Table of Contents
- What Is A Market Research Company?
- What Does A Market Research Agency Do?
- How Much Do Market Research Firms Charge For Their Services?
- Why Hire A Market Research Agency?
- How To Choose The Best Market Research Consultant For Your Brand
- 10 Questions To Ask Market Research Firms Before You Hire One
- Takeaways On Market Research Companies
A market research company is an agency that conducts extensive analysis and research to collect meaningful data and understand a brand’s target market.
They use a set of techniques to gather comprehensive data on:
- Consumer behavior trends
- Industry trends
- Target audience
- Key performance indicators
- And more
Then, they draw conclusions and present information to clients in order to help them grow their consumer base, improve brand visibility and increase revenue.
What Does A Market Research Agency Do?
The job of market research firms is based on five key steps:
Step #1: Identifying Problems
Defining the problems businesses need to solve or the goals they want to accomplish will determine what information market research companies need to collect.
In other words, with this step, they can:
- Understand what information they need to collect
- Find out what questions they need to answer
This is one of the most important steps in this process that will help professional agencies to understand brands’ biggest challenges and opportunities, which will be the base for creating a solid plan.
Step #2: Developing Research Plans
Once a market research agency defines the clients’ objectives or problems, the next step is to create a plan that will help them make it clear:
- How to gather the information needed
- What tools they should use to retrieve the information
- How they will interpret it
- How they will report on the results
Above all, this strategic plan will allow these companies to determine what type of research to perform.
There are several types of market research:
- Survey research or sending out questionnaires
- Observational research or collecting key data by observing the market
- Focus group research or having a group discussion on a specific topic
- Ethnographic research or analyzing an individual in the real-life situation
- Behavioral data or observing customers’ behavior
- Experimental research or studying changes in customer behavior
- And more
Defining your goals or problems properly will help you choose the right type for your needs.
Step #3: Collecting Data
During this step, market research companies in the US gather the necessary facts and info.
There are two types of data they can collect:
- Primary: This is the data that they gather particularly for your project. It includes asking questions, observing customer behavior or studying individuals.
- Secondary: This refers to information that has already been collected, either internally or externally, through magazines, social media, websites, government organizations and more.
Normally, the market research process starts by looking at secondary data since there may be valuable sources that can be quite useful.
Obviously, this would be a cheaper alternative.
Then, they focus on primary data collection. Although this is a more expensive option, it is a more trustworthy method that generates reliable results.
Step #4: Analyzing Data
Once market research firms have collected the needed data and answered the research questions they first organize it into detailed reports, a presentation or any other format.
It all depends on the company management preferences and the complexity of the project.
Then, they look at the gathered metrics, patterns or answers and interpret them both quantitatively and qualitatively to address the project objectives and draw key conclusions.
Step #5: Presenting Data
Finally, market research companies present the gathered data to their clients.
They provide them with key recommendations on what steps to take next so that they achieve their goals or solve their problems successfully.
This allows brands to take action based on these findings and start creating their strategies and campaigns.
In addition, some market research firms may also offer additional creative services like:
How Much Do Market Research Firms Charge For Their Services?
Market research companies in the United States usually price their projects on hourly rates. The cost varies among agencies and you can come across rates that go as low as $24 and as high as $300 per hour.
A few factors that will influence it are:
- Project scope and complexity
- Project deadline
- Company stature
- Company size
- And more
Some market research firms also offer a project-based fee alternative. Most of them accept projects valued at $10,000 - $25,000.
However, some of them are also willing to undertake projects that go below $1,000, while others take $50,000 valued ones.
Why Hire A Market Research Agency?
Anyone can do surveys and perform cold calling to gather information, but not everyone can do it the right way.
A professional market research agency has the skills and the knowledge to conduct this process from start to finish.
They understand the methods and the activities needed to:
- Define buyer personas
- Determine the right audience to involve
- Develop a research plan
- Decide on the best research method
- Prepare the necessary questions
- Engage the participants successfully
- Spot your biggest competitors
- Analyze the collected data
- And more
Partnering with a professional company simply will ensure your market research project yields maximum benefits including:
Benefit #1: Identify Opportunities In The Marketplace
42% of startups fail because of a lack of market need. (CB Insights)
One of the most difficult aspects of conducting market research is staying objective.
