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    Visit your General Practitioner before Seeing a Specialist… And Why this Rule of Thumb Applies to Research

    Janice Caston, VP Global Marketing

    Over the last few years, we’ve seen a wide swath of market research firms that have become specialists in one area or another – likely as a result of a new technology, or research methodology that’s been tech-enabled.  It’s natural.  The ability to focus on a single product can be efficient.  Sales and product marketers are more easily trained – there’s a single story.

    As a result of this changing dynamic, we’ve seen market research buyers find themselves turning to a grab bag of companies to get the mix of solutions they seek.  In other cases, we’ve seen buyers select a provider, that has a single area of focus, and ill-equipped to propose the solution to meet their client’s need.  We’re witnessing a diminishing reliance on the research supplier, and in the process, adding more to our already full plates.

    Missing the Forest for the Trees… Possibly

    As market researchers, these days, we’re pushing the envelope and becoming more and more tech savvy.  In many cases, we’re trying something ‘new’ not because it’s the best way to answer our questions, or solve our business solutions, but because we feel compelled to.  While taking risks can be a great thing and payoff immensely, we don’t have a trusted party to help steer us in the right direction.  I’ve heard clients consider mobile approaches, use crowdsourcing to test concepts, and more, and while all may be useful, there may be cases where the tail wags the dog.

    Rather than doing a full assessment of your needs and providing a comprehensive package of options based on your own, individual requirements, they are apt—quite naturally—to point you in the direction of their products and services. It’s not about what will give you the big-picture insights you need, but how can the products that they know best, work for you.

    A General Practitioner of Research Solutions

    In the past, market research firms tended to offer a complete range of products and services making them real partners in a buyer’s quest for insights into how consumers were viewing their brands. They could provide every service a buyer needed, following the process through the whole product lifecycle.

    A full-service provider can be a partner in your market research efforts. The good news is, there are still companies that have a full range of options and pride themselves on standing with you through every step of your research process.