Fortifying Your Market Research with the Qualitative Survey

Fortifying Your Market Research with the Qualitative Survey

Qualitative research is critical for performing market research. Using what’s known as the qualitative survey is the most potent instrument researchers can apply to garner data for this kind of research. 

It’s important to be able to distinguish between qualitative and quantitative surveys when delving into either of these main types of survey research methods. As such, this article will focus on the qualitative survey, its corresponding research method, best practices and other considerations worth being mindful of.

With these key insights, you’ll be able to get your qualitative research up in running in no time.

Defining the Qualitative Survey

This type of survey is characterized by its adherence to qualitative research, that is, it seeks to gain descriptive insights on a topic, rather than measuring it.

A qualitative survey is predicated on digging into the details behind a topic. It also seeks to find causality and motivations. This provides details around happenings, opinions, beliefs and sentiments. 

In short, it helps brands understand their target market’s psyche, as opposed to measuring for prevalence and other metrics.  

This kind of survey is far less structured than a quantitative survey; it also makes more use of open-ended questions. While it provides a great deal of knowledge, this survey data can be more difficult to analyze.  

When to Use a Qualitative Survey in Your Research Endeavors

A qualitative survey can be used in the beginning of your market research, or as a way to complement research you’ve already begun conducting. There are specific points during your market or survey research that you can best tend to with a qualitative survey. Here are several such cases:

  1. Mapping out a hypothesis: A qualitative survey is an excellent way to both form a hypothesis and test it. As you begin your research process, this survey can help you find the most glaring issues and desires your target market has on their minds. These can help you form hypotheses that you can prove through quantitative research. You can also test your hypotheses with follow-up qualitative surveys.
  2. When numbers and scales aren’t enough: Usually, a scaled survey isn’t enough — neither is one with visual ratings (hearts, stars, etc.). A qualitative survey can benefit your study to completely flesh out the themes, sentiments and general makeup of an occurrence. 
  3. Finding the “why” behind a phenomenon: You can administer a qualitative survey for this point in the middle of your research process. For instance, if you’ve run several quantitative surveys or even a qualitative survey, you will have gathered insightful data on the big picture of a topic. But there may be a few missing pieces, especially regarding the why behind an occurrence or firmly held belief. That’s where you would do further probing with this type of survey.
  4. Discovering Latent Details: Although these details may be covert, they can help crack a customer experience (CX) or employment satisfaction puzzle. Whereas quantitative surveys help unlock the number of times something occurs or if it occurs in the grand scheme of things, qualitative surveys can help bring hidden details into light. By asking qualitative questions, you can uncover a gold mine when it comes to pleasing customers, as you’ll understand them in greater depth.
  5. Putting together the final stages of your market research: Often conducted after gathering quantitative findings, you can use a qualitative survey to wrap up your research. There may be times in which you need more details to understand the results of a previous survey. Or there may be some key aspects that you feel you need to find to complete your research. The qualitative survey is a good closer for these needs. 

How to Get Started on Formulating a Qualitative Survey

You may have several ideas on the direction you desire your qualitative research to take. When opting for a qualitative survey, there are certain tips you can stand to learn. The following presents certain key practices to take into consideration when embarking on this survey method. 

  1. Find a strong online survey platform to execute your research. Here are a few things to look for in online survey tools.
  2. Discover the chief campaign of your qualitative research needs. Are you looking to improve your branding? Do you need insights on a specific industry, such as the technology industry
    1. Then, find the main need for this application. Or perhaps, see if there are some missing qualitative data you would need to acquire. 
  3. Create an overall theme for a survey, or for multiple surveys.
  4. Begin with one survey at a time; first, gather the target audience of the survey. You can appeal to your general target market, or to a segment of it. 
  5. Draft your questions and get observations/commentary from other researchers or colleagues.
  6. Launch your survey and carefully read over your responses. Cross-reference the answers with quantitative surveys, especially if your quantitative survey is underpinned by quantitative research you’ve already begun.
  7. Iterate with another survey if need be.
  8. Analyze your responses to find motivations and find deeper insights into themes and opinions. 
  9. Lay out a plan of action for your broader campaign based on your analyses.
  10. Take small steps; don’t rush (unless you’re facing a crisis). Start implementing some of the changes or accommodations for your target market. Or, finish your research with a presentation of your discoveries. 

Questions and Surveys to Use in a Qualitative Survey

A qualitative survey can exist in a variety of formats. We’ve covered a wide variety of survey research methods and survey types themselves. Since qualitative studies can be applied across a number of survey types, you ought to know how to orient your questions around several of them.

Here are a few question examples of qualitative surveys. You can also add qualitative elements to surveys that are not specifically geared for qualitative research.

Net Promoter Score (NPS) Survey Questions:

Along with the Ultimate Question, aka the main NPS survey question, use the following to extract qualitative data. (This question typically asks respondents on a scale of 1-10, how likely they are to recommend a company to others.)

  • Why is it that you’ve ranked us with this score? [open-ended]
  • What do you like the most about our company?  [open-ended]
  • What services or products do you enjoy the most from our brand?  [open-ended or multiple choice]
  • What are some of the things that we can do to improve how you view our brand?

Customer Loyalty Survey Questions:

Consumer loyalty is a widely-encompassing quality that can be evaluated in a number of market research studies. This includes using the Repeat Purchase Rate and Customer Lifetime Value metrics. Additionally, the notion of customer loyalty has several of its own surveys. 

