5 factors to consider when choosing a market research agency
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Market research is the process of gathering and analyzing data about consumers and the market. It can be used to assess customer satisfaction, understand market trends, and measure brand awareness.
Conducting market research can be a helpful way to gain insights into your industry and make informed decisions about your business.
Market research can be conducted through various methods, such as surveys, focus groups, in-depth interviews, and observational research. The type of research you conduct will depend on your specific needs and objectives.
And there are many different market research companies to choose from. So how do you know which company is right for you?
Here are a few key factors to consider:
1. Experience in your industry
Finding a company with market research experience in your industry is key to getting accurate and actionable insights. The market research process can be complex, and an experienced company will know how to navigate it.
They’ll also be familiar with the unique challenges and opportunities that come with conducting market research in your industry.
Contacts and resources:
An experienced agency will have a network of contacts and resources that they can tap into to get the information you need. They’ll also be up-to-date on the latest market trends and changes. This knowledge can be invaluable when making decisions about your business.
Additionally you should research the people working at the company and make sure you are assigned an experienced team. Often your first meeting will be with a partner or director of the market research company, who is a market research leader able to sell you on the agencies solutions.
Ensure up front that they will be involved throughout the project. Too often larger agencies will hand over to junior staff when, the project gets underway, to increase their profitability.
If you’re not sure where to start, ask for recommendations from businesses similar to yours. You can also search online for a market research agency that specialize in your industry.
2. Relevant research expertise
While it is important to find an agency that offers a wide range of market research services, it is also important to make sure that the agency you choose offers the specific services you need.
If you require quantitative research, such as surveys or polls, make sure the agency you choose specializes in this type of research. Also find out what sort of analysis they can conduct on your data. Some company’s will have statisticians that can provide an additional layer of insight.
Similarly, if your project requires qualitative research, such as groups or in-depth interviews, make sure the agency you choose has experience conducting this type of research. Ensure they have a dedicated qualitative expert in their team, particularly for administering focus groups.
Larger agencies vs smaller agencies:
Larger agencies will usually have some expertise in most areas of market research. Smaller agencies will usually specialise in a particular type of market research (e.g. qualitative).
If you require multiple market research disciplines, it may be preferable to choose a larger agency. A larger agency would be better placed to manage the project end-to-end in a timely manner.
However if your market research needs are specific, a smaller agency that is highly specialized in your area of need, could provide a superior market research solution.
By taking the time to find an agency that offers the specific services you need, you can be confident that your project will be completed successfully.
3. How much does market research cost in Australia?
There are many different factors that affect the cost of market research. Costs can also vary widely from one agency to the next. That’s why it’s important to get quotes from several different agencies before making a decision.
The complexity and type of project will also have a big impact on fees. A simple online survey with only a few research questions might only cost $1,000 – $5,000.
More complicated projects that require significant consulting services could cost in the $10’s of thousands of dollars.
Some very large projects that require both quantitative (e.g. surveys) and qualitative (e.g. depth interviews) could set a company back $100’s of thousands of dollars.
Hidden fees and charges:
Be sure to ask about any hidden fees or charges, as well as what’s included in the price. For example, qualitative research projects (e.g. depth interviews), may have additional costs for incentivizing participants. Service providers may also add travel costs to the bill for these projects, if the researcher visits multiple locations.
By doing your homework upfront, you’ll be able to choose the market research company that best meets your needs and budget.
4. Reputation and testimonials
A market research agency’s reputation is something that you should take into consideration when looking for a company to work with. To start with, you can get an idea of the company’s reputation by checking out online reviews and testimonials.
But we would always recommending going deeper than this.
Client lists and references:
If you look at a company’s website, they will often show a list of customers that they work with. You may be able to identify clients with businesses similar to yours within the list, and possibly key stakeholders who you can get in touch with for references.
If you see global brands in this list, it should give you more confidence in their service offering. Global brands will usually have a rigorous procurement procedure.
Review case studies:
You can also ask a research company for case studies of similar research they have completed in the past. This should give you a good understanding of the market research methodology they applied and outcomes to business problems.
Checking out the market research company’s reputation will give you a good idea of what you can expect from them.
5. Location of the agency
One of the most important things to consider when choosing a market research company is their location. There are a few reasons for this.
Local market knowledge:
First, an agency that’s located in your area will have a better understanding of the local market. They’ll be familiar with the competition, the demographics of the area, and the specific needs of your target audience.
In addition, a company that’s located nearby will be able to conduct in-person research more easily. This can be helpful if you’re looking for detailed feedback or you need to gather data quickly. Being local also means you can visit their team in person. This will lead to better collaboration and an improved outcome on your market research project.
Finding a local researcher:
So how do you find a local research company? In most countries there will be a peak industry body you can get in touch with, who will have a list of market research companies in your area.
As an example in Australia, if you are looking for market research Melbourne based agencies, you could contact ‘The Research Society’ (see website here). They could provide you with a list of top market research agencies in the Melbourne area.
They could also provide you with a list of services each company provides. This could include quantitative and qualitative skills, industry experience (e.g. social research).
So if you’re looking for market research agencies in Australia, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First, make sure to find a research company with experience in your industry. Whether you’re in the retail, technology, or healthcare sector, it’s important to choose a company that understand the unique challenges and opportunities of your market.
Second, look for a company that offers the market research services you need. From focus groups and surveys to data analysis and market trend reports, you’ll want to choose a research company that can provide the kind of insights you need to make informed business decisions.
Finally, be sure to ask about pricing and package options. Many market research agencies offer customizable packages that can fit any budget. By keeping these factors in mind, you can be sure to find the right market research company for your business needs.
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