How To Export Survey Data With Pollfish (And What To Do With It)

How To Export Survey Data With Pollfish (And What To Do With It)

It may sound like a cliche coming from a consumer data company, but data is powerful.

It is so powerful, in fact, that one single survey can touch every corner of an organization. By building smart questionnaires, carefully choosing targeting options and exporting and slicing data, brands can create internal messaging, build dynamic content, remake company strategy, build new products and much more.

To get the most out of your next survey, understanding your data export options is a great place to start.

What Are Export Options?

When you create a survey with Pollfish, you can download your results as four different report types. These reports present your data in radically different ways, and allow the various teams within your company to inject data into everything from interactive infographic to complex statistical analyses.

What Report Types Does Pollfish Offer?


What is a PDF?

PDF stands for Portable Document Format. A PDF is a file format developed by Adobe in the 1990s to present documents, including text formatting and images, in a manner independent of application software, hardware, and operating systems. Basically, instead of your document adopting the settings of the application you are saving the document to, PDFs stay true to how you saved them originally, similar to how a screenshot might behave.

What can I do with it?

The Pollfish PDF report offers a convenient, visually appealing document that can be shared with stakeholders, added to reports and saved as reference docs. The layout of the Pollfish PDF is similar to that of a PowerPoint presentation.

Excel Spreadsheet

What is an Excel Spreadsheet?

Microsoft’s spreadsheet platform should be instantly recognizable to anyone working in a modern business environment.

What can I do with it?

With an Excel spreadsheet export from Pollfish, you will have full access to all results from your Pollfish survey inside the data management platform you know best. Add pivot tables, graphs, use functions to get deeper insights--anything your Excel mastermind can dream up.

The report layout helps you access the right data more quickly, separating out the full list of respondents, as well as individual spreadsheets for each question, delivered in the familiar tab layout of Excel.

Lastly, once you have created your perfect data set, adding your data to Google Sheets allows you access to a great number of API and data delivery tools for use in websites, interactive infographics and more.

Crosstabs Report

What is a Crosstabs Report?

For a full guide to using your Crosstabs report, the Pollfish Resources Center can help. That article offers this definition:

Crosstabs are a matrix-style format for data visualization and are one of the most useful and common ways that market researchers analyze data. Pollfish offers cross tabs as an excel export for easy synthesis outside of the platform.

What can I do with it?

Crosstabs reports allow you to dig into individual insights and slice the data different ways, opening the door to different consumer insights that wouldn’t be readily available from the initial results.

For example, let’s say you conducted a survey of Android users interested in switching to an iPhone. With Crosstabs,  you could see what percentage of women Android users surveyed were interested in switching. You could also see, of those interested in switching, what percentage were women.

So in our data, let’s say we find that only 13% of women Android users are interested in switching. We also find that, of those interested in switching, 58% are women. So while it may seem Android’s female fanbase is pretty loyal, you can also see that women are more open to switching in this survey than men.

As you can see, Crosstabs can be used to slice data in different directions to gain additional context on data, and build deeper, more compelling insights.

SPSS Report

What is an SPSS Report?

SPSS stands for Statistical Package for the Social Sciences. The acronym refers not to the type of data being exported, but to a set of software programs combined in a single package. When data is formatted for this package, it allows you to add your Pollfish results to various kinds of complex data analyses.

What can I do with it?

SPSS is very good at combining varied, complex data sets. Researchers use it to make connections, find correlations and quickly graph results from multiple data exports at once.

SPSS has several tools for analyzing data to make predictions and spot patterns, increasing it’s usefulness for brands and marketers looking for trends in buying behavior or trying to vet the viability of a new product or service.

How To Export Data With Pollfish

Step 1: Complete Your Survey

Once you have chosen your targeting, questionnaire and screening/quota configuration, checkout and run your survey. Once your results are complete, you will be able to export your data.

Step 2: Visit The Results Page

Even before exporting your data report, there is plenty you can do right on the Pollfish results dashboard. Check out the different features, slice your data by using the demographic and psychographic checkboxes to the left. Watch your results update as you go. Once you have gotten a few reports where you want them, check out the visualization options available on each question. These will allow you to instantly create graphs and charts to display your data one question at a time.

Step 3: Export Your Report

From your results dashboard, find the button marked Export Results in the top right corner underneath the Credits Counter. When you click this button, a pop-up should appear allowing you to choose your preferred report and download.

A Few Things To Remember…

    • Post-Stratification data is not currently available in the PDF export format.
    • Crosstabs reports come with multiple views, not just the one that appears in the first tab. Make sure you scroll through all tabs to see the different ways you can slice your data.

How To Use Consumer Surveys For Ad Effectiveness

How To Use Consumer Surveys For Ad Effectiveness

Ad effectiveness research is as old as advertising itself. If you have paid for an ad, you are going to want to know how effective it was. This can be as simple as a store owner counting foot traffic or sales.

But with digital advertising taking over the traditional advertising world ad effectiveness has become much more complicated, introducing new layers of interest, higher budgets and up-to-the-minute analytics. 

What Is Ad Effectiveness Research?

Ad effectiveness research is a form of validation used to both build a baseline to compare to and ensure the efficacy of advertising efforts. Brands and agencies do this by testing things like brand recall, clarity of messaging, emotional response and more. 

Since the advent of online advertising however, ad effectiveness research has become more complex. Ads can be tested in real-time, with ad platforms dynamically swapping headlines, messaging, calls-to-action and more based on performance. 

Ad effectiveness research may also include testing different placements--where your ad appears--as well as different types of ad units. This will let the advertiser see which types of ads--banners, videos, site takeovers, search ads--work best to deliver campaign messaging. 

Using consumer surveys for ad effectiveness is an essential part of any ad campaign, offering benchmarks, brand awareness, message efficacy and vital context to any metrics you may have collected.

How To Use Consumer Surveys In Ad Effectiveness Research

Whether you are running a traditional ad campaign--billboards, bus shelters, direct mail--or a completely digital effort, or even a combination of the two, consumer surveys help you dig deeper to find out not only how effective you were at delivering your message but what impact your message had on your most important consumers. 

To use consumer surveys effectively, your testing strategy should follow a framework. We created such a framework below. Check it out to see how you can get started. 

Create A Baseline 

Consumer surveys can help you quickly get a baseline on just how recognizable your brand and products are today. Ad effectiveness is based on moving customers towards goals once they have seen your ads and seeing the impact. 

You want to get a sense of not only if people have heard of your brand and what they think of it, but also if they have heard of your products, have opinions on current messaging and can give emotional feedback on their feelings towards you in the market. 

In some cases, it may make sense to run the same survey both before and after exposure. You can do this either by running two separate surveys and using one as a control group or by using the first half of the survey to get blind perceptions or perceptions of old ads before exposing respondents to new ads. This test is more similar to creative testing than traditional ad effectiveness testing but works well for testing artwork, effective headlines and more.

Create A Tailored Audience

You have likely done your homework on the ideal target audience for your ads. Some consumer survey platforms will allow you to target just as effectively as your ad platform. So make sure your ad effectiveness survey matches your planned ad platform targeting. 

Part of ad effectiveness testing is making sure your ads appeal to a broad range of consumers. This is especially important when advertising to very different geographic locations. Make sure you test your copy in different places to ensure you are communicating effectively, as there can be variations in meaning from place to place, even inside the same country.

Create An Appropriate Questionnaire

Before starting any ad effectiveness project, there are a few things you want to be sure your survey platform offers to ensure that you will be able to accomplish your survey goals. 

  • Make sure to use a survey platform that allows for unlimited image, audio and video file uploads so you are not limited by ad type. 
  • Avoid bias by shuffling answer choices, writing survey questions effectively and avoiding leading or loaded language. 
  • Use survey skip logic to test different kinds of consumers inside the same survey. For example, if you have different questions for users who have been exposed to your brand or your current ad campaign than for those who have not, survey skip logic allows you to bifurcate those users to different questions. 

Once you have checked out these basic features, start building your questionnaire. Select your survey questions carefully, and make sure your questionnaire is built to achieve your goals. 

For example, if your goal is to determine brand perception, use a mix of open and closed-ended questions so you can let people respond in their own words. If you are simply looking for which ad creative your targeted sample prefers, brief, direct, quantitative surveys will work well. 

When to use an online ad effectiveness survey

Many agencies and brands make the mistake of either not using consumer surveys at all or not planning for testing as part of campaign planning. 

As a result, if they do decide they want testing, its creation is often rushed, which can return results that are not as beneficial as they could be or fall outside the strategy of the campaign. 

Including effectiveness testing in campaign planning will help ensure that any testing that is created is done with well-reasoned campaign goals in mind and will deliver the best possible insights, instead of a hurried request at the last minute. 

As with targeting and questionnaire creation, campaign goals should determine when ad effectiveness testing should be launched. If you are testing for brand recall, you should allow a little time between exposure and testing to ensure that your brand message was “sticky.” 

It should be noted however that because some survey platforms have dramatically improved lead times required for fielding a targeted sample, the days of needing 4 weeks' notice to set up testing are over. 

It is wise, however, to discuss testing early, and make it part of the campaign instead of something tacked on to simply assuage the fears of marketers and clients. 

Ways Of Testing Ad Effectiveness

Forced-Exposure Testing

Test creative for instant feedback on the campaign's image, video, or audio content without worrying about tracking barriers common with passive measurement. Compare results from the exposed group against a control group test to measure the impact on brand perception.

Pre/Post Study

Run a brand study among the target audience before the campaign launch to get a baseline of perceptions and the competitive landscape. Launch the same survey when the campaign ends to measure the impact on brand perception.

Matched Market Study 

In a geo-targeted campaign, run a test in that market during the campaign as well as a "control" market where no media is running. Measure the differences between markets to understand the impact. 

Survey Template For Ad Effectiveness

To help you get started, you can use the Pollfish Ad Effectiveness survey template. Make sure to keep the best practices for creating survey questionsrespondent experience, and platform in mind when developing your questionnaire for the best results.

How Bustle used data to excite clients and advertisers

How Bustle used data to excite clients and advertisers

Major companies, like Bustle Digital Group, don’t rely on instincts to make the right decisions. Across departments, behind the scenes or in shareable reports, Bustle uses consumer data to keep leadership, external stakeholders, and team members informed about where their target audience’s behavior, wants, and needs. 

This was particularly essential when the coronavirus pandemic hit, and many companies struggled to understand what it would mean for their business.

Consumer insights keep Bustle’s advertisers informed

Bustle Digital Group is a media company comprising 8 digital brands focused on Gen Z and Millennial audiences. The insights team is deeply attuned to the needs and wants of these audiences, understanding exactly what they most value, content types they like to consume, topics they care about and more. They also conduct consumer research on audience behaviors and attitudes to attract and retain advertising partners. 

Although Gen Z is the demographic that spends the most time online and will soon account for 40% of all consumers, advertisers have found it difficult to connect with them. Digital natives are largely blind to advertising efforts and require much more personalized and creative messaging to get through than previous generations.

Gen Z could see right through empty corporate gestures.

As a media company, BDG relies on revenue from their advertising partners—brands who hope to reach the same demographic makeup as their readers. BDG’s expertise and prominence in the Millennial and Gen Z landscape makes their publications attractive and powerful platforms for brands to reach their target audience while they read and engage with the content they came for. 

Reassuring advertisers was critical during COVID-19

Understanding the target audience was especially critical during COVID-19. Not only for Bustle’s internal teams and editorial staff to ensure they were creating meaningful, supportive content, but also in terms of keeping their advertising partners informed. 

Early on, the insights team at BDG asked consumers if they wanted brands to stop advertising, which kinds of messaging brands should be using in their advertising, and what brands can be doing to help the greater good. 

They shared these insights with advertisers to let them know that running the same ads they would normally might be considered tone-deaf or insensitive, and potentially run the risk of alienating themselves from the target audience. 

Bustle uses Pollfish to collect rapid consumer data

Bustle’s insights team used Pollfish to conduct consumer surveys to discover how Millennials and Gen Z were responding to the pandemic differently from other demographics, revealing data that advertisers were able to use to pivot their strategy for a more appropriate message during a difficult time. 

Pollfish data helps Bustle and their advertisers stay informed.

Target Audience Insights

They ran a survey in early March, near the beginning of the pandemic, using Pollfish’s targeting features to connect with their target audience demographic. The size and diversity of Pollfish’s audience is representative of the people that Bustle and their advertisers are trying to reach, giving them firsthand data directly from Gen Z and Millennial audiences.

Bustle Digital Group used Pollfish survey data to highlight key areas of opportunity among these core target audiences such as sustainability, mental health, and the importance of leaning into comfort to combat uncertainty during COVID-19. 

Rapid reporting

Within 3 days, the insights team had data that they could quickly use to inform internal conversations, sellers, marketers, and advertisers.

Bustle compiled this data into reports for internal huddles and external distribution to help the entire business make rapid decisions that supported and served the target audience. The Bustle insights team assessed where their readership was, and what they cared about the most, as well as where the market was going. 

Information has been used across departments, from editorial content development to the advertising sales team. Timely data releases highlighted in client meetings keep BDG top-of-mind and open the door to new conversations and opportunities for the business development team.

Pivoting strategy with data

They discovered that the “we are all in this together” messaging that was already gaining rapid popularity and inspiring memes, didn’t resonate with Gen Z audiences. Digital natives, it seems, are more skeptical of advertising, and want an action plan. 

Brands that included in their messaging their next steps for donations, relief funds, or reallocating their resources and workforce to manufacture necessary supplies were much more well-received with the target audience.

Being able to quickly share these data-backed recommendations about their target audience and readership with advertisers such as Allbirds, Twitch, Publicis Group, and Volvo let Bustle reassure them that they were on the right track during COVID-19 and built confidence in their advertising plans going forward.


How Bustle is using Pollfish for Content Creation

How Bustle is using Pollfish for Content Creation

At its core, content creation is about using and designing the right content types and stories to connect a brand with its target audience. Storytelling, although always a part of human history, has evolved significantly due to technology, access, and channels by which we consume media today. 

The Challenges in Modern Content Creation

With more ways to find and consume content than ever, along with professions such as content marketers, influencers, and podcasters dedicated to using content to build a deeper connection between consumers and brands, it can be difficult for brands to cut through the noise to reach their target audience. 

Consumer behavior has also shifted from choosing products or services based solely on popularity. From where we eat to what we read, consumers use their wallets and social media platforms to express their beliefs and affiliations, meaning brands that want to stay relevant need to create content strategically.

