Market Research Contracts in 2020/21 – What’s Trending?

Published1st December 2020

Looking for market research contracts? Here’s what you need to know.

Market research contracts offer a vast and versatile range of work for research businesses and contractors. And after a year like 2020, market research is more important than ever! Businesses are adapting to new practices and working on recovery strategies. So, what are the current industry trends? And what’s the best way forward for market research experts?

What does a market research contract typically entail?

Essentially, a third-party contractor is required to research the needs and preferences of a particular market for a buying authority. In general terms, market research enables businesses to find out essential information to inform their products or services. For example, a business might hire a market researcher to answer questions such as:

  • What exactly do consumers want from our products?
  • What needs aren’t being met with similar existing products?
  • How much competition is there for our products?
  • What target market should we be aiming at?
  • How much should we charge consumers?

A wide range of contracts are on offer.

We host a varied range of contracts on Research Tenders and know market research can cover a wide range of intel. Market research contracts may include:

  • Business-to-business marketing
  • Business-to-consumer marketing
  • Business-to-government marketing.

For example, the following recent market research contracts demonstrate their versatility:

  • An educational body such as the Department for Education seeks a company to conduct market research. This research will determine the most suitable equipment and classroom set-up for students to improve education standards.
  • A private tech company has no in-house research capability. They seek a contractor to investigate and evaluate the market for new products, which will then inform what they create.
  • A government organisation seeks contractors to research the country’s dairy sector. This research will consider emerging trends in dairy nutrition and inform future spend and opportunities for the sector.

Why is market research important?

Strong market research is often vital to the success of a project or business. Whether it’s shaping a product for consumers, or a government public health initiative, solid research beforehand will improve the outcome. Risks are also reduced dramatically. A well-informed business or organisation can make properly informed decisions, which means less money and resources are wasted.

How has 2020 increased demand for market research?

Now, with many businesses hit hard by the pandemic, risk management is more important than ever. Unnecessary spending is being limited, across the board.

So how are market research contracts fairing alongside these drastic economic changes? While many companies have slashed their marketing budgets, the future of market research has been called into question. But recent research reveals a slightly different story…

There’s an increased need for well-informed business decisions.

The following industry insight shows how businesses are investing in market research as part of their COVID-19 recovery plan:

  • Insight from Detsu: Detsu recently surveyed hundreds of chief marketing officers worldwide to understand how the pandemic is affecting market research. 40% of those surveyed said the most significant challenge for businesses over the next year is understanding consumer behaviour. In particular, understanding whether new behaviours are a temporary shift or a permanent change to inform business decisions. The survey determined that chief marketers who felt the most prepared for adapting to the pandemic were putting market research first. Among this group, “understanding changing consumer behaviour and undertaking market research is the most popular future strategy.”
  • Insight from Kantar: A study by Kantar found 38% of UK firms are maintaining their investment in market research during the pandemic. A further 9% increased their budget for market research in response to recent changes. Rosie Hawkins, chief innovation officer at Kantar, talked about the importance of innovation when it comes to drastic change. She said:

We see leaders taking steps to understand and explore the spaces for innovation in their business to drive recovery:

Evolving their business models; 

Innovating in their portfolio to address newfound habits and consumption patterns; 

Reinventing routes to market, and; 

Reimagining the customer experience in a digital environment.

Ultimately, cutting back on market research for the sake of cost-cutting is a short-sighted idea. In the long run, it’s detrimental. Effective market research will prove to be an essential part of recovery for businesses as we emerge from the pandemic. 

If anything is certain, it’s that things are always changing!

As new demands spring up, we’re seeing increased tenders for market research in new areas. Consumers are raising their expectations of how businesses operate, and how they employ sustainability in their operating models. This has led to an increased focus on sustainability and environmental impact in market research contracts. For example, surveys into the awareness of environmental issues in the marine environment, or attitudes towards home energy efficiency.

Tendering for market research contracts yet? …No? Here’s why you should be.

Tendering opens the door to a wide range of market research contracts that aren’t accessible otherwise. Many companies see the tendering process as a barrier which is too difficult or time consuming to cross. This idea that tendering is a drawn-out, complicated process stops many companies from competing for work, particularly government contracts.

In reality, however, tendering doesn’t need to be complicated – especially with the right support. Tendering can open doors to a vast range of opportunities that will ultimately grow your business! It’s an oversight for companies to miss out on work that could boost their business due to misconceptions.

