• When to Hire a Market Research Agency

    The answer to whether you should hire a full-service agency or a market research specialist for your research needs will vary depending on whom you ask.  A full-service agency will argue they provide a holistic perspective of the market while pure research agencies will tout their thoroughness and accuracy.  Choosing the research specialist or generalist depends on your specific needs. Read on for tips that can help you make the decision.

    There’s no question that market research, if designed well and with a purpose, is hugely helpful to marketing strategies and programs. However, marketers sometimes avoid using this because of the costs involved, and assumptions that research has to be extremely comprehensive, conducted by experts and presented in a report packaged for suitability to a company’s top execs. However, a middle ground exists between low-end research and high-end research, which offers accurate results with  less effort and expense.

    A best practice report titled, “When Is the Market Research Good Enough?”, by Larry Fleischman, of Phoenix-based demand creation agency Televerde,  outlines some points to consider while looking for this “middle ground.”

    1. Objectives: What are you trying to accomplish with this research?  Are you looking to validate your marketing strategy or measure and track customer perceptions over the long-term?

    2. Margin of error: Is a +/-5% margin of error “good enough” or do you require greater integrity in your data? How much are you willing to pay for the increased accuracy?

    3. Comprehensiveness: How much detail do you need to make your business decisions? More information is always good, but is it overkill for your requirements?

    4. Frequency: How many research campaigns do you need over what period of time? Are long-term measurements a requirement or luxury?

    5. Analysis: Does your company or full-service agency have analytical capabilities and resources, or will you require your research agency to provide analysis?

    6. Catering your results: Who can best convert the research results into marketing materials?

    7. Return on investment: Be prepared to measure your results against your objectives and costs. Which agency can meet your objectives in the most cost-effective manner?

    When you carefully consider all of your requirements and variables, the decision of who to hire will be an easy one so you can begin to use high-quality targeted information to improve your business and give you the best return on your market research investment.

    Source:
    Televerde Best Practice Report When Is the Market Research Good Enough?by Larry Fleischman, Practice Director, Branding and Go-to-Market Strategies and Solutions.

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