Diving Into the DIY Survey and How It Can Aid Your Organization

Diving Into the DIY Survey and How It Can Aid Your Organization

DIY surveyWhen it comes to primary market research and its chief method of survey research, the DIY survey reigns supreme. To some, this may appear to be subjective, but this kind of survey method sits at the forefront of market research innovation.

A DIY survey offers virtually everything that you would expect from the data you extract via syndicated research. The main difference is its benefit of saved time, as this method collects all that is necessary for completion, requiring very little from the researcher. 

Depending on the online survey platform hosting this survey, it also applies artificial intelligence and machine learning to disqualify dodgy answers

Given that market research is a gateway to customer data, a customer data platform is now more important than ever, as 60% of customers have higher expectations than they did before COVID-19. Crafting a DIY survey brings customer insights directly to businesses, so that they can fulfill all of their customers’ needs. 

This article explores the DIY surveys, their importance, uses and how to conduct an insights-driven DIY survey study.

Understanding the DIY Survey

The DIY survey is a kind of survey that, as its name suggests, allows researchers to take a do-it-yourself approach to the survey. As such, a DIY survey is a tool that grants researchers ultimate control over their survey

A DIY survey platform offers multiple capabilities that facilitate the survey creation process. With such a survey approach, the end-user is at the helm of the study; as such, you get to dictate its overall theme, objectives, target market, design, quotas and all else. 

However, not all DIY survey platforms offer the same functionalities; as such, some will have more limitations than others, some will have completely different survey sampling methods and these platforms will also offer different levels of reach. 

For example, such a platform may offer survey deployment to a wide network of websites and apps, but not offer the RDE (random device engagement sampling method), which captures respondents in their natural digital habitats. 

The DIY survey provides agile market research, as researchers can quickly iterate their surveys and test different concepts. Some platforms even provide in-survey A/B testing so that you can test ads and virtually anything else. 

The Importance of a DIY Survey

The DIY survey approach allows you to create effective surveys for market research campaigns. Given that surveys are the heart of a market research campaign, it is important to correctly carry them out correctly. 

This includes properly creating, deploying and analyzing survey data. The proper DIY survey facilitates all of these aspects. 

A DIY survey allows start-ups, early entrants and long-established businesses to evaluate their product, service, experience and brand without spending a large sum of money. They can apply a DIY survey to just about any market research campaign, to support marketing, advertising, branding and other campaign types. 

importance of the DIY surveyFor example, researchers can carry out brand tracking campaigns with the brand tracking survey. Using a DIY platform, they can keep continuous tabs on their business and how it’s perceived.  

A DIY survey is especially important, as it offers three major capabilities: survey design, deployment and sampling and analysis. The following explains the importance of a DIY survey in regards to each capability. 

Survey Design:

A DIY survey puts you in control of the survey design. A strong online survey platform allows you to make your own survey in just three steps. As such, it won’t take days or even hours to put together a well-designed survey. 

This kind of survey allows you to add all the main types of survey questions. As such, you aren’t bound by one question type or format. Questions can be set up as scales, scores and even icons.

You can also create survey paths based on respondent answers via advanced skip logic, which routes respondents to different follow-up questions, based on how they answered a question. This way, respondents are only presented with relevant questions, the kinds that allow you to probe further on a subject. 

When it comes to designing a DIY survey, you are also in control of the target market sample. A DIY survey platform should allow you to target your respondents as granularly as possible, setting qualifications on various categories, such as demographics, behaviors, psychographics, education and many more categories. 

It should allow you to target your respondents via screening questions, which enables you to qualify or disqualify a respondent, based on their answers to questions. In these ways, you get to target your audience as precisely as possible. 

Survey Deployment and Sampling

A DIY survey makes it easy to distribute your survey to the masses. As such, you don't need to wait for third-party results from a research firm. Instead, you’ll see your results arriving in real-time. A strong survey platform will automatically send your survey to the most highly trafficked websites and apps, exposing your survey to the masses and ensuring that someone from your target population sees it and partakes in it.   

When it comes to sampling, an effective DIY survey will apply the aforementioned RDE (random device engagement) method, in which the survey platform gains respondents by extracting the responses of random people from their organic digital environment, as opposed to pre-recruiting them. 

This weeds out the possibility of societal pressure to answer in a certain way, along with survey bias. This sampling method grants respondents complete anonymity. As such, they are more inclined to answer truthfully.

Survey Analysis

A powerful DIY survey grants you the ease of analyzing your raw survey data. In the correct platform, there ought to be several displays of your survey results. This includes results configured as questions and answers, charts, graphs, crosstabs and spreadsheets. 

