Contemporary market research is highly similar to remodeling or renovating a house or room. While the comparison may seem unusual, the premise in both cases remains the same. Before undertaking the remodeling project, we always face a choice: whether to undertake it all by ourselves/Do it Yourself (DIY), or commission an agency.

For the option of commissioning an agency, one needs to assess several factors: the amount of time at your disposal, budgetary limit and an assessment of overall skill levels for the job. On similar lines, DIY market research involves an in-depth assessment on self-service research capabilities, budgetary requirements and time period.

Enterprises nowadays are showing a higher inclination towards DIY market research tools and platforms, as the ever growing competition compels businesses to adopt more agile ways of working. It was forecasted that by 2021, turnover for the DIY market research sector would amount to US$ 1.3 billion. The most overt advantage of this model is that, it provides results within hours, as opposed to managed market research services, which may take days or even weeks to yield results. Apart from the turnaround time, the budgetary aspect is also a key decision maker – Often in case of managed services, the project and overhead costs are high, involves a large team of external research agency versus DIY research wherein the costs are flexible.

Consider the DIY model as the IKEA model in market research, wherein you shop for tools that empower and complement your DIY skills.

Market Research Subscription Platforms such as MarketNgage offer access to DIY research multi-format – such as downloadable databooks which enables DIY teams to self-analyze ready data; presentation-ready playbooks, infographics, charts, graphs, dashboards which enables quick DIY representation of insights. Additionally, all this in flexi-pricing models, offering enterprises the option of paying only for those services which they wish to use. These Platforms provide an immersive DIY research experience through the aforementioned solutions.

How has COVID-19 Popularized DIY Market Research Subscription Platforms?

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically altered the manner in which enterprises operate. Besides reorienting workflow, a paradigm shift has been observed with regard to budget curtailment. There is immense pressure and strict evaluation of marketing & research spend and the RoI from such investments. This has led to exploring new models of consuming and accessing research, and therefore enterprises- large or small- have transitioned to DIY tools to conduct market research in-house. This has especially boded well for enterprises, however, some aspects of research such as the fieldwork processes, data collection, data mining still have to be outsourced.  This permits greater devotion of time to thoughtful analysis. This heightening popularity of DIY in research is not expected to diminish anytime soon

Benefits of DIY Market Research

Apart from the benefits of being much more agile, and cost effective than managed services, through the DIY approach, enterprises can try and test all available tools and methodologies that can help design the research process and outcome, their way. A classic example would be customizing the data representation or analysis as per their own nomenclature and market definitions as opposed to how the market research companies define a market. So an enterprise can just purchase the databook from the DIY platform, and analyze the data the way they want to, also use certain dashboard features of the DIY platform for a unique representation of the insights.

Some DIY platforms such as MarketNgage also offers additional services like ‘Speaking to an Analyst’. Market research analysts have years of experience processing data and analyzing niche markets, and their perspective on certain issues can be very valuable. Therefore, an optimum mix of using DIY platforms with customizable solutions such as opting for analyst perspectives, is what most enterprises are requesting for.

Also, compared to mainstream research, DIY research has enabled access to iterative data, permits quick changes to parameters and remodeling of hypotheses in real time. Rather than conducting several major, expensive and comprehensive studies over years, DIY tools facilitate near-constant queries.

Additionally, DIY research is truly democratizing the research & intelligence process by making it easily accessible by various departments of an enterprise to discover, assimilate and analyze information.

Is DIY Market Research a Temporary Fad or a Long-Term Trend?

It is evident that DIY market research is here to stay because of the broad access to data, flexibility in pricing, unique methodologies that can be used to analyze the data, and quick turnaround. Moreover, these tools do not require very trained data scientists. In fact, DIY tools are so easy to use that decision makers can themselves deploy them. Furthermore, DIY tools allow for a broader range of people with more diverse backgrounds to take part in the research process.

It is also true that DIY research tools involve a considerable amount of budget. However, this budgetary allocation would be far less when compared to the finance designated for mainstream market research and intelligence services. The long-term benefits of DIY research far outweigh the short-term costs. This is not to say that traditional market research will disappear for good.

Conventional market research will continue enjoying its own unique place in the mainstream industry, while DIY alternatives will constitute a much larger proportion of market research budgets. Over time, these budgets will definitely yield attractive dividends to enterprises, as their research process become more streamlined and agile.

By Abizer Shaikhmahmud

Abizer Shaikhmahmud is a Content Writer & Editor at Future Market Insights, an ESOMAR-certified market research and consulting market research company. He has written extensively about evolving trends in the market research industry.

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