Dr. Carlos DIAZ RUIZ

Professor in Marketing & Consumer studies

Should Market Research firms buy research reports themselves?

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Market research firms offer their primary research capabilities to decision makers. This is the reason of existence of the market research industry according to ESOMAR (2007). However, it is not very clear when should market research firms buy secondary data from other research firms themselves.

An ad-hoc firm may very well buy an industry report produced by a second company. The focus of the report would be different of course; industry level, instead of company level. Commissioned reports cannot be sold, since they are prepared for a specific client. Non-Disclosure Agreements prevent these practices, and since research firms live from their reputation, very few would dare to do so. Nevertheless, there are industry-level publications which may prove valuable.

It is quite common for some research firms to publish consumer behavior outlets, for example, the “urban tribes”, “hispanics” or any other group of interest. These broad-level publications are useful for other research firms to gain expertise in sectors which they might not be familiar. This publications may be useful. Furthermore, official institutions, like commerce chambers, commission industry-wide publications which are useful for understanding the environment of a client; and then, provide insights on how information can be applied.

To summarize, primary research, produced by market research firms, could be enhanced by including other research reports for two reasons, on the one hand, the possibility to offer useful insights to the client which may be more relevant to the client, if the agency actually understand the industry of its client. On the other hand, published reports may produce familiarity with distinct settings, or consumer groups, which may be beneficial for prospecting future clients

– ESOMAR. (2007).  ICC/ESOMAR international code on market and social research. ICC (International Chamber of Commerce) and ESOMAR (European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research ).


Author: Diaz Ruiz

Carlos A. Diaz Ruiz is Assistant Professor in Marketing at Kedge Business School in Bordeaux

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