  • Do you consider [brand] to be high-quality? Why or why not? [multiple choice and open-ended]
  • Would you return to make more purchases from us? Why or why not? [multiple choice and open-ended]
  • Why have you bought [x number of times, carry forwarded from previous numerical question] from us? [open-ended]
  • Why are you [either considering yourself a loyal customer or not, piped from previous yes or no question]? [open-ended]

Product Satisfaction Survey Questions:

  • Which features do you find most useful from this product?  [multiple choice]
  • How would you rate the product’s ease of use and why? [open-ended and multiple choice]
  • Have you experienced any issues with the product, if so what are they? [open-ended and multiple choice]
  • How has your general experience been with our product? [open-ended]

Retrospective Survey Questions:

Although these surveys are typically used in the fields of medicine and psychology, they too can be applied to the business market research sphere. Used in retrospective studies, these surveys scrutinize events that have taken place in the past (including the distant past).

  • Which aspects in your [in-store, over the phone or online] experience have contributed to the way you shop today?  [open-ended and multiple choice]
  • How long have you been taking part in/buying [habit, product or brand]? [multiple-choice]
  • Have you used [product] in the past and how has it shaped what you currently use for your [niche] needs? [open-ended and multiple choice]
  • Why have you bought/chosen from [brand/product] for [x number] of years/months? [open-ended]

Event Evaluation Survey Question Examples:

  • What did you like the most about the event?  [open-ended]
  • What experience stuck out the most to you and why? [open-ended or multiple choice]
  • What could we do to improve your experience? [open-ended]
  • Is there anything else you would like to tell us about the event?  [open-ended]

Expanding Your Research Needs

Although the qualitative survey can help you unearth the “why” and “how” in your research on your target market, you’ll find that much like with quantitative surveys, it too can help you uncover more on the “what.” 

The difference is that this type of survey allows you to get more granular and in-depth on a subject matter, whereas quantitative surveys paint a clear picture of its measurements, metrics and other quantifiable data. 

Bear in mind that in the aforementioned qualitative question/survey types examples, each survey type is not intrinsically — or solely to be used for qualitative research. In fact, it often includes a mash-up of both qualitative and quantitative aspects.

This is natural in survey research, as both of these surveys and research types work in tandem. As such, make sure to add qualitative questions every now and then to your quantitative surveys. However, if you are looking purely for qualitative research, you can also attempt to conduct an entirely qualitative survey. The online survey tool you choose to apply is your best armor.


Diving Into Longitudinal Surveys

Diving Into Longitudinal Surveys

Longitudinal surveys are the most powerful assets that marketers and market researchers can use when conducting longitudinal research. 

We’ve previously highlighted the three main types of survey research methods, which include cross-sectional studies, longitudinal studies and retrospective studies. In this article, we will cover longitudinal surveys and their underlying studies.

You can apply longitudinal studies for a wide range of verticals and purposes. As such, it is crucial to learn about this research method so that you can set it off smoothly for your survey research needs. 

Defining Longitudinal Surveys

A longitudinal study is defined as a study in which researchers gather data on the same set of variables (respondents) over a period of time. This kind of research grants researchers the ability to closely examine the trajectories and changes of their subjects over time.

This study includes gathering insights on the sample pool’s opinions, behaviors, sentiments, desires, reactions and several other aspects. Mostly used in medical and social sciences, this form of research is also invaluable for brands, as studying your target market is key to keeping your business alive.

A form of correlational research, researchers (and businesses) conduct longitudinal research via collecting data on a group of variables without influencing or affecting the variables in any way. Each data collection is called a wave.

It is optimal to conduct this kind of study via longitudinal surveys, as they are designed to garner all the questions you need and to create them in innovative ways.

The Key Aspects of Longitudinal Surveys

To fully understand longitudinal surveys, you should peruse some of their key features. This will help you understand their make up and decide whether to use them for your survey research.

The following lists the core facets that distinguish these surveys from that of others. Here is how they differ aside from their deployment frequency:

  1. These studies and their surveys gather insights over long-term periods.
  2. Despite being typically used for a long period of time, there is no fixed amount of time required to constitute a longitudinal study.
  3. These studies can range from several weeks to years and even decades.
  4. They are part of observational studies, in which no intervention takes place, only pure investigation.
  5. They involve repeated observations of the same group of participants.
  6. They are used to uncover relationships between variables that are not connected to background variables. 
  7. They are used to discover how the sampling pool (respondents) changes over time.
  8. They are used after extracting some findings from cross-sectional studies, when those studies warrant more data and inquiry. 
  9. They collect both quantitative and qualitative data.
  10. They can be conducted through primary research, along with secondary research.
    1. Primary sources: surveys, survey panels, interviews, focus groups
    2. Secondary sources: government websites, focused reports, ex: longitudinal studies on American youth

How They Differ from Cross-Sectional & Retrospective Surveys

Longitudinal studies are often contrasted with cross-sectional studies. They also differ from retrospective studies. The survey of each study follows suit, as it will be distinguished in design, function and deployment frequency. 

Unlike longitudinal studies, cross-sectional studies involve examining samples of a given population (the cross-section) at a particular point in time. The surveys in this research method paint a snapshot of a sampling pool, usually the prevailing one.

As such, cross-sectional studies are far shorter to conduct. They are often used as precursors to longitudinal studies, in that they discover correlations that can be further probed longitudinally. 