Here’s some insight into why tendering is an effective route if you’re interested in market research contracts. Don’t miss out any longer!

Tenders offer structured and purposeful research projects!

One advantage of tendering is that a structure and purpose has already been set out for the research in hand. Research work can sometimes feel boundless, especially if you’re working with qualitative data. When do you draw conclusions? At what point does field research become too time-consuming or costly to justify?

An Invitation to Tender (ITT) for a market research contract means the groundwork has been laid out already. You can rest assured that your services are in demand and you’ll be working within a structured project. When a market research contract is put out to tender, the buying organisation has already established and defined the following:

  • Purpose: The need for the research.
  • Outcome: What the research needs to demonstrate.
  • Timescale: How long the research should take.
  • Budget: How much should be spent on the research.

Within these constraints, planning your market research and allocating the spend becomes a much simpler task. You also get a clear gauge of what businesses expect to pay for specialised market research services, going forward.

Can anyone tender for market research contracts?

In short – yes! We generally recommend that businesses should tender for contracts that are worth no more than 50% of their annual takeover. For instance, if a company’s annual turnover is £150k, they should tender for contracts with a max value of £75k. However, this doesn’t mean companies with smaller turnovers can’t tender at all. Market research contracts are versatile, and smaller projects are up for grabs, too.

On Research Tenders, we host opportunities with a range of budgets, suitable for businesses of all sizes. Here’s some insight into the range of market research contracts that are available – and how you can start winning work.

What kind of market research contracts are available for SMEs?

  • Small contracts.

A smaller business may budget a market research contract at £5,000. For instance, a printing company who needs market research to better inform their next wave of products. As a small company, they don’t have market research skills in-house. So, they put out a tender which states they’re seeking a company with the following: Expertise in market research to provide accurate market assessment on which to base investment decisions.

  • Large contracts.

Larger contracts don’t always exclude SMEs or sole traders. A market research contract may contain the following statement. This contract may be suitable for small or medium enterprises (SMEs). However, any selection of tenderers will be based solely on the criteria set out for the procurement. This essentially means you still have to be able to price your services in competition with larger companies.

Work on large contracts may be available through framework agreements or dynamic purchasing systems. Watch our free Tender VLE masterclass for more information on how frameworks can benefit SMEs.

What skills are required for market research contracts?

Qualifications and requirements for a market research contract may include:

  • experience in mixed methods research
  • expertise in conducting interviews and other data gathering approaches to generate policy and practice recommendations
  • experience of conducting programme or strategy reviews
  • dedicated teams with suitable experience and qualifications

How to win market research contracts.

Generally, to win market research projects, you’ll need to:

  1. Demonstrate evidence of previous projects.

Stating that you have the skills and qualifications to complete a contract isn’t enough. You need to provide proof of past projects and lessons learned in the form of case studies. We recommend creating at least three strong case studies before tendering for work.   

  1. Offer good value for money.

Price your services to ensure you’ll be the Most Economically Advantageous Tender (MEAT), whilst still making a profit.

  1. Deliver the job within the timeframe.

Timeframes for research tenders can be short, for example, the contract may specify research should be concluded within 2 months. Ensure you have the team and capabilities to complete the job within the specified timescale.

If you need support producing a winning bid, look no further. The bid writers in our Hudson Succeed division can help your business produce the best bid possible for market research contracts. They have extensive experience, and an 87% success rate. Let them help your business succeed! 

Research Tenders

At Research Tenders, we source hundreds of current research opportunities, including:

  • Market Research
  • Academic Research
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Qualitative and Quantitative Research
  • Survey Services and many more.

Below are previous market research tenders sourced on our portal:

Provision of Market Research & Stakeholder Engagement Services

Agri-Epi Centre Limited- Scotland- Budget: £189,000

Marketing Research into New Sectors

Hospice Quality Partnership- North West- Budget: £3,000

Business Research & Data Provision

Worcestershire County Council- West Midlands- Budget: £45,500

Invitation to Quote for Business Support Market Research

The Business Growth Hub Limited- North West- Budget: £25,000

GB-London: Managed Service Providers’ Market Research

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport- London- Budget: £100,000

Book a free, live demo today to see how our service can help your research business. The demo will show you all the useful features of our site, the current opportunities and the time-saving benefits.

Similar Insights

Looking For Evaluation Tenders? Here Are The 4 Main Types of Evaluation Services That Buyers Seek

Read Article

The 5 Most Common Types of Social Research Tenders

Read Article
en_GBEnglish (UK)