A research study which is conducted and funded by a market research firm but not for any specific client is called a syndicated research. The result of such research is often provided in the form of reports, presentations, raw data etc. and is made available in open market for anyone to purchase.
In syndicated research the research problem and scope of research is formulated by market research companies based on their experience and methodology. Thus they often need refinement when you want to use them in lieu of custom market research.
Now let’s try to understand various factors related to syndicated research like why it’s conducted, what’s its use, who should use it, when to use it and so forth.
Why syndicated research is conducted?
Syndicated research is conducted by market research companies for various purposes:
- To update their knowledge base on key industries on which they specialize or wish to specialize.
- To utilize human resources during slack period.
- To improve visibility of their company by using syndicated research as means to get publicity.
- To show-off the skills of the company.
- To update industry tracker and databases provided to their clients on subscription.
These are the major reasons why a market research company invest its funds and time in conducting a syndicate research without any assurance of recovering its cost.
When syndicated research is used?
Syndicated research is often used during exploratory research which follows an unstructured format. It is also used in following cases:
- When you want to find information about a market before making a plan for full scale custom market research.
- When you want to use data pointers and charts during presentations and have no-time to conduct custom research.
- When you want to create an investor pitch and need various data pointers on short notice.
- When you are running short on your research budget.
- When you need information for use in your research thesis.
- When you are working in news agency and want data for your article or news story.
- You are a venture capitalist or investor and want to be updated about trends happening in various industries, markets and companies of your interest.
Why should you use syndicated research?
Syndicated research reports should be used during exploratory research process to gain more information about a market, industry or company at a lesser cost and in shorter time span. Many companies providing syndicated research reports often provide customization services too. This can really help you identify the companies you should be asking for research proposals in future when you want to go ahead with custom market research.
In short when you are building your knowledge base about a business/research problem and don’t want to spend huge amount or have very less time you should use syndicated research reports.
What’s the cost of syndicated research?
The cost of syndicated research reports varies from reports to reports and publishers (market research companies who conduct syndicated research). But one thing is certain that syndicated reports are much cheaper compared to custom market research. On an average they are almost 10 times cheaper than custom market research studies of the same scope.
The main reason for the lesser price of syndicated research reports is that they are made available to anyone who is willing to purchase them in an open market. Whereas in case of a custom market research the data is only made available to the client and are often governed by non-disclosure agreements.
Thus the company conducting syndicated research prices their reports a lower price point and hope to recover their cost by selling to multiple customers globally.
Where to find syndicated research?
Now comes to question of how or where to acquire syndicated research reports. Well, syndicated research reports can be acquired from any of the following sources:
1. Industry Association
Industry Associations are good sources to find ready-made information about their industry and market. They hire market research companies to conduct study for them and then often provide the results of that study publically for everyone.
They can be a good source when you want to find macro level information about any industry or market but can be very little use if your needs are very specific.
2. University Libraries
University or b-school libraries often have access to digital databases which provide research information and if you have access to them then you can find a vast collection of information. This again has limitations when you are looking for something very specific, but often provide enough information which can help you to a greater extent.
3. Market Research Reports Portals
This is the most convenient way to find and buy syndicated market research reports. You can use portals like Market Research Reports to find and purchase syndicated research reports. These portals distribute syndicate reports offered by many renowned global market research companies.
They can also help you in finding the best suited research for your requirements. Moreover since they work with market research companies directly they can also help in customizing a syndicated report or conducting full-fledged custom market research study.
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Think I have missed any major insights in this article? Get thee to the comments and let me know.
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Very informative article. Now I have understood why companies write syndicated reports.
I am planning to start my first business venture and was looking for ways to find relevant information about my targeted industry which can help me refine my business plan. Someone in my friend circle suggested me about using syndicate research reports since I didn’t want to spend a lot on market research. I came across this article while searching about syndicated research. I learned so many new things about syndicated research after reading your article.
But what should one do if they are not familiar with using syndicated research reports and market research companies publishing them?
I am glad that this article was able to enlighten your understanding about syndicated research. Though its not easy to choose which syndicated reports to buy or which source to trust, it always helps if you are clear about your requirement. Like I have mentioned in the my article, syndicated research reports are prepared by market research companies without any single client dictating the methodology or objectives. Instead market research companies draft the objectives and methodology of syndicated research to cater to a wide audience (remember they are paying for conducting that syndicated research) so that the final report can be purchased and used by many customers.
