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Taking market research in-house – the case for increased control

Taking market research inhouse with Glow

The pace of change for businesses has never been faster. So it comes as no surprise that in order to keep up, many businesses are taking their market research in-house. 

This trend has been accelerated in recent years by COVID-19 as budgets are slashed, teams get upskilled and the flux of consumer behaviour and market dynamics demands ever quicker answers. Add to this marketers’ increased focus on data control and the changing dynamics of data privacy, and the scene is set for continued research in-housing.    

In this space SAAS+ platforms like Glow that combine intuitive software with expert support services are thriving, because they provide a robust way for businesses to gain quick access to quality data, whilst maintaining control of the process and the outcomes. 

But it hasn’t always been this way. Doing quantitative market research in-house or self-service market research is a relatively new phenomena, born of the emergence and intersection of easy-to-use software and access to quality consumer opinions via panel data providers. This has removed the traditional research barriers of speed, cost and complexity and has meant that for specific research use cases, this is often the best research solution. 

If you have the need for robust market research and are considering trying out a self-service or supported service, then read on to see answers to some of the questions or concerns you might have and how Glow’s capabilities address these challenges.


Does self-service mean I have to do it ALL myself?

The traditional idea of self-service or DIY research implies one user in charge, running a process from start to finish, and cutting out the (research agency) middleman/woman. However, this doesn’t need to be the case and often the best solutions come with support from research experts. 

The power of ‘+’ 

Platforms like Glow are proudly SAAS+ with the ‘+’ being expert support services on hand for users as needed. Sophisticated users (or those wanting full control) can jump in and do the full research process themselves, or they can get help with survey set-up, questionnaire design, deployment or even reporting, as they need. 

The power of the model is that each business on each project can decide what level of support they require and pay for additional support only as they need it. This is commonly referred to as Assisted DIY or SAAS+.


Do I need to be a Researcher to run a research platform? 

Survey platforms of previous times were built by researchers, for researchers. This was partly intentional, reinforcing the skill and mystique at the core of research and analytics. These platforms were complex, hard to use and required a significant amount of on-boarding time to be able to use them effectively. Some would argue that many enterprise research solutions today still suffer from these problems.  

Clever platforms are beginner-friendly

Today, modem market research platforms like Glow make it easy for non-researchers to conduct robust insights programs. Survey scripting is a simple skill to learn, regardless of one’s level of research experience, if supported by survey kits, question templates (and experts) that ensure best practice design from the outset. Combine that with clever workflow design to guide users through the right process, and intuitive click-to-play analytics that highlight data differences, and even novices can feel like insights experts. 

Glow’s ethos is to democratise access to insights across organisations — that starts with creating a platform workflow that anyone can use, requiring only a 30-minute orientation to be able to effectively leverage its enterprise capabilities. If you’d like to see this in practice, book an intro with one of our friendly experts. 


Are research platforms just for simple surveys?

Established market research agencies will always have a place in the ecosystem, regardless of the tools available to businesses. They provide valuable strategy and direction upfront, can power the tools for data delivery, provide powerful insights and recommendations at the back end of the research process and are well suited to highly complex research needs.  But these businesses are increasingly using platforms like Glow as the ‘intel inside’ that powers their own services. 

Research platforms support the most common use cases  

But most research use cases are not highly complex. Instead they require quality, representative data delivered in a timely manner. Platforms like Glow achieve that by using automation to quality assure and streamline processes and open up use cases like brand health tracking, category usage and attitude studies, product & ad concept testing, marketing effectiveness evaluation and many more to users including market researchers, analysts, marketers and innovation specialists. 


Am I giving up quality to achieve speed? 

The old maxim of the Iron Triangle says you can’t have cheap, fast and good for any project all at once. You can only achieve two at best — going fast increases cost and impacts quality, chasing good slows the process down and increases costs, cheap comes at the expense of quality. The emergence of SAAS+ platforms draws that maxim into question when you reframe cheap as value. 

Have it all – Speed, quality, value 

Great market research platforms, like Glow, enable businesses to achieve speed, quality, and affordability, without sacrifice.

How? Technology and automation are the enablers for speed and quality. Tech streamlines the process whether it is survey design (e.g. through question templates and survey kits), data capture (multi panel integration) or real-time visualisation saving user’s time. Automation both saves time (such as Glow’s unique language translation feature) and ensures quality through enforcing adherence to strict processes. Limited and specific human intervention adds quality assurance value where tech currently can’t. The net effect: speed no longer comes at the expense of quality. 

You can read more about Glow’s instant survey translation feature here — and see how Reckitt made use of the feature for a consumer insights project here. You can discover how easy it is to interrogate data in the platform by looking at this data excerpt from the Catalyst ESG/CSR data set.  

Glow’s approach has been proven to be three times as fast as traditional research methods. That’s why media and advertising agencies like Carat and Havas use Glow when speed really matters  – to help gather insights for new business pitches. 


Will doing it myself take a load of my precious time?  

It is a common misconception that running research yourself will take an extraordinary amount of time relative to using an external research agency. The truth is more nuanced – getting to grips with a new platform does require an initial investment of time. But this is offset by getting time back from meetings and project management and by the significant benefits of increased understanding and actionability that come from being hands-on with the data.   

SAAS+ gives back time (and control) 

In Glow’s case, it only takes a 30-minute platform on-boarding before any new user becomes a competent platform user. After that, the platform itself guides the user through survey design, deployment and analysis intuitively. Most users only require additional support if they want to create complex question flows/logic or have niche or dynamic sampling requirements. 

More importantly, managing a project yourself saves time elsewhere or at worst reallocates time from project management to project understanding. For most clients, the intimacy of being more involved with survey design, deployment and data interrogation makes them better able to garner insights and positions them much more effectively to sell resultant actions to key stakeholders, as Genevieve Lobo, General Manager of footwear brand Shoes of Prey highlights.

“I have just completed a market research project using the Glow platform and can’t recommend it highly enough. Easy to set up, fast access to respondents and an incredible analytics engine that saved me hours of time trying to join dots!” 


Do platforms limit knowledge to the few users? 

Traditionally in businesses, market research has been owned and controlled by a small group of research or insights professionals within an organisation. And research outputs have often come in the form of a presentation and supporting ‘door stop’ deck that equates value with volume. The combination of these two things has meant that data has often been locked up inside these artifacts and been difficult to share without the support of research specialists.   

Platforms democratise powerful business data

Modern DIY platforms take the opposite tack, empowering many users of research within an organisation to encourage data familiarity, and discarding decks in exchange for data visualisation. 

Glow’s platform goes even further. It is built to democratise access to data. It’s so easy to use that non-researchers can design and deploy a quality survey within minutes and gain useful insights within hours. 

But more importantly, the platform is designed to share data, and to encourage discussion, debate and action. With just one click, you can share results — all survey answers or specific questions. You can share this as raw data, visual charts or a bundled PPT deck. You can even share the interactive data dashboard publicly or privately for others to interrogate. However you choose to share it with key stakeholders, Glow makes it easy, because we believe better data makes for better business decisions.  

Data driven decision making - Glow


Meet Glow, the on-demand research platform that puts you in control 

At Glow, we’ve built powerful market research technology that puts speed, quality, and value as equal priorities. We are transforming the way businesses act by giving them data they can trust to fuel faster, better decision making. Whether you are a consumer goods company, B2B business, ad agency, advisory firm or market research agency, Glow gives you control over your data so you have the insights to grow. 

If you need support right now with insights to help your business grow, book an intro with one of our friendly research experts. Glow on.