Why do it yourself when you can outsource it?

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Ah yes marketing research…Let’s see to get started I will need a sales & marketing manager, a team of marketing specialists, let’s say a marketing communications specialist, coordinator, digital specialist, an analyst or two and maybe a graduate to throw in the mix. Wow that’s a few chicken in the hen. Hmm, I’ll need to develop specialist surveys, have focus group facilities available, maybe hire a coordinator for day, a bunch of software, a big database, hmm I’ll have to chat to my IT guys, make sure they have servers and stuff available. Okay, I think that should be enough? Okay I’m be a little critical of marketing research and what it requires in-house and perhaps over the top depending on the size and attitude of the business in question, but let’s consider the advantages in having marketing research outsourced (and I am sure that many comments to this post will outlay the disadvantages also).

Mature practices

Outsourcing gets you exactly that, clever companies that outsource research processes are getting experts in this field. Letting the experts do what know they best leaves your now less complicated in-house marketing team to focus on what they do best like thinking cool stuff up and working on the next best advert to show off those pretty smart watches everyone has been dreaming about. What you really get is experience, rinse and repeat processes, added value and faster response and return to market. Cost is obviously a big factor here and yes that is up for debate but that is not something I am focusing much on at the moment.

Let’s get efficient

More efficient, more production, less effort, more time and less expense. Have I got that combination right? well you get the picture anyway, even if not exactly in that order. Outsourcing research helps move a project forward, its extends the barriers of the physical boundaries and business capabilities in terms of technology, diversified talents, data acquisition, authentic information, quality reporting metrics and delivered on time next to your Monday morning 8.30am coffee cup.

Let’s consider how many companies these days change products, change direction, introduce new products, pull products off the shelf, reshape marketing efforts, re-target, re-position etc.. This all comes down to consistent and continuous marketing research. How time consuming and expensive is this really going to be if all we do is sell a bag of popcorn that you heat in the microwave for 60 seconds and it still comes out burnt?

A link to read if you have time.

“The more you let go, the more you grow”

If you were running your own business or equally a chief executive, would you consider the option to outsource marketing research? or would you be equally confident in your marketing department?

What other advantages can you think of to outsource research?

And most importantly do you buy microwave popcorn?

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8 thoughts on “Why do it yourself when you can outsource it?

  1. Hi Raymond, I think it really depends on what kind of information one is after. If it’s exploratory/ descriptive data that one is after, it definitely has the advantages of what you mentioned above, although input from in-house professionals are still needed, as third-parties may not have the necessary industry/ product knowledge needed to make sense of the data collected.

    If it’s secondary data especially if it involves customer information/ database, it is probably better to keep it in-house, because some of those information would be highly confidential and third-parties may not be familiar enough with the data/ database/ platform so that things will not be turned around as quickly as what you mentioned.

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  2. I think professional market research companies definitely have the methods, strategies and staff in place to conduct the research efficiently and effectively. However, outsourcing market research also means you give up an element of control and need to pay extra costs to an outside party.
    Marketing research companies bring an objective third party view to the research, but they don’t know the ins and outs of the business and can’t always communicate the value or outcomes to management as well as an internal employee might.
    In companies that are driven by innovation, especially those related to technology and other proprietary intellectual property, concerns about information security may arise. Some companies prefer to avoid working with market research companies that also work for their competitors.
    More importantly, it can be less expensive to do research in-house. Outsourcing to a market research company adds sales commissions and project management fees, and data collection costs often include a mark-up.
    Marketing research companies may provide a quick turnaround for reports and help but they might assign less experienced project managers to write the report. And it will also be crucial to consider the advantages and disadvantages of hiring large vs. small and local vs. out-of-state marketing research companies. Other important considerations may be the amount of experience within the industry, the type of research they specialize in, or their policies for assigning project management,

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    • I agree with your comments above. While outsourcing research companies seems like a good idea for new products and projects, it doesn’t always work out that they do a better job than would have been done by people working for the organisation’s marketing or research department. As mentioned, marketing companies don’t know what goes on in the company, so they are not able to give management the kind of advice that a professional within the organisation who understands the values of the company would give. It’s my opinion that companies try as much as possible to do their own research because they are the ones who know exactly what they want in order to remain competitive and they can save substantial amounts of money by doing their own research.
      However, if it’s a situation where the company is entering into a totally new market, then I would agree to their engaging research company, but that should be done in consultation with relevant staff in the organisation.

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  3. Hi Raymond, I think should company outsource the market research function to the 3rd party marketing research company is all based on if the company have resources to do in house and the nature/ type of the data and analysis of the marketing research. The marketing research company certainly have the up-to-date knowledge of research and analysis tools to gather the information,analyse and report the information, they would do this more efficiently than most of the corporation. Marketing research company is most likely to provide more objective information than internal resources. But they are mostly unlikely to have the specific industry knowledge or business knowledge of the internal employees, therefore the result may not be effective.

    Last year my company has spent a lot with MacKenzie Marketing Group to conduct a marketing research, However, the result was very poor, all the data and analysis we got were something we have already known.

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  4. Hi Raymond, Companies that implemented marketing research outsourcing have experienced great gains in efficiencies and cost savings. Business process outsourcing efficiency gains combined with reduced labor costs can generate savings.
    However, companies outsource core processes such as marketing research, financial planning that require analytical thinking and risk management knowledge. Outsourcing back-end or core processes is absolutely with risk. The existing well know fact show a large percentage of organizations have failed when they tried to adopt an outsourcing model. So failure to manage risks can result in costly mistakes and the abandonment outsourcing model.

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  5. Raymond, i agree with your opinion, outsource market research sometimes not suitable for all kind of business, doing good market research is the key to success. Market research is a key part of developing marketing strategy. It’s about collecting information to give you an insight into your customers’ mind so that you understand what they want, how they gather information and where they come from. You can also do market research to get a better idea of market trends and what is happening in your industry sector. The information you gather and analyse builds the foundation of good business decisions whether it’s deciding what product or service you’ll offer, where your business should be located, how to distribute your products or how you communicate with consumers.

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  6. Hi Raymond. First and foremost no I don’t buy microwave popcorn. Outsourcing market researchers has equally strong pros and cons. Outsourcing market researchers is a plus for the company as they have up to date trends on the market research tools and techniques Although costly the value gainedworthwhile. Another advantage is that they have the ability to reach many consumers but the problem is that they cannot represent the company as well as the company would itself. And then again no one knows the company as well are those in it.

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  7. Hi Raymond, outsourcing is i think a good way to invest in market research. SMEs or small business who have a small marketing teams or dont have large amount of funds to invest or to hire new people in marketing department who will be dedicated to market research, outsourcing is a very cost effective option for them. But for large organisations, market research is very crucial thing and i think big companies take it more seriously than the small organisations. They might also have client’s private information which is very risky and may be unethical to provide it to marketing research company without client’s consent. So Big companies should keep their marketing research in-house. or atleast most of the operation. some little parts of market research could be outsourced.

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