3 Things to Consider When You Choose a Market Research Company
How much do you know about know market research? Are you swimming in uncharted territory? You‘re apprehensive and don’t know where to start. Here are three important questions you need to consider:
You need to estimate how much the research will cost. That is, the cost depends on the nature of your business. Are you a service industry or a manufacturing company? And, how complex is your project?
Estimate the number of hours assigned to the project, then multiply your answer by the number of people you need to employ. Such calculations will provide a clear guide for estimation. Fieldwork is a costly part of most projects. You need to discuss with your market research company a cost-effective method. They will help you consider if phone surveys and “snail mail” are the best way forward. But you’ll find that the best market research companies use modern technology to improve their services. Online surveys are cheaper and faster than other forms of communication because people spend a lot of time and money on mobile devices and smartphones.
Ask your market research company about the cost structure of the proposed project. You need to know if you will reward your respondents and with how much, together with any hidden costs. If not, your project may stutter because of underestimated costing.
You need to identify the desired level of expertise (entry, intermediate, professional, or advanced) for your project. It will help you determine the level of talent and skill required. Every market research company blows its own trumpet about its “talented” staff. Are you going to stick with the “veterans,” or does your project allow for entry-level and beginners? You can decide which two categories they will fit into.
You need to ask yourself if you want to go with the big brand names or use a smaller marketing research company. Smaller companies offer personalized services, and you have access to the owners and management with limited “red-tape.” On the other hand, big brand market research companies outsource their projects. It’s easy to find that you’re left holding the short straw with your project in the hands of amateurs.
Market research is costly and usually on an ad-hoc basis, so ensure you have the right talent for your project.
Market research is a demanding endeavor, and the project is subject to unexpected twists and turns. Is your choice of market research company accommodating? Can you throw a curveball and trust them to make the required adjustments?
Your management decides that crucial meeting in 3 weeks moves forward to a week. The best market research agencies need to have the flexibility to make changes on short notice. Rigidity is an indicator that the marketing research firm is set in its ways, so steer clear.
The points listed here are not exhaustive or a comprehensive guide, but you can use them to compare individual market research companies. Importantly, ask yourself if you trust their process.