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Marketing Agencies: How to Correctly Use a Market Research Consultant

marketing-agencies-how-to-correctly-use-a-market-research-consultant.jpgAs a marketing agency, you need to achieve similar goals to ours as a professional services provider: deliver service that impresses the customer so much that the outcomes actually win repeat business and earn a reasonable profit doing so.

Indeed, while marketing and advertising has its place, impressing and inspiring a client so they serve as a “brand evangelist” that gladly refers business your way is not just immensely satisfying, but it is highly profitable. The most successful marketing agencies always have the most enthusiastic fans.

What’s more, the most successful marketing agencies also have another trait in common: they correctly use a market research consultant! This ultimately generates revenue and profit for their agency, while they deliver (or over-deliver) on their clients’ expectations. Here are the 3 ways to make this happen:

  • Demand Usable Insights

Your market research consultant should be extremely adaptive, knowledgeable and experienced generating usable insights that translate into actionable, data-driven intelligence.

Naturally, your market research consultant cannot provide you with this intelligence before they undertake a project. Evaluating their expertise based on what they have to say and their recent relevant experience should be a good indicator, but what you want to know before you bring them aboard is that they are committed to providing you with usable insights.

After all, you are not writing a book or teaching a class on market research. Your goal is to impress your clients and grow your accounts. Your market research consultant has to fully understand and enable these outcomes.

It should go without saying, but we will mention anyway, the only way it should be acceptable for usable insights to be achieved is with integrity.  Quality research does not only check the box or act as a rubber stamp for what is already decided.  Research can be BOTH usable and done well.

  • Demand Comprehensive Back-End Services

If you ask 10 people what “market research” means, you will likely get 10 answers – and there is a good chance that all of them will be incomplete! This is not because market research is such a nebulous, vague or shifting concept. If the answer was known, we would not be doing research.  That means research is assisting to provide clarity in a grey area.

Therefore, your market research consultant must demonstrate their expert-level awareness of – and capacity to provide – all back-end market research services, which can include: identifying a relevant problem to be solved, determining the optimal research design, preparing instruments and methods (this usually includes a blend of online and offline tactics), sampling, data collection, analysis and reporting.  

As the marketing agency who actually holds responsibility to the client, you should be able to ask the researcher you work with whether your interpretation of their reported results are appropriate.  You can question the logic and background behind what was presented to you and expect an honest and thoughtful response.  The researcher you work with should understand the business situation well enough to truly assist you get the most out of the work they have done.

  • Demand True Teamwork

There may be occasions where it makes strategic and practical sense for you to have your market research consultant move out from behind-the-scenes, and support your client directly by (for example) participating in conference calls, interviewing SMEs on your client’s staff, delivering presentations, and so on.

Not only should your market research consultant be capable of doing all of the above, but even more importantly, they must know how to do it on your marketing agency’s behalf. In other words, they must know how to “white label” their expertise and position themselves an extension of your team. That way, your impressed clients will only have one source to thank: your marketing agency. You do not want (and should not allow) a market research consultant to steal any of your spotlight, deliberately or accidentally.

Learn More

At Communications For Research, our market agency clients across the country do not have to demand any of the above: because we deliver all of them from the outset, and integrate them into our commitments and agreements. To learn more, contact us today and schedule a chat with our CEO, Colson Steber. In learning more about your business and business goals, we can determine how CFR can fit into your marketing agency and devise a plan on how to best serve your clients.

Contact Us Today

Topics: market research firms , market research agency

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