Creating content that matters

Instead of pushing products or services, many brands have found that building authentic content is the best way to build trust with their target audience and differentiate themselves from competitors. 

Examples include campaigns to align the brand with causes and movements that their target audience cares about, educational content to help them get the most from the product—even admitting their position in the market to present a transparent, trustworthy brand. 

Building trust is even more essential for media companies who produce content for their readers to keep them informed and entertained. With so many sources for news and entertainment available to consumers, only companies that successfully connect with their audience in a meaningful way are able to maintain a competitive presence in the digital media landscape. 

Content Strategy at Bustle Digital Group

Bustle Digital Group is a digital media company that has this approach figured out. The brands that make up Bustle Digital Group are all unique and unconventional, focusing on a distinct tone, interest, and following. Their approach to content creation is to develop content that focuses on the interests and behaviors of the niche audiences for each brand, rather than producing content for the masses.  

They use research to dive deeper into understanding the target audience for each one to determine the type of content they should be producing, the stories they should be telling, and what their audience is looking for. 

Content creation research 

Bustle Digital Group has multiple ways of gathering data to be used for content creation. Their in-house insights team uses an internal panel of their readers to investigate what their most loyal readers are reacting to, what they care about, and for deeper, behavioral information that helps them determine storylines that resonate.

The insights team also conducts research using third-party tools, such as Pollfish, to help them uncover trends and reach new audiences who may or may not be current readers of their content. 

Using a mix of methods to research themes, trends, and ideas leads to a complete picture of Bustle’s target audience that they can create impactful content for.

How Pollfish powers Bustle’s content creation

BDG uses Pollfish to gather data that can’t be obtained from their readers, which can include discovering new topics they want to cover or building out editorial pieces that they already know they plan to create. 

Credible reporting

The insights team uses Pollfish to dive deeper into specific topics that their journalists want to report on, such as learning more about how mothers were impacted by the Coronavirus in a long-form piece for Romper, one of Bustle Digital Group’s brands.  

Romper’s authors already knew that their readers would be interested in learning how mothers like themselves were being impacted by the coronavirus. To build the article’s credibility and impact, they chose to use Pollfish to survey 2,000 mothers across the United States to learn more about the topic. 

Using Pollfish’s targeting capabilities, massive audience reach, and variety of question types, the insights team was able to effectively reach a representative sample of mothers and learn new information about a developing crisis, resulting in detailed data that authors used to create 7 infographics throughout the piece. 

New trends and topics

Insights gathered from Pollfish surveys have also revealed new topics that journalists can cover. The Bustle Digital Group brand aims to develop content for progress and change, and being able to share the stories of underrepresented audiences is a part of that process. 

When the insights team at Bustle Digital Group conducted a 2,000 person survey to learn more about niche audiences being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, they uncovered unexpected trends that led to pieces that they otherwise may not have written. 

One example was discovering that people believed that there was a social responsibility to support the greater good, yet not all groups have access to amenities that would make this possible, such as indigenous people living on reservations struggling with access to clean water during the pandemic. This sparked an insightful piece that shed light on an audience often neglected by other media outlets. 

Content types to focus on

Although the Bustle team often already knows which types of content they want to produce, they also use Pollfish to validate that they are on the right track or define what is needed when they aren’t sure. 

During COVID-19, Bustle Digital Group wasn’t sure whether their readers would want fun, distracting content pieces or more in-depth reporting on the pandemic. By asking questions about their readers’ mental health and what they might desire to help them during this time, Bustle was able to develop the right balance of informative and entertaining content during the global pandemic.

Content creators across all industries and experience levels can benefit from research being a part of their content creation process. Using Pollfish, Bustle Digital Group was able to get the insights they needed to make a difference and stay on brand rapidly and cost-effectively, even during a difficult time. 

To use insights in your own creation process, create a free account with Pollfish and start building your own survey to learn what matters most to your target audience. 

How Bustle reached niche survey audiences with Pollfish

How Bustle reached niche survey audiences with Pollfish

Reaching niche audiences is a tough challenge for any brand. And it has become more important than ever.

Reaching the right audience

Today’s consumer expects personalization and is seeking products, services, media, and more that fit their interests. With search engines and social media platforms that deliver more precisely every day, brands who know their niche audiences will have a distinct advantage over those who don’t.

Unfortunately, reaching these audiences is no easy task. For one thing, traditional methods of collecting opinions may not work as well for smaller or harder-to-find demographics. Survey panels are limited, homogeneous, and demographically inconsistent, especially on larger, more comprehensive surveys. 

Technology presents new challenges. When trying to reach people who are savvier when it comes to technology, there are new considerations that a researcher must account for, especially when trying to reach younger “digital native” respondents. 

From respondent experience to methodology to the types of questions you write, researchers must, to a certain extent, earn participation by building surveys that suit their niche audiences. 

For a media company like Bustle Digital Group--which owns eight publications, all targeting niche audiences and all working to establish their brand voice and vision--the challenge is even tougher. Every brand decision they make as a parent company needs to consider the interests of all publications below, and vice versa. 

This is the story of how Bustle used Pollfish to meet this challenge for its editorial staff, clients, and advertisers, all under the stress of a global pandemic.

Bustle’s Target Audience

With local news stations and newspapers across the country falling out of favor with consumers over the last 10 years, the brands that have survived have discovered new ways to deliver content and target it to their most valuable consumers. 

Surveys have repeatedly shown that these preferences are changing fastest among women, especially women 18-24, or Gen Z. 

Young people between 18-24 prefer to get their news from social media and receive it in more audio/visual forms like video, maps, interactive infographics, and podcasts. 

These new forms of news delivery are especially popular among women, who today prefer to get their news through either word of mouth or social media

These insights have driven the success of Bustle Digital Group since its founding in 2013. With 8 publications, all targeting niche audiences of Millennials, GenZ, and Women, BDG has set itself apart by using research to discover the wants and needs of its audiences and deliver traffic and insights to clients and advertisers. 

How Pollfish Helped

When COVID-19 hit earlier this year, BDG leaders were faced with a unique challenge--finding out what their diverse, underserved audience would want to read during a pandemic. What would their role be? 

Bustle had some unique challenges. For a start, they needed to work quickly. With COVID-19 news breaking every day and 8 publications in need of editorial direction, they needed to reach their varied target audiences quickly.

Mobile surveys

For traditional survey platforms and panels, that could be a problem. Gen Z is a notoriously difficult group to survey. Gen Z typically doesn’t join panels proactively. Traditional methods of gathering respondents--email, social media, digital ads--get very low participation rates from digital natives, who have been advertised to in this way their entire lives. 

Pollfish reaches respondents inside mobile apps, allowing more access to more people, including digital natives and people who would otherwise be too busy to complete a survey. By taking advantage of Pollfish’s ability to provide the convenience of completing surveys on devices, Bustle can reach a larger and more diverse audience.   

Younger Audiences

When trying to reach younger members of Gen Z, most panels don’t enlist consumers under 18 years of age. But because Pollfish provides surveys to users inside mobile apps, we can collect responses from real consumers in real-time, as young as 16 years of age, and remain compliant with all global privacy laws. 

 And because Pollfish can deliver surveys to anyone who has downloaded an app within the Pollfish App Network, Bustle was able to choose from a network of over 700 million respondents worldwide, targeting down to the zip code, custom age ranges, and detailed demographics. 

How Bustle Used Their Data

Using advanced targeting from Pollfish, Bustle could slice the data to build samples similar to the readership of each of their publications. 

In March, Bustle created a survey of 2000 respondents. They targeted age groups between 16 and 44, with a nearly even split between males and females. Their goal was to better understand how millennials and Gen Z were feeling about the COVID-19 crisis. Bustle’s Associate Director of Research and Insights Dani Thibodeau had this to say:

“Whenever we create surveys, our first question is: what are we trying to learn? In that question, there’s usually a demographic included (i.e. how are Gen Z’s and millennials handling the pandemic differently?). That then informs how we are segmenting the survey and setting quotas so we can paint the most accurate picture in answering the question we’ve posed as our research objective.”

Bustle appreciated the ability to reach real consumers in real-time. They could then use this data to inform content decisions and deliver branded insights to clients and advertisers.

“Being able to reach real people about real issues just feels like a more accurate depiction of who our audience actually is,” Dani said.

For their study with the Clinton Foundation, Bustle took this niche segmentation even further. They were able to segment out essential workers, stay-at-home moms, moms newly working from home due to COVID, and moms who have recently been laid off due to COVID. 

This detailed segmentation yielded some exciting results. 

“An insight we found interesting was that overall, participants said there was not more tension with their partner during this difficult time,” Dani told us. “In fact, essential workers mentioned a more equal distribution of work in the household. We also discovered that working moms were spending several hours daily on planning educational activities for their children -- on top of the work they were doing for their jobs.” 

Reassuring Clients & Advertisers

When the COVID-19 crisis began, clients and advertisers were understandably concerned. How would they be able to meet the needs of their customers and avoid tone-deaf messaging and initiatives? 

Many of these brands turn to Bustle to reach Millennial and Gen Z audiences. Dani told us how Bustle delivered helpful insights. 

“Brands and advertisers look to us as experts in the millennial and Gen Z landscape. By doing custom research we can share what’s on the minds of these sought-after audiences -- what they want from brands, what’s most important to them, what kinds of actions/messaging resonate best with them.”

This research delivered insights that helped brands excite and engage their customers while being sensitive to feelings around this public health crisis.  

“We noticed early on that brand actions speak louder than words. As many brands changed messaging to “we’re all in this together”, Gen Z didn’t want to hear it unless there was a plan of action behind the messaging, like donating to causes, setting up relief funds for impacted communities, and using their resources to manufacture PPE and other necessary supplies.”

How Bustle Digital Group gained rapid audience insights during a crisis using Pollfish

How Bustle Digital Group gained rapid audience insights during a crisis using Pollfish

When a crisis hits, brand leaders must make hard choices. 

How will their brand positioning, value proposition, feature set, and content evolve to meet the expectations, fears, and aspirations of a population gripped by doubt and uncertainty? 

Leaders must make decisions quickly to both show leadership and keep progress moving forward at a critical time. But because jobs, revenue, and brand perception may be on the line, no leader takes these decisions lightly. 

Now, imagine you have to meet this challenge for multiple content brands, across multiple platforms, reaching multiple audiences in multiple countries. And you need a decision right away.

That was the conundrum facing one of today’s leading global media companies, Bustle Digital Group. With a portfolio of distinct digital and experiential brands–Bustle, Mic, Elite Daily, Nylon, The Zoe Report, Input, and Inverse–BDG had to decide quickly how to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, both as a parent company and as individual brands with individual audiences, voices, and topic areas.


The Challenge

The Decision

The Solution

The Results

The Challenge

The Challenge

When the COVID-19 crisis struck, businesses everywhere needed to understand what the impact would be on their offerings so they could make important decisions for managing the changing landscape. As a news source, Bustle Digital Group knew they wanted to shed light on the COVID-19 pandemic to their readers across their portfolio of sites. However, they were unsure how the crisis had affected their target audience and what impact that might have on their content consumption behavior or preferences for types of content consumed.

Bustle Digital Group also needed to consider its brand in the equation. As an unconventional media company, BDG knew that they didn’t want to offer the same hype and hysteria that other outlets were reporting on. Instead, they wanted to find ways to contribute positive, helpful content and provide support to their readers through the crisis one-day-at-a-time. 

With information about COVID-19 updating constantly, BDG needed to gather data about the pandemic and its impact on the underrepresented groups that make up their brand audience. In order to produce timely and relevant pieces that cut through the noise and supported their readers in a time of need, they needed to gather insights instantly from hard-to-reach audiences across the US.

Bustle Digital Group also needed to consider its brand in the equation. As an unconventional media company, BDG knew that they didn’t want to offer the same hype and hysteria that other outlets were reporting on. Instead, they wanted to identify ways to contribute positive, helpful content and provide support to their readers through the crisis one-day-at-a-time. 

With information about COVID-19 being updated constantly, BDG needed to gather data about the pandemic and its impact on the underrepresented groups that make up their brand audience. In order  to produce timely and relevant pieces that cut through the noise and supported their readers in a time of need, they needed to gather insights almost instantly from hard-to-reach audiences across the US.

The Decision

The Decision

Before creating content that was a fit for BDG brands, the insights team needed to connect with their target audience to understand what type of content they were consuming, what they wanted and needed during the crisis, and whether their behaviors and attitudes had changed because of COVID-19. 

This meant connecting with a diverse, representative audience to reach the people the mainstream media wasn’t covering and learning what matters most to them.

“Being able to reach real people about real issues just feels like a more accurate depiction of who our audience actually is. Getting results fast from the right people has been a game changer. The project would not have been possible without Pollfish.” — Dani Thibodeau, Associate Director, Research and Insights, Bustle Digital Group

BDG partnered with Pollfish— an in-house market research platform— to rapidly collect data that would bring the right balance of information (and distraction) to their readers during COVID-19.

By offering a single platform that includes audience selection and distribution, questionnaire building and an analytics dashboard, Pollfish offers a complete consumer survey creation experience that is easy for in-house teams to use quickly and efficiently.

The Solution

The Solution

BDG’s insights team got to work. Because their target audience can be hard to reach and needs to reflect the readership of 8 media publications, they needed a network of Pollfish’s size, scale, and distribution to ensure that they would obtain a representative audience sample.

Using Pollfish’s targeting capabilities to access an audience of over 750M consumers, BDG’s insights team was able to easily set quotas and select demographic information to define younger audiences, multiple ethnic groups, and a diverse range of socio-economic statuses across the United States.

BDG created and launched a survey to 2,000 respondents across every age group, race, and gender to learn more about how COVID-19 was affecting different groups of people throughout the US. 

Within 3 days, they had their answers. 

Using Pollfish, the insights team at Bustle Digital Group was able to gain data on the attitudes and behaviors of their primary audience demographic, as well as uncover unexpected findings and fears regarding COVID-19 that the editorial teams were able to use to create the right stories and content types for BDG’s readers.

The Results

The Results

Bustle Digital Group got the information they needed to make important decisions during COVID-19 instantly. The insights team used their findings to inform internal conversations across multiple departments and executives on where their readership was during the pandemic. They were able to generate reports for their advertising partners, offering data-backed updates that showed where the market was going and built confidence for these partnerships that Bustle Digital Group understood their audience.

By offering robust data from their target audience using Pollfish, the insights team at Bustle Digital Group was able to fuel 5 thought leadership projects for the BDG sales organization to share across channels and reassure their advertising sponsors that they were still connecting effectively with the audiences they intended to reach, as well as assisting Bustle’s business development team with data that could help them pitch new partners successfully. 

With one Pollfish survey, the insights team gathered data to develop compelling, interesting content for readers across the Bustle Digital Group family of brands. They were able to create 3 editorial pieces for Mic and Bustle publications, garnering thousands of views of their original content.

Additional COVID-19 studies were completed with equal success, including another 2,000-person survey in collaboration with the Clinton Foundation that shed light on the plight of mothers in the pandemic. Romper, one of BDG’s brands that focuses on new mothers, was able to get results from a representative sample of their target audience in 4 days to quickly curate 7 different infographics and a long-form article, exposing the shift and impact the virus has had on mothers, families, and the expectations of different household roles. Authors at Romper were able to tell a complete story to their readers that although they are quarantined, they are not alone.

By offering robust data from their target audience using Pollfish, the insights team at Bustle Digital Group was able to fuel 5 thought leadership projects for the BDG sales organization to share across channels and reassure their advertising sponsors that they were still connecting effectively with the audiences they intended to reach, as well as assisting Bustle’s business development team with data that could help them pitch new partners successfully. 

With one Pollfish survey, the insights team gathered data to develop compelling, interesting content for readers across the Bustle Digital Group family of brands. They were able to create 3 editorial pieces for Mic and Bustle publications, garnering thousands of views of their original content.

Additional COVID-19 studies were completed with equal success, including another 2,000-person survey in collaboration with the Clinton Foundation that shed light on the plight of mothers in the pandemic. Romper, one of BDG’s brands that focuses on new mothers, was able to get results from a representative sample of their target audience in 4 days to quickly curate content that let these women know that although they are quarantined, they are not alone.

How To Create An Image Survey by adding Pictures, Audio and Video

How To Create An Image Survey by adding Pictures, Audio and Video

With Pollfish, you can add images, audio files and videos to any survey question. You can also add these file types to individual answer choices in single and multiple choice questions. The process to create an image survey is simple. See how it's done here.



Video Transcription

Hi, John from Pollfish here and today, I'm going to show you how you can add media files like images, audio clips and videos to your survey questions.

With Pollfish, you can add media files like images, audio clips and videos to your survey questions to add more context to answer choices.

You can add media to your survey in two ways: you can either add to the top of the survey on any survey question type, or you can add to individual answer choices on certain select question types.

Add Media To Any Survey Question

First, you want to select the survey that you want to add media to. Once there, you want to select your questionnaire menu to get started.

Once here, find your question menu and select Add Media To Question.

Remember, you can add media to the top of any survey question, between the question and the answer choices below. This will work on any survey question type.

First, you want to select the uploader. Once you have found your creative, you can insert it here.

Add Media To Individual Answer Choices

The second way to add media to your survey is to add media files to individual answer choices on certain supported question types.

If you look at your question type and you see the image file here, you can add media files to each individual answer choice. And you do that by selecting this icon.

Just like before, you'll see the uploader appear and then you'll select your creative.

Don't forget to check the previewer to make sure that it appears as you expect.

Add Usage Instructions To Your Image Survey

One last thing--make sure that when you add media to your survey questions, you add sufficient instructions for how the respondent is to use the media that you've added.

For example, if they need to watch the entire video in order to answer the question, make sure you let them know.

And that's it! If you enjoyed this content, please like and subscribe on YouTube or visit for more helpful tips.

Add Advanced Skip Logic To Your Survey With Pollfish

Add Advanced Skip Logic To Your Survey With Pollfish

With Advanced Skip Logic, you can deliver different survey questions based on respondent answers. Unlike screening questions, you can include all respondents in your final survey results and simply reroute different types of respondents to different questions.

Advanced Skip Logic allows you to get a deeper level of understanding from consumers, reduce survey bias and more. And setup couldn't be easier. See the step-by-step tutorial below.



Video Transcription

Hi I'm Ally from the Pollfish marketing team and today, I'm going to introduce you to one of the most powerful features on the Pollfish platform--Advanced Skip Logic.

Skip logic allows you to redirect respondents towards different questions based on answers they've already given previously in the survey. This helps respondents to end up being served questions that are more relevant to them, it helps completion rates and it gets you better data.

This is super easy to set up and you can start by going to the Questionnaire portion of your Pollfish survey builder.

For the purpose of our example, you can see that I've already added questions to my survey. You'll need to have questions in order to add logic to them.

Getting Started

When you have a question you want to apply logic to, simply move over to the left-hand side, where you'll see your complete question menu. At the bottom, you have the option to apply logic.

There is also an icon for branching, which you'll notice on this toggle bar as well. Skip logic is sometimes called branching because it looks like a branch.

When we click on the branching icon, we can see the complete skip logic menu. This will also show us a preview of the survey questions, as well as a preview of the survey and our logic path.

