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What Does A Consultative Agency Bring To The Research Nowadays?

There are many reasons to hire a consultative market research agency, here are my top four.

By Eddie Francis
shopper insights

There are many reasons to hire a consultative market research agency, here are my top four.

Do-It-Yourself research has been around for quite some time. One of the first and most well-known online tools to bring market research to the masses was Survey Monkey.  In fact, I knew about Survey Monkey before I knew about “market research.” Many firms have come along since to provide DIY tools at each stage of the process: programming, sampling, reporting, etc.

So if I can do it myself and save money, why do I need to hire a consultative research agency? … (insert disbelieving blank stare). I could bake my own three-tier wedding cake the night before my wedding. But I shouldn’t. At least, not unless I’m willing to begin my married life with an uncontrollably, sobbing wife.

There are many reasons to hire a consultative market research agency (and a professional baker), but here are my top four:

1 - Efficiency

On the surface, a DIY tool appears to save you money and time. In actuality though, unless you are a power user of the tool, you’ll be spending extra hours learning (or relearning) how to properly set up questions and route them. And that is just the survey tool itself, then comes integrating your sample into the survey, managing the fieldwork, making sense of the “1’s and 0’s” in your data output,… well, you get the idea.

2 - Data Quality

There are two types of data quality that we must think about: 

- Data quality as it pertains to answering your business needs: This starts with asking the right questions.  Knowing the question at hand from a company perspective doesn’t always translate to a good respondent experience or the best answers. Having a consultative agency means not only having one or two other minds to bounce an idea off of, but it’s a wealth of (market research) industry experience and insight that can mesh seamlessly with your company’s industry intelligence.  

- Respondent level data: With the emergence of online panels and “professional” survey-takers, data quality is as important as ever. Staying up-to-date on the latest data-quality technologies is a job unto itself, but it shouldn’t be your job.


3 - Respondent (See Also: Customer) Experience

In our connected world, every single touchpoint that the end consumer has with your brand has a lasting impact. If the look and feel of your survey is subpar, or the routing on your questionnaire doesn’t work as intended, the internet can be less than forgiving.  Why risk long-term brand health (and ruthless internet trolling) for the sake of saving a few dollars?

4 - Leave It To The Experts (“Stay-In-Your-Lane”)

Through years of experience in your industry, you have become an expert at your job and have invaluable insight and best practices knowledge that others outside of your industry just don’t have. It’s the same in market research. Client-side research is focused on meeting the objectives of all stakeholders. A consultative supply agency knows the ins-and-outs of not only helping you meet these objectives efficiently (::cough:: and cost effectively ::cough::), but they help you shine while doing so. Just like you, we know what works… and we also know what works better.  

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