Research Supplier | Smith Hanley Associates


Quirk’s 2016 Corporate Research Report states:Market Research Budget Slide

Quirk’s also quoted a common buyer of research supplier services concern:

“I want research that is customized to my specific product category and business needs—I don’t want suppliers to force a cookie-cutter approach. I want a final report that contains a clearly-written story with implications and recommendations. I spend too much time providing feedback on reports that often feel like a data dump with no cohesive story.”

How do you as a research supplier take advantage of these increased dollars and clearly stated needs of your clients?

1. You must be offering mobile surveys and online communities. Greenbook’s 2016 Grit Report says these two services are mainstream in the industry.
2. Become expert in and offer another emergent technology…or two! These are not services suppliers are already offering more than buyer’s demand such as mobile qual, mobile ethnography, webcam interviews and research gamification but services they are going outside of market research suppliers to find, specifically Big Data Analytics and Social Media Analytics.
3. Let me repeat. Offer analytics as part of your services as soon as possible. Greenbook reports that Big Data Analytics is in use by 55% of buyers but only 35% of suppliers. Social media Analytics is used by 60% of Buyers and only 45% of Suppliers. This demand is being met outside of market research suppliers.
4. Be a true consultant. Develop a story and deliver insights NOT just data. Greenbook’s 2016 Grit Report said the most in-demand training topics were:

Market Research Training slide

5. Have one person be the main contact with each client. Insure a relationship of service, integrity and insight is nurtured. Retain that valuable employee!

Need help finding the staff to fulfill these future viability goals? Contact Lindsey Bartlett, Market Research Practice lead at Executive Recruiters, Smith Hanley Associates at 312.629-2400 or

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