When and why you should outsource?

All of our best tips to choose when and why outsourcing.

Market research is one of the key areas in which a company can invest as part of their marketing strategy. Market research is a crucial way of getting data and insights to understand the market, audience, competition, and market trends, which every company needs in its decision-making process.

How to do market research

There are different ways to do market research and pick trustworthy research services:

  • Do it yourself market research: A specialist in-house team can run many of the own company´s research projects. Many organizations have a local research team that provides market research services for all organizations. The greatest benefit of conducting market research in-house is the perceived cost savings. However, it is most likely that every company needs some outside support in some projects, for example like sourcing respondents, or auditing its products and service (a company auditing itself may put its credibility at stake).

  • Outsourced market research: Some companies don´t have enough resources or budget to run their market research team and choose to outsource their entire or part of their market research to an agency or research company. Outsourced services can include different agreements, like end-to-end service per month/year, or designing a specific study, sourcing respondents, and reporting insights. Some agencies or research companies work for a fee that can be rated for the number of hours worked, individual tasks, and/or specific projects. The fee is usually generic, such as giving general consumer advice and trends in an industry or reporting on market data. This can be part of their research services.

When and Why to outsource market research

Many companies don´t have enough resources and/or time within their local research teams to perform a complete research project. Other companies prefer to outsource market research resources to leverage their time on other tasks, and to deliver high-quality market research.

  • Know-How

    A market research company has the experience and knowledge of research methods, asking questions to the customer, and which practices are better to use in each situation. The experience and knowledge may provide a market context and suggested strategies that an in-house market research team cannot provide by itself.
  • Credibility

    An external source in market research involves a low risk of bias, use of market research best practices, and tons of experience. All these ingredients build credibility among decision-makers. Additionally, when working with respondents and participants, a study carried out by a specialized agency gives the impression that the techniques and purpose are legitimate. This encourages people to be 100% honest to agencies, while they usually tend to feel uncomfortable talking directly to the companies.
  • Speed & Agility

    Market research agencies can respond quickly to client demands, meeting tight deadlines, as well as work on a scheduled calendar of research studies. Agencies work under agreed contracts and fees (per project or hour worked), offering the companies the possibility to respond on a flexible basis to requests on-demand. This agility to respond is usually faster than looking for internal sources, that are usually involved in other priorities in the day to day operation. It will help you to save time.
  • Resources

    Since the client pays for specific tasks and/or projects, market research agencies usually have all the resources available for any type of research. The research agencies have the availability of different types of resources, such as people or software resources like licenses to use online research tools (for IDI, FGL, communities, survey programming, dashboards, tools to automatically create report slides, etc). Research agencies also have the availability of human resources who are familiar with the specifics of models typical for research, such as segmentation.
  • Access to different audiences

    Outsourcing market research services has the benefit of expanding a company´s potential market or business to new respondents/customers. Agencies usually have access to different consumer panels, larger databases than the client´s client database, and can contact networks beyond panels. Research agencies usually have wide expertise in combining their networks of contacts with modern data sampling methods, such as dynamic sampling.

    What can be outsourced?

    There are many aspects of market research that can be outsourced. Aspects include a wide range of services and several types of research. Some services and types of research that can be outsourced: 

    • Survey Design, Research Consultancy: Market Research agencies usually have expertise in survey design and the best methodology to approach the customers. Agencies usually are aware of best practices and the latest trends in surveying customers. Outsourcing surveys also provide a high level in the credibility of the results through unbiased conclusions.
    • Sampling definition: Agencies have the most updated methods of defining samples according to the project.
    • Survey Programming: Outsourcing the survey process usually grants access to different survey platforms. Survey programming involves access to survey platforms, question designing, conditional logic, and the possibility of programming automated outputs of results.
    • Worldwide Translation Service: An external agency can provide a translation service by using special software tools and by having very favorable contracts in place with their translators.
    • Qualitative Research Recruiting: Outsourcing services provide access to different panels and/or databases of potential respondents, that can be reached for any research that requires customer participation.
    • Global Data Collection: Many research agencies have access to international telephonic fieldwork services for conducting both CATI & Mixed Mode data collection globally. This access is a key element in every market research that involves reaching a huge amount of contacts by phone.
    • Data Processing: Outsourcing data processing has the benefit of hiring specialists in handling large amounts of data in a fast and efficient way, without compromising data quality.
    • Automated Reporting and Dashboards: External sources can provide automated reporting and dashboards of research results in different types of presentation and formats, such as customized online dashboards, reporting in PPT, excel, or any format that the client requests.

