📈 Guide: Better results in Professional Desk Research in 2018

What is Desk Research and why Consider Consulting a Market Research Agency?

The internet is full of public information about existing customers, potential customers, new markets and key people, which can provide valuable insight for business decision makers. In order to be able to adapt strategies to market changes and focus on competitors, frequently-conducted desk research is a necessity. However, if you are conducting it in-house, it can be costly and time-consuming.

Desk research, also called secondary research, covers analysis of internal records, past marketing research reports, government and EU statistics, market reports, directories, newspapers, journals, magazines and plenty more.

Unstructured data in need of NoMore research services

Desk research can be divided into two parts: 1) analysis of internal data, which often includes databases, sales information, cost information and inventory information and 2) analysis conducted on various external data, which can include oral data sources like interviews, written data sources like statistical databases and standardized data sources such as stock prices, along with multiple other sources.

The question is: How should decision makers conduct efficient, value adding desk research that helps them in their busy business life?

1. Do it yourself

Doing desk research yourself often results in a deeper understanding of the source and a corresponding increase in quality. However, this can often be a costly and time-consuming endeavour and decision makers are very busy people, who often get interrupted. Additionally, important information can easily get missed, as it is often found in unstructured sources that take many hours to analyze.

2. Do it in-house

There is often a steep learning curve associated with desk research, which is why there is a big advantage to having it carried out by trained strategists/analysts who know how to find the right data in the most efficient way. Some large organizations have internal research experts to help them conduct this work – however, these are often expensive and have limited flexibility. Small businesses have neither the sufficient capacity nor the scale to implement their own market research department without it becoming prohibitively expensive.

3. Outsource it

The last option is to use the full range of services of a marketing research agency. One of the core benefits of this approach is that each task is handled by trained research experts. These experienced specialists find all the relevant information which is needed and filter it, based on importance. Historically, research firms have been a high-end luxury, too expensive for smaller tasks. However, with NoMore’s structured approach, companies are able to make better decisions without paying more than they would in-house - in fact, in many cases, they may even pay less.

laptop, paper and pen are ready to do desk researches

Choosing the Ideal Research Supplier for Desk Research

Different stakeholders often have differing perspectives on which factors are of the highest importance when choosing a desk research service supplier. Sales people often feel that the most important decision criteria should be the supplier\'s reputation and a quick turnaround time, whereas marketing departments often believe that the focus should be on cost and visual layout of the end product. NoMore combines the best of these differing approaches and establishes a solid scope with a clear assessment of the timeline and quality limitations. NoMore is committed to combining low costs, high quality end-products, and short turnaround time.

How much Public Information is Available for Desk Researchers to find?

In this day and age, the internet is full of many different sources of information and a wide range of data. The Internet is easily accessible for everyone and enterprises now share a lot of their data and information for everyone to see. One good example of this is how many companies use social media platforms to share news about products, services, new articles, people or prices. From a competitor or market researcher point of view, this information creates a substantial opportunity for insights into the development of each company. Using structured web research services such as those provided by NoMore allows this information to be leveraged for better decision making.

Current, Relevant Information for Desk Research is Just One Click Away

Companies that want to learn the newest facts and information about competitors can benefit from carrying out frequent business or web research. Company websites give insights into their focus and a lot of different data - such as information on changes in stores and prices - which can be very helpful for decision makers.

Successful online research heavily depends on selecting relevant information from the right channels. There are many different potential sources, but finding the right one is crucial. Google Maps, for example, contains all current and important store info and can be helpful to understand how a competitor is growing or declining in a certain geographical area. Facebook and Twitter are designed to share news immediately, or to call followers\' attention to news in general, as well as industry specific news. However, using social media outlets as your only sources can be misleading, as companies tend to use these mediums to mainly focus on positive news.

LinkedIn is one of the most important social media platforms for gathering public information and can be used to track how fast companies are growing, see who is responsible for the company and keep track of changes in management and organization.

Case Example: Using Desk Research for Monthly Competitor Tracking

Situation: A large retail company is currently the market leader within a range of geographies in Denmark. The new CEO is very keen on maintaining this position and requires a solid understanding of the month-by-month development of competitors. To provide this ongoing insight, the CEO decided to initiate a monthly report on the activities of all relevant competitors within these regions.

Complications: The CEO was too busy to do the desk research by himself and his employees were also short on resources and had limited experience in the field of web research. Often, employees don’t know where to find the most important data and lack the time to analyze more unstructured sources. The company had no capacity to hire new staff to focus on business research.

Solutions: The CEO was introduced to NoMore.

 a women is working on a laptop with cell phone and watch

How NoMore’s Desk Research Provides Monthly Insights

By combining our experience from consulting and business research with our platform of Data Entry operators, NoMore is able to gather, structure and summarize large amounts of information. Doing so has been the key to solving the client’s problem.

The process is quite simple: After talking to the Copenhagen team about the relevant parameters, scope and limitations, the company places an order on the NoMore platform. As soon as the request has been received the team in Copenhagen selects an appropriate specialist who then starts work on the job.

In this case, NoMore identified the main competitors\' current business activities and in 3 days, gathered all the relevant information. Every month since then, NoMore has provided an update for the company about any developments and changes in competitor locations, as well as any other relevant information posted online.

How Outsourcing Desk Research can Increase Flexibility and Employee Satisfaction

The impact of a good business strategy is very dependent on the quality of the informing desk research. Outsourcing research to market research agencies can help to ensure that the strategy is up-to-date at all times. Additionally, conducting market research every month increases competitiveness and ensures that the latest news is not lost in an overload of public information. At NoMore, we take information from multiple different sources and condense it into 2-3 simple PowerPoint slides that succinctly summarize the monthly changes. This way, our clients do not have to read several articles by themselves.

One of the reasons clients use NoMore’s Desk research offering is also to save time. Outsourcing web research can increase flexibility and employee satisfaction. When using NoMore, not having enough man-power is not an excuse, as NoMore can provide analyses on a day-to-day basis, at very short notice. Our Denmark-based support team is available from 07:00 CET to 23:00 CET and helps us to deliver 80% of all projects the day we receive them.

Outsourcing of desk research is an efficient way to ensure more productive and satisfied employees, while helping the organization to make better decisions. Best of all? NoMore\'s prices are very affordable and do not require any minimum payment commitments.