Examples of How Much Market Research Costs

market research cost

The cost of a market research report depends on various factors. The five major components which influence the cost of a market analysis report are:

  1. Research Objective – what you are trying to accomplish or understand.
  2. Research Methodology – how the data you need will be collected (existing research, in person, phone, online, focus group, etc.).
  3. Target Audience – the group of people the research will help you understand.
  4. Time – How long it will take to collect statistically relevant information.
  5. Service Provider – Who will be doing the data collection & analysis.

So How Does This Break Down into Market Research Cost?

Research Objective Clarity

It is important that the objective of the research is well-defined from the start. The methodology of market research changes with the purpose of the research and has a direct effect on the cost factor.   Lack of clarity can result in data collection that does not support the true goal.

For example, if a retailer wants to understand information about products that will do well in their store, both product testing or pricing research could be appropriate.

If the goal is profitability, then pricing research would be more fitting. If user behavior or affinity for a product is the goal, then product testing would be best.

Without clarity, the amount of time necessary to complete the research could be longer, resulting in higher costs.  These decisions also influence research methodology.

Research Methodology

There is a direct co-relation between research objective and research methodology. Clarity on the research objective helps choose the right research methodology.

For example, qualitative research in the form of interviews with focus groups will be beneficial to reach the best pricing strategy for a product.

According to twentify.com, the average cost of conducting personal interviews is $325 USD per person. While a 90-minute session with a focus group of eight people will cost around $500 per participant.

Target Audience Size

A major determining factor in the cost of market research is the size of the target audience. Smaller demographic groups result in higher costs.  Larger demographic groups result in lower costs.  The reason is access to the group.  The more difficult it is to reach the audience, the higher the costs, due to incentives, identification, etc.

Research methodology plays a large role in target audience.  The size of audience is determined by the method needed to acquire statistically relevant data from said audience.

Turnaround Time

Research can take time, which makes turnaround time a key influencer in cost. The shorter the turn-around time, the higher cost. The longer the turnaround time the lower the cost. However, in unique circumstances, a longer time line can also increase cost.

For example, a company needs research data to understand the long-term side effects of a mineral in a sparkling water beverage.  Let’s say, married women, between the ages of 25-45, with a household income over $150,000, in Alabama, is our target audience.  Since this demographic data is very narrow and the median income in AL is $29k, regardless of open ended turnaround, cost can still go up because of the scarcity of the audience.

Service Provider

The cost of market research analysis depends on the nature of service provider hired. Three kinds of service providers who undertake market research studies are:

  • Traditional Market Research Firms

Though highly costly, market research agencies guarantee promised results without much effort from the client. These agencies undertake end-to-end analysis. The only down-side is, small and medium businesses cannot afford to hire their services due to high pricing.

  • Self-served Research Platforms

Self-served research platforms allow clients to design surveys. These surveys can be well framed depending on the research objective and the nature of the target audience.

Unlike the traditional market research firms, self-served research platforms are budget-friendly. These platforms provide all the required data for research analysis. This is another reason several businesses prefer them over other service providers.

  • Survey Hosting Platforms

Survey hosting platforms are the most inexpensive service providers. But the major disadvantage is they do not guarantee any result to the clients.

Unlike the self-served research platforms, survey hosting platforms do not provide any research data to the clients. So, they are required to come up with their own data base and undertake the entire research work.

Thus, multiple factors influence the cost of a market research report.

Broadly, the cost range for a market research report is:

  1. $100 – $1,000

This is the cost of a top-level report. Generally, these reports cover basic information on an industry. They also provide insights on the size of the industry, names of the top players, and its current market value.

  1. $1,500 – $8,000

Full-market reports fall in this price range. These market research reports have a detailed analysis of the market and its subcategories. Aspects like current trends, technological innovations, and future projections, are also included in a full-market report.

  1. $10,000 – $30,000

The cost of a product detail market report starts from $10,000 and goes up to $30,000. These reports give an in-depth understanding of a market, by covering specific market values and trends. Factors like cost and demand of a specific product in a specific region is also included in these reports.