For the purpose of this article it is assumed that the decision to carry out market research is well-founded. Nevertheless, examination of the reasons for carrying out the research will help, not only in deciding whether to undertake the project as an in-company project, but also in choosing among several agencies should a decision be made to go outside. It is particularly important to stop to establish the reasons for the research when, as is too often the case, the need for it arises from some crisis. At such times, the urge for action is Paramount and the signals, which in themselves may Indicate the correct decision, may go unnoticed . The wisest cousel then is to stop, do nothing and think: think why is research needed, what information is required and how it will help when it has been obtained. In this way it is possible: to ensure that the problem is correctly analysed and interpreted, and is judged in the context of total operations. Only then can a rational decision be made either to use an existing in-company unit, to set one up if it does not already exist, or to go to an outside agency for help on either a permanent or temporary basis. There are a number of considerations, both internal to the company and external to it, which must be taken into account in making the decision.