Market research

Market Research Firm vs. online survey with targeted audience

Amir Trabelsi CEO at Genoox

February 19th, 2014

Hi everyone, 

We are trying to validate some of our assumptions and we have started to use online survey( surveymonkey and such). Since we feel that we don't have enough respondents we wanted to buy targeted audience using their paid targeted audience option. However after targeting a specific audience it became pretty expensive and I'm wondering if someone here has worked with such option in the past and found it valuable ? 

Did anyone here have used market research firm service and also used D.I.Y market research using some of the online survey service and comment which method is preferred(assuming you do need to buy targeted audience to response the survey)

Dave Angelow Board Member at HAND Austin

February 19th, 2014

In some situations it can be helpful to use Mechanical Turk and get real people to make the contacts.  It's still a survey yet can yield richer data if there are branching/follow-up questions based on certain responses.

Stan SF Manager

February 19th, 2014

Amir - who is the audience exactly? Nothing beats seeking and speaking to them yourself (or as a team). Use the survey as your interview guide. But don't outsource* to a market research firm, the gold nuggets are all in the nuanced responses that come in the form of body language and voice tones...not in the "yes" or "no" outputs you get via survey or firm. *I assume you're in the very early stages. Sent from my mobile device Stan

Amir Trabelsi CEO at Genoox

February 19th, 2014

Thanks Stan. 

The audience can be any person that use tools for D.I.Y projects in the US. 
Yes we are in the very early stage and we do speak with people around us that we know that use such tools but we want to collect as much data we can and from different people and different places across the US and learn more about the preferences and thus we though to use an online tool to get more data. I totally agree that nothing beats seeking and speaking with them in person, we just in a situation where we reach the limit of people we can ask directly and thus looking how to expand our validation without coding yet. 

Jeff S

February 19th, 2014

Have you tried Google's survey tool?  I found it pretty great and affordable for quick insights.

Frederic Moreau Agile Business Transformer

February 19th, 2014

I'm using Google Survey, Monkey Survey and qualitative approaches (face-to-face / phone / email) to research the market for my clients.

All of these make sens depending on the context and what you need to validate. Whatever the method used you will need to acquire respondents. This will require either some efforts and mechanisms you can implement by yourself, or you can acquire those using Google Survey (actually you don't have the choice as it runs on Google partners' websites) or Monkey Survey or others.

As I understand  you want to validate some assumptions, what you need first are indeepth insights from a panel of target users and clients. The best insights are collected during face-to-face interviews. It is the most expensive approach and time consuming, but you don't need to interview so many people; usually 15 to 20 depending on your target market and its segments.

The conclusions of the qualitative survey will then be validated through a quantitative survey, that's actually the only value of a quantitative survey - validate conclusions you already know about, and weight responses.

Sometimes, a quantitative survey is not even necessary. 2 weeks ago I found myself advising a client not to run any qualitative or quantitative survey and to build directly the product as the market data were providing enough insights to decide to build an MVP and measure traction.

If you need any further help with that you can reach me on

Chen Yu Consultant at Trinity Partners

February 19th, 2014

If you really do prefer a quant study vs. qual then quant like Frederic mentioned, it may make sense for you to just do some legwork to try and gather a list of email addresses and phone numbers of potential target respondents. Reach out  to them and offer a small honeraria for completing your survey. 

To be honest, if you have a hard to reach respondent pool, that's what most MR firms do anyways, just on a larger scale. 

Magdy Ibrahim

February 19th, 2014

Look at the following and let me know if it's helpful:

Amir Trabelsi CEO at Genoox

February 20th, 2014

Thank you very much guys for your help! I think I try to continue with qualitative survey for now. 
Fredric I will email you directly if I will need further assistance with it.