I draw your attention this morning to an article recently written for MRWeb by our own senior contributor, Andrew Jeavons. The article, entitled “Power to the People” was written in response to Jerome Sopocko’s recent article in the same publication, “Man Up! The Trojans are at the Gate.”
The debate – a long-standing one, but taken up this past week by Andrew and Jerome – centers around the role of Do It Yourself (DIY) tools in market research. Jerome argues that DIY survey tools pose a threat to the market research industry by “dumbing down” research instruments and leading those using DIY survey tools to believe that the data they gather is equal to the results of professionally conducted market research. Andrew counters that DIY exists because there’s a demand for it, and we, as market researchers, can either reposition ourselves to offer value or be left behind.
So who is right?
Heck if I know! This is one of the most complex debates that the market research industry will face in a generation. It represents a choice between two fundamentally different directions, how we respond, and our role as an industry in the future. Truth be told, and perhaps this is a cop-out… I see both sides. I understand Jerome’s point that – beyond self-preservation – there is sophistication and years of training that goes into executing high-quality market research.
But I understand Andrew’s points as well: that the democratization of connecting with constituents and gathering data opens doors to those who, in the past, couldn’t afford to hire researchers. Andrew’s point that the MR industry is capable of adapting, and continuing to offer value, is also well taken.
I’d really love to know your thoughts here. Check out Jerome Sopocko’s article, “Man Up! The Trojans are at the Gate” as well as Andrew Jeavons, ”Power to the People,” and take just a minute to share your thoughts on this critical debate. What is the role of DIY research in the MR industry in the years to come?