Retrospective studies combine aspects of both cross-sectional and longitudinal studies. They study respondents with surveys about past events. Researchers can thus compare past feelings and attitudes with those of the present, much like in longitudinal studies. In this way, these studies are used hand in hand with longitudinal studies, despite that retrospective studies form their own distinct set of research.

Retrospective surveys can be conducted just once, as are cross-sectional surveys. They may also amass data on several points in time. These surveys draw from a pool of an already existing data set.

As such, retrospective studies only deal with events of the past and will not gather any new data; that’s where longitudinal studies are needed to be used in tandem with them. 

It’s important to note that all three of these research methods/survey types are observational, allowing researchers to record and understand the subjects’ behaviors via observation only.

The 3 Types of Longitudinal Surveys

Longitudinal studies can be carried out in various ways. There are three main classifications of longitudinal surveys: a panel study, a cohort study and a retrospective study. As mentioned above, retrospective studies make up their own major form of research. However, due to their close involvement with longitudinal studies, they can also exist as a form of these studies. 

  1. Panel study: 

    1. It involves sampling a prerecruited set of survey respondents.
    2. These respondents agree to a particular length of participation.
    3. Surveys are sent to the exact same group of respondents.
  1. Cohort study: 

    1. It is conducted through online survey software. 
    2. Respondent selection is set by way of shared characteristics, such as a geographical location, births and historical experiences.
    3. It also deals with respondents on the basis of demographics and opinions and behaviors (the latter two are collected via screening questions).
  1. Retrospective study: 

    1. It uses past information on the same or similar subjects (variables).
    2. It involves studying the past with recorded data. Ex: medical records, past surveys.
    3. It complements any current or soon-to-be gathered longitudinal data. 

The first two types of surveys are part of prospective longitudinal research, in which a sampling pool is studied over a period of time. They therefore fall opposite to retrospective studies.

Which Industries Depend on these Surveys for Market Research

There are several industries that utilize longitudinal surveys for market research undertakings. These surveys therefore provide a wide variety of applications. The following list details the various verticals that rely on longitudinal surveys.

  1. Healthcare: Physicians, other healthcare providers and researchers can study any biological change in participants in terms of their lifestyle, i.e., their diets, their fitness/ sedentary habits, health upkeep, reactions to medicines and much more.
  2. Retail: Retailors can study shopping habits from time to time and discover how advancements in the sectors affect those habits or form new ones.
  3. Psychology: Psychologists can conduct these surveys to study how the mentality and psyche of various groups change over time in reaction to stimuli or any change. 
  4. Education: Those in the education sector can use students' test scores, work and products to track developments over time. Monitoring student progress can also identify disparities in academic performance levels among students.
  5. Real estate: Real estate agents and business owners can use these surveys to gather opinions of residents and businesses within a neighborhood or property over time. 
  6. Technology: Tech leaders and manufacturers can learn how consumers change or develop certain behaviors due to the use of existing technology or the emergence of new kinds.
  7. General business: Brands can conduct these surveys to closely monitor their target market, especially in relation to their products. Additionally, businesses can study closely associated target markets or even different knees to gain new patrons. 

Types of Business Surveys that Rely on Longitudinal Studies

Dovetailing onto the final industry using longitudinal data, that of general business, it is crucial to understand just the kinds of surveys that brands can use. This is because a wide array of survey types (based on the subdisciplines of business) can be applied in longitudinal studies. Here are a few key survey types:

  1. Marketing market research: Brands can use marketing surveys for market research to study trends in the market and within niches firsthand. They can also help businesses capture demand for their product/service, along with measuring campaign success. 
  2. Customer Satisfaction: A major component of any business, there are a variety of surveys for this purpose, such as the Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) and the Customer Effort Score (CES).
  3. Product feedback: These surveys provide necessary insight into the sentiment around product launches or existing products, should you want to test their levels of customer contentment. You can test for usability, awareness and general opinions on your products via longitudinal feedback.
  4. Employee engagement: Not all survey research is external, not even when it comes to the longitudinal variety. As such, it is apt for businesses to keep an eye on their employee engagement levels. This involves checking on employees’ comfort on the job and collaboration with others. A longitudinal survey on employee engagement will give you the full scope of your company’s pulse and how to improve it. 

The Pros and Cons of Longitudinal Surveys

Longitudinal studies, like others, come with their own sets of benefits and stumbling blocks. You ought to consider both sides in order to get the full picture on this kind of research method. Understanding the pros and cons will help you determine whether it is worth using this kind of study and its accompanying survey(s). It will also keep you aware of what to expect. 

Pros

  1. Longitudinal surveys allow you to monitor your target market and general sampling pool in real time. This allows you to place all insights sequentially and be able to correlate events with causes.
  2. This is the only study that gives you access into observing developments and life-spanning issues.
  3. These surveys allow you to study hypotheses conjectured at cross-sectional surveys to learn more and form educated decisions.  
  4. This is the most optimal study for identifying causal relationships and cause and effect.
  5. It stamps out the risk of recall bias, which denotes the inability to remember past occurrences.
  6. It can be used within a variety of survey types and industries including ones not mentioned above such as advertising, community feedback and more.
  7. They allow you to discover which sentiments and behaviors are conditional and which withstand the test of time. 

Cons

  1. These are the most time-consuming surveys; they may not work alongside other surveys since they’re results aren’t complete until the end of the studied period.
  2. They require the most resources and are the most expensive kind of survey to conduct.
  3. Respondents may drop off over time, as not all are going to be as committed to the study. This is known as selective attrition

Beyond Market Research: Longitudinal Studies as Content Assets

Longitudinal studies take the most amount of dedication and commitment — both on the end of the researchers and respondents due to their time-consuming nature. Nonetheless, they are valuable sources of primary research.

