The type of research envisaged

The agency should be informed about the thinking that has gone into suggesting the kind of research that might be required. If it is felt internally that the most appropriate kind of data would be qualitative, perhaps involving group discussions, then the agency should be told this. If a quantitative decision, based on hard data, is to be made then a quantitative survey will be needed and the agency should be informed. This will guide them in deciding on an appropriate sample size. It is likely that the research buyer is looking for the agency's advice on the most appropriate type of research for the problem and it is perfectly reasonable to expect this. Any agency worth its salt will tell a client if they believe an inappropriate type of research is being suggested. However, it also makes sense to give the agency clues as to the sort of work that is being expected from them. This will avoid the aggravation of receiving a detailed proposal from the research agency for a major survey when all the client really wanted was a few group discussions.

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