What to Look for In All Kinds of Market Research Companies

market research survey companies

Understanding the different kinds of market research companies out there is a must for any serious researcher.

This includes businesses as well, as market research provides critical information about your target market and the landscape of your industry. 

It reveals how your company is perceived by your current and potential customers, how you can improve your offerings, how you stand up to competition and much more. Thus, it is clear why the market research industry has been rising, having recently surpassed $76.4 billion in revenue.

Given that market research companies are the foremost providers of this information, understanding the different kinds available and what they offer is essential.

That way, you can compare which is most suitable for your business needs, as all are different, therefore they all present different capabilities, functionalities and features.

Most importantly, you should know what it is you need to be on the lookout for in these companies.

This article provides a rundown on what you should look for when seeking out market research companies. 

The Importance of Market Research Companies

These companies are invaluable to the market research industry — and for good reason.

According to Forbes, businesses can’t afford to skip market research. That’s because it gains you critical insights into your target market, along with the market trends in your industry. You can’t miss these insights; doing so will harm your business.

That’s because there’s plenty of competition, even if your brand has plenty of brand awareness. As such, if you’re not paying enough attention to your customers, that doesn’t mean your competitors aren’t.

By skipping market research, you are not solely giving up key information on your customers, but are also losing your customers to your competitors, as they’re reaping crucial information about your shared target market. Thus, they’ll be able to foster better marketing campaigns and build stronger relationships with your customers. 

To succeed in business, you need to understand your customer base from the outset and throughout. That’s because acquiring new customers isn’t sustainable for business success and there are many stats that back this up. 

For example, acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing one. In addition, increasing the customer retention rate by just 5% increases profits anywhere from 25-95%. Moreover, the success rate of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, while the success rate of selling to a new customer is 5-20%.

In order to retain customers, you need to understand them to a T, especially when it comes to their views on your business and niche. You’ll need to know what they like about your business, what they feel is lacking, their problems (especially if your business can resolve them) and much more.

Market research companies allow you to understand all of these customer concerns simply by using their services. A strong market research company will therefore allow you to easily conduct both a demographic analysis and psychographic analysis of your target market. 

These companies allow you to reduce risks in all areas of your business, as you can conduct research into virtually every subject — with the right research company, that is. As such, a strong research company will enable you to embark on any research project, whether it is for market segmentation, product development and anything else.

In these ways, market research companies act as the conduit between businesses and customers. 

Although these companies don’t sell to your customers, they allow you to understand all their wants, needs, behaviors and a heap of other concerns, so that you can properly cater to them and retain them for years to come. 

The Two Main Types of Market Research Companies

Market research brands fit in more than just the category of their name. That’s because there are different types of research companies. However, most can be categorized into two main types of companies: syndicated research and custom research.

Regardless of which type you choose, you should know how they differ, as they involve completely different research campaigns, require different kinds of participation from you, yield different resulting data and more.

  1. Syndicated research:
    1. Syndicated research involves using a research firm that conducts the entirety of your research campaigns.
    2. The research firm you use has complete ownership of all the resultant data, which they can sell to whoever is interested. 
    3. The firm can offer a survey distribution service, which is industry-specific and can be funded by several companies within a particular industry or niche.
    4. Although you have the option of purchasing survey data through syndicated research, it is ultimately the firm and its partners who have full control over the direction of the survey study.
    5. Thus, the survey data is proprietary to them, not your business. 
  2. Custom research:
    1. This research is completely customizable by a business (or whichever entity decides to conduct research).
    2. This is because it is conducted by and for one company — the client, aka, the researcher. 
    3. Presently, there are various software companies that allow you to perform market research via polling software
    4. A potent polling service is an online survey platform, which administers custom research, from targeting, to questionnaire setup to survey distribution and more. 
    5. The client that uses this kind of platform typically has full control of the survey campaign, including the resulting data. 
    6. That’s because they are in charge of setting the respondent qualifications, the questionnaire, the quotas and all else. 

What to Look for In Market Research Companies

The type of research company you leverage is ultimately up to you and the needs and preferences of your business. 

