Due to the rapid growth of customer data and the rise of modern technologies, market research is becoming more complex than ever. Gathering customer insights and feedback requires plenty of skills and experience from a professional research company that will ensure that you get the best possible insights and make the right strategic decisions. However, many brands are continuing to stick with their tried and trusted market research partners rather than look for new solutions and fresh perspectives from different agencies.
Furthermore, when it comes to selecting a market research agency here is what the numbers say:
- 49% of companies select research agencies on the basis of word of mouth (recommendations from friends, colleagues or peers from the industry.)
- 45% of companies find research agencies by conducting an online searches.
- 39% meet new research partners at conferences or industry events.
However, from the ocean of market research services, the question is how to choose the most suitable one?
What types of market research agencies exist?
There is a wide range of market research companies worldwide. They are specialized in different industries and sectors such as financial services, travel, fashion, business services, etc. Alternatively, some market research agencies specialize in particular types of research such as:
- Business and B2B research
- Consumer qualitative research
- Focus groups
- Online surveys
- Customer satisfaction online surveys etc.
Before you choose the agency to deliver the research you need, pay attention to what type of research will be suitable for your company.
Sometimes it happens that people find themselves working with a market research partner who is not a good fit for the project or the company. The purpose of this article is to help you get the most out of your research partner. Likewise, it will help you achieve the best marketing and sales results!
Where to start looking for a market research agency?
First and foremost, Google is a great place to start searching. But the trap is how do you know which is the right agency for you? Not all research agencies are committed to professional research standards. As a result, we would recommend that you pick very carefully.
There are two approaches when it comes to choosing a market research agency:
Firstly, the easier way is to conduct online research of marketing agencies and then decide based on best guesses. You may be exposed to some new and interesting research companies you have never heard of. In fact, they might have a unique approach or be a good fit for your company. However, the disadvantage here is that the process can be time-consuming.
Secondly, the other alternative is to keep your focus on 2–3 companies that you are more familiar with, and whose names have been passed on to you. The benefit of a more focused approach is that you will have fewer proposals to review, and it will be quicker for you to make your final decision. Nevertheless, you need to do some searching up front, asking around which agency is considered to be a good fit for your project.
Finding the right market research agency for you
Before you ask any market research agency to help you, make sure you are familiar with your business and research needs. This means that you have to write a market research brief. This kind of brief should explain your background and business objectives, target market, an indication of budget. Moreover, you need to know what you want to achieve with the research.
Once you’ve sent your brief out, and actively review proposals, here are 3 key questions to keep in mind:
- Can they effectively deliver my research?
- Do they provide value for the money I pay for them?
- Do we want to work with them at all?
Before you agree to sign the contract, you may want to consider how efficient their client service is. Without a doubt, in order to get a clear idea of who are you dealing with, answer these questions:
- Are they good listeners?
- Do they seem sincerely interested in your business problems? Does it feel like they are selling more than listening?
- Do they show a willingness to adapt their research approach to your business needs?
- Who will be involved in the execution of this project?
- Will the same person be doing the fieldwork and analysis?
- What is the overall vibe you are getting from the research agency’s people?
Last, but not least, you are going to be working with these people quite closely and your business future will depend on them. As a result, it is important to listen to your instincts before you invest your money.
To summarize, market research is a crucial activity in order to understand your customer. If you don’t know who they are as people, how they think and what makes them decide to buy, you are missing out on the most important information that can help drive sales and grow your brand.
It should be noted that finding the right market research partners to meet your marketing/sales needs requires a new approach. Choose an agency that understands what your business objectives are and has demonstrated that they know how to get the best insights and information you need. Carefully planning your selection process in combination with having the right evaluation criteria will maximize your chances of finding market research partners that are the right ones for your project.
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This article was originally published on BizzBee Blog.