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How to reduce your marketing research budget

The head of the ADS Agency provided an article to New Retail magazine on the topic: How to reduce the budget for marketing research.


n marketing and sociological research, there is always the problem of the quality of the recruited respondents. This is due to the fact that in many marketing companies the selection of respondents is carried out by freelance employees, who often sin in selecting respondents.

If you need to conduct research, and you can do it on your own, then the question always remains, where to get respondents who will meet the recruiting criteria? After all, a marketing company will not provide you with this service, since it is interested in providing a full turnkey research, and will not undertake a separate and most time-consuming part of the research related to the recruiting of respondents.

In addition to marketing companies, panel research organizations have emerged that have a base of respondents. You contact them and tell them what you need for the research (for example, 10 respondents), they, in turn, recruit from their base and send a lot of respondents, three times the amount you need. And then you will have to screen them, call them and control their turnout for research yourself, which will also complicate your work.

But time does not stand still, and respondent recruiting agencies have appeared on the market, which you can turn to for the respondents you need for a research. They recruit, screen the respondents themselves, call them, control the turnout, and you no longer need to perform all of these functions yourself. These companies have firmly taken their niche, they perform the most labor-intensive process in marketing research related to recruiting respondents. Also, this is not unimportant, such companies specialize only in full-cycle recruiting, which means that they will select exactly your target audience, even the most difficult one, for example, it can be experts or respondents of the premium segment, etc. Additionally, the agency's responsibility will include full interaction with the respondent. It is interesting that in Western countries there are simply no companies that exclusively specialize in recruiting respondents - all of them, in one way or another, provide related services: rental of premises, reports, analytics, and so on; there are such companies in our market. Contacting them also increases the cost of recruiting services. Recruiting agencies are of interest to both small and large companies, and a tendency is emerging to conduct independent research by their own analysts and marketers instead of turning to marketing agencies. As a result, you will receive significant savings in monetary resources - on average 8-9 times, and you can use the saved money in business development, which is extremely important in the current crisis situation in the country.

But until recently, the process of marketing research developed differently: the marketer turned to marketing companies that conducted turnkey research, that is, they selected respondents, interviewed them, compiled a report and analysis based on the results of the study, gave the report into the hands of the marketer, after which he could have information on market and determine the strategy for further sales of the company's products.

Now marketers do not need to contact marketing agencies, as there are companies that will select the target audience for a marketer, and he will be able to interview and draw up an analysis that will help him develop a strategy for promoting the organization, which allows him to optimize the budget. The selection of the target audience is now widespread in many studies, for example, in the method of usability testing.


Many successful companies have already turned their attention to promising respondent recruiting agencies in order to optimize their marketing research costs.

Recruiting agencies are engaged in the selection of participants in marketing research, research participants are both experts and ordinary consumers of goods and services.

How to identify the professionalism of the recruiting agencies of respondents

1. Is the agency a member of any Russian Association of expert marketers. Existing members will value their reputation and the slightest setbacks will become known to all colleagues, which will significantly undermine the agency's image.

2. Does the agency have reviews on the letterhead of the companies that cooperated with it. Now, mainly, reviews on sites are used, which, in fact, are not supported by anything. And if the agency has a significant number of reviews on the letterheads of the companies, it means that the clients are satisfied with the cooperation. There must be at least 10 official reviews.

3. Based on the reviews, you can find out how the cooperation with the agency was with the company that left the review, whether it was satisfied with the quality of services, whether there was prompt communication with the client and other aspects of your interest.

4. It will not be unimportant to look through the agency's portfolio, get acquainted with its experience in selecting an elusive target audience. How diverse the recruiting projects were. This speaks of the experience in the selection of respondents from various fields of activity.

5. Does the agency have large customers because such companies usually pay more attention to the choice of the contractor who will participate in the selection of respondents for their needs? The presence of such clients in the agency's portfolio also speaks of its professional level.

6. It is important whether the agency provides a full range of recruiting services. Namely, he provides a recruit, screens respondents by phone, monitors the attendance of respondents to the survey, and organizes the payment of remuneration to respondents for participating in the survey. Since the performance of all the listed functions secures the agency's right to be called a full-cycle respondent recruiting agency, which includes full interaction with the respondent at all stages of the study, this is a rather laborious process in itself, and to perform all functions the company must have a staff of professionals - here the presence of one base of respondents will no longer help, as is the case with companies providing panel research.

7. Another equally important factor is the size of the agency's respondent base and the use of the system of pre-recruiting respondents in shopping centers and other crowded places. This shows the possibilities of versatile recruitment of respondents that a full-cycle respondent recruiting agency should have.

These are the main criteria that a respondent recruiting agency must meet. Compliance with them guarantees the quality of the services provided, but no one has yet canceled the radio effect: ask your colleagues if they worked with a particular agency or if they know about its experience and professionalism. After all, the market of marketing services is quite narrow, and in professional circles, information about the low-quality services of a particular company is usually spread in an instant.

So, if you pay due attention to the choice of a recruiting agency for respondents, then at the exit you will expect a justified cash investment and high-quality services for the selection of the target audience for the study. After all, with the help of faithful respondents, you, like no one else, will be able to own competitive information, which in turn will help you successfully work in the market.

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