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How to choose the right Market Research Agency in London?

  • 2020-02-21
  • How to choose the right Market Research Agency in London?

    There is no doubt that whatever the niche, every market today is becoming more competitive. Not only that, but consumers are better informed and more engaged in the buying process, and as such business today needs to adjust how they approach their audience to achieve the sales growth they desire.

    To accomplish that process effectively means a greater understanding of consumer opinion, expectations and needs, and that in turn means market research. However, few businesses have in-house expertise to carry out effective market research at any scale, and your business will likely turn to external market research agencies to acquire the data needed to develop effective business strategies. However, with so many agencies available in London, the question is, how do you choose the right Market Research Agency for your needs?

  • Your Contacts can help

    Everyone can talk a good strategy, but not everyone can deliver one. This is the dilemma you face when looking for a market research agency in London or anywhere. Having a track record of success in your market is important, both in terms of being able to deliver and of understanding the needs of your business.

    A great way to uncover the market research agencies that have done well for businesses like yours is to talk to your contacts. If you are involved in any business groups or trade initiatives, see what other members have been doing. This way can quickly lead you to a local agency that understands your particular industry needs,

    The reason this can be particularly useful is that if an agency has already had success in your field, you are essentially buying a ready-made market research solution. Yes, they may need to tailor some specific details, but overall, what worked will continue to work, and you can see clearly what it is you are going to get.

  • Creating a shortlist

    If you don’t have those kinds of contacts, or wish to go a different route, then you need to start out by creating a shortlist of marketing agencies in London that are a good fit for your business. There are several factors to consider here, perhaps the most important being capability.

    In London there are so many agencies to choose from, all of differing size, experience and approach. When narrowing down your list of potential agencies, it makes sense to exclude those who simply do not have the resources to complete the task. If you need a large campaign, or are working to a very tight deadline, or a combination of the two, then to successfully carry out the task, it will need more resources than a smaller, longer campaign.

    This allows you to quickly narrow your choice to agencies of a suitable size. Another way to narrow down your list is location. Even today, a face to face meeting can be extremely beneficial, but there is more to location than that. Agencies that have in-house facilities to hold focus groups can prove useful, and those with internal call centers can be beneficial when it comes to data security compared to those who outsource field work.

    Finally, look at client lists and track record. Assessing the client list will help you see the kind of experience and agency has, if they have worked in your market even better, while a history of successfully delivered studies points to an accomplished agency who can actually deliver on their promises.

  • Assessing your Agency list

    Once you have a shortlist of agencies who have the capacity you need and are perhaps located conveniently if that matters, it is here that you can discuss your needs with each and assess their responses. A good way to accomplish this is to prepare a brief for your research campaign, and then ask agencies to develop a strategy to deliver on those goals. Assessing those proposals will help you find the very best market research agency for your needs.

    When assessing proposals there are several areas that should align with your expectations, these are:

  • Understanding your Objectives

    The first aspect of the proposal that matters is whether the agency fully understood your objectives. In other words, will the proposed strategy achieve your goals? This should be at the core of your decision-making process, as if the agency has this wrong, the study will not accomplish anything of value.

    Agencies really need to think like their clients to be able to formulate studies that achieve your objectives, and if that means suggesting that you should conduct a survey with your customer base to get the right data, then a good agency will do this. Being able to challenge your preconceptions if necessary, to focus on the result you need is an essential trait you need in any agency.

  • Comprehensive Reporting

    Acquiring data is only part of the process, the research agency should be including a full report of the study, along with actional recommendations once complete. Analysis of the data and assessment of your current position, and actions needed to achieve your objectives, are part of the process and should be clearly included in any proposal.

  • Time before Delivery

    Even if you find a proposal meets your needs and expectations for the first two categories, if they cannot deliver results when you need them, then that is not the agency to choose. You may find some cannot begin work on your study for a length of time, or expect it to take longer than you initially thought, but if the result is a schedule that doesn’t match your needs, then there is probably no point in proceeding.

    A little flexibility here can help, especially of the agency has everything you need elsewhere, if the timeline differences are small enough, this could be a point of negotiation to be worked on.

  • Cost

    Probably the first thing you look at in any proposal, and of course is of significant importance. However, to find the right agency, you don’t need the lowest cost option. You need the most cost-effective that will deliver your objectives, which is why cost comes after you establish those credentials. Market research is a resource intensive activity, so look out for very low offers. Anything significantly below the other options will likely have to cut corners somewhere in the process, and that will leave you with an unsatisfactory outcome.

  • Making the final choice

    Now you will have a number of agencies who meet your criteria, are capable of doing the study and delivering on your objectives. Costs will vary, and while it is tempting to go for the most cost-effective right way, before making that final choice, it is important to take the time to talk to two or three in more detail.

    Arrange a meeting to discuss your study, where you can ask any questions or negotiate any adjustments, such as timelines as mentioned previously, Importantly, you also get a feel for the team, and this is the final influence on your choice of marketing research agency. The relationship is just as important as anything, if you find that you don’t like something about the agency, don’t work with them. There is nothing worse than dealing with a team who don’t share your values or just don’t fit with you as they should.

    With so many market research agencies in London, there is no need to work with anyone you would prefer not to. At the final choice, you should always go with the agency that you feel most comfortable with.

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