Market research aims to provide clients with the information needed to better place a product or service within a marketplace. Companies, whether large or small, can make use of market research agencies, and, in fact, good market research is often the linchpin that keeps your enterprise solidly connected to the pulse of consumer and market trends. Before you meet with any firm about a market research quote, though, there are a few critical questions you’ll need to answer. These will frame the conversation for the market research firm to be able to offer research services that meet your business needs.
1. What is your objective?
Having a solid understanding of what you are trying to discover with your research is the key to any actionable market analysis. It is the basis for any thoughtful inquiry and serves as the foundation on which further exploration can build. Think of the question(s) you need answered in order to produce a better product, service or experience. From there, the market research firm can observe, hypothesize, predict and test against this objective, thus providing you with useable – not useless – data.
2. Who is your target audience?
Knowing who you are trying to better serve is paramount to any business endeavor. Doctors have different perspectives than college students, who, in turn, have different perspectives than stay-at-home moms. In order to tailor products and services to your target audience, you need to start with a similar research base. Accurately recruit a research group that reflects your preferred consumer base, and you will ensure that your research produces an applicable outcome.
3. What type of data do you think you need?
Of course, you’re going to be paying someone to help you figure out the exact tools to use, but a good grasp of whether you want primary or secondary data or a combination of the two is important to know before you request a market research quote. Primary data is proprietary and derives from research you or the firm you hire collects firsthand. It clearly references your questions and is time specific, thus usually proving more expensive to gather. Secondary data is collected from other sources and is usually generalized by industry and application and, thereby, capable of being gathered quickly and with little cost. Recognizing the pros and cons of each type of data will enable you to better utilize your resources (i.e., your money).
4. When do you need the information?
Do you need information for a large, yearly meeting? A year-end report? A board meeting? Or perhaps you need general information not based on any time constraints. Pushing a market research agency against a specific deadline could affect the type of research, as well as the quote you receive.
5. Do you have a plan to analyze and then use the information you gather?
It is not enough to simply collect data. Data must also be reduced and sorted in order to glean its best meaning and utilization. Don’t be unprepared to learn hard truths and then act on them. Tools like statistical testing, correlations and decision models are just a few of the ways you can assimilate and understand how to apply what you’ve learned. A reputable market research agency can guide you through the process.
6. What is your budget?
Consider a general budget and know that the above questions all affect the bottom-line! If you’re looking for ways to determine your market research budget, check out our blog post here!
Communications for Research is a market research agency based in St. Louis. If you are interested in receiving a market research quote for your business, please contact us today. We can help you determine the size, scope and cost of your next market research project.
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