DIY Market Research vs. Hiring a Specialist Market Research Company
What are the differences between conducting DIY research or hiring a specialty market research firm? We all research every day. We research what recipes to cook, what products to buy, what news sources to believe, and the list goes on. If you think about it, our life is a culmination of the research we have done. With that said, it can be tempting to assume that it is easy to conduct market research without being a professionally trained market researcher. While this statement may have some truth, it comes with some significant caveats. This article will outline the pros and cons of researching on your own and with a market research company.
Pros of DIY Research
The employees of a company know the company inside and out. They will have the institutional knowledge that is needed to provide background information on a project. If using a market research firm, it is crucial to share as much information as possible to set the team up for success.
The company conducting the research has total ownership over the project. This pro comes with some perks but also many disadvantages. While you will have the final say over every step, this can cause biases, incorrect approaches, and false results. Working with a research company will mean you can still have the final say on all steps, but it will be the final say on the correct approach.
Cons of DIY Research
Conducting every stage of the process in-house is exceptionally time-consuming. While you are in charge of questionnaire design to recruitment, you will also be in charge of the entire analysis and reporting. Without the proper infrastructure in place, this can take up months and months of precious time.
In the same vein as the previous point, if the company does not have the resources in place, it is challenging to efficiently conduct the research. While you can get the resources in place, this will append to the timeline and delay results even further.
While conducting research in-house will allow the researchers to have unmeasured institutional knowledge of the product and brand, it can cause extreme biases.
Professionally trained market researchers have an eye for detail that is learned with experience. These professionals go through years of training, apprenticeships, internships, studying, and research to get to where they are.
The researchers can spot any errors in a study and hiring them will allow a brand to avoid errors altogether. As there are many opportunities for errors in market research studies. To clarify, some of the errors to look out for include (but is not limited to) the following:
- Selection of improper methodology design;
- Poor data collection methods;
- Inadequate sample design, size, or poor participant quality;
- Incorrect logic;
- Improper use of statistical procedures;
- Difficult to understand report.
Pros of a Market Research Firm
A market research firm will remain entirely impartial for the study and ensure that the design and results are free from subjective viewpoints and tendencies. The unbiased results are critical to ensure the results are reliable, but it is also a significant benefit when getting published. If a company is looking to use the results to position itself as a thought leader, you will be more likely to get the study published if it comes from an established research company rather than the company trying to position itself.
Takes Up Less Time
Research companies have all of the tools in place to kick off a project and get you a report with analysis and recommendations within a standard timeframe (depending on the company) of 2-8 weeks.
Best Practices When Hiring a Specialist
Market research companies are experienced and know all of the best practices from conducting research, free from mistakes or biases. The job of a researcher is to reduce the number of errors.
A market research firm will have a higher research standard based on the experience and tools/resources available to the team. As a result of the training and education that they have studied, the quality will be improved.
Cons of Market Research Firm
While the temptation to conduct research in-house is often led by the attractiveness of not paying out for professional research, it is not a huge cost when you consider the time saved.
To learn more about working with a market research firm, you can read more in the following articles:
Thinking about conducting market research? Check out Provoke Insights research services here.
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