Top 10 ways to avoid DIY research fails

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Top 10 ways to avoid DIY research fails

So often the rules we learn as young children hold true throughout all phases of life:

  • Eat your vegetables to be healthy
  • Treat others as you want to be treated to form lasting friendships
  • Avoid shortcuts when conducting market research to ensure you make the right decision

Okay, that last one may be new, but you get the point.  There is a lot of talk about DIY research tools, and more than ever marketers are taking the wheel of the research process. While these DIY tools can be helpful, it is important to know how to proceed to get the most out of them.

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Tips for Market Research DIY:

  1. Screener Review: Have multiple people review – not just the original author. Even the best questionnaire-writers are challenged reviewing their own work.
  2. Screener vs. Targeting: Be especially critical. Don’t just assume sample providers have perfect targeting; build your screener as if it’s going to the general population. This is also helpful if you need to expand your reach.
  3. Sample Design: Do you need specific representation across demographic or behavioral segments? How will the sample provider control for this? What are your assumptions for incidence and how will changes affect your pricing?
  4. Setup Time: If you’re not familiar with the programming platform, you’ll likely need an extra day to set up redirect links, ID variables and quota stops.  You should also familiarize yourself with all the features of the programming platform to ensure it is appropriate for your reporting needs.
  5. Mobile-Friendly Design: Ensure that your survey is designed for all devices. Some platforms automatically adjust the questionnaire for all device types, but checking that the design is appropriate is often overlooked.
  6. Soft launch: This will only slightly impact field time and is invaluable in terms of data quality.  Yes, check that the survey is programmed correctly, but also check the data to ensure the questions are being understood by respondents.
  7. Data Quality Checks: include at least one open end and at least one trap question. Use these along with other data quality safeguards to help determine a valid or quality respondent.
  8. Set Quotas: Don’t forget to set limits for quotas you may have as well as for the total number of interviews needed.  You don’t want to go significantly over the amount of sample you need for the analysis and spend more than is needed or allocated.
  9. Reporting Access: Familiarize yourself with the features available to you, and maximize the capabilities to save time and money.
  10. When in doubt, call EMI!