Some businesses will prefer using a syndicated research company to lessen their involvement in a research campaign, while others may choose a custom research company, as they prefer to be in full control of their survey study and be the sole owners of their survey data. 

Regardless of the type of company you choose, you should assure it has the most potent qualities to perform your research and assist you in the process

what to look for in market research survey companies

The following explores the key facets you should look for in market research companies before you select one for all your research needs. 

Global Market Research

Many businesses seek to expand their reach by extending their services globally. Whether you provide products/services abroad or are thinking about making this move, it is key to find a company that allows you to conduct global market research.

That’s because, although your target market may be the same age and gender across countries, it is completely different in terms of consumer preferences, expectations, values and more. Many of these differences can be attributed to different cultures across different countries. 

Not to mention, the different currencies, methods of purchasing, holidays, typical store hours and more that get added to the mix when dealing with international customers. Thus, a powerful research company will make all of these nuances attainable to research. 

Thus, the company you select for your market research endeavors should facilitate global research campaigns. But there’s more to this. A truly convenient company will allow you to conduct global surveys without paying a premium amount or incurring extra fees.

Not all companies offer this convenience, but Pollfish does not charge you extra for global market research.

Organic Sampling and Random Device Engagement

One of the strongest methods of distributing surveys and gathering quality survey data is via the survey distribution model known as organic sampling, a method in which surveys are randomly distributed across the internet, coming upon random users online. 

Pollfish specifically operates via Random Device Engagement (RDE), a kind of digital polling mechanism that relies on advertising networks and other digital portals on different devices, such as mobile phones, to engage random netizens where they are, voluntarily.

With RDE, there is no need to be wary of the survey bias that arises from professional survey takers and panelists. Many of these individuals aren’t fully anonymized or have their identities hidden (from the researchers) at all. Thus, they are under more pressure to answer questions in a particular way.

You don’t have to contend with this problem in organic sampling, as non-professional survey takers do not simply exist where they are online on their own will, but their identities are completely private. Thus, they are free to answer questions truthfully. 

What’s also highly beneficial in Random Device Engagement, is that it is capable of reaching people by the millions. Thus, it is sure to capture the people that have all the required qualifications to take your survey. 

The Pollfish RDE network reaches over 250 million customers worldwide. Thus, there will always be the respondents you seek to qualify for your surveys.

Our extensive sampling method reaches a network of 140,000 app partners, in over 160 countries.

A Variety of Question Types, Templates and Functions

The next incredibly important aspect of a strong survey campaign is its questionnaire. Thus, the market research company you choose should allow you to get as creative as you wish with your questionnaire.

To build a strong questionnaire, you’ll need to have all the necessary tools to form all the questions you seek. Luckily, Pollfish offers a wide range of question types that you can use in your questionnaire. 

Here are just a few of the types of survey questions that Pollfish offers:

  1. Single Selection
  2. Multiple Selection
  3. Matrix Question
  4. Drill down question
  5. Open-ended
  6. Slider
  7. Ranking

Aside from a wide variety of question types, a strong market research company will allow you to perform any campaign with templates. We currently offer 20 survey templates that you can edit to your liking and needs.

Our templates deal with all kinds of market research campaigns, such as brand perception, product concept testing, customer loyalty and more. While each template has a particular set of questions, you can add and remove as many as you need.

Aside from survey templates, our survey platform also enables you to add advanced functions to your survey questionnaires. These include the following capabilities native to the Pollfish platform:

  1. Advanced skip logic feature
    1. This routes respondents to specific follow-up questions based on how they answered a prior question. 
    2. Thus, it allows you to create question paths for specific answers to guide respondents to the most relevant questions.
  2. Carry forward
    1. This is an attribute that provides advanced piping capabilities to optimize your questionnaire experience.
    2. Piping works by taking the answer(s) from the sender question and inserting them into the receiver question. 
    3. In the first piping iteration, researchers were able to funnel answer choices from one question to another based on respondents’ selections. The next question respondents would get would carry forward answers from previously piped answers.
    4. The new Carry Forward feature allows you to pipe questions on more question and answer types, along with other capabilities.
  3. Multiple audiences 
    1. This function allows you to form multiple audiences per survey, as opposed to just one.
    2. Thus, you can create groups of audience in one survey alone, thus creating a hyper-targetted survey audience

Customer Support

A valuable and reliable market research company is one that offers first-rate customer support. While this may sound to be subjective, there are certain key elements to particularly be on the lookout for. 

