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third-party research

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When considering third-party custom research, one of the most frequently asked questions is, “How much does it cost?” 

There are a few factors that go into the price. The custom research process addresses unique client objectives and involves  a consultative approach, creating a customized research design, data collection, analysis and reporting. Talented, capable, and highly skilled research professionals with specialized knowledge, research methodologies, and analytical skills come at a (well-worthy) premium.

And, due to the unique nature of custom research, completing projects may require access to specialized databases, survey panels, research tools, and proprietary data sources. High-quality resources often come with increased costs, which (depending on depth and scope) can contribute to the overall price of the research project. 

Lisa Sherwin Wulf, founder and marketing consultant for LSW Marketing, offers her experienced perspective: 

Custom market research, when done well and with the right partner, can be an incredibly valuable part of your marketing mix and deliver measurable ROI. To be successful I always recommend starting with a strategy as to how you plan to use the research (ideally for awareness and demand) and what storytelling and business goals you need it to support. 

If you do the up-front planning work with your research partner before the survey development, you’re in a great position to have research that can be leveraged across the funnel to drive awareness, demand, and pipeline – which can ultimately bring in more bookings than the cost of doing the research. This upfront work will also help you create research that has a long shelf life or can turn into an annual report that builds on itself each year.

Custom research will have a custom cost depending on your needs. Whether the research ends up involving focus groups, in-depth interviews, or online surveys, the price tag depends on the following:

  • Who do you want to ask questions of (i.e., niche audiences with specific qualifications vs. the general population)
  • What research methodology will meet your needs (i.e., qualitative video interviews, in-person focus groups, an online survey etc.)
  • What you want to achieve through the research (i.e., new product testing, measurement of brand awareness and perceptions or customer loyalty, etc.)
  • How do you want the research results delivered (i.e., in-depth detailed analytical report, high level executive summary, online dashboard, etc.) 

Working with Market Connections’ Research Team

Market Connections’ team has decades of experience working with clients in the public and private sectors, providing high-quality research services to inform marketing strategies that deliver answers and get results. Understanding your budget needs and top priorities is essential to helping us ensure we can accurately scope and execute a project. We want to maximize our services while staying alert to potential constraints at the same time we’re meeting your budget, overall needs, and future priorities.

Questions? Please contact to find out more. 

Online survey software and web forms make it easier than ever for a company to conduct its own market research. Several well-known, free services are available for anyone to use, like SurveyMonkey, Survey Planet, and Typeform

On the surface, an in-house DIY research effort may seem appealing and potentially more cost-effective than working with a market research firm. However, before your team decides to conduct a lengthy time (and resource) consuming research project, consider the benefits of using a third-party research firm instead.

Benefit #1: Confidential, outside, unbiased perspective

Third-party market research companies have the already established appropriate methods and systems to ensure responses are kept separate, confidential, and, most notably, out of the immediate hands and eyes of the sponsoring company doing the research. 

In some cases, respondents may feel hesitant to talk about negative experiences candidly when participating in a survey or form due to fear of some negative backlash—especially if you are conducting customer or employee satisfaction research. Avoiding circumstances like those makes bringing in a third-party firm worthwhile, as they come in with an unbiased perspective and no agenda. No matter how great a company culture is, not one is immune from this.

Benefit #2: Expert researchers who do nothing but research

Markets change, trends switch, niches emerge, and staying in the know can be challenging. Third-party firms utilize a deep bench of analysts and researchers who are knowledgeable and passionate about their work. They bring trustworthy and reliable research practices to the table. 

In addition, typically, a third-party firm will have access to specialized resources and already have the right types of relationships with the right types of people that an individual performing research on their own wouldn’t have.

Research experts also know how to phrase questions, and probe for deeper insights, in a way that doesn’t lead to biased answers–and that means you get real insights you can act on.

Where to go from here?

Rather than attempting to DIY a research initiative with existing internal staff — which puts added responsibilities on the backs of already busy team players — partnering with a third-party research firm will ensure the project receives the attention necessary for successful implementation.  

If you’re stumbling upon this, you’re most likely already heading down the third-party path, taking stock of the myriad choices in front of you, weighing your options carefully, and, perhaps at this stage, determining whether qualitative or quantitative research is the right fit for your circumstances. 

Market Connections has decades of experience working with clients in the public and private sector to create marketing and research strategies that deliver answers and get results. We are here to help get the job done right and done well. 

Reach out today with questions or more information on ways we can help: