Updated: Apr 21
With the market research industry poised to grow to $100bn this year (up 30% from 2020 according to ESOMAR), and demand for research being higher than ever- brands are faced with a plethora of options on how to conduct their research. Technology platforms and AI are all the rage- capturing headlines and making an attractive play for brands’ attention, but traditional research agencies are upping their game to elevate client relationships far beyond what a tech platform can provide. With deep expertise on hand, research agencies are blending technology partnerships, with expertise and consultative approaches to create differentiation. They are strategically building capabilities that align with client needs. They are laser-focused on their core competencies. They are now thought of as trusted advisors to brands navigating uncertain times and changing consumers. And brands are taking notice. According to a recent GRIT Innovation report, market research buyers say business expertise (70%) and people skills (61%) top the list as highest priority skills to have either in-house or with market research partners. This further solidifies that agencies are the preferred path when conducting research.
That’s not to say there aren’t some truly amazing and innovative platforms disrupting the industry and propelling it forward. But as many tools prioritize speed and efficiency there’s a reality that these tools (not all) lack an integration of fundamental research knowledge and support required to truly help in-house teams build effective surveys and extract meaningful insights- especially with large scale, bigger ticket projects. Remember, many of these tools are built by self-proclaimed technology firms (not research firms), so it’s not surprising that some tools fall short. This leaves brands holding the bag with tons of real-time data, but not a lot of direction on how to apply it and/or turn it into actionable insights. And with shrinking budgets, limited resources, and at the same time being tasked to do more, in-house research teams are struggling to make it all happen. They realize agencies provide the depth, resources and expertise they need to succeed and the investment is worthwhile- as well as extending the overall team and help to lighten the load.
At MarketView, we’ve seen this with our clients. Unsure what direction to take, some tested the use of technology tools for product research and quickly realized limitations with survey development, analysis and interpretation of results. They turned to us to rebuild surveys with more rigor and expertise than any tool could provide. Equipped with over 25 years in product lifecycle research, we understand the nuances that come with each project and know how to extract meaningful insights. And why do clients keep working with us? Because we know them. We understand their business. We are precise. And we consistently deliver high caliber research that gets in-house market research teams kudos from their C-suite leaders. The quality of our work speaks through our long-standing partnerships with A-list brands and F1000 clients. Our philosophy and mission are simple, and one not easily replaced by tech tools. Our clients are our priority with a mindset always on the elements that make for effective and actionable research:
FOCUS on what’s important. Let’s be honest, with tech tools it can often feel like you’re aiming at a moving target. Things are continually changing, tools are coming out left and right, and there’s always a new flavor of the week that everyone’s eager to try and own. It’s easy to feel lost in this sea of continually evolving offerings and tools- all of which are looking to accomplish the same goal as traditional market research but with far less familiarity and comfort. We know what we’re good at and our clients do too.
RELATIONSHIPS make us stronger. We can’t stress enough the value of knowing there’s a team in your corner to share the ups, downs and times in-between. The structure of traditional market research allows us to share our clients’ victories as well as their struggles. We’re in it with them- while lightening the load and focusing research projects to strategically align with their goals.
IDENTIFYING the best approach is paramount to success. In traditional market research, we have more flexibility in identifying the correct approach to address client needs and choosing the essential tools of the trade. Do we need qualitative, quantitative or both to help us reach the finish line? Maybe an IHUT or CLT is necessary sometimes and online panel research just won’t get us the essential answers. Maybe you’ll need to infuse behavioral data instead. At MarketView, we guide projects with the right tools and methodologies to optimize results.
EXPERTISE may very well separate wins from losses. Stemming from everything mentioned before comes one of the most important areas of differentiation between traditional market research and tech tools- and that is our collective knowledge. At MarketView, we have over 25 years of research experience across categories and industries coupled with the extensive real-world application to help clients accelerate growth- identifying trends, understanding customers, and more. While the point-and-click cafeteria plans of DIY tools sound intriguing, they’re young, and the strategic consultation backed by MarketView’s breadth of experience is invaluable in helping manage business questions, tactical areas of focus and broader goals.
NECESSARY DEPTH of knowledge is essential to keeping our (and your!) eyes on the prize. You’ve heard the expression “the devil is in the details” and we couldn’t agree more when it comes to your data! In traditional market research, the goal isn’t simply to cast a wide net and tell you that more is always better. Rather, we believe that just the right amount and depth of exploration is ideal- and coupling this with strategic insight and advice optimizes the essential knowledge in answering your business questions.
With all of this, we understand that there are a number of options brands can choose to fulfill research needs and move their businesses ahead. DIY and tech tools are great to get a pulse on consumers, gain quick insight, and provide cost savings plus their dashboards look stellar. But as the market and consumers become more complex, so do the research needs. Clients require deeper insight and partnership, support, exploration and analysis than ever before- and that’s the special sauce that only research agencies can provide. With agencies, clients get the benefit of quality research design and sampling that nets accurate, contextualized results. And their expertise in analyzing the results and recommending actionable next steps is invaluable. Instead of sitting on a pile of DIY data that you’re unsure what to do with, a research agency can help you strategize and make informed business decisions so you know when, where, and how to capitalize on opportunities and strengthen your competitive advantage.
Ready to partner with us? Contact us today.