For businesses, these kinds of surveys do far more than just provide firsthand insights and data. Marketing teams can delight in that conducting longitudinal studies provides an invaluable content marketing asset, the kind that will easily distinguish a brand from its competitors.

Many businesses rely on content to increase brand awareness and gain leads. In fact, 60% of marketers produce one piece of content per day to grow their business. There are brands who use it to boost their user experience (UX) and even retain their customers. While blogs and social posts are typical, a longitudinal study is a downloadable asset worth conducting. It may be enlightening enough to gain media attention. 

 


How to Make Your Own Survey in 3 Easy Steps

How to Make Your Own Survey in 3 Easy Steps

As a business, you’ve probably mulled over how to make your own survey for market research purposes. The power of survey research is that it allows you to extract data for a wide array of campaigns, such as marketing, advertising, branding et al., on virtually any focal subject of interest.

Surveys are unique in that they collect data from a pre-defined group of people. Online surveys take this method to the next level, as they only permit qualified respondents to enter the questionnaire portion of a survey. 

As such, online survey tools allow you to define the participants allowed to take part in your survey; you can do so by selecting your desired demographics and by screening questions. 

There’s more to making your own survey — but not much, that is, depending on the online survey tool you use. 

This article will teach you how to build a survey in just 3 steps, a process that correlates with the Pollfish survey platform.

The Benefits of Using Survey Software

Aside from the above, there is an abundance of benefits to using survey software, which is why it is encouraged to make your own survey

If you are skeptical about employing a survey software that allows you to build and launch your own survey in just three steps, consider the following. It enumerates the various benefits of using a survey platform; the fact that you can make your own survey in just 3 steps is an added benefit. 

  1. Cost-Effective: Although the total cost depends on a number of factors, such as deployment methods, survey types and the stipulations of your online survey platform provider, online surveys are generally cheap. At Pollfish, they start at only $0.95 per complete.
  2. Versatile: Software survey often offers versatility in functionality, interface, visuals and more. As such, they allow you to create multiple types of surveys such as multiple-choice, ratings surveys and surveys that focus on different disciplines like customer satisfaction or community feedback. They also allow you to add unique features such as skip logic.
  3. Respondent Control: A potent survey software grants surveys with the ability to identify each respondent by their IP address, so that no person can take part in the same survey twice to skew results. Therefore, if for example, you set your sampling pool to include 1,000 respondents, you can rest assured that there will be 1,000 unique individuals taking the survey, as no responder will take the survey more than once.
  4. Quick and Accurate: Online survey tools collect data quickly and accurately. They can gather thousands of survey submissions in a short span of time, one that is often no longer than a few days long. The entire sampling is accurate to the study you conduct, as screening questions and demographic quotas ensure only the targeted respondents participate in the survey.
  5. Ease of Analysis: Survey software facilitates the process of analyzing, by allowing you to observe the data in various formats. For example, a strong tool gives you the option of viewing your responses in spreadsheets, graphs, charts and cross-tabulation. This allows you to examine your survey results in a way that suits your preferences best, as some campaigns require specific data formats.
  6. Easily administered and completed: Online survey tools offer the convenience of administration ease and completion. That is because these tools deploy the surveys for you, meaning that you don’t have to worry about reaching your intended target audience and amount of respondents. The Pollfish platform distributes your survey to a sweeping network of over 140,000 of the most popular websites and apps. It doesn’t finish the process until all respondent quotas are filled.
  7. Flexible and amendable: Online survey platforms ought to make it easy to control all survey content; that involves adding different media files to questions, skipping questions (skip logic), using a blend of open and close-ended questions and much more. In short, survey software makes survey building easy to tailor and change. 

Make Your Own Survey With a 3 Step Process

Now that we’ve covered the bases of online survey advantages, it’s time to put survey building into action. The following elucidates the three steps, or stages, to make your own survey using an online survey platform.

These steps parallel the steps required to take on the Pollfish platform dashboard; they make it easy to jumpstart your survey research campaigns. 

Step 1: Enter all your audience qualifications

The specifics of the audience enables you to dictate the kind of respondents to take your survey. These specifications certify that the respondents that answer the survey qualify to take it. 

The audience section is twofold: it features the demographics section and the screener. The demographics section features various demographic categories. You should tick off all the boxes of categories and subcategories that you would like to study in the survey. 

These categories include everything from geolocation — from country to postal code — to employment type, marital status and many other demographic categories. You can assign quotas to each category and subcategory. Or you can set each subcategory to receive an equivalent number of responses.

If this wasn’t granular enough, the screener portion allows you to ratchet up your audience requirements even further. For example, you can ask behavioral questions, such as: how many times a year do you go shopping on [vertical] sites? 

Or you can ask more hyper-targeted demographics questions, such as: how many children do you have? This allows you to choose the answer(s) that allow the respondents to take the survey. 

You can also place preset quotas on the screening questions. After you’ve applied all of your audience qualifications in the demographics section and the screener, it’s time to move to Step 2.

Step 2: Establish all the questionnaire content

The questionnaire stage is the heart of the survey. This stage allows you to add all the questions that you would like qualified participants to answer. It is the content of this step that will grant you market research data. 

The survey platform you choose should allow you to choose from a variety of question types to add into your questionnaire. These are important as they control the type of survey you can create. 

