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What Factors Comprise the Cost of Market Research?

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What Factors Comprise the Cost of Market Research?

cost of market researchOne of the most important questions that we are asked from prospective clients – and also among the first – is some variation of: “how much is this going to cost?”

Understandably, there is no standard answer to this question, because market research is a project – not a commodity. It is not like purchasing equipment, technology, real estate and so on. Obtaining market research can cost under $10,000, or well over $100,000. It all depends on what problem(s) a business wants to solve through market research, and of course, whether it makes financial sense for them to move forward. Many times it is justifiable, but sometimes it is better (or just necessary) to reduce the scope so that it is more financially feasible at the current time.

Generally speaking, here are some of the major factors that comprise the total cost of market research:

  • The number of participant groups that will be targeted. For example, current customers and potential customers are two different audiences, buyers and end users are often not the same people (especially in B2B), and so on.  
  • What needs to be learned from each participant group. This is the problem(s) that the market research aims to solve, and is translated into a series of carefully designed questions.
  • Where market research participants are located.
  • The resources involved in building a suitable pool of participants from which to recruit. The more specific or harder-to-reach a segment is, the higher the costs.
  • Which data gathering methods will be used. The location of participants will directly influence the cost of using various research methods. For example, while it may be ideal to conduct one-on-one in-depth interviews, if participants are spread across the country this may not be financially viable. In such cases, there is usually a mix of some in-person data gathering, with lower cost methods such as phone interviews.
  • The role (if any) that a professional interviewer will need to play, such as for phone and in-person interviews, focus groups, etc.
  • Whether market research data will be integrated with other systems in the environment, such as CRM software, contact management software, etc.
  • The reporting requirements once the market research is gathered and analyzed. For example, many businesses have multiple users of market research, such as sales, marketing, product development, R&D, customer service, technical support, and so on. Each of these stakeholders must have the results conveyed to them in a manner that makes sense in their world.

Again, this is not meant to be an comprehensive list of factors. However, it does cover some of the key components that make-up the overall cost of market research, and ultimately determine the final price position.

Learn More

To learn more about the cost of market research, and how to ensure that your spend is an investment rather than an expense, contact the Communications For Research team today. You’ll speak to our co-CEO, Colson Steber, who can offer market research advice based on the problems your business is looking to solve.

For more information on the value of market research and how to communicate it to your clients, download our FREE eBook:

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