Benefits of Using a Third-Party Market Research Firm

When it comes to conducting market research, your organization has two choices:

  1. Conduct the study in-house
  2. Conduct the study using a third-party market research firm

I suppose a third choice exists of not doing the market research at all, but we wouldn't recommend this.

Each of the first two options provides its own unique advantages and disadvantages.

As a third-party market research company, it would be in our best interest to convince you why you should use an outside party for your market research efforts, right?

To support this notion (shameless plug), let's explore the reasons why outsourcing all or portions of your market research work in your favor. Hopefully, this post will shed some light on your choice.

If you are interested in learning more about the advantages and disadvantages of both in-house and outsourced market research, we cover that here.

Benefits of Using a Third-Party Market Research Firm

Benefit #1: Confidentiality

Customers who respond to surveys often fear the feedback will be directly tied to their names.

They wonder, "If I say something bad will this impact my relationship?" or "Will this impact the service I receive?"

It has become more common recently for companies to follow-up directly and immediately to poor customer experiences, which have potentially largely influenced candidness in responses.

Using a third-party market research company or proverbial "middle-man" ensures responses are kept separate and out of the immediate hands of the sponsoring company doing the research.

Confidentiality is the most crucial factor in market research studies such as:

  • Brand awareness surveys
  • Employees surveys

Why confidentiality is important for brand awareness surveys.

Another advantage of using a market research firm tied to confidentiality is the ability to blind a study.

If your organization wants to measure the perception or awareness of your brand in the community and your logo or name is slapped all over the online survey, it will certainly skew results.

Using a third-party which will blind the research (leaving respondents unaware of the sponsor) can provide more reliable results.

Why confidentiality is important for employee surveys.

The third-party tie-in may never be more important than it is in an employee survey. Sponsoring and managing an in-house employee survey is playing with fire.

Although confidentiality and anonymity can be promised in this situation, it is never fully believed by employees. Skepticism breeds a lack of trust.

As a result, employees are not 100% truthful in their feedback. In turn, leadership and human resource teams are making internal decisions based on illegitimate data.

To effectively increase employee retention rates and improve team satisfaction, outsourcing your market research is imperative. 

Recommended Reading: Using a Third-Party for Employee Surveys.

Benefit #2: Perspective

After working on the client-side of market research for over 15 years, I learned there can be some divisions that lack self-awareness or perspective.

This is not a bad thing; it is just human nature to be caught up in your daily work that it is a struggle to take a step back.

Using a third-party market research firm brings in a fresh set of eyes or a new approach that can provide a multitude of benefits.

For instance, sometimes organizations get so caught up in doing things the way they always have, they lack innovative and fresh ideas.

Gaining perspective with customer satisfaction surveys is especially important. Here's why.

Why perspective is important for customer surveys.

Continuous customer feedback surveys are at the heart of market research.

When most organizations think of conducting research, they think of collecting feedback from their customers to improve satisfaction and retention rates.

However, this type of study may be overlooked because organization leaders think, “I already know everything I need to know about my customers.”

The fact of the matter is consumer purchasing behaviors and patterns are constantly changing.

It can be difficult to correctly assume what they want from your business without asking them.

The Key Takeaway: Conducting regular customer surveys with a third party, organizations can receive actionable and unbiased insights.
These firms have the years of experience to understand what type of questions to ask – and how to ask them – based on your unique business objectives.
This process offers a whole new perspective to who your customer is and how you can better serve them.

Interested in hearing what our third-party market research firm likes to ask in customer surveys? Watch this video.

Benefit #3: Time Savings

This is one of the more tangible and easily explained benefits of using a third-party market research vendor.

A third-party can work as an extension to your internal team to turn around analysis, insights, and recommendations faster than if you had done them alone or in-house.

Relying on a market research partner also allows your team to focus on their day-to-day tasks and priorities.

They will no longer have to learn how to write, program, field, and analyze a survey – which for market research beginners can be a massive undertaking.

The additional resources may also help shorten the timeframe for a project as a whole.

For instance, it may take an internal team 6 to 8 weeks to complete an intercept survey project whereas a third-party firm could complete it in half the time.

The fast your organization is able to collect insights, the faster you will be able to improve business and marketing strategies with data-driven decision-making.

Benefit #4: Expertise

Using a third-party market research firm may provide your organization with access to talent and experience you may not have available in-house.

This could come in the form of a skilled moderator to run your focus group sessions.

Or, the expertise could come through a unique methodology or analysis technique such as regression or discrete choice.

Another form of expertise could be experienced in a specific industry segment such as: 

Speaking more generally, a third-party marketing research firm can leverage its years of experience to correctly execute a project from beginning to end.

Remember! Survey writing is considered a science.

One word in a survey question can skew the data in a big way. If your team is taking the time to conduct market research, isn’t it important for the data to be reliable?

Recommended Reading: The Science Behind Survey Writing: 5 Tips to Help with Your Next Survey

Benefit #5: Capabilities

The final advantage we will touch on in this blog post is capabilities. When we mention capabilities, we are referencing specific advanced survey tools and market research resources you may not have access to in-house.

The advanced survey tools owned by a professional market research firm, like Drive Research, will give you an opportunity to access real-time data or create complex surveys with challenging skip patterns.

Some of the best market research firms also have quantity and contract discounts with other suppliers which help you obtain more affordable rates.

A quick example here is using a panel vendor for an online survey.
As a separate organization going to a panel vendor like Critical Mix, you may receive a cost-per-complete rate (CPC) that is much higher than they may give a preferred vendor who uses their panel many times throughout the year.

Ultimately using a third-party market research firm with this type of relationship creates lower project costs for you.

Contact Our Third-Party Market Research Firm

Drive Research is a full-service market research company located in Upstate New York. Our team of experts helps organizations throughout the country use data-driven decisions to move business and marketing strategy forward.

Interested in learning more about our market research services? Contact us through any of the four ways below.

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at [email protected]
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040

Author Bio George Kuhn

George Kuhn

George is the Owner & President of Drive Research. He has consulted for hundreds of regional, national, and global organizations over the past 15 years. He is a CX-certified VoC professional with a focus on innovation and new product management.

Learn more about George, here.

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