January 23, 2019

Don’t abandon your traditional research agency

Written by Zinklar in #Research

Agile Market Research can and should complement your Traditional Market Research studies, not necessarily replace them. If you’re not taking advantage of innovative platforms that give you the capacity to carry out ad hoc research in your day to day, you’re missing out. But, if you’re already using Agile Market Research, it doesn’t mean you should abandon your research agency. Although Traditional Market Research services won’t be able to give you the same efficiency as a DIY automatised research platform, their use is different and complementary.

To start, it’s important to keep in mind some of the key benefits of using Market Research:

  • Your strategy is informed by real data rather than conjecture.
  • Your consumer responds positively to your new strategy.
  • You make confident and secure decisions, without compromising your productivity.
Agile Market Research

Agile Marketing strategies are growing in popularity. Simply put, they mean that you work by putting a hypothesis on the table, then testing and refuting it as you go. You validate or discard your assumptions as you progress and consolidate projects. Agile Market Research means each proposal is evaluated at each phase of the marketing cycle by asking consumers about their opinions on the issue at hand.

This means that we’re asking the key questions that determine the utility and success of the next step in our strategy. But this process should be effortless and efficient, which means you’ll need fast turnaround times and easy to use platforms, for both experts and non-expert researchers. It’s therefore important to keep in mind the skills of your team when choosing your Agile Market Research platform. Some offer research support to guarantee the research process is smooth and your results representative, while others don’t really offer any support and will expect users to have extensive research experience.

This might be a challenge for your team, and you’ll have to consider training them, or providing  the necessary resources to make the most of the platform. As such, some automated research platforms are especially useful to work with, while others might be a drag on your work. Choosing the right research partner can be a process of trial and error, but it is undeniably worth it. The efficiency of having results within a few hours will make every project consumer-centric and data-driven, guaranteeing that it stands out.

Traditional Market Research

Traditional Market Research is very much a service based industry, rather than a DIY or SaaS industry. This inevitably means that it’s slower and demands collaborative efforts between the research agency and the company requesting the research. There are other frills to take care of before you can get your research scheduled and budgeted: contracts, debates on pricing and handover times, as well as a long and bureaucratic etc. Most Agile Market Research platforms are immediate or subscription based, making them a lot faster.

Traditional research, therefore, gives you a very in-depth, nearly academic, research report. Although you won’t have control over the research process, your results will be validated by researchers that know what they’re doing. And by outsourcing the research to them, you’ll decrease your workload. The issues with this model of market research is that you’ll have to prepare a bigger investment, as well as lose control over the timeline of the research. It also means that, once the research report is finished, you’re not able to go back and reformulate a question or dive deeper into your insights. Although it has its positives, Traditional Market Research has major setbacks in fast-moving, disrupted markets.

Wedding Tradition & Innovation

You shouldn’t stop investing in in-depth market research studies, and you also can’t assume that your Marketing Director will know how to use an automated research platform, replacing the work of researchers. That’s why using both, at their appropriate time and place, is essential.

What does this mean? Well, you schedule your traditional research reports as you did before, but consider automated research platforms in the interim, using them spontaneously and ad hoc to complement your work as you go, or answer questions that need answers right now. It’s also a great way to benchmark your studies, mirroring your studies in an Agile Market Research platform to get more data and compare the results of your traditional reports. It’s a win-win for all.

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