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Agustina Sacerdote
Global Head of PMM and Content Marketing, TIDAL at Square March 25

Most of the cost associated with research is actually the cost of accessing a sample, so if you can figure out that piece, you should be in a much better spot. A couple of ideas: 

1/ Talk to your happiest, unhappiest customers, customers that churned, and "prospects", if possible. Use your budget for incentives. This sample will at least give you the "extremes" of attitudes. 

2/ There are some helpful online tools that you can sign up for and "trial" them at no cost- Optimal Sort, UserTesting, SurveyMoney, GetFeedback all have some sort of free trial. You can even take respondents through design files on something like Figma if you're looking for product feedback. 

3/ Figure out beforehand what you need for "significance". Some organizations really do need the quantitative, large sample required to get to statistically significant answers, but if you're looking for a "gut check", you'll be fine with a small (n= 30) sample! 

Mary (Shirley) Sheehan
Head of Lightroom Product Marketing at Adobe September 14

Market research on a tight budget, or what I like to call "Scrappy research" - my favorite! First, let me start with a quote - “Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.” Many a research project hasn’t gotten off of the ground for fear it won’t be statistically significant or have thousands of responses. But guess what? Some market research is much better than NO market research.


Here are some quick ideas:


  • Email a survey to your existing customer base 
  • Message targets on LinkedIn with surveys 
  • Conduct phone interviews with existing clients 
  • Use for quick interview recruiting of non-clients
  • Bring an ipad to a conference with your customers / prospects and offer $5 or a starbucks gift card (right then!) to take your survey
  • Pull Google search trends to show the rise of certain key terms 
  • Launch user testing on your website 



I also wrote a post on this - here if you want to go deeper.


Daniel Palay
Head Of Product Marketing at 3Gtms March 30

That all depends on the type of research, its purpose and the impact you hope it will have. The most impactful research, for me, has always been primary market research in the form of interviews with a population representative of the intended audience. All that costs is my time ("opportunity cost" is a discussion for another day). 

On the other hand, sometimes the impact comes from the existence of the research in and of itself. For example, a report commissioned from a big-name research firm meant to drive awareness and credibility. Those become much more difficult to do on a budget.

The most important thing is to know what you're looking to get out of the research, and then assess the various options for getting there. And yes, I realize that's a bit of a non-answer...