Business Overview

Market research firms offer specialized marketing services to their clients. They collect and analyze data to determine how well their clients are connecting with their target audience. Additionally, these firms identify industry trends and advise clients regarding what tactics they should continue and what new strategies should be implemented.

Who is this business right for?

Individuals who enjoy understanding people on a deeper level make the best market researchers. They consistently seek new ways to grow and learn and are passionate about passing this knowledge on to others.

What happens during a typical day at a market research firm?

Your marketing firm’s top priority is connecting your clients with their current and potential clients. This means that the bulk of your day will be spent conducting research. This is an ever-evolving field. Your clients' customers are, in essence, your customers. Their needs are dynamic. Stay up-to-date on the latest trends and innovations in technology, as well as new research tools and methodologies.

When you’re not researching directly for a client, you are researching for your own firm and its future clients. To realize success in this industry, it is critical that you establish yourself as a thought-leader. A portion of each day is spent writing, both for your own business and your customers. Publishing white papers, blogs, and articles will help you make connections, marketing your business in the process.

Meeting with both clients and potential customers also takes up a great portion of each day. Some meetings may require travel, while others can be done via online conferencing. Scheduling, answering emails and phone calls, and other administrative duties are equally as essential to the success of your business.

What is the target market?

There are a number of different paths you could take when it comes to defining your target market. The key is to find your niche and become an expert in this. As you build your team, hire quality professionals who have carved out their own niche.

What is your area of expertise? Do you want to work for direct clients or survey advertising agencies, consulting firms, research departments, or survey companies? Are your strengths in B2B market research or job satisfaction measurement?

How does a market research firm make money?

Your firm will generate revenue from each paying client. One customer’s needs will be different from the next. Your pay is defined by their short and long-term goals, the size of the company, and their budget. These will, hopefully, be ongoing clients that you build relationships with. Their growth signifies your value. The value your firm adds to the enterprise will define their needs moving forward, your role in this, and how much you’re able to charge each client.

What is the growth potential for a market research firm?

This industry is recession-proof and there will always be a need. The key to achieving significant growth is in putting your own skills to work for you. Before embarking on this business venture, consider what your long-term business goals are. Where do you envision this going? Technology has made everyone an “expert” in marketing and research. With a winning combination of talent and the proper tools, you’ll have the option to remain small and selective on your clients, or grow to a global scale. Both are equally rewarding paths.