The credibility of market research agencies is usually measured on the basis of their experience and competences. However, there are areas, projects or entire industries where those criteria contradict the business strategy of an organisation.
What are experience and competences? Nothing but accumulated observations of the assumptions, objectives and results of research conducted by the agency for other clients, including… our competition. All clients who match a specific profile are usually serviced by the same group of agency employees, so the risk of knowledge and ideas permeating from one competitor to another via an agency is very real.
For companies operating in fiercely competitive industries, where every step a rival takes is closely monitored, untimely leaks of ideas via agencies have a direct impact on the bottom line. In the long run, they amount to a gradual loss of at least some competitive advantage. So, how do you keep research assumptions, objectives, and especially conclusions from surveys secret?
The best way is to conduct your own research. This way your competitors will not be able to guess the underlying business plan (at least for a long time) . They will not find out too early that you intend to launch a new product or enter a new market. They will not guess operating problems or gain hints concerning efficient promotional activities by reading the questions. Research conducted without agencies might not remain secret forever, but if your competitors are to find out about it, keep them in the dark as long as you can.
To conduct your own research today, you do not need a lot of IT investment or even specialised competences. All you need is forms that your Marketing department can create themselves using ActiveForms. They can also publish such forms on the intranet or extranet. The role of the IT department is limited to agreeing on the format and method for collecting survey data and possibly helping to embed finished surveys at specific URLs.
Creating forms with ActiveForms boils down to selecting predefined field types from a list, configuring their operation and dependencies (also as predefined options), and providing text descriptions. No big deal, even for those who consider themselves total newbies to programming.
Don’t take our word for it – we offer you a sign up.