Article by Ryan Moore, RMS Research Coordinator –

Knowing When to Conduct Market Research – Companies seek insights into their market environment to learn customer preferences and behaviors, market trends, and what competitors are offering.

Conducting Market Research In-House – Conducting market research internally could increase the possibility of bias or unreliable results, but can be done with integrity using a dedicated staff member.

Conducting Market Research Through a Third Party – Market research companies use specialized software and methods that make the most of data collected and mitigate bias.

Budgeting for Market Research – Allocating an appropriate market research budget assures that companies are prepared to conduct research when it’s most important.

Deciding Between In-House or Third Party Market Research – Companies’ existing staff have a familiarity with the company’s business operations that could make research efficient, but using a professional market research agency allows your business to focus on what it does best.

Knowing When to Conduct Market Research

At some point in their business journey, every company or organization should look beyond their internal operations and take a closer look at the larger market in which they operate. This step is crucial to understanding their position in the market and identifying potential opportunities for growth. By analyzing the market, firms will gain insights into what their customers want, what competitors are doing, and emerging trends that can guide their future decisions.

The first few decisions a company makes regarding market research can be crucial to its success, including whether to conduct the research in-house or through a dedicated market research agency.

Conducting Market Research In-House

A major perceived benefit to conducting market research through an in-house team is cost savings. It may also be a big step for a company to trust an outside agency to provide information they will use to make business decisions.  If a company decides to conduct in-house market research, it’s important to choose a suitable candidate to conduct the survey(s). For example, an employee working in the training or HR department. It’s recommended to only create an in-house research role for an existing employee if it is permanently viable.

The danger in conducting market research through an in-house team is the lack of experience and knowledge of market research best practices which could lead to bias, unreliable results, or a lack of integrity in the study altogether. This means that the cost savings associated with conducting market research internally may not be as significant as expected. These are just a few of the reasons why market research activities are often outsourced.

Conducting Market Research Through a Third Party

A major benefit of outsourcing market research to a specialized team is that you have experienced experts conducting the research. This can be done entirely through a third party or partially through Market Research Consultation Services. Market research firms have use of specialized software, and dedicated research facilities and will know how best to apply appropriate research methodologies for your purposes, while your clients, customers, or employees can be assured that the research is impartial – and confidential (if appropriate). This can be challenging for an in-house research team that may have personal and emotional interest.

Though internal resources like customer or employee lists are important to the market research process, an effective third-party agency can make the most effective use of those resources. Outsourcing your organization’s market research to a market research firm can be generally more cost-effective than conducting market research in-house, as you can avoid the costs associated with developing and maintaining research infrastructure, tools, and software, and can instead rely on the agency’s resources and capabilities.

Budgeting for Market Research

Many firms don’t have the resources and time to conduct research internally which makes budgeting for market research essential. Outsourcing market research enables a firm to benefit from professionals who thoroughly understand the research field and can customize information-gathering tools and data collection techniques according to specific objectives and guidelines. It’s recommended that companies dedicate part of their marketing budget to research for the growth of their organization and knowledge of the market environment.

As famous economist Philip Kotler once said, “Companies tend to spend half of one percent on research and 99.5% on promotion, when they would be better off spending 1.5 to 2% on research.”

Deciding Between In-House or Third-Party Market Research

While evaluating the pros and cons of conducting in-house or third-party research may seem overwhelming, it’s important to remember that outsourcing market research to a specialized firm can offer a cost-effective and valuable solution while allowing your company to continue running at its own pace. Third-party have valuable expertise and tools that enable them to deliver insightful results and prevent businesses from making incorrect assumptions based on improper survey techniques or misinterpreting collected data. Either of these could harm the organization in the long run.

Discover how Research and Marketing Strategies (RMS) can assist your organization. Our team of market research experts will develop effective and flexible approaches to help you gain valuable insights. You can depend on RMS to deliver reliable information that can drive your business forward.

Relational RMS Blogs:

Recruiting the Right Participants for Your Focus Groups: Best Practices
How to Design Your Next Feasibility Study
How to Overcome Common Barriers to Employee Satisfaction Surveys

About the Author – Ryan Moore

As RMS Research Coordinator, Ryan assists the analytic team with managing projects, including designing surveys, survey programming, interviewing, analyzing data, and summary reporting. He works within the research department to interpret primary and secondary data, helping to identify key findings and trends. Ryan also assists in project recruitment.

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About RMS

Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS) is a full-service market research firm in Central New York. Formed in 2002, RMS helps organizations that are looking to know more about their customers and/or potential customers. They conduct surveys, focus groups, mystery shopping, studies and analysis. Each project is customized and gets personal attention by the best in the business. RMS has a reputation for getting results and offers an independent means to conduct telephone, on-line and mail surveying, In-depth interviews, intercept interviews, and participant recruitment as well as focus group hosting through QualiSight, its onsite call center and focus group facility. Taking advantage of the region’s reputation for being a great market study barometer, RMS recruits and moderates for focus groups, community forums and town meetings.