    but also:

    • Building and managing a panel: External agencies usually have the infrastructure to build and manage a panel by recruiting people willing to participate in different types of research that are focused on their profiles.
    • Building Tracking Project: Agencies usually have access to different tools and software, such as Project Tracking Software, which can help a company follow their market plans on schedule and identify an unexpected change of plans.
    • Qualitative Research: Qualitative research involves many different formats and methods, each with a specific use and aim. The methods include In-Depth Interviews -IDI-, Focus Group Interview -FGI-, Communities, observation (natural settings), textual (polls, surveys).
    • Social Listening: Access to several tools for monitoring social media is one of the usual outsourced services by many companies. These services include social media to follow up and analysis, including sentiment feelings, mentions, and other social media analysis.
    • UX: Agencies have the resources and expertise to develop user experience projects according to whatever the client requests. UX includes a bunch of different disciplines, such as interaction design, information architecture, visual design, usability, and human-computer interaction.
    • Mystery Shoppers: Sometimes companies need to audit the competitors and their products and/or services in terms of price, customer service, quality of service/products, in-store displays, etc. Outsourcing these types of services ensures the unbiased analysis of what the company and the competition is doing right/wrong in terms of what it needs to be measured.
    • Product Development: Market Research agencies also can work on all the stages involved in bringing a product from concept or idea, through market release and beyond. Product development incorporates a product’s entire journey, including identifying a market need, conceptualizing, and designing the product, building the product roadmap, developing a minimum viable product, releasing the MVP to users, and iterating based on user feedback.
    • Market entry & Business Consultancy: Market research agencies can also work on the market entry strategy, which is a planned distribution and delivery method of goods or services to a new target market. Agencies offer a wide range of consultancy in business.

    What is the best approach to market research?

    The greatest benefit of conducting market research in-house is the perceived cost savings. Also, every company wants to have a relationship with its customers. However, most companies don´t have enough resources and time to produce all the market research they intend to do, as much as they need a completely unbiased view of their services and products. Usually, the best choice for every company is not to rely solely on one method but to utilize a combination of both. This is the best while using market research services.

    It is most common that companies have an in-house team to do more day-to-day data research. The research department inside a company is needed to coordinate the flow of data and research in the company and explain how to read and use research results, to coordinate internal research, e.g. on own customer base, and also to collect business needs from internal customers and be able to translate them into the research language (for example: write a brief). Companies usually have one or several external outsourced agencies for more complex projects, such as survey design, customer satisfaction, mystery shoppers, benchmarking, focus groups, UX, and much more other research support. The agency is needed to apply adequate research methods, use resources that the company does not have, give respects, and certify the independence of research.

    When it comes to outsourcing market research services, TGM can help you with your project. It is best to know how to conduct market research and get the best tips from experts. We specialize in collecting insights through our online panels and a fully dedicated market research team.

    Apart from the panels, and to further reach increase, TGM Research uses a global mobile network of publishers (more than 30 000 different mobile apps globally) such as mobile social networks, games, apps, IM services, news sites, portals, mobile websites, etc. When TGM panels and publishing networks fall short of requirements, TGM has a large panel of quality-vetted partners. We can help you and your business to gather the insights you need. Do not hesitate and reach outto the TGM team now and start your project on the right path.

    Get better responses. Faster.

    TGM Research Panel Audience gives access to millions of respondents waiting to take your survey.

    TGM Academy aims to educate on the transformative potential of market research and insight technology. On this website, you'll find articles covering everything from research design, sample selection to analysing results.

    Connect with us on Social Media:

    © 2022 TGM Academy, Copyright © TGMResearch