Say for instance that you are launching a new product.
- Is there a market for it?
- Is somebody even looking out for something like that?
- Who should the target audience be?
- Are there similar products in the market?
- How are they doing in terms of sales?
These are just few of the questions you would need answers to as a marketer in order to plan a marketing strategy for the product. So how do you get answers to these?
It’s pretty simple – through market research.
Market Research pertains to the act of gathering, collecting, analyzing and presenting about consumer’s needs and preferences and also about the market as a whole.
But it’s easier said than done. Market Research is a complex process that involves collecting information from various sources and methods and investigating several aspects of the market. It is not an overnight task rather an overtime one which can take weeks or even months to paint an accurate picture of the market scenario.
In order to understand it better let’s dig a little deeper into the subject and understand different types of research and what information they yield.
- 1 Types of Research
- 2 Importance on Market Research
- 3 Outsourcing Market Research
Types of Research
This includes gleaning information first hand directly from the consumers through various means like Interviews, Surveys, Focus Group interviews etc. This gives you an insight into your buyer persona, your target market, their preferences, likes, dislikes, feedback etc.
Secondary research refers to gathering information from published data like company website, census, sales data, competitor websites, journals, research papers etc. These reveal information about the market as a whole, past sales data statistics which can be useful in projecting future trend, information about competitor’s products etc. Thorough secondary research can give valuable insights into brand awareness, online growth etc.
Importance on Market Research
Market Research therefore is a critical component in your business whether you are entering a new market, launching a new product or simply looking to stay ahead of competition. It can reveal information vital for taking decisions like marketing and promotions, future growth, evaluating past performances etc. It is the engine that fuels business growth.
Gathering all this data is not just complex but also time-consuming. You require dedicated resources working on the task day and night which can prove to be costly.
Therefore businesses today choose to outsource market research services to firms that specializing in providing such services at affordable prices despite the fact that most companies have a marketing & sales department in-house. By outsourcing market research to third party providers, they can utilize their resources on core business areas like sales, lead generation, promotions etc.
Outsourcing Market Research
Outsourcing market research services is proving to be beneficial for many companies as outsourcing companies with their team of skilled professionals not only provide relevant information to companies that guide them in their decision making but also provide expert knowledge and guidance in areas like market knowledge, business prospects. They provide complete consultation and expert advice backed with authentic data etc at affordable costs.
Here are some additional benefits that companies enjoy once they decide to outsource market research services
Access to large pool of Skilled Professionals
Outsourcing market research services to skilled professionals will ensure that you will get proper well researched data by market research professionals who have thorough understanding of international market research and industries. They can perform research across a variety of niches. Not just collecting data, market research companies gather, interpret and present data in desirable professional formats which can easily be used in organizations.
Up-to-date Knowledge of Tools
Professional market research firms have up to date knowledge of tools for research and analysis. They make use of advanced technologies for faster and extensive data acquisition which enables them to meet the needs of the client company efficiently. They even have access to industry journals and sites which is considered an excellent resource for statistics and figures.
Quick Turnaround of Reports
Partnering with a market research outsourcing company, will ensure quick turnaround of well-research data-backed reports which can then be useful in further planning and decision making. This is normally a very resource-intensive and time consuming process if carried out in-house.
This is especially true in case of small/medium sized companies as information gained from market research help them position them better to the potential target market. If these companies were to take it upon themselves to conduct the research, it would prove to be costly and also a time-consuming process as all resources would have to be devoted to this task. However with outsourcing they can focus on their core business processes while the outsourcing partner performs the necessary research for them. Meanwhile they can focus on core business functions with complete devotion and dedication. This in turn fuels their productivity.
Objective Unbiased Perspective
All companies want their research to be objective and unbiased giving them a clear picture rather than telling them something they want to hear. This confirmation bias can exist if research is conducted by the company’s own employees who have a vested interest in the organization. The best way to avoid this is by outsourcing the market research project to a third party with no interest in the organization or the research outcome. This will ensure credible insights which may be good or bad news.
Carrying out market research in-house can be a costly affair. It involves hiring research professionals, setting up necessary infrastructure etc. The operational expenses would be huge not to mention the time and resources utilized which could have been used in performing core business functions like marketing and promotion, sales etc. Outsourcing market research to a third party will save you a lot of time as well as money. You save on a lot of operational expenses and pay only a flat fee for the services. Moreover you only when there is work and there is binding contract to hire resources. This proves to be a very cost-effective solution as it’s much cheaper than performing it in-house.
The kind of research needed for your organization depends on the purpose behind the research, information required, your industry etc. Every company will have different market research needs and therefore it is recommended that you do your homework well, shortlist companies providing market research services as per your criteria and then discuss your requirement with them in detail.