DIY Market Research

DIY research has already revolutionized the way market research is undertaken. The term itself is synonymous with online surveys. It has made research more affordable and accessible than ever before, and allows non research specialists to conduct high quality surveys without necessarily using a professional market research agency.

Phase 1: Beginnings of Online Research
The beginnings of this revolution, like so many things, is rooted in the growth of the internet. Previous to internet research, it was telephone surveys which was the great disruptor, and which had replaced face to face interviews and postal surveys. While it took many decades for telephones to become installed in every household, the internet has done so in barely a decade. Once organisations collected email addresses, the advantages of internet based surveys were obvious: speed and reduced costs.

Phase 2: Online Survey tools – cheaper and easier to use
Online software became cheaper, although in many cases, still required a high level of expertise to use the software. Since then online survey solutions have become steadily more affordable and easier to use. But, while online survey tools allowed the user to create surveys and send survey invitations to email lists, or post a survey link online, they did not provide easy and direct access to mass consumers.

Phase 3: Connecting DIY surveys with Online Consumer Panels
Surveygoo extends the logic of easy to use online survey tools. It is hosted online, so there is no software to download or upload. It is also designed to be incredibly easy to use, for the occasional user of research less familiar with short cuts of survey design. But at the same time, it offers powerful questionnaire design and analysis tools expected by the professional researcher. But the feature which is really extending opportunities is the ability to directly connect with millions of real consumers via Online Pane Access. Now it is possible to design and launch surveys in practically any country in the world, and reach consumers in days.

Is DIY Research a killer blow to Market Research Agencies?
Absolutely not. In many ways DIY research has reinforced the need to differentiate research activity by the complexity level and context of the task. Many PR agencies, Adveritsing agencies or internal Marketing departments decide to design and conduct their own surveys when they feel able to. In other instances, the range of research expertise and ability of researchers to generate insight from complex data sets, means research professionals are always likely to be in demand for more complex projects. At the same time, tiers of smaller research agencies and individual research consultants are also able to provide professional and affordable surveys to their clients, including for medium size business or start ups. In general, DIY research reinforces the value of market research and underpins the need for all organisations, large and small, to embrace customer insight. That can only be a good thing.

What is Next for DIY research?
DIY research will continue to develop to address the needs of its users. Two areas stand out as of greatest interest to research users. The first is continued improvement in the deployment of engaging question types, such as drag and drop questions. Researchers know that the most effective online surveys are those which are interesting and engaging for respondents to do. The days of running long boring surveys with battery upon battery of matrix questions are long gone. It has been possible to design interactive surveys for several years, but the challenge is bringing such survey tools and making them simple for many people to use.

The second area which continues to be of critical importance is panel quality. Providers of DIY survey tools must ensure that the consumers they connect with are engaged survey respondents who provide high quality responses. Providing a database of respondents is relatively simple. Building and managing quality assured, representative consumer panels is a much harder challenge. The best panel providers use a range of tools and techniques to validate panelists and monitor the quality of their responses. That requirement will only become more critical over time.

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