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Market Research: Hire or DIY?

market research and market analysis by lanpdt, shreveport louisianaIf you caught last week’s post, Why Market Research Matters, you saw that we defined market research and the five reasons it plays a critical role in your company’s long-term success. It places emphasis on your customer. It keeps your eyes on the prize. It clarifies lucrative growth opportunities. It keeps you focused on the future. It reduces risk. Obviously market research has its clear significance, which leads us to the next important question: Can you perform market research yourself, or should you hire a professional outside agency to do the work for you? Both of these options are two-edged blades. Here, we’re going to examine the pros, cons, and caveats of both.

The Low-Down of the DIY Method

An obvious potential benefit of DIY market research is the likelihood of significant cost savings. Going through an agency can be a huge investment, sometimes ranging in the tens of thousands of dollars. That being said, performing research yourself requires an enormous investment of its own: Time. All too often, businesses attempt to perform the research on their own, only to fall short due to a lack of skills, resources, and time. Hiring a firm enables you, as an in-house manager, to focus more on your business and other actionable decisions that will propel your business forward. Performing the research in-house grants you complete ownership and access to all of your data collection. When you outsource research, you are not always entitled to “own” the data you’ve collected. Agencies sometimes provide you with tables and charts, but not the raw data. This can be a downfall, especially if you plan to perpetually analyze the market, but have no records of past data. Because it’s your business, you have knowledge of your industry. You understand your business better than anyone. It might be challenging to outsource a market research agency whose vision and understanding of your business is directly in line with yours.

The Low-Down of the Hire Method

Market Research Teams are specialized; they are equipped with the latest tools, techniques, and know-how to provide you with top-quality information. Market Research Teams exist to perform market research. They’ve developed and perfected the most efficient and effective processes, and often have partnerships with outsourced suppliers to up the ante. These specialized skills lead to superior results. Agencies are able to identify and uncover complex data and statistics that DIY-ers typically don’t have the skills to identify. Agencies have built in safeguards that eliminate bias and ensure accuracy. Agencies also have quick access to important secondary research that is unavailable to DIY-ers, and are able to provide trustworthy quality checks on collected data. Though you might spend more money outsourcing, chances are that your results will be far superior. Before jumping into your decision to outsource market research or do it in-house, make sure you do your due diligence to analyze your company’s specific situation and available resources. It is critical to evaluate your research needs next to your budget, timeline, and knowledge-base. Professional market research companies offer resources that work, but it is certainly possible to in-house your research if you have the resources and time.      

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LA New Product Development Team is a comprehensive product development firm, offering services from idea generation and product design to manufacturing and marketing. LANPDT collaborates with startups and established businesses to transform concepts into market-ready innovations.

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