Part 2: Survey Tools and how they cater to different buyers

This is the original category of “DIY Research” technology in online surveys.  By now, this is a very mature market and is starting to see a variety of mergers and acquisitions.  

One of the ways these platforms differentiate is by offering different features for different buyer types.  Here are a few examples of buyer types:

Mom & Pops- 

This specifically refers to micro businesses or even local organizations who choose to survey their customers, audiences, constituents, members, etc. There are survey tools that were created to make surveys easy and more accessible to an audience without any research acumen but have an email list.  SurveyMonkey originally was wildly successful with this audience base by “democratizing” surveys.  When the local soccer club can easily put a survey into field, you know Market Research has expanded its reach.  

MR Pros- 

Other Survey Tools were built with robust methodologies in mind and are more mainstream for Market Research Companies.  These tools are designed for complex research approaches and often require skilled programmers to nail the rotations, piping and randomizations properly.  These solutions are not built for your local PTA.  


One incredibly popular platform has catered specifically to the Fortune 500.  Qualtrics has done this by balancing simplicity with complexity.  The result is that Consumer Insights Pros can build a more involved survey themselves right in the tool, without programming expertise.  Many consumer insights professionals end up investing in annual subscriptions to a platform like this with the thought of doing more with the same budget when compared to outsourcing.  It feels empowering and savvy from a business perspective.  

Over time, many professionals miss out on the deeper expertise that their Insights Agency partners provided.  They often get into situations where their data doesn’t stand up to past research.  How do they reconcile conflicting insights with a limited team?  Soon, they start realizing there are elements of the process they took for granted.  

It’s become quite common in our more automated world that each survey tool seeks to diversify revenue by selling access to target audiences for surveys.  So, many sample companies connect their “traffic” to survey tools via APIs to share in that revenue.  But many sample companies already have their own “DIY” platform for sample access.  Many have even added in their own survey tools as well.    

This is a perfect segue into the Respondent Access world (aka Sample). Next, let’s dig into the DIY Sample Tools.

Please click here for Part 3 of 5.

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