By Joanna Jones
The Bay Area is world-renowned for its tech industry innovations, but it’s not one of the regions in the country that’s at the top-of-the list for market research firms. New York, Los Angeles, and big consumer-brand manufacturing cities like Minneapolis, tend to have reputations for the best marketing research company headquarters. However, that doesn’t mean that the Bay Area is lacking in market research talent. Before you set out on your search for a company to help with your consumer testing needs, here is a quick checklist to help you find the best marketing research firms in the Bay Area.
Best marketing research firms in the Bay Area Tip #1: Industry Experience
If you’re looking to do some testing in the Bay Area, chances are you’re looking for industry expertise that includes technology experience. Technology market research is a very different beast from consumer packaged goods, the financial industry, or healthcare. It requires the ability to pull in tools that may include biometrics and UX testing, and to find participants who are highly-specialized industry experts in technology. When you’re vetting firms, ask to see their client list, and make sure they have relevant tech-industry experience before you go any further.
Best marketing research firms in the Bay Area Tip #2: Recruiting Expertise
If your project is qualitative in nature, know first that the heart and soul of any qualitative study is the quality of participants who are involved in the study. Since qualitative research studies have fewer participants than a quantitative study, ensuring that the participants have appropriate industry experience (or for B2C, are the target category), is absolutely paramount. Many recruiting companies and marketing research firms rely on databases. The problem with database respondent lists is that they often aren’t specific enough for specialized products, and many times, in consumer studies, people will sign up because they’re more interested in the incentives offered than giving their honest opinions. Therefore, when looking for the best marketing research firms, ask if they offer custom qualitative research recruiting services.
Best marketing research firms in the Bay Area Tip #3: Qualitative and Quantitative Methodologies
Finally, when trying to source the best marketing research firm in the Bay Area, make sure the firm you choose has both qualitative and quantitative expertise. Qualitative research is the best way to source ideas, get product/marketing feedback, and inform product development teams. However, qualitative research is only one side of a hand. The other side ensures that the themes uncovered in qualitative research have quantitative validity. Many marketing research firms in the Bay Area only offer one or the other, but not both qualitative and quantitative research services. For best results, you want a firm that can do both in-house.
Fortunately, you can have it all in the Bay Area
If the above list seems daunting, we have great news: InterQ Research is the only full-service market research firm in the Bay Area that provides expertise in the tech industry, does custom recruiting, and handles both qualitative and quantitative methodologies.