6 ways to maximise the benefit of your market research budget

As the uncertainty created by Brexit impacts upon all aspects of our lives and especially upon marketing and market research budgets, here are 6 ways to maximise the benefit of whatever market budget you have available.

1 Work with small agencies and independents.  Rather than funding large overheads and directors’ salaries, instead you’ll be working with someone who really values your support because you make a real difference to their life and are helping fulfil their business dream. 

2  Don’t brief lots of research agencies on your next project. It can be tempting to do so to show you’re getting the best value for money; but in reality, the best agencies won’t bother submitting a quote because the chances of them winning are low and they have better things to be doing.

3 Brief new market research agencies really well. The last thing you want is for research to tell you what you already know. So look back through past reports and tell your new agency what you already know! And then if you’re happy with their work, hang onto them – the value of their work will increase exponentially (for no extra cost) as they get to really know you and your market.

4 Choose your sample carefully. There’s obviously no point doing market research among people who will never buy your product or use your service. Online panels can provide a great source of sample, but be careful that participants haven’t become ‘professional respondents’ – telling you what they think you want to hear and being driven by the incentives they receive rather than a genuine interest in your brand or category.

5 Choose your information areas carefully and focus! In times of economic strife it’s tempting to try to answer all your questions in one project, but unfortunately it doesn’t work. Long disjointed discussion guides and survey questionnaires will result in your participants being focused on when it will end rather than really thinking about issues that are vitally important to you. Instead ask them if they’d like to take part in future research (they generally will) and then you can save on future recruitment/sample costs.

6 Don’t disappear after the debrief. Use your research agency to bounce ideas off, run or participate in internal workshops and generally implement the findings. They could be a really valuable resource because they have lived and breathed your research project for weeks (or they should have!)

Some (or even all!) of the above might be obvious and I’ve undoubtedly missed something vital and so would welcome further thoughts and discussion – including the thorny issue of DIY research.

So if you’ve found more ways of maximising the benefit of your market research budget please share them – we’re all in this together.