As wisely noted by Dun and Bradstreet: “No matter what size or type of business you run, performing market research is critical to your overall success, as it serves as the foundation of your entire business strategy, from sales and marketing to product development.”
However, this advice does not mean that all methods of generating and utilizing market research are created equal. On the contrary, some so-called solutions unleash confusion rather than clarity, since they supply businesses with deeply flawed and unreliable information. In other words, instead of reaping the rewards of market research, businesses find themselves further behind their competition and out-of-touch with their customers. And that brings us to do-it-yourself methods of market research, like SurveyMonkey, Qualtrics, SurveyGizmo, Google Forms, etc.
First of all: there is nothing wrong with these form builders if they are used for their intended purpose: doing online survey work with varying levels of customization based on the tool. For example, SurveyMonkey can be fine for generating some useful feedback from customers on whether they like the new office décor.
However, a do-it-yourself form builder cannot provide a one-stop shop for all market research. None of them are even a viable choice for doing all types of online survey research. There are 3 fundamental reasons for this:
The process is massively time consuming.
Businesses that attempt to use services like SurveyMonkey, Qualtrics, Google Forms, etc. instead of a market research agency unpleasantly discover that the process is incredibly time consuming, and often overwhelming. What started out as a seemingly simple and easy to way to glean actionable intelligence quickly snowballs into a massive time and resource drain.
Every online survey platform sells ease of use. Often times, the setup of the actual survey and testing can be relatively easy to understand. You still have to be the one to take your valuable time to do it though. Since you took control over creating it yourself, you often end up with the responsibility for managing all of the e-mailing and outreach to get the answers you need as well. Getting every detail right and handling the entire research process is all time spent that you will not be doing other things.
There’s much more to market research than asking questions.
Do-it-yourself form builders do not care what businesses ask their survey respondents -- which is fine when you are a market researcher and you know specifically how you plan to use this tool. What if your not a career market researcher? Market research is not just about the answers that businesses get – much moreso, it is about the questions they ask.
A market research agency has the expertise and tools to help businesses know what to ask and to whom – so that the answers and insights are actionable and, ultimately, profitable.
Cheap and free DIY research isn’t image-friendly.
Sometimes you just have to call a spade a spade – or in this case say that cheap is cheap. So with that in mind: sending out surveys via something that is not well formatted, requires scrolling through questions on a screen, and has no question logic to avoid asking irrelevant questions is a poor representation of your business. You also leave yourself prone to errors and poor data quality.
At Communications for Research (CFR), we have personally been a part of research done with cheap and free DIY survey tools. When used appropriately, it makes sense. The reality is though, that it is very tempting to use it for purposes that do not fit and those instances seem to be far more common than even seems possible.
If you’re looking for a market research agency, we specialize in managing market research logistics. Unlike many DIY online survey platform providers, our team of in-house experts takes full ownership of the research process, so that our clients can focus on what matter most: moving their business forward and serving their customers.
To learn why we are one of the nation’s most trusted and reliable market research agencies, contact us today. Your consultation is free! Or if you're interested in reading more information about how to find and choose the best research partner for you, download our FREE eBook today: