Case Studies of Successful DIY Research

Louise Principe
Mar 25, 2022

Person Conducting DIY Study-png

As cloud-based software tools become more prevalent in the business industry, DIY research is progressively creating a significant impact in function and use cases. Professionals who formerly had limited or no access to time, budget, and internal resources to hire an external market research firm to conduct their studies now see that they can do the work themselves and get the same, if not better, results.

Equipped with tools such as web rooms, mobile ethnography, and media curation, DIY platforms give researchers a chance to listen and uncover the needs of their consumers, prospects, or employees. Without waiting for an agency to deliver its results, a self-directed method brings about agile and robust insights – resulting in justified business decisions that drive improvement and innovation to your company.

In this article, we’ll explore different cases of how do-it-yourself studies can be utilized to solve various pain points in market research.

  • Concept Testing

A start-up coffee brand plans to release a second line of ready-to-drink coffee products in certain convenience stores. They compete in a crowded field, and their product team needs to decode some subjective sentiment data from their consumer market. Since everyone has different preferences in taking their coffee, they want to conduct a mobile research study to refine their product ideas.

The Challenge: How can we identify potential product lines without a significant budget to commission a market research agency?

The Solution: The product team decided to roll up their sleeves and do their own qualitative research. Using a mobile insights app, researchers asked participants to complete three activities within a week for an incentive. Participants shared their coffee shopping thoughts before entering the store for the first activity. Second, they were asked to look at the coffee products, submit a photo of their purchase, and capture an audio recording of why they bought that item. Lastly, they recorded a short video talking about their ideal coffee flavor, price, and packaging. Their recordings from the app were then uploaded and organized in a video curation tool for more effective analysis.

The Results: Consumer feedback mechanisms led them in an unexpected direction. People wanted either hot or cold coffee, so the company created packaging with insulated labels to keep coffee hot or cool without burning or freezing hands. It also followed consumer feedback to switch up their flavors and find the right price point. Using fast, DIY research methods, the start-up was able to market in half the time compared to the previous line and sold out within the first month of launching.

Key Takeaways: Companies can increase their chances of success by becoming more customer-centric thanks to DIY concept testing. Implementing thorough self-serve methods can help identify potential product lines that might become hits once out in the market. It allows you to get frequent consumer feedback to refine your ideas and ultimately shorten your product development cycle.

Consumer Behavior

An analytic team at an investment firm studies online trends. They want to conduct a market research project to identify which social media and music apps are popular among the young demographic. The insights gathered about the target market will then be shared with client investors to influence investment decisions, provide credibility to the firm, and establish trust with clients.

The Challenge: How do we gather relevant investment data efficiently and cost-effectively without sacrificing data quality?

The Solution: The team found a platform for DIY qualitative research that could help them run their own consumer studies on a budget. Through a mobile insights app, they screened and recruited young people between the ages of 22-30 worldwide who use social media and music apps for more than 8 hours a day. They facilitated five focus groups with six participants using secure online web rooms. The members were asked various questions covering app preferences, what apps they downloaded recently, and how frequently they use them. The independent research team then compiled all the important clips from the focus group sessions into a highlight reel to include in their report.

The Results: The team gathered the feedback they needed in a short amount of time to create their own proprietary consumer trend report to share with their investors. The DIY platform proved to be an invaluable tool in helping them provide valuable research to buy-side clients.

Key takeaways: Nowadays, the knowledge industry relies on agile research to know what others don’t and to know them sooner than anyone else. Using do-it-yourself market research tools can be a cost-effective way to keep your finger on the pulse of consumer trends and get fast results on time when an agency isn’t an option.

Competitive Analysis

A long-standing consumer goods company wants to keep up with newer competitors by launching its own ice cream brand. Aware of the growing trends of ice cream with more eco-friendly packaging and healthier ingredients, they wanted to conduct a market research study to scope out their competitors before launching.

