‘CREATE AWESOME SURVEYS FOR FREE…,’ only a Google search away and, as it says, - it’s awesome. Or is it?

Well we would ask that. And, unless you didn’t know, NEMS is a market research firm, so you’ve probably already guessed the answer.

There used to be a name for surveys like this: ‘kitchen table research’. Now they are literally promising something for nothing. It’s incredibly tempting. After all, how hard can it be? Well, and again we would say this, it’s harder than it looks”. Take the pre-election polls for instance. This might be an extreme example; however, it demonstrates better than any other just how complex the business of research into human behaviour, habits and intentions is.

Reliability is the ultimate qualifying factor of a survey, establishing that can be an enormous task. First there’s the sample, it may seem easy if it’s your own customer base. But that in itself is fraught with the potential to deceive. What if only those who like you respond, or, those with a grievance. Then there’s the objectivity and clarity required to avoid leading the respondent and getting a biased answer. People will speak freely of their behaviour in most instances, however if you’re covering ground which may reveal actions outside the social norm, they may lie to you: drinking, smoking, eating, driving etc. all open to little white lies. As may be their response when you ask them about attitudes toward certain things – even quite straight forward subjects.

So, DIY research is fraught with issues. The more fundamental to your planning process the findings are, the more room there is for some very costly errors. That’s not to say there’s no place for it. A short simple survey can aid in the design and direction of much more detailed research. The greatest challenge is knowing the limitations of your DIY capabilities and judging when to pass the job over to the professionals. As you’ve probably guessed, NEMS can help you with this!

To see how our online research offers compares with others please click here for a comparison table.