Five reasons to outsource your market research
Once you have made the decision to conduct market research how do you decide whether to keep it in-house or find a research resource outside the business to do the work?
Here are our five reasons why we think you should outsource your market research:
1. Objectivity vs. Subjectivity
Before you start any research process you need to be clear on your purpose: what are you trying to find out? Why do you want to know? And how are you going to use the research that you gather?
The answer to these questions is key to understanding if you need to bring in an expert or do the research yourself.
If you need an objective and non-biased analysis of the results then it makes perfect sense to find an external expert to help you gain a third-party view of what is going on. An example of needing objectivity might be conducting research on how do your clients perceive the service you offer? If you do it yourself you may ‘pussy foot’ around the questions you don’t have the courage to ask or manipulate the analysis so you ‘look good’ rather than using the opportunity to identify untapped sales.
An example of when outsourcing may not be appropriate is when you are conducting desktop research into who your competitors are and identifying how their offering is different to yours. Whilst a researcher with industry knowledge may add value to the insight you gain – the unique perspective you have of your business will pay dividends in efficiently identifying the gaps in the market.
2: Rubbish in, rubbish out
Since the advent of tools like Survey Monkey – everyone has become a ‘researcher’ with powerful and intelligent software at their fingertips. Whilst the software is brilliant and easy to use – the questions contained within a survey are critical to determining the quality and value of the research outputs.
The key to clean, valuable research output is to:
o be faithful to the objectives,
o be clear on the methodology, and
o analysing the results with integrity
So, basically – what you put in, determines what you will get out. The lesson can be loosely summarised as ‘rubbish in, rubbish out’
The same applies to in-house surveys – if the questions are not well thought-out, the answers will not be helpful. Equally, if the survey participant does not understand a question – they will not answer it or, even worse, write down the answer to the question that they think you asked them.
Using an expert to help you craft your questions is a great reason to outsource your research to ensure you gain the best return on your investment in research.
3: Analysis Paralysis
It is vital that you analyse the results of all the research and then make decisions. Research that is not analysed or discussed is a COMPLETE waste of time you will never gain a return on the investment if you do not commit to the analysis and take action.
There is nothing worse than when a member of the management team hears one statistic gathered from the research and then starts to make changes to the business based on that one fact, without further context or discussion. The action is often accompanied by the announcement that: “I knew I was right, and now it’s been proven because 86% of our customers agreed ABC.”
The truth is you have to look at the whole story provided by the research and what it means for your business. Analysis takes time and is the most important part of the research process as you start to draw conclusions and then figure out what recommendations and next steps you need to take.
The advantage of outsourcing the analysis is that the researcher will have a unique perspective and be able to be objective. The researcher will also have the skills and the training to analyse data that will add huge value to the research process. They will not jump to conclusions, but take the fuller picture of what the research is saying – before making recommendations.
4: Research is more than a survey
There is more to research than just carrying out a survey on your database. There are so many research methodologies and ways of finding out what you need to know – from focus groups to mystery visits, and from ethnography to segmentation.
All methodologies are applied to ensure you gain the most value from the research. In order to take advantage of this insight you need an expert that you can work with to consider what is best for you. An expert that has experience of working with a range of techniques rather than just one so they can match the best method to meet your objectives and budget.
The advantage of outsourcing research is that you gain not only the insight from the research but also the experience and knowledge of the researcher.
5: Instant access to years of experience
Some businesses can choose to recruit a member of staff who will solely focus on research within the business. I think this is a great idea longer term, however – consider the objectives of your current research needs. Many businesses choose to recruit a junior and then train them up over time.
Having a full-time new member of the team is a long-term investment and will definitely be a valuable future resource and more cost effective over the longer term. On the other hand, engaging a project-based ‘specialist’ (external research expert) may be more expensive in the short term – however, unlike the junior staff member, but they are up and running from day one. You instantly have access to the expert’s training, skills and experience developed over years of working with many businesses and conducting many research projects.
Where you do have an ongoing project such as a continuous measurement programme it may make sense to have the resource ‘in-house’. However, if you are looking at a research project that requires an intensive period of work from an expert there is so much more to be gained by investing in specialist skills.
Ready to launch your market research project now?
A research project works best when you, the client, fully understands the research process and the value of the report we put together as research experts. The return on investment will be measured then by what actions you take in response to the feedback your research gives you, and the recommendations we provide.
Book a Call
Here at Aviatrix, we start with a Discovery Call or Meeting. This is when you share what you are hoping to achieve with your market research. We can then put together a tailored approach to your project – to help link what you want to achieve with the methodologies, which will give you the best feedback and insights.
You can book a discovery call with us below.