Tag Archives: diy

Is Frugality and Efficicency the New Status Quo in Consumer Behavior?

Frugality: I am powerful, yet I am frugal
The DIY (do it yourself) culture is a phenomenon that has
overtaken the ready-to-order and ready-to-purchase behavior. While we used to
prefer having things made and sent to us, somewhere along the lines the stamped
on labor cost has begun to bother us. This, along with the need to express
creative freedom and feel a sense of accomplishment after having completed a
manual task has driven individuals to do things themselves. The success of IKEA stores is simply one example, but the
flattening frequency of house help in metropolitan cities of third world
countries shows how people are looking more towards their own powers and
natures to completing given tasks. Frugality can be the other explanation for
this, too, as individuals get slightly more sure of what they want, and how
they want it. Businesses beware of the increasing know-how of consumers, and
the increased pickiness, which unfortunately correlates with the increasing
options that consumers face for every product they wish to purchase.
Efficiency: Factors overriding the Experience Element
For some reason, we have lost the ability to enjoy various
elements of life on a standalone basis. Efficiency has caught on like a buzzing
bug. Why, if you can have a phone that handles email, text messaging, entails a
GPS, can play movies and stream television channels, why have a laptop, a
mobile phone, a portable GPS, a Blu-ray player and a television? It is the efficiency
of one product versus many more, at a reasonable cost advantage and convenience,
perhaps. But does it replace the joy of cuddling up in a couch in front of a
television with a bowl of popcorn? I’m not saying efficiency is a bad thing, I
mean the swiftness of checking in on an airplane (lets ignore the other
associated hassles of traveling these days), or the practicality of an all-inclusive
printer/scanner/copier are definitely a sign of creative minds at relevant
work. However, I think product managers, alongside consumers, have been taking
the efficiency element too much out of reach from the human element.
Frugality again may be the cause here. Why buy six things
when one can perform the same task? From an economic standpoint, it’s probably
true. From a convenience one, depending on your adaptability to the sensitive
touch screen phones, the response will vary. And we all ignore the satisfaction
element of it. For when you have a 60 second microwavable meal, not only does
the taste and nutrition compromise itself, but one also loses out on the joys
of cooking and concocting an ingredient specific dish. Apt brand
is thus a requirement.

Sourabh Sharma, Senior Manager
and Communication & Social Media Research Expert at SKIM, a boutique marketing
research consultancy, has a background in engineering, marketing and finance
from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton School and Rotterdam
School of Management. Having worked in marketing and product development at
L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management consulting, he now passionately
enjoys the world of social media, and can be found on every platform with his
alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a fashion writer, and documents these
alongside strategy on his blog called 3FS.
He may be reached at s.sharma@skimgroup.com.
Follow him on @sssourabh.

Live from #TMRE14: How Adobe Streamlines Research for Disruptive Innovation

Dr. Sam Lindsey
Adobe’s Dr. Sam Lindsey, Research Manager, Market Insights, gave us an
in-depth tour of how research at Adobe is being adapted and made scalable to
suit the demands of the innovation process. 
Specifically, Lindsey works on
disruptive’as opposed to incremental’innovation.
Lindsey noted that innovation leaders tend to view research like a
luxury cruise ship’slow, cumbersome, extravagant’a vessel decidedly ill-suited
for the sort of highly uncertain terrain germane to the disruptive innovation
He’s been working to change that perception with a speedboat
variation that dramatically cuts costs and reduces the average research window from 3-5
months down to 1-2 weeks. It entails:
-          Narrow,
hypothesis-based studies
-          New
samples (crowdsourced panels)
-          New
tools (ex. UserTesting.com)

Adobe is
training non-research employees to conduct their own research.

Among the more controversial elements of the presentation, Lindsey
discussed how Adobe is equipping its non-research employees to conduct their own research, themselves.

This includes a host of educational resources’best practices,
sample scripts, how-to’s, guides and tips’imparting the essentials from
drafting a recruit email to interviewing.
Lindsey and Adobe’s other research jocks advise on method, sample,
design and confidence in findings as needed.
‘The demand for this sort of research is too high for [our researchers]
to meet,’ said Lindsey, who anticipated some audience members might question
the wisdom of building an internal DIY army. 
‘They’re going to do research,
either way, so why not help them do it reasonably well’?

Marc Dresner is IIR USA’s sr. editor and special communication project lead. He is the former executive editor of Research Business Report, a confidential newsletter for the marketing research and consumer insights industry. He may be reached at mdresner@iirusa.com. Follow him @mdrezz.

Stop the DIY Madness & Stop Insulting Corporate Researchers

DIY is not synonymous with in-house research. Can I be any

I thought we put this to bed 5 years ago when ‘DIY panic’
first the market research industry. But given some recent presentations and articles,
it seems to be a hot topic again. As a 25-year veteran of the business, please allow me to illustrate how this topic is being incorrectly framed.

Market Research “Sides”

The market research world is often thought of as having a client-side
(corporate research functions) and a supply-side (market research firms,
especially full-service agencies).
Research done by corporate researchers is often excellent,
sometimes not. Sometimes it is done by highly trained professionals with solid statistics, qualitative method or related
skill sets. Sometimes it is done by people with ‘on-the-job’ training.

Research done by market research firms is often excellent,
sometimes not. Sometimes it is done by highly trained professionals with solid statistics,
qualitative method or related skill sets. Sometimes it is done by people with
‘on-the-job’ training.

