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Market Research Blog

Updates from CFR

What to Look For When Hiring a Market Research Firm

Posted by Colson Steber on 12/8/2016

What to Look For When Hiring a Market Research Firm.jpgWhether you’re in the process of creating a marketing campaign, developing a new product or finding new product opportunities, doing market research can be the difference between educated success and blind disaster. If you have a market research question in mind, it’s time to find the right market research firm to work with.

When interviewing and researching different agencies, it can be difficult to know what to look for. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the top 4 qualities to look for when hiring a market research firm:

1. Recent relevant industry or audience experience

Looking for “years of experience” within an industry is obvious, and since it is important many firms will be quick to emphasize their strength in that area. This is not wrong to do, but you need to go deeper than the surface level “Our team has over 100 years of experience in industry X” and onto what will actually help you differentiate between the firms being considered.  We call this differentiation factor recent relevant experience.  This can be shown with other research done within your specific industry or with the same target audience that will participate in the market research.  The experience they share should be about work they have done within the past two years.  Sure, it may stretch longer than that, but if they have not done it in two years than is it really their specialty?

2. Recent relevant research methodology experience

When telling a market research firm about your particular market research question, see which methodologies they would recommend or how they propose to answer your question. Once you are talking about a specific path for the research, can they name (even if they cannot provide specifics) a comparable study that utilized the same methodology to achieve a similar type of objective? If they have extensive real-world experience with these methodologies, they will be able to get the most insight out of a study that utilizes them.

3. No “One Size Fits All” Process

When you have specific research questions and business goals in mind, you want to find a market research firm that can adapt their processes to you. Instead of proposing three cookie cutter packages for you to choose from, look for a market research firm that can take your research question and your budget to find the best methodologies in order to yield the most accurate answer.

How do you judge whether “custom” really means custom?  Ask about the process you will go through in onboarding as a new customer with a new project.  The answer needs to include things like meeting with you to understand your business needs and a key point of contact that will get personally involved in your research.  If the answer is, “Oh, we take care of everything, you don’t have to worry.”  It may mean they expect to put you through the same research they have done for others.  That may or may not be what you want though.

4. Bring Value, Not Just Data, to Your Company

Because market research helps your business make critical decisions, it’s important to find a market research firm that brings value, not just data, to your company. Asking for testimonials or references can be a great way to see what value they’ve brought to other businesses. Case studies can also be indicative of their reporting and end results in terms of profits for a business.

5. Dedicated Project Managers

Market research doesn’t happen overnight. With an involved process, you should make sure that you have one point of contact at your market research firm who can handle questions, updates and reporting. While access to upper level management should be important, having a reliable project manager that you enjoy talking to can really make all the difference when it comes to relaying updates and keeping the project on track. Ask who specifically will be your point of contact at the market research firm and make sure that they’re the right fit!

Communications for Research: Adaptive, Experienced & Valuable

At CFR, we understand how important it is to find the right market research firm to answer your research questions. That’s why our team takes a leadership role in every study we work on by understanding your research goals, learning quickly from our work together to adapt our own process to best provide service for you, and acting as trustworthy business decision makers for your research. With over 500 market research studies performed annually, we know how to get a high quality outcome in research.

If you consider us for being your partner on an upcoming research opportunity we will do our best to be responsive, accurate, and concise in our service proposals detailing project specifications, service responsibilities, timeline and price. Contact us today to schedule a call with CEO, Colson Steber to determine whether CFR can benefit your business.

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Topics: market research firms

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