What I will suggest that first of all you should clearly draft what all information you need. Then go through table of contents of available syndicated research reports to see if they cover all or most of the information you need. You can either choose to purchase multiple reports in case one report doesn’t cover all the information you need or get in touch with the market research company that has published the report to check whether they can customize it for you. In most cases, market research companies do customize syndicated research reports, but this comes at an extra cost. Also don’t only rely of paid syndicated research reports. Make sure to check various freely available information from sources like industrial associations, government data etc. as well. Hope this will help you in finding the information you are looking for and best of luck for your new venture.
What is NON-SYNDICATED MARKET RESEARCH?
The opposite of syndicated research is custom market research where a client organization hires a market research firm to do a research for them.
In these type of research projects the end-result is only shared with the client organization unless the study is planned to be released in public domain (often the case with industry associations).
Also on cost-wise custom market research studies are roughly 10-20 times on the higher side compared to syndicated research studies. Again this can vary based on client organization’s research objectives and the market research company being hired.
Thank you for this wonderful and Inspiring article, Ambarish.
I’d like to conduct a SR for my master’s thesis, because the information I am looking for is available nowhere.
Therefore I’d like to interview some companies which are all competitors of each other. I’d like them to reveal some sensitive informationa like their turnover. How can I get startet? I assume the surveyed information would be interesting for all participating companies, since they are too small to conduct such a market research. But I am afraid that if one company does not participate the others won’t participate either.
Concerning the turnover I thought about offering ranges, so that no company has to reveal the exact figures.
You certainly have experience with this. Could you please give me some advice?
Thank you very much.
Thanks for showing interest in this article.
Without knowing which industry and market you want to cover its difficult to suggest the right course of action.
If the companies you wish to cover for your research study are participant’s of any industry association (in most cases you can find industry associations for all industry sectors) then you can approach that association and suggest what you are trying to achieve and how that can be beneficial to their members. Many a times industry associations commission research studies about their sector via market research firms or freelance consultants. If they like your research proposal then they will also help you in conducting interviews with their member companies.
In case you do not find industry association for your target companies or the association turns down your proposal then you have to go with direct approach. I suggest designing a structured questionnaire which can be used to collect data from target companies (data collection method can be different based on the research parameters). You can use press releases, news articles, online company databases etc. to conduct secondary research and gather as much information possible about target companies and then conduct telephonic or direct interviews using the questionnaire to validate the collected data.
Hope this helps.
Kudos for such a concise and precise article. I just want to add one more reason why companies purchase or use syndicated reports is to present their companies key performance indicators such as market share , sales, margins etc in shareholder presentations, presentations to financial institutions, in media etc.as these 3rd party reports are considered neutral and not biased in favor of any company.
Is there a place to get the cost factors that determine pricing of a syndicated research or any kind of pricing benchmark for syndicated research
The price of any syndicated research report is determined by the market research firm which had generated that report. This is normally done on the basis of the cost incurred (in terms of seniority of human resources involved, time taken to prepare the report and other research expenses) and the brand value of the market research firm.
Thus it varies from one firm to another and there is no standardized way to determine that.
But any where we can get like a mean of pricing for sectors or something.
Its very difficult to get a mean pricing for syndicated research reports on various sectors due to various reasons I mentioned earlier.
The most accurate way to find the costing of reports would be to visit market research report distribution platforms like http://www.marketresearchreports.com and search for the sector reports. Then make a comparison between price and content (table of contents) of the reports.
Please bear in mind though, its not always that the more the number of pages in a report, the more costly it will be. Sometime a one page report can be worth thousand of dollars.
Hope this helps.
Thank you for this informative article and the comments that it has generated. What I appreciated most are the pointers to sources of information from which one can obtain syndicated research reports. I also liked your suggestion on being clear on one’s research needs and goals as key to quickly evaluating and acquiring reports that are relevant.
I am glad that this article was of any use to you. Thanks for visiting and for your appreciation.
Is syndicated report writing similar to report writing in custom research and are the steps /procedure for MR followed in both the researches same.
Thanks for the write up. it is really helpful and insightful.
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Hello Dr. Ambarish,
I have been in the foodservice sales industry for many years. I have been hearing more and more about syndicated data. I was wondering as novice – old school sales person like myself – how hard is it to understand and use?
Syndicated research reports are ready to purchase reports thus publishers of such reports usually have detailed table of contents displayed publicly. It’s always a good practice to contact the publisher of the report which suits your requirements and ask questions related to coverage of topics of your interest. This can greatly help you assess if that report will suit your needs.