Clients are hungry for more, more for less, and more faster. Technology is the only cuisine we can serve to still their appetite!

Debate is ongoing with regards to the merits and caveats of DIY (Do-It-Yourself) research in the market research industry.

Many see the opportunity for people to do their own research in the form of self-created surveys as democratizing, liberating and as a way to address the need for speed. Others think it will undermine the value of research, produce poor quality data, and result in bad business decisions.

Both sides have valid arguments, but our clients fail to see why reconciling the two sides of the table is their problem. It is ours to solve for them because the hunger is real.


Yes, they are hungry for speed. Anyone who thinks this need will go away is naive. As Jack Welsh said: “if the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near.” Our clients need to address business questions in a time frame aligning with the pace at which their business operates. And we need to cater to this request in order to stay relevant and meaningful.

Yes, they have an acquired taste for quality to ensure they inspire the best decisions for their business. Why should they settle for anything ‘bland’? The presumed postulate is outdated: ‘you can only have two of three choices: speed, quality, and cost’. The time for the naysayers and negative Nancy’s (apologies to all the amazing ladies named Nancy out there) is coming to an end.

As technology develops, we see new offerings popping up where speed and cost (the prerogatives of technology) are intertwined with quality, and without  dependency on the client: automation of agency IP.

To fully bring the automation model into light, it is important to distinguish from its predecessor: DIY research. While both methods are employing technology to power their research projects, the intrinsic difference lies in features versus design proposition.

DIY platforms have an amazing array of features giving you limitless flexibility. However, the hassle, risks, and quality assurance of DIY remain with the client. Some platforms will offer you guidance and templates, but in the end, it is still a basket full of ingredients with; at most, a cooking book to a home cook.

Yes, you might be a great researcher, but can you put in that effort and take on the risk time on time again?

Automation of agency IP could be described as “Done-For-You” (DFY). Forget features and question types – rather, think products and brands. Imagine your fridge filled with ready-made meals prepared to a recipe from all the world’s three-star Michelin chefs.


Automated products address specific research questions with recipes from different research agency brands.

Once you have identified your business question and the agency you want to use, everything is done for you! You are not writing the survey, debating possible interpretations, or questioning your sample source because the professionals will have already done that for you!

When a client places an automated research order, the software will field the study with a pre-programmed questionnaire, and with quality panel partners. It will collect data from the desired sample, analyze and visualize it exactly to the design required from the agency brand. Even in the reports, clients can benefit from their expertise with applied analysis models, and normative database integration.

Oh, and did I mention that generating the report takes just a few hours from the point of ordering the project?

If you have compliments or questions for the chef, you can ask him! Some brands offer additional consulting on automated projects, allowing clients to have an expert mining their data for additional insight. This way of working emphasizes the true added value of the chef (or in our case the agency): R&D or methodology design and insight navigation or consultancy.

So, the question is: do you want to start an attempt to cook three-star research meals, or start ordering them on the fly?

Check out Zappistore: the ultimate automated market research platform


Christophe Ovaere

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Christophe Ovaere

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