For example, in some surveys, such as Net Promoter Score surveys, you’ll need to include a numeric scale, as it is the basis for NPS surveys. In Visual Ratings surveys, emojis are required as part of the answer options.

The following lists some of the question types crucial to have in your online survey tool:

  1. Single selection 
  2. Multiple-selection
  3. Open-ended
  4. Numeric open-ended
  5. Rating stars

The question types should allow for multiple functionalities, such as:

  1. Adding media files to questions (images, GIFs, videos, etc.)
  2. Shuffling answers
  3. Using batch or predefined answers
  4. Adding “none of the above”
  5. Applying logic so users can go on custom question paths depending on their answers

You should be able to regroup questions and answers at the click of a button or two for a flexible survey research experience. This section should also allow you to add in the exact size of your sampling pool, i.e., the total number of respondents. 

Additionally, this stage of the survey-making process should provide you with an estimated survey completion time, so that you will have a sense of how long it will take you to yield the number of responses that you preset.

Review all of your questions, answers, question paths and any other elements you have applied to your questionnaire. Make sure you’re not missing any questions you feel would be pertinent for your survey study.

Also, keep an eye out on spelling and grammar — these are going to go live as they appear on your dashboard If you’re satisfied with it, then

Step 3: Set off the Survey Launch at the Check Out

The final step of the survey-making process is essentially the simplest one, as it doesn’t require ideating or tweaking any in-survey content. Instead, all it requires is to fill in 3 quick requirements and your survey is almost as good as live.

Here are the requirements ins 3 small sections making up this final step:

  1. Enter your billing information, such as your address and credit or debit card number.
  2. Choose from 2 options on survey scheduling: either to launch your survey then and there or to schedule it.
  3. Review your payment information in the Cost Analysis; here you can add a discount code if you have one. 
  4. After you’ve reviewed the survey cost, hit the big button that reads “Submit for approval” and your survey is about to go live into the vast ecosystem of partner websites and apps that will deploy it. 

Some online survey platforms (like the Pollfish one) will include a review stage from experts before your survey officially launches. This will ensure all your content is set up to run smoothly, with no glitches, eros or logical issues. 

There you have it; that’s all you need to do to make your own survey and have it distributed to the masses. 

Please note that this process is not universal to online survey tools; rather it is used in the Pollfish platform and meant to illustrate how convenient survey software programs can be when it comes to helping you make your own survey. 

Reaping the Most out of Your Online Survey Tool

Online survey tools are exceedingly important for market research, however, there’s more to it than just survey campaigns. 

Your business ought to use secondary sources and perhaps other primary sources to bolster your survey research. This will ensure you are conducting a holistic market research campaign. 

Keep in mind that while the survey-building process delineated in this article may seem simple, all survey tools are not the same. Some will demand a much more intricate process to create your survey. Others may not even contain the function of distributing your survey.

As such, you should invest in an online survey platform that provides the most gainful survey research experience. You should opt for survey software that offers a wide range of capabilities and functions (such as the ones mentioned in this article), along with the kind that makes it easy to configure your survey and launch it.


The Pollfish Approach to Third-Party Tool Usage

The Pollfish Approach to Third-Party Tool Usage

As we have previously documented, the Pollfish online survey platform allows researchers to integrate Pollfish with a third party survey and as a third party survey distributor. These kinds of applications allow researchers to employ a more thorough survey research campaign.

While this kind of integration is favorable on several accounts, the Pollfish platform does not have control of the end-to-end experience when used with third-party survey providers (or as a third party survey distributor).

This is critical to note when connecting with and using external platforms. This article will teach you what Pollfish can help you achieve with this sort of integration, along with its limitations.

The Benefits of Consolidating With Third-Party Software Tools

There are several benefits to merging your third-party survey software with the Pollfish platform. Researchers ought to consider which is most apt for their survey research needs. Here are some of the most useful purposes to consolidate with a third-party survey platform and use Pollfish as a third-party distribution source.

  1. Respondents are still routed through different quality checks (more on this below).

  2. Pollfish equips third-party surveys to be sent to our massive network of top publisher websites and apps, in an environment of over 800,000,000+ worldwide users.

  3. Researchers can still send their third-party surveys through the surveys’ own publisher networks, largely expanding their environments and exposure.

  4. Researchers can access our large network with the comfort of a third-party-designed survey, should they prefer it over Pollfish’s.

  5. Pollfish adheres to strong privacy rules, disqualifying any questions that ask for personal information.

Pollfish Quality Control and Other Capabilities with Third-Party Integrations

If the advantages listed above of fusing Pollfish with third-party survey tools weren’t convincing enough of the tool’s prowess, the following will.

This is because the Pollfish platform provides the most relevant capabilities to ensure a smooth consolidation. While our platform can’t control the entire experience from our end, there are still various ways our platform helps secure the quality of survey responses.

Pollfish applies several technical checks to ensure that only high-quality respondents can participate. First off, researchers can add screeners to their third-party survey process in the beginning, much like they would with a regular Pollfish survey.

These allow you to zero in on your sampling pool so that the only respondents allowed to take the third-party survey are those who respond with the answers you require.

Moving along, Pollfish allows you to obtain your respondents' unique Respondent ID, so that the system can track them, as it identifies users in our database. This ID reveals whether “bad responses” — those which disqualified respondents — came from a user in the Pollfish publisher network of sites and apps. This is important to know as survey disqualification rules will differ between our platform to third-party providers.

