Why Researchers Shouldn’t Be Afraid of DIY Research

Ask most any researcher what they think of DIY research and the answer will probably involve some grunts and groans and maybe even an expletive or two. That’s because most professional researchers are afraid of it. They see DIY research—in which client-side researchers conduct research projects without the assistance of an outside market research professional—as a threat to their careers, not to mention a joke to their profession (despite the fact that many client-side researchers have experience in the market research industry.)

But it’s time to stop being so negative about DIY research, explains Dana Stanley in a recent post on the Research Access blog. “Enabling customers to make choices is a very good thing,” she says. “Thanks to the Internet and technology, we are in a new age of customer empowerment. Some form of DIY is an inevitability in nearly every industry.” (Driving that inevitability in ours is online research software, as well as other online qualitative research tools.)

But that doesn’t mean DIY research will replace the need for market research professionals. “There will always be an important role for trained research consultants,” she says. “Smart companies know when to bring them in and when they are superfluous.”

And when they get it wrong? Well, they’ll pay for it— “Those who misuse DIY research will fail just as do those who misuse assisted research.”

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