The focus of this post is on market research service companies in India. Location is still critically important for doing effective market research even in a context where the web has made it easy to access global data from anywhere. A market research service company in India will be familiar with local conditions and this familiarity can enhance the quality of the findings.
Table of Contents
- Market Research Service Companies in India
- Selecting a Market Research Service Provider
In this post we seek to provide an authentic picture of market research services companies in India. The providers include multinational companies, established Indian market research companies and small firms manned by a few persons (who might be persons with prior experience in established companies).
The list is definitely not exhaustive or anywhere near. There are hundreds of market research companies in India that offer services. We look at only a sample of these companies to provide an overview of the services you can expect.
Why Partner with a Market Research Company in India?
Market research service providers have an important role to play in India because:
- India is a huge market that will have appeal to entrepreneurs everywhere and
- Market research is an essential prerequisite to ensure a fit between what a business offers and what the market needs
Before we start on the companies, let us take a brief look at the specific services covered by the broad term market research services. This will help you check which service is of value to you.
How a Market Research Company adds Value?
Market research involves a number of techniques that provide data about the market you are interested in. The data is then analyzed to draw conclusions. These conclusions provide a basis for decision making in areas such as:
- Introducing a new product into the market
- Improving the features of an existing product to enhance its appeal among users and
- Developing a marketing message that clicks better with consumers.
The techniques are broadly classified into qualitative and quantitative:
- Qualitative research provides such information as customer opinions, views, complaints, etc.
- Quantitative research provides such information as percentage of people using a product, percentage of satisfied or dissatisfied users and rate of growth in an industry.
Another method of classifying the research is primary and secondary:
- Primary research involves interacting with the audience (such as users of a product) and gathering original qualitative or quantitative data directly from them.
- Secondary research involves referring to published data (such as census data or industry reports) and extracting relevant data from these sources.
The methods used to carry out primary research include:
- Surveys, which are questionnaires which the audience answers and submits. The questionnaires are sent to audience members through online media such as email.
- Interviews, which involve face-to-face or video meetings with members of the audience. You can observe non-verbal data, such as facial expressions, during such interviews. These cues can be quite valuable in gathering authentic data.
- Focus groups, which involve bringing together a group of people (such as users of your product) and getting them express their views about different aspects of the product or its marketing. A moderator leads the conversation to keep it relevant and generate data that is needed.
- Observation, which involves observing a user actually using a product or service. A discreet observer can then find out where the user faces problems in using it properly. Resulting insights can help improve the product or service.
Secondary research methods are simpler. They involve accessing authentic sources of relevant data, and extracting the specific data relevant for the specific research.
Market research becomes useful only when it is done for a specific objective. These objectives include:
- Testing a new product to see whether there is a big enough demand for it in your target market or to explore opportunities for gaining a competitive advantage.
- Segmenting the market by, say, the different ways users use a specific product. The same product might be used for different purposes by different users.
- Testing advertising copy by gathering audience responses to different versions of ad copy.
- Checking customer satisfaction and loyalty say, by identifying the factors that lead to satisfaction / loyalty.
- Checking different things about your brand, such as recall, recognition, trust, image and more, vis a vis competing brands.
- Pricing research where you try to find out which features are most valuable to users and what they will be willing to pay for each.
With this overview, let us look at a sampling of market research service companies in India.
Market Research Service Companies in India
Nielsen attempts to provide its clients with valuable insights into consumer behavior and marketing information. The company accomplishes this through data collection and measurement methods that evaluate what consumers watch and what they buy. The company is best known for its Nielsen ratings, which measures the audiences for television, radio, and newspapers in media markets.
International Data Corporation (IDC)
International Data Corporation (IDC) is a company providing market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. It offers consulting services in the areas of forecasting and segmenting, customer understanding, competitor landscape, partner ecosystem, marketing and sales effectiveness, influencing customers, IT investment and thought leadership. The company also delivers go-to-market and technology research services, such as big data and analytics, cloud, mobility, social business, etc. Additionally, IDC holds events, such as briefings, forums and conferences, as well as speaker bureau and web conferences.
GfK (also known as Growth from Knowledge) is a market intelligence company. It offers consumer insights and panels, distribution and supply chain management, geomarketing, marketing effectiveness, media measurement, POS analytics and tracking, printed ads tracking, product catalogs, shopper, and trends and forecasting solutions.
IMRB was established in 1971 to provide market research services to the clients of Hindustan Thompson Associates. It has now been rebranded as KANTAR IMRB. The company provides several specialized services such as IDEASTOCK (researching disruptive ideas), CHOICEEXPRESS (pricing research), DIALOGUE FACTORY (rural millennials research) and others.
SPER Market Research
Headquartered in Noida city, the company has offices worldwide, and provides strategic & consulting services. The company provides qualitative and quantitative market research services. Specific services include Focus Groups, In-Depth interviews and Face to Face Interviews for qualitative research; CAPI, CATI and PAPI interviews and telephone/ online surveys for quantitative research.
This Kolkata based firm provides outsourced research services to management consulting firms and others. They focus on working as partners to consulting firms who can then focus on thought leadership functions while IBC does the research work.
This Chennai headquartered company provides a range of market research services including Advertising & Promotion Research, Business Intelligence Services, Quantitative and Qualitative Research, Secondary Research, Brand Research and much more.
This Mumbai based company offers New Product Research, Advertising Research, Brand related research such as Image, Health Tracking, Equity and Name, Customer Profiling and Satisfaction Research and more.
This Bangalore based company provides qualitative and quantitative market research services and meaningful insights by analyzing the volumes of data. They classify their services into Global Data Collection, Field Services, Panel Management and Consulting/ Analytics.
NexGen Market Research
Based in Faridabad, NexGen offers Opinion Polls & Political Surveys, Market Research for Startups, Healthcare Research Services (their USP), Consumer Research Services, Retail Research Services and Business & B2B Research Services.
Digital Commerce Insights
This Punjab based company focus on providing measurable customer-centric intelligence. They specialize in gathering market intelligence, business strategy creation, and providing marketing assistance. Through these three services, Digital Commerce Insights convert raw data into actionable insights to accelerate the success of your business. They are a team enthused by emerging technologies and focused on the success of their customers.
How to Select a Market Research Service Company in India?
The location of the service provider can add to the quality of the research in a significant way. Researchers close to your market will be familiar with the cultural attitudes, day-to-day needs and purchasing motivations of buyers in the market. Together with technical skill, this advantage can lead to truly insightful market research reports.
We have listed market research service companies across India – north to south and west to east. You can contact the service providers near your market and assess their technical competence and select those you feel happy with.
While the large service providers mentioned at the top of the list above are likely to charge high service fees, those lower down in the list are likely to prove more affordable. You might also find that they are more responsive to the special requirements of small businesses.
Market research can provide high value insights into market conditions, customer needs and preferences, and emerging trends. These insights can definitely facilitate your business success.
One thing critically important for success is to be clear about what you are trying to find out through market research, and to communicate this clearly to the service provider. If you find this a difficult task, you can work with the service provider to clarify the objective and the data you want gathered.