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How Much Does Market Research Cost?

One of the biggest concerns businesses have when they start thinking about market research is “How much does it cost?” Unfortunately, there is no one standard answer, as the price of market research is as variable as the price of a vacation, a home or a college education. Indeed, just as there are travel and housing and educational options available for all types of budgets and needs, there are similarly available market research strategies to fit every company’s own unique set of questions and resources. Sure, there are ready-made research applications that can be purchased for flat fees — maybe you’ve seen the ads for DIY research surveys offered at the low price of $99.99?

market research costHowever, for truly customizable research opportunities that yield customized insight, businesses can’t bank on spending any one certain amount.  And just as travel agents and Realtors and guidance counselors help us leverage our money, our demands and our abilities to find the perfect destination, house or school, a reputable and skilled market research agency knows how to condense a company’s research needs, matching the right methodology with the right set of skills to maximize any amount of budget being spent. Thus, you can find solid, actionable market research for as little as a few thousand dollars to well over $100,000, depending on four main factors:


Choosing between quantitative and qualitative measures for your research necessarily affects the price you pay for it. Quantitative research, for example, often requires a large number of respondents in order for any results to be reliable; the amount you spend finding, contacting and collecting all that data could quickly escalate. Qualitative research, on the other hand, which typically costs more per person to conduct, could end up being a more economical choice if less respondents can shed light on the problem at hand. Thus, it’s important to fit the question(s) being asked with the right query technique.

Sample Size and Accessibility

As mentioned, the number and kind of respondents you need play an enormous part in how much market research costs. Sample size, the resources required to identify and reach certain segments, the physical location of people, as well as their level of expertise: all these factors influence the price of market research. Larger segments with specialized experience and living in multiple areas almost always mean higher costs. 

Data Collection

Of course, one of the most important considerations of any research project is how data is collected. This includes the type of research tool (survey, focus group, interview, etc.) to be used for collection and how it will be administered (via online, through the mail, in person, etc.).  In this instance, it also incorporates how data will be organized and stored. As mentioned, gathering respondents from around the world will directly impact market research cost, as will whether or not you need to talk to them one-on-one or in a group or remotely some way. Likewise, the need for professional interviewers and moderators will change market research costs. But collecting data is only part of the data collection issue: how it will be stored and organized so that meaningful analysis can occur will also have to be considered, with integration into software programs (either manually or automatically) playing a big part in overall costs.

Reporting Concerns

Finally, the price of market research will also be determined by the number and type of shareholders who need the research results. A report written for a sales team invariably differs from a report written for upper management or a marketing team. If multiple groups within an organization need to use the information gathered, then more analysis will need to occur and more reports will need to be presented, altering the price along the way. 

Want to Learn More?

The price of market research is as varied as the research itself, with limited possibilities costing limitless amounts. If you’re considering a market research project, contact our team at Communications for Research (CFR). We can help match your objectives with your resources, creating a research plan that yields actionable and profitable insight.

Feel free to also download our complimentary eBook, “Demographic and Screening Questions: Survey Design Best Practices and Screening Survey Template,” so you can learn how to secure the best respondents and avoid wasting money.

Download Survey Design Best Practices and Screening Question Template

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