It should also include SaaS integrations for you to easily integrate your survey dashboard with other SaaS providers, such as BigQuery. This gives you a comprehensive survey research experience, as you can refer to more than one platform to analyze your results. By integrating them, it makes cross-referencing two sets of data that much more feasible.

A DIY survey platform should offer a robust filtering data capability, so that you do not merely have filtering options in the screening section of the survey, but in the post-survey results as well. You can filter this data in a variety of ways, which includes doing so based on respondent location, demographics, psychographics or answer type. 

This grants you easy access to a variety of statistics, allowing you to easily maneuver with all the data you’ll need to power your study. 

The Pros and Cons of a DIY Survey

A DIY survey is the foremost tool of modern-day market research, granting you all the insights you’ll need without relying on a third party. If the above section didn't fully convince you of the importance of the DIY survey, the following list of pros will support its prowess.

However, as with anything, this type of survey has a few disadvantages, which you should know about before you implement it for your next market research endeavor. The following lists provide highlights of the pros and cons of the DIY survey:

The Pros

  1. Ensures complete control over a survey research campaign.
  2. The main and usually only tool you’ll need to carry out primary market research.
  3. Provides quick results, protecting researchers from waiting weeks for the survey to be complete. 
  4. Takes as little as a few days or hours to complete.
  5. Gives you access to affordable research 
  6. Allows you to easily gain consumer, partner (via B2B surveys) and employee feedback.
  7. Easy to set up and user-friendly.
  8. Avoids having to rely on third-party results, which may be altered.
  9. Enables you to set quotas, so you receive the exact amount of answers as you please, from specific groups of people.  
  10. Allows you to add multiple audiences in just one survey. 
  11. Grants you access across all geographies, which makes it possible to conduct global market research.
  12. Supports data democratization so that all team members have easy access to data and all can contribute ideas on using it for critical business decisions.  

The Cons

  1. Since you’re fully in charge, you’re required to work on all aspects of the survey campaign and keep track of all its details. 
  2. To ensure an inaccurate campaign, you’ll need to measure and keep several variables to a minimum, such as the margin of error and the sampling error.
  3. You’ll need to be aware of and attempt to reduce various kinds of survey bias. 
  4. You’ll need to be wary of the different kinds of survey respondents; some of them break rules and provide faulty information, such as flatlining or gibberish answers.
  5. You’ll need to contend with survey attrition; as such, you’ll need to optimize your surveys. 

How to Conduct A DIY Survey

how to create a DIY surveyTo conduct a successful DIY survey, you’ll need to gather all of your requirements, so you’ll know the best appropriate type of survey to use, along with the best survey method.  

The following explains how to conduct a DIY survey:

  1. Determine what you need to study; consider all the things that matter to your business, such as matters that you have few answers to or would like more clarity on. 
  2. If you have already conducted exploratory or explanatory research, consider other related factors or issues that you’d like to study.
  3. When you find a topic of study, tie it to a larger purpose or campaign, such as advertising, optimizing the customer buying journey, etc.
    1. Consider conducting causal research on the matter, as this will find cause and effect relationships.
    2. If you perform it and identify cause and effect relationships, you may need to rework your intentions or original questions.
  4. Come up with several preliminary questions. An ideal starting point is to sift through the 6 main types of survey questions and to deliberate which will be most useful and relevant.
  5. When you’ve come up with 10-15 questions, consider organizing them into two or more surveys. Shorter surveys yield greater survey response rates.
  6. As you organize your questions, create the appropriate theme for each survey.
  7. Create a callout that briefly explains what the survey is for.
  8. Use a strong online survey tool to create, launch and run your survey to the correct target market. 
  9. Perform a survey data analysis, jot down key findings and share them with your team.
  10. Take action from your survey findings. You can also create more surveys to test your actions, such as via A/B testing. 

Mastering All Business Endeavors

A DIY survey allows you to gain actionable insights quickly, moving the needle for all kinds of business campaigns. But in order to reap the most benefits out of your survey, you’ll need to opt for the strongest online survey platform.

After all, this platform dictates your DIY survey’s capabilities. When you’re deciding on the best market research tool for your business, use a mobile-first platform, as mobile dominates the digital space and you ideally need one with the best mobile experience.  

The platform should also offer artificial intelligence and machine learning to remove low-quality data, offer a broad range of survey and question types, provide an estimated survey completion time, offer various viewing options of post-survey data, disqualify low-quality data (such as the aforementioned gibberish answers and flatlining) and more. 

Most importantly, it should allow you to survey anyone.  We suggest a platform with a reach to millions of consumers, along with one that offers the Distribution Link feature, so that you can not only deploy your survey to random respondents, but to specific people via email, social media, etc. 

