Online Questionnaires – How to Use Them for Marketing Research

You’ve probably heard of online questionnaires. These are fairly new in the universe of online research methods, but they have been gaining popularity as an efficient way to gather data from a large number of respondents. In this article, we’ll discuss 3 tips on how to use online questionnaires for market research.

Make Sure Your Online Questionnaire Meets The Standards Of Good Research

In the world of marketing research, there are three things we like to see: validity, reliability and accessibility. The first two are pretty self-explanatory, but the last one deals with the user experience. If we want to assess whether or not a potential product or service is likely to appeal to a certain group of people, we need an online questionnaire that is easy to navigate and filled out by someone other than a robot.

To that end, make sure that you tailor your online questionnaires to what we call the 6-question rule. This rule dictates that, in order to attain high validity, your survey should contain only six questions. Additionally, the survey should not take more than 15 minutes to complete. In practice, you will probably want to shorten the survey to between four and six questions, depending on your study.

Ensuring that your research meets these standards is not as difficult as it may seem. There are several tools that survey developers and researchers use to create and validate questionnaires. For example, you could use SurveyMonkey’s Free Sample Survey tool, or Prolific’s Take Survey tool to create a six-question survey that meets the guidelines we just mentioned. You can also use SurveyMonkey’s free tool to test the validity of your questionnaire.

Find The Perfect Respondents For Your Study

As with any new method, the first step is to test the waters before you dive in. This means that you should perform a validation study to make sure that your survey is answering what you think it is answering. And since we already established the importance of having a six-question survey, let’s dive into the next point.

Take The Time To Plan Out Your Approach

There is one more thing we like to see when it comes to online questionnaires: a clear plan. When we say plan, we don’t mean that you should sit down and write a 200-page report on your findings; we mean that you should have a clear idea of how you will analyze the data once it is collected. Without a plan for how you will analyze the data, it is very difficult to know what findings are actually relevant and useful. 

One of the most effective (and free) tools you can use to develop a plan is Google Documents. With this tool, you can easily create various presentation decks, like a graph or a table, which you can share with team members. It also has a Survey Wizard tool that makes creating questionnaires easy. Additionally, you can download the entire presentation, in case you decide to change your mind about how you will analyze the data and need to come back to it later.

Use Key Word(s) To Find Your Target Audience

Finally, we like to see the inclusion of some form of words or phrases that will allow us to identify the target audience you are designing your survey for. When we design surveys, we usually start by writing a short explanation of the study, including any relevant statistical information. We then go through the list of potential respondents and choose the ones who seem to fit best with our study. This is an important step because it allows you to get a sense of who will most benefit from the product or service you are designing.

If you are still using paper surveys, this step could consist of choosing respondents from an existing list of contacts or customers. If you are using an online questionnaire, it could be as simple as entering an email address in a field on the survey and getting a list of matching respondents.

Once you have chosen your respondents, it’s time to move on to the fun part: actually designing your survey. You don’t need to follow any set rules when designing your survey. However, make sure that you include the following:

  • a logical progression of questions
  • variables for all of the questions
  • an option for all questions
  • an open-ended question at the end
  • short, straightforward answers
  • no jargon

These tips will help get you started. From there, all you need to do is test your survey a few times, fix any errors you find and watch the data pour in.