However, many businesses focus on making assumptions and interpreting information in a way that corresponds with their beliefs.
This most often happens because they are very emotionally attached to their services or products, which is why they fail to understand that there isn’t really a need for their offerings in the marketplace.
Market research companies will take the needed steps to understand whether your market wants or needs them.
This will help you avoid wasting your time and money on a project that would turn unsuccessful.
Benefit #2: Engage Your Audience Successfully
56% of B2C and 73% of B2B consumers claim that brands should have a deep understanding of their needs in order to engage them.
Peter F. Drucker, the management consultant and author, once said:
"The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself."
Getting to know your audience well is the key to increasing engagement and conversions.
This is why before you start promoting your brand and products/services you need to ensure that you understand your target audience well.
Thorough market research will discover what are your audience needs, pain points and challenges - key factors that you should use to develop high-performing campaigns.
Benefit #3: Outperform Your Competition
Knowledge is power, especially in business. The more information you have over your competition the better.
A market research consultant has the skills to gain a better understanding of your competitors and discover their strengths and weaknesses.
The findings they will collect will help you streamline your marketing initiatives and obtain a competitive advantage.
How To Choose The Best Market Research Consultant For Your Brand
Follow these steps to make your search for the best market research consultant easier and quicker:
Step #1: Learn What Tools They Have Access To
In a field as heavily invested in data as market research, companies need to use the most comprehensive, up-to-date tools in order to meet demands and reach client goals.
Whether you’re looking to take a deeper dive into your audience demographics or you’re trying to plan for upcoming upsets and changes in the competitive market, the partner you hire should have the tools to give you the information to craft a winning strategy.
Some of these tools may include:
- Tableau Public
Step #2: Find Out If They Have A Comprehensive Reporting Process
The market research agency you hire should not only have the skills to gather data but also report it.
It should have a strong reporting process that they follow which will allow them to communicate the results they accumulate in real-time.
So, make sure you understand:
- What reporting processes they have in place
- Who will interpret and communicate the findings
- What mediums they will use to distribute the reports
Step #3: Understand Their Range of Services
Make sure you find out what type of services the market research agency you hire is able to deliver.
Some companies may only conduct surveys, but your business may particularly need another research method.
Sometimes, depending on your objectives, multiple methods will be required to collect the needed data.
Step #4: Discover Whether They Have The Relevant Experience
There are many professional agencies that offer market research services. However, not every single one of them has the relevant experience to conduct this process properly.
This is why you need to ask about their core area(s) of expertise and check their portfolios and case studies to see if they have been involved in similar projects.
You might also want to check their reviews to learn about how reliable these agencies are and how they deliver their projects.
Step #5: Ask About Their Timeline
Delivering projects on time is a key characteristic that every top market research consultant or agency should possess.
Market research is a time-sensitive process and you should have the findings of this process in your hands as soon as possible to minimize the missed opportunities to achieve your goals.
10 Questions To Ask Market Research Firms Before You Hire One
- How will you determine our competitors?
- How will you gather information and data on their strategies and performance?
- What will you do with this information and how does it aid in your strategizing?
- What information do you need from us?
- What access do you have to information in our industry and market?
- What tools do you use to learn more about who we are and who we are targeting?
- Have you worked with similar brands in the past?
- How long will it take for you to gather information and draw conclusions?
- What is your process for information gathering?
- On average, how long does it take for you to complete each phase of research?
Takeaways On Market Research Companies
Market research companies in the USA help brands like yours collect meaningful data on their target markets that they can later use to achieve specific goals or solve certain problems.
The cost of their services ranges between $24 and $300 per hour.
The key benefits of partnering with a professional company are:
- Identifying opportunities in the marketplace
- Engaging the audience
- Outperforming the competition
To choose the best market research consultant for your business make sure you:
- Learn what tools they have access to
- Find out if they have a comprehensive reporting process
- Understand their capabilities
- Discover whether they have the relevant experience
- Ask about their timeline
Best of luck!