Market research services

Insight to inform strategy

Our research services are key to delivering evidence-based strategy.

This is the most comprehensive way to evaluate opportunities, and then help you to exploit them.

In business, like anything else, there are always new things to find out. This might be about your market as a whole, your customers or potential customers, or other aspects of the market environment. When your decisions need research input, we can provide expertise in planning and delivering the fieldwork, the attention to detail, and the analysis that you need.

Market and marketing research

Research is all about asking the right questions. That requires insight into the market so that questions are informed and relevant. And it requires technical knowledge of question techniques, avoidance of bias, and clarity.

Research techniques

We have years of experience in:

  • Qualitative research – through in-depth one to one interviews or focus groups. We’ve carried out interviews with senior and hard to reach business people and focus groups with consumers, the general public, business owners, and decision-makers.
  • Quantitative research – mainly through surveys – whether niche and local, or national and representative of the whole of the UK. These can be done online, very quickly (within days), or face-to-face at any relevant location. The choice will depend upon your audience and sample requirements.
  • Secondary (desk-based) research – using existing research sources. This is particularly well-suited to the evaluation of your market environment.

Evidence-based strategic analysis: For when trial and error won’t do

Need a reliable, valid source of information upon which to base your decisions? You need market, marketing and market environment research.

The purpose is to invest in the future of your business – get your strategic decisions right first time.

What can this do for you?

Research is particularly important for the following reasons:

  • Opening up new opportunities and helping to take advantage of these.
  • Prioritising opportunities.
  • Reducing risk and removing wasted effort.

Every research project is different. To talk about yours, email Graeme@stoconsulting.co.uk or call 0191 447 0211

Research services?

  • Consultancy on any aspect of your research project.
  • Research design: What are we researching? Why and how?
  • Choice of approach and techniques: Secondary, qualitative, or quantitative.
  • Questionnaire writing and set-up.
  • Online questionnaire design, branding, and user experience.
  • Focus group or interview discussion guides.
  • Fieldwork management – getting the data you need.
  • Analysis, interpretation, and presentation of results in relation to your strategy.

We will happily manage your research project, from concept to report and recommendations, and impact on strategy.

Why use professional research?

Anyone can carry out DIY research, using well-known online software or just by asking around.

Professional research gives you better results because you get:

  • The right questions. Developing a questionnaire or discussion guide that gets you full and valid results is a significant skill and is worth getting right.
    • It’s not even just about the questions … What about the answer options that you might provide? The type of scale, number of options, and what you call them?
    • Then there is the set-up of the online questionnaire to properly reflect your brand and meet standards for data capture, user experience, and confidentiality.
  • The right audience. Again, there is a lot of skill and expertise involved in doing this well. Asking the wrong people in research can often be worse than not doing any research at all.
  • The right interpretation – based on your particular business, its strategy and its market.

Issues you might want to investigate could be:

New products / new markets?

We learn about your business. We evaluate your existing and potential markets. We consider how and in what ways you can serve these markets.

We work with you to apply these learnings in the context of your business, with a highly practical but ambitious approach. We help to ensure it works.

What does our audience really want? (Consumers, business decision-makers, or partners)

For B2B: We are experienced at engaging senior people within your target market (clients and stakeholders) to develop relationships that build your business. This might involve high profile initial pilot customers or strategic partners that will help to resell your product or service in volumes that you could not achieve alone.

For B2C: We deliver surveys, or recruit consumers for in-depth interviews, user-testing, or focus groups.

What makes you different?

A key strategic question.

We build the capacity of clients to be successful by understanding what it is that makes them different. This is never as simple as ‘quality of product’ – what does quality mean for example in the minds of those that matter?

Surveys

We love designing and developing effective surveys. There are lots of things to consider to get this right. The method, location, and whether respondents are self-completing or being interviewed. Also the technical considerations of the questionnaire design and the quality of it to effectively represent your organisation.

We’ll talk to you about your audience and your objectives to get these decisions right.

Our experience includes 400 responses to an on-street survey of visitors to a town centre by interviewers. And we have achieved 1000+ nationally representative responses to online surveys very rapidly.

Interviews

We are experienced in reaching, engaging, and interviewing senior business decision-makers. And we have interviewed customers of our clients from their existing list. In both cases this uncovered insights that would not have otherwise been obtained.