I came across a post from my network on LinkedIn the other day that shared the following quote from Red Adair, a famous American Oil Well Firefighter:

“If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur.” – Red Adair

The case may never be as true as it is with market research. Market research often gets bypassed in organizational budgets because of the simple notion: “Write a survey? I can do that.” Thus, in our daily happenings, the RMS team comes across a variety of different surveys written in-house by inexperienced survey writers. At initial glance, one would think writing a survey yourself will save you money and time. “I can avoid paying a professional for this service because I can just do it myself”, right?

Value of market research

Make the right choice. Get a professional survey writer.

Unfortunately, we have seen (time and time again) our clients, business partners, and friends learn the hard way by not hiring a professional to assist them with their market research. Many inexperienced (or amateur) survey writers, as Mr. Adair would say, immediately jump to free online services such as SurveyMonkey.com or Zoomerang.com to write an online survey. Hey, we even provided you the links above if you’d like to risk using these sites for a survey you’d like to conduct for your business. We don’t recommend it.

Here is one of the unfortunate scenarios we recently came across. This is an actual blinded email by someone who presumably attempted to hire an inexperienced survey writer.

Dear Survey Respondents,

If you tried to take my survey regarding retail store concepts, you may have experienced a glitch. I lost one-third of my potential respondents during the course of just 3 of 10 total questions, each of which required you to allocate 100% of your restaurant locations and occasions. But, if you tried to enter a “%” sign in any of the answer fields, rather than just a whole number, the survey rejected your answers. If this was the case for you, please consider taking the survey again without entering “%” signs in any of the answer fields. It should take less than 5 minutes to complete. Thank you.


The true value of market research is only discovered after issues and mistakes arise by taking the perceived less expensive route. Not only would a professional survey programmer known to be aware of percentage value inputs versus quantity inputs in survey software, but you can be sure he or she would have taken plenty of time pre-testing a survey like this before it was launched. Also, the sender should know you only get one chance with market research respondents, and most (if not all) will not be willing to participate a second time due to this glitch, which in actuality is just a human error by the survey writer. Fortunately, for market research respondents there are reputable and professional firms out there who value your time and focus on doing things right the first time.

Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS) is a professional survey firm located in Syracuse, NY. Our survey experience includes healthcare, financial services, education, retail, as well as many other industries. If you are interested in hiring a survey firm in Syracuse NY, contact our Business Development Director Sandy Baker at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422.