One of the largest barriers we face as a market research firm in Syracuse, NY, is our prospective clients stating they are using/will use online survey sites such as Survey Monkey and Zoomerang to conduct their research. The cost savings up-front (and I emphasize up-front) are hard to ignore. In many cases, you can use online survey software and conduct your business’s survey in-house for free or a few hundred dollars if you opt-in to one of the paid packages. Similar studies commissioned through a market research firm can easily be five times to 10 times that amount. Therefore, many of the small and even mid-size businesses we work with face a real dilemma trying to explain to their board or their boss why they decided to use an outside consultant or third-party market research firm for their survey rather than doing it in-house through Survey Monkey. Before you decide to start, here are some questions you should ask before doing a market research project in-house.
When I emphasized up-front (above), this really focused on “assumed cost savings” for the client. Let’s say a client can do a survey through Survey Monkey for $500, and let’s say the cost to use a market research firm for that same study is $3,000. So, it’s a pretty easy calculation for the client, the assumed cost savings is $2,500. But let’s say the team uses Survey Monkey and biases the instrument, asks the wrong questions and, as a result, they are given misguided results – results that cost the business hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of the next six months. By using a professional market research consultant, we can guarantee that the survey instrument will be removed from bias, we’ll ask the right questions and you will be given accurate, representative and valuable results. Results that could increase your business’s revenues by hundreds of thousands of dollars. The real trade-off then is how much is your business willing to risk by not doing the survey or the market research correctly?
Here is a theoretical case study that is meant solely to walk you through a scenario where one decision-tree takes the online survey site route while the other takes the third-party market research vendor route. All of the information in this theoretical case study is simply that – theoretical. It’s a helpful visual that aids in explaining a situation and the danger with using online survey sites.
Are you interested in contacting Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS) to receive a quote on your online survey? RMS can work with your team to write the survey script, sample correctly, manage the fieldwork, analyze the results and provide action items and recommendations. All of which will save you and your team countless hours. To learn more, contact Sandy Baker, our Business Development Director at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling (315) 635-9802.