Market Research: the BIG choice--do it yourself or get professional help? Or both?

Thus far in this guide, we discussed primarily aspects of the market research process from a perspective of a person or persons in an organization that is looking to start using it as an input to the marketing, planning and strategic direction of the firm.

We've looked at what market research is, what it can do, the basic types and the importance of setting objectives.

Let's suppose that your organization does not have a professional researcher or department. Yet you understand the value that market research can contribute to your business. Maybe you've had a project or two done in the past and you've employed a professional firm to help.

Now, maybe, you want to do more projects, and more consistently.

You have a major choice to make: do you go it alone, drawing on what knowledge is resident in your organization (and with the assistance of this site and others) or do you hire a professional firm to manage your projects for you? Or do you do a little of both?

And what about all the brou-ha-ha about do-it-yourself surveying using the web? Can't we write and put up a survey, do our own analysis and save a boatload of money?

Alas, reader, we are not smart enough nor do we know enough about your particular circumstances to offer you a definitive answer to these questions. We suspect you probably wouldn't believe us even if we were to be so bold.

So we're going to talk about the upside and the pitfalls of do-it-yourself versus hiring professional help. And leave the decision in your capable hands (or, more accurately, considered mind).