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If you’re running a startup, or work on a marketing or product team at an established company, at some point, if you’re doing your due-diligence, you’ll likely encounter a point where you realize you need to employ an outside market research firm to help you uncover insights to drive your messaging, understand how people perceive/use your product, or to help you understand how people interact with your product’s UI. Before you go out seeking the best market research firm for your project, here are a few pointers to help you make your selection.

Best market research firm tip #1: Qualitative or quantitative?

First off, are you trying to get statistical validation, or are you seeking user feedback on how a product is used or what the industry space looks like? If you answered yes to the former, then a quantitative firm will provide survey research for you. If you answered the latter, then you need a firm that does qualitative research. And, if you answered “both,” then, yup, you need a firm that does both qualitative and quantitative market research. Ideally, look for a firm that handles both qualitative and quantitative, because these two methodologies are like two sides of a hand; without the qualitative aspect, you won’t know why the stats show what they show, and without the quantitative, you won’t be able to quantify what you learn across a broader population.

Best market research firm tip #2: Identify their specialty areas

The second thing to look for when you’re seeking the best market research firm for your project is what the market research firm specializes in. Some are focused solely on industries, such as the automotive or healthcare industries. Others do research for a category, such as consumer packaged goods. And then there are firms like InterQ – we specialize in tech industry market research. It’s important to find a company that has a specialty because they’ll know how to recruit and set up the questions in a way that’s specific to your product and subject matter expertise.

Best market research firm tip #3: How big are they?

Thirdly, when you’re looking for the best market research firm for your project, how big is the firm? Really large firms tend to put junior people on the research project, and the quality suffers as a result. Too small, and they may not be able to handle complex projects with hard recruits or large participant samples. Ideally, find one that has under 10 employees who all have strong backgrounds in research. At this size, you’ll get a personalized touch and experts who can hone in on your project.

Best market research firm tip #4: What brands have they worked with?

Finally, when looking for the best market research firm, check out their client list and ask for references. Have they worked with brands similar to yours? Have they worked with prestigious and large brands? When large companies hire small market research firms, you can rest assured that the big companies do their due diligence and thoroughly vet the researchers before working with them, so this can be seen as a vote of confidence. It’s always a good idea to check references, too.

Get to know the best market research firm in the Bay Area

At InterQ, we are one of the only firms in the Bay Area that specializes in tech-industry market research. From startups to some of the world’s largest companies, we’ve worked on the full spectrum. Our small team is well-versed in cutting-edge research methodologies, and our happy clients return to us again and again. Reach out to us, and we’d be happy to talk through your project to see if we’d be a good fit.

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