The only difference is that in the corporate research world
there was a time when a lot of corporate researchers outsourced much of their
work. This was especially common, years ago, in the large CPG companies.  In these cases, the market research manager
was pretty much a purchasing agent: they knew how to match internal clients’
needs with external supplier talents, they were skilled in negotiation, and
they often participated at key project milestones (approving questionnaire drafts,
for example).

In contrast, and totally separate, there is DIY research.
DIY research is often done by people with little to no training, who typically
do not work in market research’whether on the client or supplier side. At one company
I know, the sales department has gone rogue a few times and had a college
intern do some low-end surveys. The surveys were not particularly good. And the
market research manager at the company was understandably not thrilled, for
many, legitimate reasons. But that is the sales department doing DIY. Not the
corporate researcher.

Among all corporate research work done, has the percent that
is outsourced shrunk? Yes. But that is not the rise of DIY, it’s the rise of’well,
call it insourcing if you want’I don’t really care. Just don’t insult our
corporate research brethren by labeling them all DIY researchers. Actually, do.
Insult them, antagonize them. I’m happy for the extra work.
And for those supply-side researchers who are ready to
embrace change, kudos. I am with Isaiah Adams, who in a
recent TMRE
blog post
, stated, ‘While this may sound like a depressing end-game, I
believe it actually increases the value of knowledgeable Market Research
professionals.’ Mr. Adams is correct.

This post is by guest blogger Kathryn
Korostoff of Research Rockstar LLC, the only
independent provider of online market research training (
Training.ResearchRockstar.com). Follow her on Twitter @ResearchRocks.  She is also offering a free training class to her new FOCI friends.

Do-It-Yourself Research is on the Rise

Roe vs. Wade, Gun
Control, Immigration & Capital Punishment. 
It wasn’t that long ago where a simple conversation about
Do-It-Yourself Online Research (DIYOR) among the Market Research community felt
like a heated debate with the same intensity of the aforementioned topics.
For all intents and purposes, let’s not debate the pro/cons and
the validity/invalidity of DIYOR within this space. These topics and arguments
are already well documented and discussed. Instead, let’s take a look at the industry’s past,
present and future.
DIYOR began in the late 1990′s and moved past the introduction stage of the product life cycle in the late 2000′s. Its current fragmentation
of companies resembles the fragmented Market Research Industry where a handful
of major players are accompanied by a majority of smaller companies.

DIY Research is in the growth stage of the product life cycle

The DIYOR Industry, as well as the NewMR Industry in which it
is a subset, is presently within the growth stage of the product life cycle as
revenues are increasing year over year.  Some
suggest the industry is cannibalizing Traditional Research. However, relatively
recent worldwide sales figures suggest that NewMR is supplementing Traditional Research, not cannibalizing it.

Some of the major players in the DIYOR market are beginning to behave as if operating within the maturity stage of the product life cycle and are buying competitors, forming
partnerships and extending product lines. This behavior seems relatively quick as only a few years have
passed since the industry outgrew the introduction stage.  Though, perhaps the move to maturity for some isn’t so
quick after all since first and foremost DIYOR companies are technology
that exist in an ever-changing market.
In terms of present offerings, two key factors have yet to
normalize in the DIYOR market: Service & Price.
Service and Research Design in the market range from truly unaided
services to aided / self-guided services. DIYOR vendors in the unaided market provide
the technology for customers to field quantitative and qualitative studies, but
do not assist the questionnaire design process and provide the results of the
survey as raw data without data analysis services.  Whereas aided / self-guided companies provide
a full suite of self-guided questionnaire design templates as well as data
analysis applications. For an extra fee, some aided / self-guided companies can
provide an experienced researcher to help design customers’ quantitative and qualitative
projects. And of course, there are DIYOR companies that exist somewhere
between both ends of the spectrum.

Both services and prices widely vary in the DIY Research market

The relative price of service in the DIYOR market increases or decreases relative to the amount of service provided and overall price points display a fairly wide
variance in the DIYOR market.  Charges range from free, to charging per respondent,
to charging per month, to charging per year, to charging with sliding-scale credits, to charging for a basic user profile, to charging for an intermediate
user profile, to charging for an advanced user profile, to charging for enterprise services, etc.,
etc. Get the picture?

It’s going to be a challenge for consumers to truly evaluate all the different price points, at all the different
offerings, for all the different users, at all the different levels of service.  Without a doubt, the rising DIYOR industry is in need of a solid pricing study that will ultimately optimize and ease consumers’ purchasing decisions.
So what lies in store for the DIYOR industry? My humble prediction
is within the next 5 years, larger full-suite, self-guided DIYOR companies will
continue to purchase smaller DIYOR companies that display attractive technology and operate within a niche of the market, in order to add to their portfolios of
services. Customers by this time will have determined for themselves which product
offering at particular price points makes the most sense.  This combination of vendor consolidation
and educated pricing from a consumers point of view will ultimately streamline the DIYOR industry as a whole and normalize its product offerings and
In your opinion, where is the DIYOR industry heading in the next 5
years? Please comment below.
Chris Ruby is an award-winning Marketing Research & Consumer Insights Executive with Fortune 500 consulting experience. His niche is the ability to turn complex data into compelling stories that induce a call for action among key decision-makers. His work has been featured by MRA, MRIA, IIR, Norstat Times, Chadwick Martin Bailey & the Optimization Group. Keep up with Chris Ruby by following him on Twitter @ChrisRubyMRX or by reading the Chris Ruby Market Research Blog.