4 Problems with DIY Market Research | Do It Yourself Survey Tools

As the market research industry continually shifts to more online survey work, it has opened up access to tons of platforms and tools available to end-users and clients. Many of these clients decide to pursue market research in-house using these DIY survey tools. There are hundreds of these tools available to users and clients to help them manage their own market research.

But should they?

Pursue these DIY options with great risk. In this market research blog post we cover 4 problems with those DIY survey tools. They all point to why you should take caution if you decide to pursue the DIY-route.

Here are the reasons why.

4 Problems with DIY Market Research | Do It Yourself Survey Tools

Wondering about limitations with Do It Yourself Survey tools? Here are 4 problems you should consider before biting off more than you can chew.

Problem 1: Lack of Expertise and Support

Regardless of what tool you use, writing a survey is part art and science. Every word matters. Every combination of phrases matters. Question flow matters. Asking a question unaided versus aided matters. Any of these mistakes can send your organization down the wrong path with the results because of bias and poor survey design.

The DIY survey tool will not help with this. You'll be able to rent the platform to write the survey questions for your online or email survey, but there will be very little (if any) consultation from the technical team of the platform. Remember the platform customer service revolves around fixing problems, issues, and tech support, not survey design consultation or advice.

This is one of the biggest downfalls of DIY platforms that your organization will not learn about until after you've already jumped in. Working with a full-service market research firm allows you to access the expertise of the team, survey design, and advanced tools.

Here are 6 capabilities offered by advanced survey tools when working with a market research firm.

Problem 2: Biased Feedback

Without a background, education, or training in market research it is very easy to incorrectly write a survey question that will impact results. Particularly if you are collecting feedback or satisfaction ratings on your own organization. If respondents know they are sending feedback directly to the survey sponsor they may not be 100% honest or real with their suggestions.

For example, let's say you sell B2B widgets and you want to conduct a client satisfaction survey. You use a DIY survey tool and send out invitations to all of your B2B customers. One client (Company ABC) had a recent issue with a salesperson placing an incorrect order. The relationship with this salesperson goes back 15 years.

Because Company ABC knows their feedback is going directly to the sales team and the managers, they decide not to offer the negative feedback in fear of harming the relationship. So the salesperson continues to make accuracy mistakes going forward because he does not know otherwise.

Problem 3: Back-End Analysis

One areas where DIY survey tools fall short is in the analysis and reporting. Sure, you'll be able to run topline results, some basic charts and graphs, and a data export. Where those systems fall short is in the advanced analysis which market research firms can offer.

A market research firm will put together a comprehensive report for your organization. This includes an executive summary of themes to create easily digestible findings from complex data. The market research firm will also include an infographic, recommendations, and an appendix of question-by-question results which break data down by key categories (age, gender, income, sales, etc.)

This alone is easily worth the additional cost of using a market research firm.


Problem 4: Return on Investment (ROI)

Ask yourself how much will you be using the DIY survey tool? Once a year, twice a year? Unsure? If you do not have a plan for how many times you'll be using the software it may make more sense to hire a part-time market research firm consultant to administer the survey who completes hundreds if not thousands of surveys per year for clients. If you only use the software once or twice, the cost of the system is likely not worth the expense.

Contact Our Market Research Firm

Drive Research is a market research firm located in Syracuse, NY. Our firm works with clients across Upstate New York including Buffalo, Rochester, and Albany as well as across the Northeast and across the country.

Question about an upcoming survey project or need a quote? Contact us at [email protected] or call us at 315-303-2040.

Contact Us


Market Research Services Category