Before a decision about cooperating with an external market intelligence provider, a company should consider the advantages and disadvantages of this. It is good to compare the results with the possibilities and risks of conducting analyses and market research within the company. Then it should be considered what are the real needs of the company – on a strategic and operational level (development plans versus current work) and in terms of projects and processes (one-off tasks versus regular activities). And only after such a diagnosis of the situation, one can attempt to make a final decision.
An external market intelligence provider means...
1. Professional support from a person or company who specialises in a given area, has a lot of experience and can deal with difficult challenges.
2. Ability to draw conclusions because without this element an external market intelligence provider cannot start their analytics, research or consulting work.
3. Focus on the result, without wasting time on unnecessary activities, meetings, digressions or even corporate games.
4. Helicopter view that allows a better understanding of the company’s situation – against the background of the entire industry, selected segment or market leaders.
5. Current knowledge flowing from everyday dealing with a given topic – industry, country, task or methodology.
6. Objectivity leading to making effective business decisions – based on facts, not opinions and group thinking (even when it is connected with inconvenient truths).
7. Lack of entanglement in internal systems, networks and groups, which helps external providers to carry out difficult, unacceptable changes.
8. Fresh look at the problems, which leads to the development of innovative, interesting solutions that can distinguish the company from its competition.
9. Cost lower than hiring an employee (or several employees) with similar experience, which consists not only of recruitment, remuneration and benefits, but also tools and development opportunities.
Of external market intelligence providers...
1. Does not know the organisation as well as the employees, so at the beginning of cooperation they need time to better understand the functioning and specifics of the company.
2. Performs mainly complicated tasks that require specialised knowledge and rich experience, and in the case of simple, routine and repetitive tasks it often turns out to be expensive.
3. Accepts the role of a critic (because they are often employed to change something in the company), and thus may be unaccepted by employees defending the "old good solutions".
4. Works on a fixed-term contract, usually for a short period, so their relationship with the organisation may lack a long-term perspective or commitment.
5. Acts at its own discretion when the tasks assigned, or the principles / objectives of cooperation are not specific and unambiguous.
6. May too often refer to "best practices", forgetting that every company / industry is different and requires solutions tailored to individual situations.
7. May be accused of forcing solutionsthat are beneficial to them, for example if they push to sell their own products or to implement their "favourite", "proven" solutions.
8. Sometimes takes the whole responsibility for failure, while in many situations, part of the fault is also on the side of the organisation; blaming an external provider for failure allows the company to save face but hinders learning from own mistakes.
If you consider working with an external provider in the area of market data collection or market analysis and research, we will be happy to answer all your questions.