As such, this ID grants you insight into why a survey is counted towards the response count on a third-party platform, but not on Pollfish. (More on this in the next section).

Pollfish implements quality checks on gibberish answers. These nonsensical answers automatically disqualify a responder from submitting their survey.  An answer is considered gibberish when answers are non-words, such as “zjhbds ijvnksd kjdvfgb mgk.” This indicates a rush-through or disinterest in the survey and is obviously an illegitimate response.

Pollfish does not, however, control this type of quality check in third-party platforms, so a survey may be disqualified on that platform in this regard. 

The platform also checks for carrier consistency to avoid any suspicious input. Specifically, it checks if the carrier exists in the country that the current survey is being deployed to.     

Moreover, Pollfish utilizes a hasty answer check on a 3rd party survey in the screening question portion of our platform to ensure respondents aren’t providing inaccurate data by rushing through a question.

For example, suppose a would-be respondent answers a screening question faster than the average reading speed; the system would flag their answer as hasty. This will disqualify their survey.

Finally, Pollfish also prevents respondents on a virtual private network (VPN) from taking a survey. This is because a VPN shields a users’ true location, thereby tarnishing the data quality. 

Recapping the Third-Party Survey Distribution Process

Combining third-party survey platforms with Pollfish requires using a different process and therefore a different interface on the dashboard.

Here is a brief recap to get you acquainted with how third-party integrations work:

On the Pollfish dashboard, click on the “Create New Survey” button. The pop-up will ask for a name along with an option to link a 3rd party tool. Clicking on this option will take you to the third-party linking interface.

Like the regular survey interface, this one also features three stages: the audience, the link survey and the checkout. Here is what to expect from each stage:

  1. The audience stage: screening questions, geolocation criteria and demographics, available in multiple audiences.

  2. The Link survey stage: It features 3 of its own sections/boxes.

    1. Survey details: Here you connect Pollfish with the third-party platform URL. You can also add the value of the Respondent ID for both systems to track it. This is after your survey is complete in the third-party platform.

    2. Redirect URLs: Researchers can copy and paste the redirect links to the other survey tool for communication between their audience and survey. These links determine if the survey distribution was a success, if the surveys were disqualified and whether there was an over-quota.

    3. Test Your Survey Setup: This allows you to see if your survey was set up in the third-party system and if the connection to Pollfish was successful.

  3. The Checkout: The last stage that requires users to pay for the survey using their Pollfish credits.

What Pollfish Doesn’t Control in the Third-Party Survey Experience

As aforementioned, the Pollfish platform does not exert full control of the end-to-end third-party survey distribution experience. The chief reason is self-evident: Pollfish only has access to the Pollfish platform.

As such, it does not set the rules for survey quality checks in third-party survey platforms. This means the Pollfish platform neither controls nor is acquainted with the third-party system qualification process.

For example, what our platform marks as a gibberish answer — thereby disqualifying a respondent — may not qualify as a gibberish answer in another survey platform and vice versa.

Different survey rules may create the misalignment of data. For example, the total survey respondent count may be 98 on Pollfish, while it’s 97, 99, etc. in another survey tool.

Researchers should bear in mind that this kind of data discrepancy is inevitable when using two different survey platforms in conjunction with one another. However, there are still many capabilities that this consolidation of platforms provides, including the quality checks, the expansion of publisher networks and more.

As such, the benefits outweigh the limitations in the third-party survey experience.


Excelling in Survey Research with the Quantitative Survey

Excelling in Survey Research with the Quantitative Survey

A quantitative survey provides researchers with data that is quantifiable in nature, making this type of survey an important component of any research project. In a quantitative survey, numeric values are assigned to the answers so researchers can objectively measure and compare survey data.

A quantitative survey produces the type of data that many of us associate with surveys. This type of data is easily converted into objective, numerical results that can be viewed in tables and charts to provide a clearer picture. 

In “The Complete Guide to Quantitative Market Research,” we covered the types of quantitative research methods that are used to drive market research. In this article, we will focus specifically on how you can use a quantitative survey to gather numerical data to drive your research project.

Defining the Quantitative Survey

In a quantitative survey, data is obtained by asking respondents objective, close-ended questions. Each question has a predefined list of answers. The responses are then used to compile numerical data that you can analyze via tables, charts, and graphs. 

Quantitative survey questions are used to gain insights about ratings, pricing, frequency, and likelihood. They are often used to understand the relationship between attitudes and consumer behavior. The responses for quantitative survey questions include binary, multiple-choice, and scaled responses. 

One of the main ways that a quantitative survey differs from a qualitative survey in that it asks “who” and “what,” while qualitative questions ask “why,” in order to understand the motivation behind actions, thoughts, or feelings. Qualitative questions are commonly used to gain context or gather information about attitudes, lifestyle choices, and issues. The responses for qualitative questions involve both open-ended and multiple-choice questions. 

The Pros and Cons of Quantitative Surveys

In order to understand when to use quantitative surveys, you must first understand the pros and cons of this type of survey.

The Pros:

  1. The data from quantitative surveys is usually easy to collect and analyze.
  2. The simple format of quantitative surveys allows researchers to distribute them more broadly and reach a larger audience.
  3. Without open-ended questions, quantitative surveys are usually faster to complete, which can improve the response rate
  4. Quantitative surveys are useful when researching sensitive subjects because they can allow the respondent to remain completely anonymous, without the need to contribute any personal or identifiable information.
  5. Quantitative surveys are more mobile-friendly than qualitative survey questions because the respondent does not need to type out lengthy answers. 

