Insights from BCC Research

How To Be Sure That a Market Research Report Will Answer Your Questions

Posted by Bonnie Randell on May 2, 2016 7:01:22 AM

If you’ve ever been tasked with selecting a market research report, you know that the first step in getting the most complete intelligence is to define exactly what you need to know. Once you have a specific list of the questions that you, and any others in your organization, have, you can start investigating your available market research options and decide what report will be right for you. For most people, one of the biggest challenges in this process is the fear of the unknown when buying a report. Most research firms will offer sneak peeks, along with a table of contents, but since you can’t read the full report before you buy it, how are you to be sure that it will really answer your questions?

Fear not. Let’s walk through it together.

Syndicated market research reports should always be your first look when in the market for market research. Start with a trusted or recommended market research firm and check out their website for a list of available reports. Listed on the website, there should be a description of each report, the qualifications and background of the analyst that produced the report, the scope of the information covered and some highlights. A standard market report should cover the basics such as market size and future outlook, an overview of competition in the market, and some of the critical trends.

A good quality market research report will be broad enough to apply to many companies, but also narrow enough to address specific and important questions within the industry. If your essential questions can be answered with a broad overview of market information, then you should be able to obtain everything you need from any standard syndicated market report. The great news is also that syndicated reports are typically very cost-effective and the report information is typically immediately available with the click of a button. Who doesn’t love instant data gratification?

For some companies however, this information may not go deep enough into the specific questions that they need answered. If you’ve reviewed a standard syndicated report, and it doesn’t appear to cover the information that you will need, you can call or reach out online to the market research firm and ask. They should be able to answer any questions you have about the structure or the content of the report, so that you can go ahead and buy with confidence. And if the company confirms that, for example, one of the segments that you are interested in, or some other specifics, aren’t covered, they can also make recommendations on some custom reporting options to fill in the gaps. The information you need might be covered in a different report, or you may be able to purchase one full report and then dovetail it with just one section, or a relevant chart or table from another report. Purchasing sections of a report can be an easy way to enhance or bolster your market knowledge without blowing up your budget.  

If after reviewing the available report options with your market research firm you decide that the standard syndicated reports are not going to provide you with any of the answers you need, you can discuss a true custom report. A market research firm can work with you to define and design a custom study, and produce a proprietary report just for your organization. This will be the most expensive option, but it is also fully 100% guaranteed to address your specific needs, since it will be created around your organizations specific questions.

We all want to be informed consumers and avoid buyer’s remorse, and buying market research doesn’t have to be a gamble. Use your market research firm as a resource and don’t be afraid to contact them before you buy to make sure that you are aware of all your options and are getting the most complete information at the most cost effective price.