DIY survey research is a terrible label.
Up until my mid twenties, I called 17 different places home.
Then I bought a house. The same one I’ve now lived in for 20 years.
That’s plenty of time for DIY projects to leave lasting scars.
Exhibits A, B and C:
There are lots more like this. Sometimes I’ve needed urgent help from real professionals with the right skills and tools.
This is why I never liked the term ‘DIY’ applied to survey research.
I saw the term through the filter of my own limited abilities at home improvement.
For me, ‘DIY’ will forever be associated with not quite good enough. Something unfinished. A project I should have paid experts to do.
I don’t think it’s just me. Plenty of insight professionals hear the term ‘DIY’ as an implicit signifier of something inferior.
Maybe that’s what they wanted me to think … perhaps Big Agency took a leaf out of the Big Tobacco and Big Oil playbooks to sew fear, uncertainty and doubt in our minds over the legitimacy of DIY research platforms.
I’ve tried to swap DIY for new language – automated survey platforms, end-to-end research software, integrated survey tools, agile testing platforms … but people just look at me blankly.
Until I say ‘DIY’. Grudgingly. With air quotes.
Anyway, I accept the defeat.
The language of DIY is now so widespread that I can’s resist it.
Even agencies have started to use it as part of their hybrid service / tech offer that spans Full SaaS, Full Service, and the bits in between:
So what are these DIY survey research platforms all about? How do they work and how are they different from each other?
I can explain a little (see brief descriptions below). But you really want to get up close and see them for yourself.
Which you can now do on this very site, without ever needing to speak to a sales rep.
Watch full length demos of DIY survey platforms.
Don’t worry if you have important meetings while the live Demos take place. Register anyway – all the sessions are recorded so you can watch them on-demand afterwards.
Here are 8 DIY survey research platforms with full length demos on this site.
Pitched as a combination of innovative technology, human expertise and award-winning research design, Toluna Start is an end-to-end consumer intelligence platform where users can run quantitative and qualitative research projects; use automated tools for survey design; access survey respondents from Toluna’s global panels; and publish results to dashboards
It’s used for market understanding projects, new product development, advertising and creative testing – fully self-service or with help the Toluna services team.
Zappi has been the poster child for research automation over the last few years. Their aim has been to make data collection and modelling faster, lower cost and easier.
The platform helps global brands like PepsiCo, Mars and McDonald’s to test new products and advertising content.
Newer platforms features include machine learning for automated verbatim coding, predictive analytics and nested category benchmarks for concept test scores.
Response:AI offers market research teams and agencies a DIY survey platform that scales efficiently. It rolls up survey design, execution and report generation in a single tool to replace up to three vendors: survey authors, fieldwork/panel providers and reporting.
There is built-in automation for questionnaire design and fieldwork management, with some proprietary AI tools that speed up report generation. Clients use it to research consumer preference and behaviours, test ads and product features, and to measure brand awareness and equity.
The platform can be white-labeled for agencies and – in the spirit of DFY or DWY – a team of full service researchers can help out with all parts of the process.
Glow is DIY with a BYO option.
It’s an agile research platform for quantitative surveys. Send them to your own lists of people – customers in a CRM database, say, or followers on social media – or access a global audience of respondents. Glow is fully integrated with Dynata’s panel of over 60 million.
You can design studies from scratch or use a range of templates for concept testing, packaging evaluation, category deep dives, brand tracking, event feedback and other survey types.
There’s even a free tier – use it without paying a software license.
quantilope is an end-to-end DIY research platform that spans questionnaire design, panel management, in-depth analysis, and data visualisation.
What’s really different about quantilope is its automation of very advanced research methodologies – including Conjoint, MaxDiff, Implicit Association Tests, Kano / Penalty Reward Analysis and TURF.
If you’ve ever run projects using these tools, you’ll know how much specialist (costly) labour is involved in doing them the old way.
No, that’s not a typo. Two i’s. Eye eye. Aye aye.
It’s designed with a mobile-first philosophy and focuses on the participant experience with a Tinder-like interface (swipe right to like / left to dislike). Think long, dull desktop surveys – and then imagine the opposite.
It can be used to test consumer reactions to products, services, logos, packaging designs, ads, claims and more.
Surveys complete within hours; automated analytics are powered by AI; and results are published to online dashboards. Category performance benchmarks are also available.
Prodege is a slightly different type of DIY survey platform. It has a global proprietary panel of 120 million members, and you can use the self-service tools to find, target and screen the precise audience you need for your survey.
Panel members also log their purchase data through receipt scanning and opt-in to browser metering and location-triggered surveys – so you can get behavioural insights about online and offline purchase history. It also means you can run shorter surveys because you don’t need to ask so many questions about their activity.
Maru/HUB pitches itself as a technology ecosystem more than a survey automation platform – but it does have both templated and start-from-blank-sheet options for DIY survey research.
The packaged solutions (template studies) are designed by researchers in Maru Group companies; several of them use advanced techniques and behavioural science approaches for content and concept testing – including both System 1 and System 2 approaches.
Beyond DIY survey research, the platform also has some advanced features for pop-up communities, social influencer analytics, test analytics, topic modelling and conversational AI for qual at scale.
So if you’re considering a DIY survey research platform, you have plenty of options. Each has its own unique set of features and support model.
Make sure you check out the demos we have coming up so you get a proper understanding of what each one is all about.