Survey research is as old as business itself. Surveys persist because they can be incredibly powerful when done well. They serve as valuable educational tools in learning both the foundational basics and intricate nuances of marketing, making survey literacy highly pragmatic to business students.
Deriving the most value from this data means acting upon the information that surveys yield, which many surveyors fail to do altogether. Since this method of information-gathering is essentially a tool predicated on knowledge and understanding, it seems foolish to leave any of the lessons that it offers unutilized.
Surveys continue to provide value to aspiring business runners and researchers, especially in the age of data analytics. Thanks to technological innovation, large swaths of consumer behaviors and preferences are now available to help them fine-tune an approach to business. One of the best ways of acquiring this info is still via surveys.
Online technologies further capitalize on the value of the almighty survey, allowing for data collection on a massive scale with unprecedented ease at a comparably low cost.
Obtain Precise Information
As a young professional or college student, your experience with survey creation is likely limited; however, don’t feel like you need to abide by any sort of “traditional” format or line of questioning when creating them.
When you are creating a questionnaire designed to acquire a certain type of information, you can be as precise as you want. Effective survey questions are one of the best ways of getting highly precise, otherwise unavailable information. For example, you can ask specifically what a person likes about a web page or image instead of merely looking at data, clicks, or time spent on the page.
Online surveys also grant you access to distinct populations or communities whose interests intersect with your business. For example, if you run an auto body shop, you can easily browse a classic car forum to see which products they favor. Surveys used in conjunction with this easy access allows you to tailor your inventory in a cost-effective manner.
They’re Cost Effective
Traditional data gathering methods like focus groups or telephone interviews can quickly become expensive. However, with modern iterations like targeted email surveys, a nearly unlimited amount of people can be reached at little to no cost on your part. Considering the relatively little time it takes to draft up a survey, a company has every reason to employ this technology in some form.
The sooner students can become fluent in this technology, the more they can flaunt a compelling marketing skill on their resume, improving their standing to potential employers. Employers understand the timeless value of marketing knowledge, and knowing how to use current survey technologies will score major points.
Improve Answer Credibility
As you have likely experienced on social media like Twitter, the anonymity provided by the internet allows people to speak with more honest and candid sentiments. Even if you were to assure someone in a face-to-face interview that their answers to a survey would be anonymous, you still run more of a risk of them answering dishonestly.
People tend to be less honest when asked about sensitive or taboo topics such as financials, drug, or alcohol use. However, under the veil of the internet they feel less social pressure or risk of negative repercussion for offering up the genuine truth.
To Create The Next Big Business
The degree of honesty obtained via surveys may also cue you into market niches that are otherwise unseen or not discussed in typical discourse. Just as fads and trends may arise seemingly out of thin air, you can get a read on your friends and peers and use this to create the next best idea for a business.
One example of this exemplified is the company GoPuff, which was essentially created by college students for college students. By observing that their partying neighbors went back and forth to the store far too much, they saw a niche.
The creators of GoPuff used their position in society to understand the demand for a convenient delivery service among their demographic, and understood the technology required to make it happen. They also established a brand image they knew would appeal to their demographic.
The methods and means of delivery of online surveys are limited only by your own imagination. Whether the survey is part of a standalone email marketing effort or implemented via social media, the likelihood of finding a method that perfectly suits your particular need is high.
One way that companies have optimized survey response rates is by issuing the survey immediately after a sale is made. This way, the consumer’s experience of the service or product is fresh in their head, which lends itself to increased likelihood to respond. Other factors that have been shown to increase responsiveness include multiple contacts and personalization, both of which are easily achieved by a medium like email or Facebook.
Data Is Easily Manipulated
Since the survey data is already in an electronic form, it can then be more easily transformed into charts or graphics for the sake of a group project or class presentation. You can then save these projects and use them as lessons for what works and what doesn’t. Certain trends may become obviously apparent when displayed graphically that would otherwise remain hidden.
In addition, different variables can be specifically analyzed to provide a more complete view of why trends arise the way they do.
Their Statistical Significance
Because of the massive amount of people that can be reached via online survey methods, it becomes possible to get a broader, more accurate read on current trends. Whereas conducting a smaller survey becomes vulnerable to skewing from any number of extraneous factors, this becomes far less likely as the amount of participants increases. This means the decisions you make for a class project or business plan can be founded on the preferences of the masses as opposed to a select few.
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