, together with a discussion of some of the peculiar problems involved in financial research work. The paper goes on to indicate the difference between "strategic" and "tactical" research. The former is designed to measure and evaluate longer term shifts in behaviour and attitudes that will effect management decision-making in the medium and longer term or which will alter basic methods or ways of doing things. The latter, tactical marketing research, is defined as research to help design short term projects or campaigns, answer immediate questions about the market or assess the effectiveness of specific projects. A number of examples of specific strategic and tactical research studies are given as illustrations and other types of research that financial institutions' market researchers might be called on to undertake are also examined.