A survey is a great tool that helps companies better understand consumers and develop a wide range of analyses. A common misconception is that surveys drive insights. For the output to be useful, there’s much more that goes into a survey. The setup and process of a surveyare all critical to achieving successful outcomes.
As part of our consulting work at STAX, we frequently field surveys to support our engagements. Over the past 20 years, STAX has conducted multiple consumer and B2B engagements. Based on this experience, we’vegiven six areas to focus on to get the best from your market surveys.
• Preliminary Research Prior to Questionnaire Design — Survey designers should use a mixture of industry research, online content and social media reviewsand a few in-depth interviews targeting select consumers and experts to refine and confirm the initial research hypothesis.
• Teaming with Your Client — You need to engage with your team and client about what’s the need to know, nice to know and what would be actionable. Are you trying to find out why something is happening? Or are you trying to quantify solutions?
• Questionnaire Design — Survey questions should be tied directly to the objectives of the engagement. The questions should be framed in a format that can provide the most meaningful insights while limiting respondent fatigue.
• Sample Plan & Design — It is important to ensure that the sample used for analysis is representative of the target population and limits sample bias. It is possible to oversample specific segments after a representative sample is established. This is done to acquire more detailed data using distinct surveys.
• Survey Monitoring and Results — Once the data is collected, inconsistent data points from the sample should be removed by researchers. This includes identifying and eliminating professional survey takers who are often paid for their answers, as well as inattentive and/or inconsistent responses.
• Iterations — You need time to review results, think and discuss. A common opportunity is deeper dives into interesting observations. Researchers can segment respondents into natural groupings and conduct targeted analysis to uncover more valuable insights.
Surveys are an extraordinarily valuable tool for generating deep customer insights quickly.By understanding that the entire process is what generates insights and not just the survey itself, you’ll ensure the output is meaningful and impactful.
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