Do-it-yourself consumer insights research has grown vastly in popularity over the years – and with it, the usage of DIY research tools.

By definition, DIY research tools are software programmes or applications that enable businesses to carry out market, brand and consumer insights research in-house, as opposed to outsourcing to a professional agency. 

With so many experienced market research agencies available to partner with out there, however, why have DIY solutions become so popular?  

Speed and cost-saving are the two main catalysts for this change in approach.  

Ultimately, most DIY research tools are vastly more cost-effective than hiring an external agency. For starters, they can be offered at different package/pricing levels depending on the needs of the business and can be managed purely in-house without the need for external support (bar technical). 

Additionally, many DIY research tools allow businesses to gather data and insights at the touch of a button in as little as 10 minutes or less (as is the case with the OnePulse platform). This means brands can implement these insights immediately, as opposed to waiting on the analysis weeks or months down the line from an external agency. 

What’s more, DIY research tools have the capacity to be vastly more customer-centric and provide businesses with direct access to potentially hundreds of thousands of people who tick all the boxes of their ideal target audience. This is in contrast to relying on typically more limited numbers provided by agency respondent pools. 

However, there are some things you need to keep in mind when it comes to DIY research tools before you start using them. Read on to discover what these are before you start your search for a solution! 

During your search for DIY research tools, be sure to find out whether they will:


1. Allow you to achieve fully representative, unbiased results

A biased result is achieved when a question has been formatted or phrased in a way that leads respondents towards a specific answer. Biased or unrepresentative results can also come about if the questions you provide are difficult to understand in a survey format. 

While you might be fully aware of this, it can be difficult to avoid writing questions that will provide you with validations of your pre-conceived thoughts as opposed to useful, objective insights – particularly if your chosen platform doesn’t enable you to do this.

Therefore, when choosing a DIY insights tool, ensure that it has been created in a way that helps you to avoid bias.

For example, non-response bias can occur when you ask too many questions, leaving the respondent overwhelmed and unmotivated to finish the survey. The OnePulse solution ensures that you avoid this bias by allowing you to only ask three questions.

2. Enable you to unearth truly in-depth and actionable insights

As well as avoiding research bias with your chosen tool, you’ll also want to ensure that it enables you to gather the level of insights you need to make any necessary changes or developments with your products or services.

This can only be achieved by asking the right questions to the right selection of people, and most importantly, in the right way.

Firstly, make sure your chosen DIY research tool allows you to drill down and target your perfect respondent audience. Basic demographics such as age, gender and geographic location should be used as filters, but so should likes, dislikes, stance on current issues and more. The more in-depth you can be, the more authentic the results you will receive. 

When it comes to asking the right questions in the right way, it’s not enough, for example, to simply include “yes/no” questions, or multiple choice lists of answers to pick from. 

Your respondents also need to be able to answer “why,” or have the chance to assess your creatives like videos and photos of your products and advertising materials. Your chosen solution should allow for re-targeting opportunities so you can look into a respondent’s answer even more deeply.

This type of ease experience goes for the analysis and presentation of your results, too. Be sure to choose a solution that not only collects the in-depth insights you need, but that can analyse your data and collate it in an easy, readable and demonstratable format that you can share with key stakeholders.

papers on a desk displaying survey data collected using diy research tools-1

3. Prioritise data security for all parties

Data security is an absolute must in all aspects of market and consumer insights research. Unfortunately, this can be much more difficult to keep abreast of without the support of an external market research team.

It’s therefore essential that, when you’re on the lookout for a DIY research tool for your customer insights project, it has all the correct systems in place to protect not only your participant’s personal information and data, but also yours, and that of everyone working in your organisation. 

As an example, the OnePulse product is built with an enterprise-grade infrastructure to ensure that all data for our clients and users alike is secure.  

What’s more, we’re fully GDPR compliant, and are MRS members and Fair Data partners, meaning that we are fully and seriously committed to our client’s data security and safety.

4. Grant you the level of control you desire

 The clue is in the name: Do It Yourself! 

You should therefore ensure that the research tool you choose gives you the level of absolute control you desire. This guarantees you receive insights that are actually beneficial and help you with decision making. It also ensures that there are no unnecessary restrictions to the research you conduct imposed by the program creators.

5. Be user friendly for your team and research respondents

In a nutshell, if your chosen DIY research solution isn’t user friendly to all who are involved in it – from your team all the way to your respondents – it simply won’t enable you to get the results you need.  

Therefore, when choosing a platform, be sure to ask for a demonstration or free trial (more on this below) and take note of how it looks and feels, and how easy it is for you to use. Also, be sure that the product is accessible across your whole team to make your research process as seamless as possible.  

You should also trial the product from the respondents’ perspective; is it easy to answer questions? Is it engaging/captivating and enjoyable enough? Is there anything particularly complex, jarring and ultimately off-putting about it?  

As an example, the OnePulse solution has received responses from consumers such as: “The Pulses are short and to the point, so I don’t get fed up halfway through and always answer honestly,” making it a great example of a user-friendly option.

So, how can you ensure a DIY research tool meets all these requirements before you decide to use it?

two people sat a desk using diy research tools on their computer and tablet-1

1. Sign up for demonstrations and free trials of the tools

By far the best way to determine the quality and usability of a DIY research tool is by trying it out for yourself. Most DIY tool suppliers will be able to offer this to you. For example, at OnePulse, we offer free, comprehensive and in-depth demonstrations of our solution, and can do so at whatever time suits you best!

2. Ask questions

During your demonstration, be sure to ask questions regarding all the above points if they have not been answered already. The answers you are given (or not given) should offer a good indication of whether the DIY research tool in question is right for you.

3. Seek the opinions and experiences of your contemporaries

Ask around the office, or anyone you have worked on previous market research projects with, about the DIY tool you’re considering. Has anyone in your team or someone you know in the field used the tool before? If so, what was their experience?

Looking at testimonials and case studies around the tool you’re considering is also a great way to see whether it’s the right choice for you.

It goes without saying that searching for your perfect DIY research tool can be a challenge.

However, by following the above guidance, asking the right questions and ensuring you test the options available to you, you’ll be well on your way to launching a successful DIY research project.

OnePulse is the market-leading DIY research platform that connects people and organisations. Their solution ensures that you can gather the in-depth, transformative insights you need to take powerful strides forward in your business and for your brand.

If you’d like to know more, book an intro with us today and we’ll be delighted to give you a detailed guided tour around the tool. Alternatively, you can get pulsing right away by registering with us! 

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