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DIY: From Black Box to Open Book

DIY: From Black Box to Open Book

Time and technology help open the black box. 

Twenty years ago, when folks talked about DIY research, what came to mind was Survey Monkey – which was pretty much a joke at that point.

Nonetheless, both client and supply side researchers were threatened, especially on the supply side.

Client researchers felt that their internal clients would soon be fielding their own, very bad studies. Likewise, suppliers feared that clients would use the tools to do all of their own market research.

Clients thought this would lead to misguided business plans and suppliers saw it as a threat to their livelihood and business.

All of these were valid concerns and the fears were realized to some extent. But, for the most part, client departments remained intact and market research suppliers were not put out of business.

Nonetheless, the market research ecosystem was much more insular than it is today. Research suppliers were:

  • Less likely to collaborate with clients (“working for” and not “with” them)
  • More likely to position tools and methods as “proprietary”
  • Not using DIY as it is today (was still mostly a “Joke”)

Despite all of this, the market for DIY tools did grow and both client and supply side researchers found value in leveraging them.

With the opening of the box came true research partnerships

As DIY research tools expanded and new players (from outside market research) entered the marketplace, innovation and the quality of the offerings were enhanced. As often happens with open markets and disruption, DIY research became a thriving option for both client and supply side researchers.

The combination of new software, technology, and now artificial intelligence solutions has created a different world for market researchers.

The black box has opened and the relationship can now be described as more of an “open book.”  Now the relationship between client and supplier can be described as a partnership in most cases. This is not all due to DIY, but all factors feed into the need and acceptance of DIY. For example:

  • Now many DIY tools cover text analytics to advanced survey fielding and analysis
  • Client Budgets have remained restricted necessitating creative approaches
  • Client Researchers have up’ed their game and advanced their market research education
  • Tools are much better now
  • Software as a service (SaaS) has made DIY much easier
  • The new players (programmers, engineers, etc.) bring new perspectives.

Read the full article here on Insight Platforms.

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