- Companies often work with a number of different expert networks, consulting firms, and research specialists to try to reach specific market niches
- Yet the best research providers can deliver actionable insights on every niche in the B2B and B2C spaces, no matter how specialized
- Forming long-term partnerships with these providers enables companies to streamline, improve insight delivery and enjoy better research outcomes
Are specialized providers the right choice?
Many companies assume that the best way to analyze different market niches is to work with different research providers, in the same way you might hire one agency to build your website and another to run SEO. You might hire one provider to evaluate a Healthcare opportunity, for instance, and another to assess a Software market.
After all, each market niche is different…so doesn’t it take a specialized approach and specialized providers to reach them?
Unfortunately, in addition to being more work for you, this practice also leads to results that conceal a variety of flaws that can undermine accuracy and hinder findings. Here are some of the most common ways that research can go bad when you work with multiple providers:
Franken-research: Respondents are sourced from different providers, then stitched together into one survey.
- How it works: The targets you are after are specialized, so you—or a consultancy—opt to combine multiple pools of respondents to (maybe) get a statistically significant volume.
- What really happens: You (or your consultancy) send your survey to three different panel providers. Each one recruits and drives respondents to your survey and then you review the aggregated results.
- Why it’s flawed: Often, providers “double-dip” and source respondents from one another when they can’t meet quotas. As a result, it’s impossible to integrate the data into a trustworthy and reliable whole. Additionally, you end up with data that represents the networks used, not the market.
The House of Cards: You work with a single provider, but your data falls apart upon deeper analysis because of the way it’s been gathered.
- How it works: You opt for a research provider who claims to specialize in the market you want to examine and claims they can meet all of your B2B quotas.
- What really happens: In reality, your provider can’t deliver on their “specialty.” So behind the scenes, they recruit participants from multiple panel providers and expert networks (i.e. stale databases of “experts”).
- Why it’s flawed: To reach real decision makers, you need to talk to the market—not to people in a database, who are often low-quality respondents or professional research participants who game the system for rewards.
Some providers will claim they do things differently, when in reality, they simply dress up the same low-quality respondents from panels or expert networks in different clothing. Other providers insist they can find any cohort using “algorithms,” but then simply aggregate respondents from databases, panels & networks to build a new House of Cards. Meanwhile, Major Consulting Firms charge a premium for their insights, but many times they are simply deploying a Frankenstudy or House of Cards approach on your behalf.
It doesn’t have to be this way. You can work with a single research provider that designs and recruits respondents for each study from scratch—capturing actionable insights for every niche in the B2B, B2B2C, and B2C spaces, no matter how specialized. We call this one-stop shopping, and in this article, we’ll explain why it boosts efficiency while delivering consistent, trustworthy results.
What Is a One-Stop Shop?
A one-stop shop is an Integrated Research Provider that has broad experience in a variety of fields and is adept at delivering research in any industry, no matter how specialized or nuanced.
One-stop shops don’t align each niche to the right panel provider or expert network. Instead, they go straight to the market to find qualified respondents—and efficiently manage each study, in-house, from start to finish. This process makes the entire market your source for business insights, rather than a small, pre-recruited group. What’s more, those insights are both more original and more accurate , because the respondents are actually current in their roles, and haven’t been recycled from dozens of previous studies.
The Benefits of One-Stop Shopping
One-stop shops function like your internal research teams without the additional headcount, enabling clients to expand the scope and sophistication of their market research projects.
“I’ve been told more than once that we are a client’s ‘secret weapon,’” says Michael Janov, a senior management consultant and Partner at Azurite.
One-stop shops also make it easy to:
- Reach every market niche with a single research provider. One-stop shops aren’t limited to the confines of a specific network or database. They will always be able to find exactly who you’re looking for, in statistically significant volumes, from healthcare providers to hair salon owners. What’s more, they’ll know how to talk to each group, using industry-specific language that builds credibility and trust.
- Take an insights-first approach to your research. One-stop shops focus ruthlessly on quality and insight, not quantity or process. They get to know your business goals and frame your research in a way that helps you cut through the noise to focus on the information that will fundamentally shift your answer, move your business or alter your investment hypothesis.
- Align results to internal workflows to improve outcomes. From standardized contract and research templates to data files that plug directly into your analytics platform and standard presentations, one-stop shops improve outcomes by adapting their processes to your own internal workflow.
- Make fast, confident decisions, underpinned by proprietary data. When you work with a one-stop shop, you’ll know that your data comes from trustworthy primary sources, not a network whose “experts” are years out of their recruited roles. That enables you to set strategies and make decisions with confidence, ease, and efficiency.
Case Studies: One-Stop Shopping in Action
One-stop research shops can help you reach even the most esoteric niches. Azurite has delivered market-shaped insights on targets as diverse as restaurant distributors, car dealers, software engineers, spray-on glass fabricators, food service franchises, police officers, firefighters, coaches, and teachers. Each study was customized to the client’s needs, from contracts to coding and analysis; results drove strategic decisions about new ventures and investments worth billions of dollars.
Better Research, More Competitive Advantage
“Market research in general, and surveys in particular, have a reputation for being unreliable,” says Eli Diament, Azurite’s Founder and Managing Director. “But done well, it’s extremely powerful.”
One-stop research providers have the experience to reach across markets with confidence and speed—and the expertise to deliver results in study after study. Partnering with them helps companies go beyond frustration and flawed data and get efficient, streamlined insights about the opportunities that matter most.