The vast majority of companies competing in today’s global economy conduct some form of market research for the markets in which they currently participate or may potentially participate. Companies usually look to outside firms for their research and are faced with the choice of purchasing either syndicated or custom market research. Because the cost of performing the research is spread over multiple clients, syndicated research offers a cost-effective solution for firms seeking general market information. The goal of syndicated research is to appeal to a greater number of potential buyers, so it typically provides a macro-level overview of a market, basic market segmentation, and often a broad array of competitive profiles.On the other hand, custom market research is proprietary and “tailor made” to the client needs, delivering richer and deeper information in the areas deemed important. Although more expensive than syndicated, the collaborative nature of custom research can deliver excellent value for the following reasons.
Tailored methodology delivers more targeted information
Market research firms have multiple survey and research methodologies available to them. A properly designed custom research project will match the methodologies to the needs outlined by the client, assuring the project deliverables provide the proper insight into strategic questions. For example, a conjoint analysis can be used to assess the value of product attributes or a Van Westendorp analysis may be used to assess price sensitivity. Specific client needs usually dictate the methodologies incorporated into the research, which can only be done in custom research.
Deeper, richer market insight
Most syndicated research reports include a limited primary research component, such as a few (5 – 10) interviews with industry experts, manufacturers, customers, or competitors. However, most rely heavily on the market experience of the author or large amounts of secondary data and analysis. Custom market research relies not only on secondary research, but also incorporates a significant primary research component, often in the form of in-depth telephone interviews. The participant segments for these interviews are dictated by the deliverables outlined in scoping the project. For example, if the research calls for a clear understanding of the value delivered in multiple parts of the supply chain, the research would include interviews with a number of experts familiar with each portion of the supply chain. In addition, discussion guides are tailored to the specific project objectives, so each interview provides information consistent with the needs of the client. The quality and amount of primary research incorporated into custom research typically delivers another dimension of insight that is not captured in syndicated research.
Market segmentation that matches your needs
When shopping for research relative to a specific market or market niche, it is often difficult to find a syndicated research report that has exactly what you are looking for. For example, if you are looking for a report on diesel engines in the UK, you might only find a report on types of engines in Europe. Or, maybe you need a market analysis for convenience store packaging in the US, but all that is available is packaging in North America. Although not perfect, there is always the option of purchasing what is available and doing some analysis of your own. The other option is custom. With a custom project, the market assessment is tailored to your specific needs, so the research would be specific to the diesel engine market in the UK and the convenience store packaging market in the US. Custom is a way to gain insight into certain niche markets that are not covered in any syndicated reports.
Collaborative process allows flexible research
The entire process of custom research is collaborative. Once the project is jointly scoped and agreed upon, there is often value in sharing the findings of the research throughout the process. Incorporating this type of interaction into the process allows the client to participate in amending questions, scope, direction, and other components of the research as the base of information grows. The collaborative nature of custom research lends itself to this type of interaction, so maintaining this type of flexibility in the process can add value to the final results of the research.
Both syndicated research and custom research offer clients a wide range of market research options. If a macro-level market overview, basic market segmentation, and a broad array of competitive profiles matches your needs, then syndicated research offers a great value. However, if deeper more specific information is needed, and the syndicated research available may not provide the information needed to properly address your needs, then custom research may be the best value.
For more information on determining how to successfully navigate the market research process, download our free eBook.
This post was written by Priority Metrics Group (PMG), a MarketResearch.com partner in custom research.
Priority Metrics Group (PMG) is a professional marketing consulting firm based in Spartanburg, South Carolina. PMG provides customized research, analysis, and consultation services designed to generate profitable growth for clients. They work with leading organizations in a variety of manufacturing and service industries. They are experts at gathering and processing market information, analyzing data, and translating information into actionable growth initiatives.