I needed to get a quote from a research agency today. For the first time in eight years I don’t have the luxury of an in-house research department and it’s been a real eye-opener.
Using the excellent MRS Research Buyers Guide as a starting point, I knew I’d like to work with someone local as I want to ideally sit in on the analysis session and so on, so that narrowed the list down for a start. Then since this was for a marketing agency’s client, giving the brief to one of their competitor’s in-house research teams was a bit of a no-no.
Take out the big name players that have their HQ locally (Leeds being a bit of a magnet for research for some reason) and you’re left with only maybe half a dozen market research agencies.
Having removed the public sector and youth specialists and the one man bands there were only three names left on my list. None of which I had any real experience of, two of whom were not what you’d call very googlable and the last one’s website suffered from a serious case of what I think you might term flashturbation.
Maybe the smaller research agencies need to get a bit better at their own PR, website design and SEO as I can’t be the only one on the look out for a local, reliable, reasonably priced research supplier.