The Cons:

  1. Quantitative surveys do not allow researchers to probe for deeper or unique answers to survey questions. 
  2. The results of quantitative surveys can be misleading. Despite the seemingly objective nature of quantitative surveys, researchers can interpret the data based on their own views and then state conclusions in a way that sounds factual since they are based on numbers. 
  3. Since quantitative survey questions have predefined responses, there is no opportunity for a respondent to volunteer unexpected information. 
  4. It can take longer to plan a good quantitative survey that will collect the data needed to understand relationships or behavior. 
  5. Survey responses must be carefully considered so that respondents are able to select an answer they can relate to.   

Creating a Survey with Quantitative Questions

Quantitative survey questions will yield data that you can use to better understand your target market. The results can be compiled into a research report to provide statistical information and detailed insights. This information is typically used to understand prevalence and quantify phenomena, along with then being used to broaden research efforts and better understand the market as a whole.

In order to formulate the right type of questions, you first need to understand the goals of your research project. In quantitative research, researchers often start by stating the objective as a question and then designing survey questions to find the answer. 

For example, a researcher might ask: “How do the study habits of college freshmen compare to the study habits of college seniors?” In order to answer this, the researcher would need to gather information about both college freshmen and college seniors in order to draw conclusions. 

Remember: you need to create quantitative survey questions in a way that allows them to be translated into numerical data. This means that you will need specific, numerical answers to each question. 

Quantitative questions frequently ask “how” or “what.” For example:

  • What is/are…?
  • How many…?
  • How often...?
  • What percentage…?

Below we provide some example questions that a researcher might ask in order to understand how study habits change throughout the course of a college education. For the purpose of this exercise, assume that the researcher has used pre-screening questions to sort the respondents into two groups - college freshman and college seniors who are attending a 4-year university for the first time. 

Establish Demographics

In order to understand how demographic factors influence responses, you will need to gather some basic demographic information:

  • What is your age? [Dropdown]
  • What is your gender? [Multiple choice]
  • How many years have you attended this college? [Dropdown]
  • How many people in your immediate family (parents and siblings) have attended college? [Multiple choice]
  • What is the highest level of education attained by either of your parents? [Multiple choice]

Understand Study Habits

The next part of your survey will focus on gathering data that you can use to describe the study habits of these two groups.

  • How many hours per day do you study? [Multiple choice answer]
  • How often do you attend a study group? [Multiple choice answer]
  • How likely are you to join a study group for a class that you struggle with? [Multiple choice]
  • How many study groups are you currently a member of? [Multiple choice]
  • Which of the following study tools do you use and how often? [Matrix]
  • How do you rate the following study tools? [Matrix]

Deeper Questions

Despite their objective nature, quantitative survey questions can help you understand how your respondents feel about their experiences, that is, it helps you quantify their feelings Here are some ways you can use quantitative questions to gain deeper insights:

  • Please select how much you agree or disagree with the following statement: My current study habits are effective. [Likert scale]
  • Please select how much you agree or disagree with the following statement: I know which study tools and methods are appropriate for each of the courses I’m taking [Likert scale]
  • Please select how much you agree or disagree with the following statement: I think that I study more than other students in my year. [Likert scale]

Once you have your survey responses, you can begin to analyze the data. After this, you should have a general idea of the landscape of freshman and senior habits. This data can help you create a research report or lead to further surveys to further explore or better understand your findings.

Power Your Quantitative Survey with the Right Questions

Quantitative survey questions can power your research project by helping you gather and analyze large amounts of data with relative ease. This data can help you establish a good understanding of your subject matter and establish objectives for future research efforts. For this reason, most researchers include a large percentage of quantitative survey questions in their surveys. 

Many surveys contain a mix of quantitative and qualitative questions, with quantitative questions forming the bulk of the survey. This is helpful because quantitative questions allow researchers to easily analyze and define findings, while qualitative questions can reveal deeper insights, contextual information, and unexpected findings.

Gain further insights by pairing some of your quantitative survey questions with a few, carefully chosen qualitative questions. By pairing questions in this way, you get the best of both worlds - numerical data that is ready for analysis and the potential for new discoveries by way of personalized responses. 


Diving Into the Customer Loyalty Survey for Business Growth

Diving Into the Customer Loyalty Survey for Business Growth

There is nothing quite as sought after in the business world as customer loyalty. A customer loyalty survey can help businesses achieve this lofty end. 

There is more to customer loyalty than just returning customers, as this concept goes beyond customer retention. Thus, customer loyalty also has its own methods of measurement and attainment. 

This article presents a deep dive into the customer loyalty survey, not simply shedding light on its particulars, but how it can help you grow your business by creating customer loyalty within your target market. 

Defining Customer Loyalty

Before jumping into the customer loyalty survey, let us cover its underlying theme of customer loyalty. This term is used to describe an ongoing business relationship in which customers consistently choose a company’s product/ service over that of its competitors. 

This concept is the driving force behind repeat purchases from customers, even in a competitive market, i.e., one in which competitors offer similar price points, promotions and experiences.

Customer loyalty is not merely customer retention; rather it is the most powerful form of it, as it signifies the segment in your target market that exhibits loyalty to your brand. That means that this group of customers provides more than just a few occasional buys from your business.

Rather, these consumers have a more personal connection to your brand, a tie that keeps them returning to your business on a regular basis. This is established by way of building a promising reputation or having impacted your customers in a considerable fashion. 

