Why government agencies should do market research

Market Research

Decision-making is a complex process for government agencies. You must consider several policies, regulations, procedures and all possibilities. Making careful and methodical decisions is particularly important for federal procurement processes.

U.S. government market research aims to allocate resources to prioritize social services and responsibilities. Using market research to create a more effective fiscal policy or make purchasing decisions is valuable.

What is market research for government agencies?

Market research collects, organizes, analyzes and presents the data needed to make commercial acquisitions. It allows you to find the best value and most suitable service provider when acquiring products and services. In simple terms, market research helps you make informed decisions. You can choose the most appropriate product or service for your specific needs.

The process is more complex than finding the best deal or value for money. It must identify the capabilities of businesses and whether they meet your requirements. Your agency determines a need and then conducts market research to find the best way to meet it.

Government agencies use market research differently from commercial organizations. Yet they are two sides of the same coin. Your agency can use market research and analyze trends to determine the best practices for acquisition strategies. Commercial organizations can use it to bid on those government contracts.

Comprehensive market research provides government agencies with the following data:

  • Suppliers capable of meeting your need, including small businesses.
  • Understanding of commercial practices and competitive market forces.
  • Insight into relevant laws and regulations.
  • Information on existing products and levels of product quality, performance and pricing.
  • Records of successful acquisition practices of other agencies.
  • Measurement of support capabilities.

Why perform market research?

Quality market research lets you connect with service providers and the public. You can mitigate risks and make informed decisions that drive your agency forward. Under specific circumstances, performing market research is also a legal requirement.

The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) requires government agencies to conduct market research before developing new requirement documents for acquisition. Your agency must use it to identify small businesses and new contractor capabilities.

Market research also helps your agency engage in good business practices. It defines your requirements and processes and helps optimize commercial products and services. Government agencies handle complex challenges — using market research is vital to leverage commercially available solutions.

You can use market research results to determine the most suitable business decision to meet your needs. The results can address any limitations in your current strategies. They also provide purpose and direction to your business models. In short, government market research has significant benefits, both for your agency and commercial organizations bidding for your contracts.

Performing market research can assist with the following tasks:

  • Prioritizing and providing social services.
  • Planning a systematic allocation of limited resources.
  • Regulating the market.
  • Informing cost-benefit analyses.
  • Drafting a more effective fiscal policy.

How government agencies perform market research

Government agencies adopt a systematic process for performing market research. Firstly, there must be a need. Once you have identified this need, you’ll determine whether market research is necessary. If it is, your agency will determine whether commercial items and services are available.

Your agency can choose whether to conduct exhaustive or less detailed research. The choice depends on several factors. These include time sensitivity, experience with similar requirements and the project’s complexity. Depending on the type of project, you can choose to conduct market research in several ways. Some methods include:

  • Contacting experts: Knowledgeable people in government and the industry can provide critical information on market capabilities.
  • Examining existing data: You can base some of your research on the recent manufacturer and distributor-published catalogs.
  • Participating in online conversations: You can engage in interactive online communication within the relevant industry. Get information from various departmental personnel and customers.
  • Issuing requests for information (RFI): You can provide contractors with valuable opportunities by issuing an RFI. An RFI is a formal request for gathering information on potential suppliers. You can also use a sources sought notice, a synopsis stating you are seeking possible sources for a project.
  • Conducting government surveys: Surveys are an invaluable tool for market research. You can glean critical information from within a relevant industry as a government agency. You can also reach out to civilians. The information you get will help you allocate your resources to provide proactive social services. Connecting to the right demographic with quality surveys can help determine the feasibility of your project.
  • Using online studies: Online studies are one of the most effective ways of reaching industry professionals. You can establish a basis for effective decision-making. You can also establish a connection with service providers.

Different types of market research

There are two fundamental types of market research — strategic and tactical. While you conduct each with similar goals, the two have significant differences.

Strategic market research

Strategic market research is ongoing and not focused on a specific acquisition. It gives you a broad understanding of the market, business developments and technologies in the industry. You can focus on the products and services of interest to your agency and stay abreast of current developments and trends.

This type of market research helps a range of personnel within your industry stay informed. Strategic market research can take the form of a sources sought notice.

Tactical market research

Tactical market research provides focus and depth. You would conduct this research in response to a specific need. It should answer particular questions about your current acquisition, like the capabilities of the market and the available products and services.

Government agency requirements are fluid. You must revisit them often during tactical market research. Often, you would issue an RFI during your tactical research.

Take your government market research to the next level with Cint

Market research is a crucial element of government decision-making. Cint helps your agency conduct online studies that empower you with the market research data you need to augment your resource allocation.

With a series of powerful quality checks, we connect your agency with the right people. We can help on a tight schedule to deliver fast outcomes and accurate results. With Cint, you can produce the data you need to make informed decisions for your agency. Contact us to learn how our market research tools can help your agency succeed.

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