Market Research: Is In-House or Outsourced Better?

market research - in house or outsourced

Market research is one of the most crucial things a company can invest in as part of their marketing, sales, or overall business strategy

Various types of market research methodologies help an organization understand:

  • Customer satisfaction
  • Competition
  • Pricing models
  • Consumers habits
  • Market trends
  • Product or project feasibility
  • Employee engagement

Overall, quantitative and qualitative market research strategies help companies investigate and answer questions that influence their strategy and decision-making processes.

Even better, it often results in an increased return on investment (ROI).

There are two common ways a company can utilize market research:

  1. In-house market research
  2. 2. Outsourced market research

In this blog post, our market research company will discuss what approach is best to meet your organization’s specific business objectives and goals.

Market Research: Is In-House or Outsourced Better?


What is in-house market research?

It may sound self-explanatory, but in-house market research is when a company conducts a study within its own business structure and internal resources.

This generally means an organization has a person or team, usually within the marketing department, dedicated to doing research on behalf of the company.

This is most common in larger corporations that have the budget to support an entire team of market research professionals. However, in other instances, some organizations may ask their marketing teams to execute a study for the perceived cost savings.


What is outsourced market research?

A dedicated in-house market research team is not the case for a majority of companies. Instead, most organizations prefer to outsource their data collection projects to a full-service market research company.

This means a company will reach out to a market research company, like Drive Research, to conduct studies done on their behalf.

Professional market researchers often have the skills and experience to do a more thorough job than a small in-house team or one single person.

Professional market researchers often have the skills and experience to do a more thorough job than a small in-house team or one single person.

Market research companies have the capability to conduct a wide variety of studies, such as:

Learn more about the different types of custom market research services.


Benefits of in-house market research

1. Perceived Cost Savings

Perhaps the biggest benefit to conducting market research through an in-house team is the perceived cost savings.

When a company conducts in-house market research, it does not have to hire a third-party.

It is important to keep in mind, however, in-house teams are often less efficient than an outside market research company. Meaning, the total cost savings may not be as significant in the end.

2. Knowledge of Products and Services

Another benefit of an in-house market research team or staff member is the depth of knowledge they have of their organization’s products and services.

He or she is able to provide a great sense of insight to the research, otherwise picked up by an outsourced company.

Every company has its own specialized processes, terminology, and systems. This means an in-house team may be able to best represent needs and goals while conducting market research.

⚠️ ⚠️ The danger here is the lack of experience and knowledge of market research best practices which could lead to bias, unreliable results, or lack of integrity in the study all together.

The danger here is the lack of experience and  knowledge of market research best practices which  could lead to bias, unreliable results, or lack of integrity  in the study all together.

If you are unable to hire a dedicated market researcher or are weary of market research bias, look for a market research company who specializes in your industry, such as:

In doing so, your organization receives a dedicated market research team fully capable of understanding both industry and market research best practices.

It’s the best of both worlds!

Our market research company recommends watching this 60-second video if you are considering conducting research internally.


Benefits of outsourced market research

1. Experience and Know-How

As mentioned earlier, a market research company devotes all efforts to learning and excelling in market research.

They have the expertise and a knowledge base that can only come with years of experience.

2. Strategically Written Survey or Interview Questions

A market research firm knows best questions to ask and practices to use. These teams can better interpret data since they have other studies to reference and can provide context an in-house market research team cannot.

Survey design is truly part art and part science. One word in a question can skew the data significantly. Understanding how to write a survey or interview guide based on unique business goals and objectives is critical to the success of any market research study.

This insight is one that only true market research professionals hold and should not be overlooked.

Understanding how to write a survey or interview guide based on unique business goals and objectives is critical to the success of any market research study.

3. More Credible Research

Lastly, working with a research company makes the data and feedback collected more credible. This is because of the low risk of bias, use of market research best practices, and years of experience.

Ultimately, this makes participants feel the study is legitimate and encourages them to take the research process more seriously.

Read more about why outsourcing market research is a good idea.

 


Outsourced market research example

One of the greatest benefits to outsourcing market research is that most participants will be more honest and accurate with their feedback because it is not directly communicated with the company.

While participants are not trying to be dishonest, unintentional bias can be found when there is a strong business-customer relationship.

In other words, negative feedback is not easily relayed directly to a company of which someone has a long-standing relationship.

An outside party or middleman, like a third-party market research company, is needed to get the most accurate feedback.

Negative feedback is not easily relayed directly  to a company of which someone has a long-standing relationship. An outside party, like a market  research company, is needed to get the most  accurate feedback.

Here is an example.

For example, an advertising and marketing agency partnered with a market research company to conduct phone interviews with long-time clients of the agency.

The objective of the study was to determine:

  • Overall client satisfaction or dissatisfaction
  • What clients liked and disliked about working with the agency
  • If clients would provide a customer testimonial for the agency’s website

By hiring a third-party market research company, clients of the marketing agency were comfortable offering suggestions and areas of improvement knowing their name would not be associated with their commentary.

In doing so, the marketing and advertising agency received more accurate data and feedback to better service past, present, and future clients.


Combining in-house and outsourced market research efforts

Can’t decide between using an in-house market research team or outsourcing to market research professionals? Why not get the best of both worlds?

Sometimes, the best choice for a company is not to rely solely on one method or the other, but to utilize a combination of both.

Many companies have an in-house team do more day-to-day data research but also choose to outsource more complex projects to make sure daily business objectives are not negatively impacted.

By outsourcing larger studies, it also gives your staff more time to focus on other aspects of their jobs.

Our market research firm can be as hands-on or off as you need us to be. While Drive Research offers end-to-end project management services, we understand that it is not necessary for every organization.


Contact Our Full-Service Market Research Company

Drive Research is a national market research company located in New York. Our team has the knowledge and tools to design a robust market research study, should it be the right fit for your business.

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

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at info@driveresearch.com
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040

subscribe to our blog

Market Research Services Category