The logic path shows us the flow that respondents are currently going to go to. Right now, this is a regular flow, following one question after the next where every respondent receives every question.

To make these questions more relevant, we're going to add skip logic.

My survey is addressing Netflix Original Series and asking respondents which show they liked best out of two different options.

If we want people who liked the show Ozark to only receive questions about Ozark, and we want the people who liked Stranger Things better to only receive questions about Stranger Things, we can apply skip logic to make this happen.

Adding Skip Logic

We'll start by adding a rule. This lets us choose one of the answer choices from question one and the action that we want the respondents to take.

Because the next question is about Ozark, we want respondents who choose Stranger Things to skip that question and go straight to questions about Stranger Things--in this case, question three.

Because None Of The Above is also one of our answer choices, we want people who did not really enjoy either of these shows to go straight to the end of the survey.

For question two, since we don't want respondents who are answering questions about Ozark to see the question about Stranger Things that would follow, we'll also have any answer from question two result in the respondents being sent to the end of the survey.

Review Your Logic Path

Now we can review this logic path and see what the respondents will be doing if they are presented the survey.

For question one, they have three different answer choices, all of which will take them to a new and more relevant survey path for the respondent.

And that's it! If you liked this content, please like and subscribe to our YouTube channel or visit the Pollfish Resource Center at

Add Age Ranges To Your Pollfish Survey

Add Age Ranges To Your Pollfish Survey

With Pollfish, you can target your survey to specific age ranges in three ways. First, you can select from our default age ranges. Second, you can create your own custom age range survey. And by using Quotas, you can select exactly how many respondents come from each age or age range.

See how it's done with this step-by-step tutorial.



Video Transcription

Hi, this is Ally from the Pollfish marketing team and today, we're going to learn how to set age range targeting in a Pollfish survey.

When a member of the Pollfish Audience Network first joins, they complete a basic profile of all their demographic information up front. We use this information to target your survey to the right audience, and saves you the trouble of having to ask questions such as how old they are later on in the process.

Default Age Ranges

When you first create your survey, you'll see your targeting page, complete with all of the ages that Pollfish supports already selected and grouped into default settings. It's easy to change these by clicking on the check boxes next to a grouping to remove it, or clicking back on it to add it back.

You can see your estimated audience distribution on the right-hand side updating in real time to show you the makeup of your audience.

Targeting Millennials and GenZ

Because we are mobile-first and COPPA compliant, we're able to target age ranges as young as 16 without violating any global privacy restrictions. This means we can reach audiences that are harder to reach such as GenZ or Millennials.

If you want to reach those specific cohorts, we'd recommend switching to specific age ranges. This is where you can create a custom age range survey by inputing the exact range of those audiences.

Since we know GenZ that we can target on Pollfish is between 16 and 23, and Millennials are between 24 and 39, we can set that exact audience group and see what the targeting looks like if we were to try to reach those groups right now with a survey.


If you had a more balanced audience or a specific breakdown that you are looking for, we'd recommend you use quotas to create a more representative sample.

Quotas let you determine a specific number of completes for each group. Since we have 400 completes in this survey, we can adjust our audience to a 50/50 split with 200 completes in each group so we have an even number of millennials and GenZ. Or we can adjust this to different numbers, such as a 75/25 split if the group was different.

And that's it! If you liked this video, please like and subscribe to our YouTube channel or visit Pollfish Resource Center at to learn more.

Add Team Members to Your Pollfish Survey Platform Account

Add Team Members to your Pollfish Survey Platform Account

With Pollfish, you can add up to 10 team members to any account at any subscription level. Adding new team members is easy and can be done with just a few clicks. Share survey results, create team folders and unify all surveys on one convenient dashboard. If you belong to multiple teams, easily jump between them right from the menu.

It is simple to add team members and we'll show you how with this step-by-step tutorial.



Video Transcription

Hi, John with Pollfish here and today, I'm going to show you how you can add up to 10 team members to your Pollfish account.

With Pollfish, you can add up to 10 team members to your free, pay-as-you-go account. We do this so you can try out the platform, show it off to your entire staff and really get a sense for how it might help your organization. So I'll show you how you can add your team members now.

Getting Started

Start by coming up here to the three-dots menu and finding team settings. Once there, you should see the My Teams section, which shows you all the teams that you've been added to. If you want to switch between teams, you can come up here to this toggle menu and switch over to any other teams you've been added to.

Scroll down a bit and you'll see the Team Information section. This is where you can add a team name, and an email that will act as the administrative email for this account.

Adding Team Members

The Team Members section is where you can see the owner of the team here and then a place where you can add team members. Click the plus sign to get started.

In this menu here, you will add any emails to your teammates here, and you'll select their admin roles. If you need to know the permissions for each admin role, you can see those here.

Once you've added all your teammates, click invite and they'll receive an email invitation to join your team.

And that's it! If you enjoyed this content today, please like and subscribe on YouTube or visit for more helpful tips.