Market research and market reports

Should I use a market research agency?


You may be able to do your own field research. However, it's often better and more cost-effective to outsource the job to professionals by using a market research agency. Read more about outsourcing.

Benefits of outsourcing field research 

The decision to outsource your field research might provide you with a number of benefits.

Expertise and quality

Market research professionals are likely to get better results. They've had experience in designing surveys, running focus groups and asking the right questions.

Impartial feedback

Customers may find it easier to be honest with an outsider. This is especially true when providing negative feedback.


Customers might be more open and less suspicious that you're trying to sell them something if an independent researcher conducts the survey.


You may find it hard to be impartial. This is especially true if people criticise your business.

Finding the right market research agency 

For small-scale field research, your best option may be a freelance researcher. A market research agency won't usually take on projects with a budget below £3,000.

You can use recommendations from business contacts and you can also search for a market research agency in the Research Buyers Guide.

Before hiring a market research agency or a freelance researcher, check their reputation. Ask for a list of previous clients and contact them for feedback. Check if the agency or researcher has relevant experience. Consider how comfortable you'd feel working with them. And get a clear idea of fees for the services you want.

Check to see if the agency's researchers or freelancers fit your business's image. If they'll do street interviews, confirm they have the required local licence and ID.

Make sure you provide a thorough and clear brief. It needs to cover things like the business goals for the project. Also, the data the research should find and how you will use the results.