When you use an online survey platform with all of these capabilities, you’ll be getting the most out of your DIY survey. As such, the cons of this survey will be easy to overcome. 

Busting DIY Market Research Myths

Busting DIY Market Research Myths

DIY market research has made waves in the market research space, which had at one point been dominated by market research panels and external research firms. Come DIY market research, which brought the entire operation in-house.

This form of research upended the industry, allowing all organizations to conduct and own their market research. In turn, businesses were able to accelerate their processes, gaining quicker results and cutting costs.

Throughout the last few years especially, businesses have had an increasing desire to use DIY research practices. This need has increased throughout COVID-19 with slashed budgets, upskilled teams and the need for faster customer intelligence. 

In fact, 54% of companies that have used DIY market research experienced financial growth. Additionally, almost half of market research professionals conduct more DIY research today than they did six years ago.

Despite the convenience and prevalence of the DIY method, negative myths still abound in the space. This article lays out four DIY market research myths and debunks them while proving their value. 

Understanding DIY Market Research

DIY research or DIY market research is the practice of conducting market research that any person or organization carries out themselves. As such, the party conducting DIY research can be either a professional or a non-professional

A kind of primary research, the DIY method uses online research methods, which usually takes the form of online research software or online survey tool. This method provides an avenue to conduct both quantitative and qualitative market research.  

A strong DIY research platform provides the following capabilities:

  1. It can aggregate data from multiple sources.
  2. It will reach specific demographics, locations and other category-based criteria as indicated by the market researchers. 
  3. It will provide an interface that allows market researchers to enter the stream and test their hypotheses for various types of research.
  4. It makes it easy to analyze consumer behavior to identify trends and themes.
  5. It allows researchers to deploy their surveys across a wide network of digital properties.
  6. It permits researchers to send surveys to specific, targeted individuals.
  7. It works quickly in extracting the correct data from the qualified population. 
  8. It allows for exports, post-survey data filtering and various displays of the data. 

Despite all of its provisions and conveniences, various actors maintain that DIY market research is not for all due to several limitations and factors of inferiority when compared with traditional market research. Despite the pervasiveness of DIY market research myths, they do not prove to be accurate.    

Read along to understand why, as we bust four common myths surrounding the DIY approach to research. 

DIY Market Research Myths in a Competitive Space

There are long-held myths surrounding the concept of DIY platforms and research. Businesses and market researchers must understand that many of the myths surrounding the DIY approach and its effectiveness are just that, myths.

For online survey platforms such as Pollfish to truly realize their potential in the space, researchers and market research agencies should pay no heed to the myths and misconceptions about DIY market research and instead funnel their energy into finding a strong online market research tool. 

Such a tool would facilitate DIY market research with little labor involved from its users, marketers, researchers and business owners. For researchers to overlook the myths about DIY tools, we’ve laid out four to debunk. 

DIY Market Research Myth 1: Complexity

DIY tools have many moving parts in the backend, such as segmentation, profiling, filtering and managing projects. With these hurdles, there is therefore also a learning curve to being active users of the tool. As such, the first myth is that DIY market research platforms are more complex than they're worth using.

Although there are various components searchers would need to learn how to use, this couldn’t be further from the truth. This is because a strong DIY market research platform is made to be user-friendly, allowing its users to make your own survey in just a few steps. These aspects are the dominant traits of simplicity, diametrically opposing the concept behind this myth.

With various data visualizations such as charts, graphs, Excel files and more, researchers are in control of how they view and analyze their data. These are also easy to access, as they live on the DIY market research platform. This means businesses can cut through the middleman and access their data themselves, as opposed to using syndicated research, in which the market research firm you use owns all the data.   

There is also no need to scout out research or survey panels, which are composed of pre-recruited respondents who agree to take part in a market research study. All researchers need to do is determine their audience, add in their questionnaire and launch the survey. That’s it. The DIY platform takes care of the rest.

This is a major reduction of labor, hassle and worry on the part of the market researchers using the DIY tool. As such, it is not merely a simple method, contrary to its myth, but it is one of the simplest if not the simplest way to conduct research.

Myth 2: DIY Platforms Favor Speed Over Quality

While it is true that DIY research platforms offer speed to insights and can empower researchers with an agile research strategy, they do not compromise speed over quality. Instead, these platforms offer both accelerated data collection and quality responses. 

This will largely depend on the DIY market research platform you use. However, a robust platform often guarantees netting quality data only from researchers’ intended audience. It delivers this promise of quality data by preventing fraudulent responses. This involves using a series of in-platform mechanisms. These are powered by machine learning and require no effort on the part of both the researchers and the support staff of the DIY tool.

