The term “in-house” research basically means that you do the research yourself on behalf of your firm, rather than appointing a specialist research agency to do the work. In reality, most smaller exporters simply cannot afford to pay the sort of fees that specialist research companies charge and will end up undertaking the research themselves. To help smaller exporters do the research themselves, ExportHelp provides a research advice page. Exporters may also choose to do their own research for other good reasons, such as:

  • You wish to develop in-company expertise in market research. Companies sometimes establish in-house market research facilities to develop their own expertise. Reliance on the abilities of others, such as market research agencies, can lead to the knowledge about a particular market or about market research techniques in general being stifled.
  • You have long-term objectives in respect of foreign market development. If your firm is developing export interests in a number of markets and your export activities constitute a large proportion of sales turnover, it might prove to be cheaper to develop in-house facilities than to continually employ the services of a research agency, even if you can afford the services of such an agency.
  • Specialist knowledge is a prerequisite for investigating the market and no agency specialising in the market/industry in question is available. In such a case, you might find it more economical to use your own facilities than to spend a considerable amount of time briefing an outside agency on the peculiarities of the product. This is particularly relevant in the case of high-tech items where a detailed knowledge of the product is necessary to effectively carry out the research and to speak in a credible manner to respondents, potential buyers, etc.
  • You already have trained researchers with the appropriate linguistic and technical ability and foreign experience.