Opt for a company with round-the-clock customer support. This means 24/7 support. Nothing comes close to this kind of convenience, as it empowers you to create surveys whenever and wherever you please. 

In Pollfish, our customer support representatives are available 24/7, regardless of where in the world you reside. Thus, our platform is truly conducive to global market research, and we don’t only serve the English-speaking world. 

market research companiesWe have a full team ready to support you and answer all your questions at any time of the day (or night). Thus, you’ll never worry about making a mistake on our platform, as someone will always be there to help you. 

But there’s more. Our customer support team isn’t just there to answer questions or help with a roadblock. Instead, we have a team of experts that routinely checks surveys before they’re launched, ensuring you get the most quality results and don’t run into any technical hiccups.

A Multitude of Market Research Functionalities

A strong online market research platform provides more than just survey creation and a survey distribution service. It also goes beyond offering a robust set of templates and question types. At least that’s what you can expect with Pollfish.

We’re not just a survey platform. We offer a full scope of market research functionalities 

Pollfish provides a diverse suite of market research products all under one platform. While we’re generally most known for surveys, we also provide other market research methods and campaign types. 

We offer the following market research methods on the Pollfish market research platform:

  1. Monadic A/B testing and sequential A/B testing
    1. A/B tests can be used to compare product concepts, communication ideas, or specific ads using equally structured groups of participants. 
    2. With Monadic A/B testing, your respondents will claim their preferences for one concept that they will get randomly. This is just one of the many that the researcher wants to test and compare, instead of being exposed to two or more concepts at once.
    3. In sequential A/B testing, researchers can test multiple concepts at once, as opposed to just one with the monadic version.
  2. Maxdiff Analysis
    1. This is also called the Best-Worst Scale; a Maxdiff Analysis is a means for prioritizing new product ideas and tailoring them to consumer preferences.
    2. Respondents choose the best and the worst option from a given set of options, which relate to a product and its features.
    3. Respondents rate a list of items by selecting only two of them — the complete opposite of each other, labeling one as the best of the list and one as the worst.
    4. This technique allows you to identify what your target market values and what it detests. 
  3. The Van Westendorp Pricing Model
    1. The Van Westendorp Price Sensitivity Meter is a pricing model that provides data to make decisions on product pricing, based on consumer price preferences. 
    2. It is used to determine customers’ willingness to pay a range of prices.
    3. In doing so, it helps conclude the prices that your target market deems acceptable, too high, too low and optimal.
  4. Conjoint Analysis
    1. A conjoint analysis allows researchers to measure the value that consumers place on various aspects of a product or service. 
    2. It shows exactly how your customers perceive the makeup of your offerings.
    3. It also reveals the distinct advantages and imperfections of your product features.
    4. This method breaks a product or service down by its components, called attributes and levels. Researchers can test different combinations of the components to identify consumer preferences.

Satisfying All Your Research Endeavors

A strong market research company will allow you to easily carry out and fulfill your market research goals. That’s why we suggest using a strong online survey platform, one that is capable of all the functions and services discussed in this article. 

Remember, an online market research campaign is only as effective as the platform you use to operate it and not all market research platforms offer the same capabilities and customer support. 

We advise you to use a trustworthy online survey platform, one that is rich in functions and features, along with a trusted survey distribution method like RDE. 

You should therefore select your survey platform carefully. 

Pollfish survey software allows you to create a thorough survey data collection, one you can customize to your liking, view however you please and organize to the max.

In addition, with our vast array of question types, you can create virtually any type of online market research survey to support your research campaigns.

Researchers can leverage a wide range of information on their respondents by accessing a wide pool of insights in their survey results dashboard.

Thanks to our advanced market research platform, you can form and excel at any market research campaign, no matter how difficult it may seem at first glance.