These mechanisms involve using a variety of quality checks that ensure there are no questionable respondents or faulty answers. Some of these quality checks include:

  1. No tolerance for gibberish answers
  2. Disqualification of VPN users
  3. Banning rule-breakers
  4. Barring respondents who provide one-word answers in open-ended questions that seek in-depth answers
  5. No tolerance for bots
  6. Avoidance of respondents with duplicated IDs via IP or MAC addresses, Google Advertising and mobile device identifiers
  7. Technical layers of quality checks

With the above quality checks and more working to eliminate any subpar data and suspicious respondents, market researchers are not sacrificing the quality of their research for the convenience of speed. Instead, a DIY market research platform couples speed with quality data.

Myth 3: DIY Platforms are Only Suitable for Simple Studies

The myth that DIY platforms lack the sophistication found in traditional research methods, such as using syndicated research or a market research agency has been long-established. After all, DIY market research platforms have given these organizations a run for their money and positioned themselves as legitimate threats.

Full-fledged market research agencies do offer value in the market research ecosystem, as they offer high-grade expertise in research design and storytelling. This gives their consumer base of market researchers a high level of quality behind their services.

However, these services do not render DIY market research platforms inferior. They are simply another route for conducting research, ones that are older and don't offer all of the conveniences that market researchers have at their disposal by using a DIY market research tool. 

One such convenience is building a multi-level survey campaign, the kind that offers various question paths via advanced skip logic, a mechanism that routes respondents to the appropriate follow-up questions based on their answer to a previous question. 

This creates deep and multi-pronged question paths in the surveys that researchers create, allowing them to reap granular insights and deeply explore a topic, despite the different customer personas present and their varying answers.

They can do all of this in just one survey. Thus, this capability disproves the fact that DIY market research platforms can only be used for simple studies

Moreover, DIY survey platforms allow market researchers to segment qualified respondents in an ultra-granular way. This means they would not simply tick off demographics, psychographics and location when profiling their qualified users in their screening section. 

Instead, they can qualify and disqualify respondents from taking a survey based on their answers to specific questions in the screening section, which makes the segmentation process extremely granular. Researchers will never be left wondering if the right people are taking part in their surveys. 

In addition, they can add multiple audiences to their surveys, which grants researchers the ability to include multiple groups of respondents with distinct characteristics to partake and be examined in just one survey. A tool that can do this isn’t lacking when it comes to conducting complex studies. 

As such, DIY survey platforms are well-equipped to manage complex campaigns that require deep segmentation, multiple audiences and varied question paths. 

Myth 4: Automation Sacrifices Business Impact

This myth is centered on the idea that using a DIY market research tool removes the human-led element of storytelling available in research agencies, thereby making this kind of tool less insightful and far less impactful on the overall research campaign. This is a myth as DIY research platforms are continuously augmenting their capabilities.

At Pollfish, for example, there are ongoing updates to the product which makes it more innovative, practical and adept at keeping up with changes in the industry.

The constant updates present in DIY market research include real-time analytics solutions and dashboards, which show the progress of a survey while it is still running. They also make it possible to access the data in various formats, visualizations and organizational styles, such as filtering post-survey data in the dashboard to focus on specific demographics and answers.

These automation-based features enable the DIY platforms to ensure data democratization, which entails all members of a business having easy access to insights, whether they are market analysts or in a far different department such as e-commerce, marketing, C-suite, etc. 

These capabilities provide sufficient impact for businesses on a wide spectrum of efforts, such as marketing, sales, and advertising as they enable them to make data-driven business decisions, the kinds that are mission-critical.

Making All the Right Market Research Moves

Using DIY market research allows you to efficiently perform all the research you require for multiple projects. While it is clear as to why DIY market research myths are invalid and are just myths, it is important to understand that not all DIY market research platforms are built with the same interfaces and capabilities

Market researchers should choose an online DIY platform with features that easily disprove these four myths and others. This way, they can safely carry out their market research campaigns, knowing that they’ll reap accurate and high-quality results.

To do so, they ought to look into a strong online survey platform, the kind that operates via random device engagement (RDE) sampling, which reaches respondents in their natural digital environments, which, in turn, cuts out survey bias

Market researchers should also opt for an online survey platform that implements artificial intelligence and machine learning to disqualify survey fraud and poor-quality data,  provide a mobile-first approach design and offer the Distribution Link feature, which allows researchers to send surveys to specific targets, as opposed to a random pool.

When you use an online survey tool of this caliber, you can rest assured that no myths, no faults or other market research issues stand a chance in marring your market research.