The first step in buying research from an outside agency is to draw up a shortlist of agencies that might be appropriate. A set of guidelines for doing this is outlined in Section 9.6.1. The same rules apply here.
A good starting point is to obtain the Market Research Society's booklet The Research Buyer's Guide. The details given in this make it possible to match the agency to the job: large job, large agency; small job, small agency; industrial job, industrial agency, etc. The booklet also identifies agencies with appropriate specialist services, e.g. in travel and tourism, motoring research, industrial research and financial research. Another useful source is to ask colleagues, friends and business acquaintances to recommend agencies with whom they have had good experience. From this selection procedure a shortlist of two or three agencies should be drawn up and a meeting arranged to discuss the research._
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