Good research depends on good questions. And if you’re contemplating a market research project — a frequent necessity for businesses wanting to stay relevant in today’s ever-changing and increasingly global markets — you’ve probably thought about some of the questions you might want consumers to answer for you. But have you considered the questions you want answered by the data collection companies you interview to help you with the job? Finding the right data collection company is a critical part of any research endeavor. After all, data collection companies are the intermediaries that help you gather the information you need. Pick a bad one, and you risk missing valuable intelligence. A good one, though, will facilitate vital information sharing that can increase your exposure, your awareness and, hopefully, your ROI. Here are three critical questions to ask before you hire a data collection company:
What’s Your Experience?
You can find data collection companies that specialize in specific sectors (such as education or healthcare), and you can find ones that pride themselves on being well-rounded and diverse in their work. While there’s a lot to be said for a data collection company that has experience within your industry, don’t dismiss one with a broader scope thinking it won’t be able to understand the nuances of your consumers or your line of business. Relevancy can be found with companies that have spent decades working within your target market, but it can also be found in the overall experiences many have while collecting and analyzing data within a much larger framework. The key is finding a company that is willing to showcase its past work; viable candidates will be able to demonstrate their expertise via their client lists, their references and samples of their previous studies.
What Resources Do You Have?
Good data collection companies make it a priority to stay ahead of the game. Ask prospective data collection partners about the resources they use to do their work. Technology continues to change the way data is harnessed, organized, analyzed, presented and used. You want to hire a firm that has access to the latest technologies and understands how to use them.
How Can You Demonstrate Your Creativity?
Market research is a dynamic field. Data collection agencies should be dynamic, too. They should be able to think outside the box, crafting projects that uniquely address their clients’ needs. Be wary of companies that want to apply the same methodologies and the same resources to projects over and over again. Insist on a company that can listen to your needs and design a custom plan to address them by asking for proof that they’ve done the same for others.
Ready to Learn More?
Of course, good data collection companies will be able to satisfactorily answer these questions and more. If you’re ready to discuss your own market research needs, our team at Communications for Research (CFR) would be happy to listen. We have over two decades experience developing customized research projects for our clients that garner comprehensive and actionable results. Contact us today.