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Eeny, meeny, miny, moe… choosing a researcher

June 14, 2011

A while back I blogged about commissioning a researcher, but before a potential research consumer starts sending out Briefs and judging proposals they will need to address the fundamental issue of who should do the research in the first place.  Is it best to:

  • Do the research in-house?
  • Use a freelance researcher?
  • Use a local market research agency?
  • Use a research agency with a global presence?

Each has its merits, and who gets choosen depends on resources and priorities.  The key things to think about include:

  • How much money is available?
  • Would it be preferable to deal with a local researcher either for convenience, for their local knowledge, or as an ethical choice?
  • Is it important that findings are independent, unbiased, and meet professional standards?
  • How complex are the methodology / analysis needs?
  • Would it be advantageous to deal with a ‘big brand’ researcher that others have heard of (e.g. YouGov, IpsosMORI, TNS-BMRB)?

The following matrix gives some really broad guidance on the ways that the answers to these questions could influence commissioning choice.  This will help to filter the vast range of potential suppliers down to those who will meet expectations for a particular project.

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