Can Traditional Firm Behavior Be Driving Customers to DIY Market Research?

What do YOU think?

If you're reading this as the principal or the employee of a traditional market research firm - you might be offended or insulted.  If you're a customer who has had a frustrating meeting with a research professional who you felt was driving you into additional research you didn't think you needed - then you might agree.

What if technology and opportunity are what "drove" people to DIY market research methods?  As a research professional - I think that is a terrific thing!  Here's why:

  • Users finally appreciate the joy of data.  What online survey and polling tools have done is put the power to collect feedback as soon as the feeling moves them.  And this makes them hungry for more.  This is where a space and opportunity open up for the research professionals - instead of rolling our eyes at their stupidity in asking a particular question or gathering garbage the first time around -- let's take them by the hand and reward them for the effort and then show them the power of a well constructed survey to make a decision.

  • Measuring and tracking.  Because survey applications are so robust and easy to use, it's a breeze to do ongoing surveys and measure your progress.  But sometimes users aren't sure exactly what to measure or how to track it.  This is another opportunity for the research professional to step in and save the day.

  • Listening to customers.  The focus group may still be the best way to pull in qualitative information, but it's not the only way.  Now, social media chatter and data mining from text and social media can yield rather surprising results.  Users want to listen to customers and professional research firms have the ability to help them tune their listening.

Ultimately technology will march forward and tasks that require LESS brainpower will be automated.  The only thing left will not be DOING the work, but knowing what to do.  This is the most valuable asset any professional has to share with clients and customers.

Take the DIY tools and run with them.  Embrace their power and add your own expertise to enhance their value.  Remember -- it's not DOING the work that has value -- it's KNOWING what to do and how to get the most our of a budget and a tool.

For more discussion on DIY Market Research Trends and Opportunities,  register for our FREE Webinar on September 30, 2010