Many marketing failures can be traced to not understanding customers, competitors or the trends in the competitive environment if not conducting thorough market research. When you are conducting marketing research or even just analysing the results found, you need to understand the strengths and weaknesses of how the information is collected and presented.
Without marketing research, you are guessing when you develop your marketing strategy and this could be ineffective in the long run. You need consistent and accurate information about your markets in order to succeed and save on unnecessary costs. Market research does not require a large budget or complicated techniques. It does however require thought as to what information is needed and ongoing contact with customers.
Gathering information is key to making informed decisions. When deciding on how to conduct market research, there are two ways to go about this. The first is to approach a full-service research supplier. However, the costs involved are quite high because these suppliers mark up their out of pocket costs as well as their internal staff costs. The price they quote you to conduct your study is usually based on these mark ups.
The second way is to approach smaller shops who are eager to price their internal time at far less than the full-service research supplier. It is usually advisable to obtain two quotes. One in the traditional manner that quotes you on one cost for everything and the second quote to include two costs namely a) their professional time in conducting your search and b) their out of pocket costs directly related to collecting your data. The two-tier costing will almost always save you money especially if you agree to pay their suppliers directly eliminating potential cash flow problems that they might encounter on your search.
The second aspect on saving costs is in finding a supplier who will work with you on a consultative time only basis. If their hourly fees and estimated time proposed for helping you to plan the study is reasonable then contacting the data collection and tabulation firms can be your responsibility. It’s really not that complex and will save you a great deal of money.
If you’re conducting a focus group, try and arrange the recruitment of respondents together with a moderator whom will quote you on a fee. You’ll also save money when you find and book a conference facility yourself. It is useful to find a marketing research professor as they normally charge reasonable consultancy fees compared to the traditional research supplier.