Jeraldine Phneah
Jan 29, 2015

Why smart marketers don’t rely on Google for research

Euromonitor's Jeraldine Phneah offers six benefits market-research vendors can provide that search engines cannot.

Jeraldine Phneah
Jeraldine Phneah

It surprises me when I encounter people who naively believe that Google alone is sufficient for their market-research needs. If that was really the case, all the market research firms would have shut down a long time ago. However, they have not. Instead, these companies are thriving. Clearly, there is a lot of value in vendor research services.

Whether it is to pitch for new businesses or strategy planning, agencies need reliable and quality market research all the time. Here are six ways why engaging a market research vendor beats using a search engine for market research.

1. Reliability

The internet has given many people the right and freedom to publish their views. Thus, anyone can call something a “trend” and write an article about it. However, their view might be subjective and not substantiated by any evidence.

In contrast, many large research agencies have established processes and standardized methods that have been tested over time. This provides consistency in both data collec­tion and reporting. It ensures that the trends they identify are based on evidence and intensive research, not fluffy opinions.

Engaging a market-research vendor will save you the hours you spend trying to see which trends can be trusted and how they fit together to impact your client’s service or product.

2. Access to target populations of interest

When working with regional clients, firms often need access to information about markets overseas. In some markets, this data and analysis cannot be gathered easily. Suppose you want to find out the price of a pen in South Korea to determine whether South Korea is a target expansion market. If you find a South Korean website selling pens, can you understand the language? What if the main retail channel is actually street vendors? Does Google know how much South Korean street vendors charge for pens?

When you engage a vendor, their team of local analysts in the market offers access to target populations of interest. The company and local analysts have good relationships with everyone in the product line, from the suppliers to the distributors, helping you get the most accurate data possible.

Some even provide qualitative and quantitative primary research on emerging markets like Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos.

3. Cross comparability

Even if you do manage to access information and data from other markets, very often those data might not be comparable due to differing methodologies and category definitions. When subscribing to vendor services, you can be sure that the data and reports you get are entirely comparable due to consistent definitions and methodologies across multiple geographies.

4. Alleviate workload for time-strapped employees

Strategic planners or research teams often carry multiple responsibilities, including gathering of research, analysing data, formulating strategy, providing recommendations to clients and sometimes even servicing accounts.

How convenient would it be to just have an in-house syndicated research database, where agencies can access a wide range of information on key industries they need in a few clicks. This frees up time for strategic planners to work on pitching for new clients or formulating creative and winning strategies for existing clients.

5. Neutrality and expertise

Lastly, external market­ing researchers are neutral judges of research results. Thus, their research is highly objective and unbiased. Furthermore, the researchers possess expertise and hands-on experience in a wide range of research methodologies. With their experience and skills, they can help agencies extract deeper insights from collected data—finding out not just the what but also the why and how behind the numbers.

Jeraldine Phneah is on the regional business development team at Euromonitor International in Singapore

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