Thinking about Conducting Market Research? Here’s a Checklist for Finding a Research Vendor
10 Dec 2020

Thinking about Conducting Market Research? Here’s a Checklist for Finding a Research Vendor

This article will outline the checklist for market research. That is to say it explains all that you need to run through to ensure that you are in an excellent place to conduct a quantitative market research study in-house. In addition, there is a list provided to go through if you are hiring a market research firm. Subsequently, there will be another article published in the coming weeks that will discuss qualitative research.

What to Consider if Conducting DIY Market Research? 

  1. Questionnaire Design: Is the team confident that they can write a research questionnaire in a way that will gather the insights objectively and without survey errors such as leading or double-barreled questions. Check out our article on survey mishaps here
  2. Timelines: Realistically, do you have the time to project manage the study in-house? Will you have to cut corners if you were doing it internally?
  3. Resources: Does the company have access to the resources, tools, and skills needed in-house to collect and analyze the data? Does your team have advanced analytics knowledge?
  4. Tools: Do you have tools to program surveys? Is your survey programming tool limited in capabilities? Do you have programs to develop crosstabs? Test significance? Is advanced analytics needed? Do you have the means to conduct it?  
  5. Sample: Do you have access to quality respondents? Will you be able to ensure that only qualified participants partake in the study? Can you reach the appropriate target audiences? Can you make sure that your sample represents the population you are targeting? Do you need to weight the data or use a sample stratified methodology? 
  6. Blind: If conducting research in-house, you will be revealing your company name to access participants. Are you sure that the study does not have to be blind? Can you tell the company name? This will skew the results, and you will not get a read on things like market penetration or awareness levels. 
  7. Reporting: Who is the data for? Do you have employees who can interpret the data and create graphs and charts that correlate? Do you need to draw conclusions for a specialized area (e..g branding)? 

The Checklist to Consider if Hiring a Market Research Company? 

  1. Research Objectives: This should be the top of the checklist for market research. It is often the case that a brand will know what questions they have for their target audience. This is great! However, the best place to start is with the overall business goals and the research objectives. For example, what are the ultimate goals for the research? What are the results going to inform? This will be some of the most critical information you can give a market research company to design a methodology to reach your goals. 
  2. Target Audience: Who do you want to speak with? While this may sound basic, research can often be erroneous as the data does not reflect the customer or the target audience that a brand is looking to reach. 
  3. Company-Type: Are you looking for a specialty firm? Is it a customer satisfaction survey or a brand study? Consequently, you should consider a market research firm with a strong specialty if you are conducting specialized research. You can find a directory of suppliers on GreenBook, Quirks, or BlueBook.
  4. Budget: Do you have money allocated for the project? For the most part, market research firms tend to spend significant time on proposals. A firm can better meet your needs by understanding the budget.
  5. Specialty: Are you looking for research in a specialized field? If so, find out if that firm has experience in that area.
  6. Ask The Right Questions: If you are looking for what to ask a market research firm in the interview process, have a look at this article.

What’s next?

If you are trying to decide between conducting research in-house or with a market research firm, you can read more about the pros and cons here. This checklist for market research is a good starting point. In addition, there is also more information surrounding errors and avoiding errors in survey research in this article about the margin of error. The turbulent year 2020 has vastly shifted consumer behaviors and the speed of digital adoption. The outlook of a world where COVID-19 is controlled in 2021 is positive. However, the changes that have started in 2020 will continue into the subsequent year.

Thinking about conducting market research?  Check out Provoke Insights’ research services here.

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