The Challenge: How can a traditional company use technology to compete against trendier upstart rivals for the minds of health and environmentally conscious consumers that may be out of their current market?

The Solution: The company tasked a five-person team to conduct agile DIY market research with the goal of developing new ideas for the new ice cream brand. They conducted a mobile research study with sustainable and health-conscious participants from different demographics. Respondents typed and recorded insights about why they purchase certain ice cream brands on a mobile ethnography app. These decisions included flavor preferences, ingredients, nutritional benefits, price, and packaging. All of the data collected from the app was then uploaded into a curation platform so the researchers could create a compelling report to generate ideas for the brand.

The Results: This lean approach led the company to create a healthy and sustainable ice cream brand in less than a year. They developed an affordable low-calorie ice cream using natural ingredients, packaged in a carton made from recycled materials. The company was able to react to shifting consumer taste to continue competing with trendy upcoming brands.

Key Takeaways:  Agile market research isn’t just reserved for modern start-ups. Even long-standing companies can break away from traditional methods to innovate using DIY market research.

Brand Research

The head of analytics at a tech company specializing in selling innovative and durable action cameras was part of the brand’s international expansion. They wanted to use DIY market research to listen to consumer views and understand their new markets.

The Challenge: How can you adapt product offerings to a foreign market and understand their media consumption behaviors?

The Solution: The analyst used online DIY market research tools to listen to customers’ views and understand the new markets where the company wanted to expand. They spearheaded a market study through a mobile ethnography app for the pre-interview process, a focus group platform for more detailed insights, and a media curation tool for identifying and analyzing key trends.

Preliminary interviews with extreme sports enthusiasts, travelers, video producers, and amateur video creators from potential new markets were conducted. The participants shared audio recordings, text responses, photos, and videos of how they film content, their current equipment, and their ideal specifications for an action camera. Afterward, the participants were divided into three 100-minute online focus groups according to their respective countries. They reacted to advertising stimuli and were asked questions about brand image, brand awareness, and brand preferences. The data accumulated from both the app and the focus groups were compiled, organized, and analyzed in a media curation platform to create research reports for each new market.

The Results: Through the self-directed study, the company gained valuable information about its brand health and market potential, which helped them quickly increase international sales. They were also able to set up their research on an online platform that allows them to design the study, facilitate it and analyze the results quickly without outside help – increasing the study’s frequency for a lower cost.

Key Takeaways: DIY qualitative research allows you to tap into more markets, more frequently for the same cost as one large study with a full-service firm – a strategy especially popular when assessing international markets for expansion.

Market Sizing

A consultant was preparing to leave a stable career to launch a business that focuses on helping parents pay for childcare. Based on her situation and the people she talked to, she felt there should be a market for this financial service. However, before developing her business plan, she wanted to conduct DIY research to estimate the size of her addressable market.

The Challenge: How can you know for certain that a business idea is viable before investing a large amount of money?

The Solution: She facilitated her own market research study online. Webcam interviews were conducted with working parents of children under five years using a DIY platform. She picked their brains about childcare services, career aspirations, and daily needs. After this, the interview footage was uploaded to a video curation tool for tagging, clipping, and creating a highlight reel to be included in the final report. The results were then presented to venture capitalists.

The Results: Gathering data from the parents helped her estimate the size of her target audience, which was considered a compelling data point to show to investors. Conducting the study validated her ideas in real-time, providing unique market knowledge that no one else has access to.

Key Takeaways: Implementing your market research is an efficient way to get representative validation of an idea. If it’s between going with your gut or getting unbiased feedback, stakeholders will be much more confident in your path if you provide reliable data.

Conduct Your DIY Research Efficiently with Civicom MyQual™

This accessible, affordable, and secure online DIY solution provides independent researchers with the toolset needed to execute qualitative research from start to finish. Gather robust insights with capabilities such as webcam streaming, media management, and mobile homework using this robust do-it-yourself package. Learn more about MyQual™ and the platforms it can offer to ensure a positive research experience.

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