There are several aspects to be analyzed when hiring a market research company. The starting point is to make it clear that no one (including the research companies themselves) is better acquainted with all facets of the problem than the contractor.
Therefore, for the study to be successful, it is essential to share this knowledge and doubts with the future service provider, that is, conducting a survey involves details of confidential strategic plans, confidential ideas, fears or changes in the development of products & services. shared.
In this way, the relationship needs to be based on the confidence that the identified points, whether flaws, weaknesses or opportunities, will only be used by those entitled to.
Another aspect involved is that of competence. An important prerequisite is that the research company knows this market, having carried out work in the area, not needing to “learn” everything from scratch to start the analyzes.
Finally, there is a commitment, since the team responsible for the study must be deeply involved with the matter in order to effectively achieve success in reaching the requested conclusions. The basic premise is that, if the questions were trivial, it would not even be necessary to contract the research.
The 3 factors mentioned are conditions to be fulfilled and equally relevant to the success of the research project and the relationship between the parties.
The commercial discussion of the project should only continue with the fulfillment of these requirements. However, as the evaluation of these points is not trivial, I allow myself to highlight some tips to guide this analysis:
• What is the size of the research company in relation to the size of the work? If it is too large, there may be some failure in the commitment, since the study may be carried out by interns or professional-beginners. On the other hand, being too small, the lack may be of competence and experience in similar projects.
• How are the research company’s facilities? Are there rooms, equipment, infrastructure, even if minimal, or is it just virtual, working in homes, in parallel to other activities or even only by cell phone?
• Does the company focus on research, or does it simply “also do research”, in addition to marketing, communication, advertising, recruitment & selection, …?
• Which company customers can give you a reference?
• How long has the company been in business? Is it linked to any class entity in the research area such as ABEP, ABIPEME, SBPM, ESOMAR …?
• In research work, what activities are carried out and which are outsourced? If there is outsourcing, are they in the core or middle activity? What is the control over researchers in the field, training, supervision, checking, typing and recruiting? Are these activities carried out in other host cities or by strangers such as telemarketers, computer service providers, etc.?
• Who are the company’s employees and who will be responsible for the development of the project? What is the professional and academic training of these interlocutors, in whose hands your future, or investment decision is being placed?
Finally, it is good to keep in mind the question of accumulated knowledge.
The relationship with a research company should aim at the long term, and not be restricted to specific projects, such as advertising agencies, where you don’t contract (at least shouldn’t) just for the product launch or every new date commemorative!
The relationship, in principle, should follow a logic and be guided by measurable goals, at longer lasting intervals.
However, in research there are still frequent price measurements for carrying out works, considering this factor exclusively. Not that this is not important, quite the contrary, it just shouldn’t be the only criterion.
With each survey, the target market can be better debugged, but not all information is always presented, either because they are not relevant at that moment to that specific hypothesis, or because they are secondary to the project under discussion, or even because of the short time for presentation and discussion of results.
However, this unique and exclusive knowledge, still in the possession of the research company, is already the right of the contracting company and constitutes a differential for subsequent studies, practically at zero cost, and with a great multiplier effect!
Trends and behavioral changes are now more clearly perceived, since experience already exists, even more so if the same research company has the opportunity to constantly deepen, with successive work, such knowledge!
But such a situation will only become real as the relationship continues and the new projects bring the opportunity for the accumulated knowledge to be shared.