Optimizing Your Market Research Budget: A Guide for Business Professionals

piggy bank to represent market research costsWhether you need market research for an ongoing business need or for a specific project, determining the right amount to budget is an important step.

Setting an appropriate budget that meets your research requirements without unnecessary overspending demands careful consideration of several crucial factors. Here are four expert tips to help you make informed decisions and budget for market research costs effectively.

1. Consider the Overall Budget

Before diving into market research, it's critical to have a firm grasp of your overall project budget or the annual budget for your department as a point of reference. Once you have a clear budgetary framework, you can determine the appropriate percentage to allocate for market research.

However, keep in mind that the designated percentage should be a reasonable portion of the overall budget. Avoid extremes, such as expecting comprehensive insights for all your questions from a single $5,000 report or overspending with a $100,000 investment when your overall budget is only $250,000.

2. Explore Available Resources

In business, one size rarely fits all. Fortunately, an abundance of market research is readily available, covering a wide array of topics, from general market overviews to in-depth analyses. You can also access different types of syndicated market research—from a single section of a report to a large collection of research—to fit your unique requirements and stretch your research dollars further:

  • Top-level reports provide a quick, foundational understanding of an industry and its dynamics. These reports can do a significant amount of legwork for you and save you valuable time. Freedonia Focus Reports is an example of a publisher that specializes in concise market snapshots that are available at a lower price point.
  • Company profiles give you an overview of a company, its operations, and competitive strategies. These reports may include a SWOT analysis as well. On MarketResearch.com, you can find company reports by GlobalData, MarketLine, Euromonitor International, and Plunkett Research, among others.
  • Full market reports provide a more in-depth analysis of the market, its subcategories, and metrics regarding its current state and future projections. These reports often include insights into current trends and technologies influencing the industry over the coming years. A wide range of publishers on MarketResearch.com produce these reports, from Packaged Facts to Frost & Sullivan to MarketsandMarkets.
  • Subscriptions give you “all you can eat” access to a large collection of research that can be searched in a single platform. Subscriptions are ideal for corporations with ongoing research needs that want to provide their employees with access to vetted data. Subscriptions are available via The Knowledge Center.
  • Section purchasing allows you to buy a specific section of a report, so you only pay for the targeted information you need, rather than the whole report. This unique option is available through a solution called Profound and is popular among investment banks and management consultants who serve clients in diverse industries.

3. Consider Custom Research Services

In some cases, syndicated reports may fall short of answering all your queries. When custom research becomes necessary, be prepared to adjust your budget and timeline accordingly. Custom projects cost more than off-the-shelf research, and completion may take a minimum of two months. Despite the higher investment, the benefits can be substantial, as custom reports provide tailored answers to your specific questions, delivering comprehensive and detailed intelligence that is highly actionable and relevant.

4. Understand Cost vs. Information Gained

When it comes to market research, having sensible expectations can help you make smart purchases. To avoid making blind decisions, educate yourself on what to expect from a report or solution within your price range. If you need more information, don’t hesitate to speak with a research specialist or account manager at MarketResearch.com who can help you compare options and find the best fit for your specific needs.  

Effective Budgeting for Market Research

Allocating a suitable budget for market research involves a careful balance of available resources, project requirements, and the expected outcomes. Understanding the full range of options available to you will help you make informed decisions. Remember, investing wisely in market research is a pivotal step toward achieving lasting success in an uncertain and competitive business environment.

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Topics: Market Research Strategy How To's