In recent years, there has been a trend towards using outside suppliers. This has probably occurred because of the more complex and sophisticated research techniques that have recently been developed and the fact that people in organisations do not usually have the necessary skills for these techniques. Computerisation has produced ways of finding and analysing information that could not have been dreamed of only a few years ago. While computers have been adopted almost universally, their use for marketing research has developed as a specialised field of knowledge and few firms have developed this expertise for themselves. Companies are also reducing their middle and top management staff. For financial reasons, many companies believe that an outside research firm can perform market research better and more cheaply than the companies' own personnel. Because of the wealth of information now available to clients on a continuing basis from agencies that specialise in gathering, analysing and reporting information, it is too costly and time-consuming for any single company to attempt to collect such information itself. The use of outside firms is desirable when confidentiality is of paramount importance. This is important where knowing the company and its products has an effect on the responses given by subjects participating in the research.
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