Picking a company to assist you with your business’s market research needs goes beyond simply determining which one to choose. It also entails picking the right kind of research company for your needs.
Not all market research companies offer the same types of services. Some cater to the big guns that have the time and money to spend on comprehensive studies from start to finish. Others focus on providing generic industry-wide information that is useful as a foundation for further study rather than as a solution. Some act as consultants and review what you think you already know and need, completing no actual fieldwork. While still others choose to focus only on collecting data, using your own goals as their guideposts.
Understanding your business’s capabilities and limitations and your desired outcomes, as well as your resources, will help you determine not only the specific company you should hire, but, more importantly, the type of services that will benefit you the most. Often the most basic difference in market research firm types boils down to whether you need a lot of help or just a little. Take a look at how a field service firm differs from a full service one:
Field Service Market Research Firm
Field service firms provide only data collection services. They are given a research question and go in to a market (via email, the Internet, postal mail, telephone or in-person) to gather the information needed to answer it. They do not design research studies, nor do they analyze findings.
They are strictly responsible for supplying competent interviewers who can gather and document data. They administer surveys, conduct focus groups, interview and/or observe consumers and provide ethnographies and case studies. Field service firms are beneficial for businesses that already have a good handle on exactly what they need to know but don’t have the resources to find the answer(s) themselves.
Full Service Market Research Firm
Full service firms, on the other hand, provide an unrestricted range of services, from research design to data collection to analysis and report. They tailor their processes to their clients’ unique circumstances and goals, producing results with actionable and specific meaning for them.
Full service firms are more expensive, but often produce the most relevant outcomes because they can handle a project from start to finish. This type of market research firm is beneficial for businesses that have a question in mind or a problem they need to solve, but don't have the time or expertise to design, conduct and analyze the experiment. If you simply want results and actionable research data to help you solve a problem, a full service firm is the one for you!
Ready to Learn More?
Understanding your strengths and weaknesses can help you decide on the right market research partner for your needs. But if you are having trouble figuring it out, we can help. Contact our team at Communications for Research (CFR) to learn more about our services and how we can assist you with actionable results.
You might also like to download our free eBook, “6 Keys to Accelerate Growth with the Right Field Data Collection Partner,” for additional tips on data collection services: