It is an agreed fact that for any company looking to stay ahead of the competition, market research is critical to take necessary decisions. The importance of market research cannot be over-emphasised. The next step is determining whether such a research is to be conducted by the company itself with the help of its existing employees in-house or whether to hand over the research process to a specialized outside market research agency.
Over the past decade, companies are increasingly aware of the fact that companies’ continuously conducting market research and acting on such research perform better compared to companies not doing so. Also, there has been a decline in costs to conduct such research. The companies are now facing the situation where it is not just what to ask the customer but how to go about asking the customer.
The key factors to consider while deciding whether to outsource research may include many factors such as a comparative cost analysis of the research if done in-house and outsourced, the manpower involved in both the scenarios, the resource required, the size of the company and so on. Prima facie, it may appear that in-house research is cheaper compared to outsource just because the manpower, resource, etc. are readily available.
The spread of the internet has enabled even the smallest companies to gain access to free tools on the internet. The fact that the company can launch a research whenever it wants without waiting for any lengthy negotiating process involved in outsourced situations. Another important factor is the security of data. An in-house research process will mean that the entire data is in the company’s hands and not any outsider. Information leaks may be avoided in in-house research.
Core Benefits of Outsourcing Research
In spite of the above factors, outsourcing research has its own advantages. If done internally, the issue of processing and storing the collected data is to be considered. Deploying trained and professional staff for the same is only possible with outside companies since in-house staff may not have required expertise in research and data analysis.
Data center infrastructure is costly and does not make sense for companies to invest in such non-core activities. If an outsourced vendor does the research, then the in-house staff may be deployed elsewhere for better purposes. A specialized research agency will be more aware of the latest research techniques and tools which may not be the case with in-house researchers. The specialized agency will also be more aware of latest government rules and policies affecting the market thus ensuring better legal compliance.
The core competency of a company may not be research, and hence, by handing over the process of research, the pressure of adding latest gadgets and software to conduct the research is no longer to the company. Instead, these resources may be used by the company on its core activities.
To conclude, a company can focus more on its core expertise and deploy its resources and personnel on the same and by deciding to outsource research; it can utilize its time to develop strategies for achieving growth in its niche industry.