This blog post was written by our guest blogger Mark Dengler, President of Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS).

Market Research – You want to do it, but are scared off by the price. So here you are, considering do-it-yourself (DIY) research. Let me caution you. While DIY may be great for home or garden projects, it is not a good solution for quality studies to assist in making informed business decisions. The old saying, “you get what you pay for,” typically holds true.

DIY Market Research

Conducting market research is a science. It requires a well thought out methodology, tested and effective tools, and statistical analysis. It is not something that can simply be incorporated in-house for execution. Most notably, the research is designed to assist with decision-making. The findings have importance and require accuracy. Furthermore, in-house corporate initiatives often build-in significant bias (unknowingly) that have a major impact on the findings. As a result, decisions may be made with incorrect information or the research study findings are excluded from the final decision-making for fear they are not comprehensive. Either way, the organization loses. What originally began as a means to save money has actually cost money while providing little or no value. It may even force you to do a 2nd round of market research with an outside vendor if your in-house attempt fails.

A recent study on DIY research revealed that DIY research projects have lower scores for data quality and for analytical analysis when compared to scores from professional research firms (according to an article in Quirks – August 2011). These findings were obtained from research buyers/users.

Here are 5 questions you should ask before conducting your market research study in-house. At the end of the day, it is best to keep market research work with the professionals where value-for-the money can be assured and findings can truly assist with effective decision-making. If you are interested in conducting a market research study with a professional firm, contact our Business Development Director at RMS, Sandy Baker at or by calling 1-866-567-5422.