Things to avoid while on-boarding a market research company

Published on 11 Dec, 2019

Access to relevant and current information is the key to success in today’s highly competitive business environment. However, this is not always easy to do in-house. It may become essential to involve a market research agency. Having said this, there are certain do’s and don’ts that need to be followed while engaging one. This article takes a look at things that should be kept in mind.

For creating a successful business plan, access to reliable information is most important. Thereafter, you need financing and the right talent pool to develop it.

While businesses may prefer in-house research, hiring a market research company with a varied talent pool ensures accuracy. It is usually less expensive, more efficient and the options suggested are viable.

At times, businesses make certain mistakes in hiring a research firm’s services that could prove detrimental. Here is a list of things to keep in mind:

  • Define the objective – Do you want information on a new market, are you trying to get competitive intelligence or do you want to get customer’s perspective on your product? The research partner you choose should have the expertise to match your requirement. It also provides a direction to the research company to focus its efforts on for an accurate analysis.
  • Type of research – The objective will determine the type of research that needs to be carried out – primary or secondary. This factor also plays a key role in deciding which research agency to go with. An agency specializing in primary research should be opted for if first-hand information is required. If the details can be gathered from published data, firms more experienced in secondary research should be on your pitch list.
  • Cost versus quality – A market research company bases its cost on various factors such as type of research, manpower, complexity of evaluation, etc. Established research firms usually charge a premium. However, cost, while an important determinant, should not take precedence over quality of information on which your strategic decisions depend. Given the significance, high cost may be worth it.
  • Syndicated vs Customized research – Every business and its needs are unique and the market research company identifies this need and proceeds accordingly. A syndicated research though economical will not have meet all your requirements. The information will be generic and will not answer all your questions effectively. It will also not have expert analysis that a market research company offers. Customised research helps you get focused data and valuable inputs that would positively influence your business choices.
  • Geographic reach – As most businesses today are multi-national with a wide presence, research must also be global. It is advisable to get an agency which has an extensive partner network and multi-language capability. This is especially necessary if research requires a global perspective.

Market research highlights performance or knowledge gaps and areas for potential growth. It prods businesses to think differently and improve efficiency. Its USP lies in the fresh perspective it brings, urging businesses to explore new ideas and avenues.

In conclusion, given the importance of market research in strategic decision-making, it is imperative to get the correct partner on-board.

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