What is Syndicated Research? Explaining the Pros and Cons

syndicated research on pieces of paper

Most people like the opportunity to customize. Sometimes, there is no need to spend extra dollars on customizing something that suffices as much as something generic. 

Now, how does this apply to market research? 

Well, most market research projects are customized studies that are designed uniquely for the client. They help draft questions, design the survey, streamline findings, as well as several other components.

This is a form of primary research.  

They receive very useful data but often spend more to obtain it. So, a more cost-friendly alternative is conducting syndicated research, which is a form of secondary research

With syndicated research, you are able to obtain most, if not all, of the same data from a custom study for a cheaper price. 

Neither decision is bad, but sometimes it’s only possible to do a customized study based on the project’s objectives.

For this blog post, though, we’ll explain when syndicated research is the better option.  


What is syndicated research?

So, what is syndicated research? Syndicated research is when a third-party company designs, administers and tabulates the data in an attempt to sell the report and data to multiple clients. 

End-user companies buy "access" to the research, which gives them the ability to view the data in their market, make comparisons, and trend the data. 

Syndicated research can end up helping a company’s services, thus allowing them to grow in popularity.

For example, Drive Research administers a monthly study that analyzes credit card rates among credit card companies.

Prospective companies that could utilize the data could include credit card companies as well as banks and credit unions.  

Instead of these organizations paying for the entire research process (i.e. the survey design, fieldwork, reporting), they only pay for the base findings.

Let’s dive a bit deeper into this as well as the benefits of conducting syndicated research.        

💡 The Key Takeaway: Data collection through a third-party is known as syndicated research, allowing companies to purchase the information. Doing so lets the organizations understand key points in their market, and hopefully grow their client base as a result. 

Key Benefits of Syndicated Research

Syndicated market research offers a plethora of benefits that you may not receive from a custom study. 

Here are a few potential benefits you could gain: 

  1. Competitor insight
  2. Brand awareness
  3. Option to save money

Keep on reading to get acquainted with what you’ll gain from using this research.

Larger representative sample 

Custom research studies tend to focus on a small market or population. With syndicated research, the results are representative of a much larger sample or population.  

Landscape of competitors  

Because of the larger sample, syndicated research can give brands the ability to determine who their major competitors are, including whether those competitors are local, global, and small or large businesses.

Identify industry trends and threats 

Syndicated research also gives brands the ability to determine industry trends.

The results reveal macro-level insights applying to the overall industry, which is very helpful in understanding the market landscape and how a brand fits into the picture.

When leveraged properly, conducting syndicated research will help a brand detect potential threats that are likely to impact it in the future. Such research then lets brands prepare for the issues and develop a competitive edge.

Measure brand awareness and perception 

Measuring brand awareness along with the way customers perceive a company’s brands is another key benefit.

It allows brands to see how their product offerings are viewed by customers in comparison to those of their competitors.

Recent studies showed that companies with consistent branding can increase sales by 23%. Syndicated research can help your organization hone in on factors like this. 

Furthermore, it provides competitive intelligence. When used correctly, this intelligence will shape a company’s marketing strategy to ensure it is positioning itself effectively among competitors.

Cost-effective and quick results 

If you’re strained on time and/or funds to dedicate towards market research, then conducting syndicated research is the perfect solution.

Running an effective market research study usually takes several weeks to complete and requires meaningful financial investment. 

Another one of the benefits of conducting syndicated research is being able to access data without having to spend time or resources on it. A market research company handles all aspects of the research such as designing survey questions, recruiting participants, and summarizing the results into an organized report or document.

💡 The Key Takeaway: Syndicated research provides many important benefits to a company or brand. From cost-effectiveness to competitor awareness, the data obtained is designed to give brands an edge against opposing companies. 

Syndicated Research Topic Examples

A syndicated research report would be on a topic that is common and can be applied to several industries or several people in one or a few industries.

Or it could be a market analysis, where organizations can download a report that showcases demographic information of a specific zip code, county, DMA, state, and more. 

Download a Market Analysis Example Report 

Let’s go through some more examples. 

Vast-industry approach

A common syndicated research study is one that can be utilized by companies in different industries. 

For example, Drive Research could conduct a holiday shopping study among U.S. consumers to gather shopper preferences ahead of the holiday season.

The data may be used by a variety of retail sectors such as tech companies or clothing retailers.

Industry-specific approach

Syndicated research tools could simply provide information for specific industries or sub-industries. 

Drive Research may design a study aimed at capturing the attitudes of automobile owners and purchasers. So, the targeted buyer of the report could include automakers or auto dealerships.   

However, we could also include questions about the current interest rates of auto loans.

Then, financial institutions such as banks or credit unions could also become buyers since they can find value in the data.  

Syndicated research topics can be formed by repetitive events such as holidays or subjects that are trending like electric vehicles.   

💡 The Key Takeaway: One of the many benefits of conducting syndicated research is its versatility. Brands can glean data from both specific or a broad array of industries. Trending topics or holiday seasons are ideal for syndicated research studies–think repetition. 

The Downside of Syndicated Research

Unfortunately, with syndicated research, you as the user have no control over the type of methodology, questions that were asked, and even how the results are broken down to a point.

You are 100% at the mercy of how the data was collected and tabulated. Some platforms allow better ability than others to slice and dice the data based on market areas and demographics than others.

Other syndicated research companies simply create reports and sell those as a package with no access to data.

💡 The Key Takeaway: There are always pros and cons to any market research study. When it comes to syndicated research, some organizations don't like the inability to conduct a fully custom project.

Contact Drive Research

Conducting syndicated research can be a great cost-effective alternative to custom studies. Our team can help your business obtain valuable data to accomplish its goals, whether it’s buying into a syndicated report or designing your own custom project. There is no wrong decision!  

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 [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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