This is to say that loyalty takes several factors to build — it cannot be achieved by one good customer experience. That is because the nature of loyalty is ongoing, so while you may have provided one positive experience, it is not guaranteed to retain your customers, let alone build a sense of trust, which breeds loyalty.

Why are Consumers Loyal to a Brand?

From the above section, we can deduce that loyalty comes from a brand’s environment. This environment has to provide multiple points of customer satisfaction

This multi-faceted approach can help build customer loyalty over time. Here are a few concrete reasons as to why consumers are loyal to a brand:

  1. They associate it with positive experiences, such as online experiences, interactions on digital, phone or brick and mortar channels with brand representatives. 
  2. They feel that they are getting something of quality from your brand in particular.
  3. The price ranges, discounts and promotions fit within their budgets and lifestyles.
  4. Customers feel connected to a brand due to its values and associations.
  5. Customers are intrigued by the content a brand provides as an auxiliary, whether it is on social media, websites or video content. 

Why Your Business Needs Customer Loyalty

Your business needs to establish at least some degree of customer loyalty within your existing customers. Loyal customers can help your brand stay afloat even in times of crisis.

In fact, a negative experience can be a covert blessing — if you correct an issue a customer has, it reinforces the positive nature of your brand and customer experience (CX). Thus, it will strengthen your brand’s relationship with customers, paving the way to loyalty. 

Here are the key reasons as to why your business needs customer loyalty:

  1. It represents a steady pool of income as opposed to one-off purchases.
  2. It prevents existing customers from leaving your brand, either by way of website bounces, not completing a site purchase, doing window shopping or turning to competitors.
  3. Customer acquisition is more expensive than customer retention.
  4. A 5% increase in retention may lead to a profit increase of up to 95%.
  5. It is easier to cross-sell and up-sell to existing customers than new ones. (A brand is 60-70% likely to sell to existing customers and only 20% to new customers).
  6. Loyal customers are more likely to recommend your brand, taking on a crucial marketing effort themselves.
  7. Loyal customers tend to spend more on a brand than first-time customers. 

There are several other benefits that conjure up the need to attain customer loyalty. The above lists only a handful of chief reasons.  

How to Measure Customer Loyalty

The most effective way to measure customer loyalty is via the customer loyalty survey, a type of survey specifically designed to gauge the degree of loyalty (or lack thereof) customers harbor for your business. 

The true value of a customer loyalty survey is that it can take up a variety of formats, all while allowing you to ask all the questions you need.

The following list enumerates how to measure customer loyalty. Although some of the following items exist as measurements, they can also be used as surveys themselves. 

  1. Customer Lifetime Value (CVL): The measurement of how much value a customer will add to your company during their lifetime. The longer a customer makes purchases from a business, the greater their CVL becomes.
    1. To calculate: Multiply customer value by the average customer lifespan to get the approximate value you can expect from an average customer during the course of their business relationship with you. 
  2. Repeat Purchase Rate: The percentage of your entire customer base that partakes in repeat business with a company. Also called the repeat customer rate, reorder rate, or customer retention rate, it falls between 0% to 100%.
    1. To calculate: Divide the purchases from repeat customers by all the buys on a site during a given date range.
  3. Net Promoter Score (NPS): This is a type of customer loyalty survey, also useful for measuring customer satisfaction. This score-based survey shows how likely customers are to recommend your brand or offerings. It asks respondents to rate their likelihood of recommending you on a scale of 1-10. (1-6 range = detractors, 7-8 range = passives & 9-10 range = promoters).
    1. To calculate: Subtract the total number of detractors from the total number of promoters to determine how many people are likely to recommend you. ‘
  4. Customer Loyalty Index (CLI): A standardized customer loyalty survey used to monitor customer loyalty over time. It relies on multiple factors like the NPS, upsells, and repeat purchases. 
    1. It achieves this via three core questions: How likely are you to recommend us to your friends and family? How likely are you to buy from us again in the future? How likely are you to try our other products?
    2. To calculate: Find the average of the 3 responses, with each response range being that of 1-6; 1 is a strong yes while 6 is a strong no. 

How to Create a Customer Loyalty Survey

You can create a customer loyalty survey in a number of manners and styles. If you want to use the NPS score, create an NPS survey. If you prefer the Customer Loyalty Index, then use its model in your survey.

But if you are considering creating a general customer loyalty survey, consider the following:

  • Firstly, you should target your customers only.
  • Filter the survey so that only existing customers qualify as respondents by way of your demographics and screening questions.
  • You can hasten the amount of time it takes to reach a certain amount of respondents by sending customers a survey after they made a transaction, that way you’ll know that they are indeed customers. 
  • Then, in the questionnaire section of the survey, add questions that focus on customer loyalty and its subtopics. 

The following gives several examples of the types of questions to incorporate in your customer loyalty survey.

General Customer Loyalty Questions

  1. Do you trust [name of brand] when it comes to [industry needs, specifics]?
  2. Do you consider [brand] to be high-quality?
  3. Which experience has left the best impression on you?
  4. Have you bought from us before, if so how many times? (Add an option for regularly)
  5. How likely would you be to recommend our company to your friends or colleagues?

Customer Loyalty Based on Company Performance Questions

  1. How would you rate your experiences with our [sales rep, customer support rep, etc.]?
  2. Was our [customer support, tech staff] able to help you resolve your problems today? 
  3. How quickly do we answer your concerns?
  4. How would you rate your satisfaction with our products or services on the following scale?
  5. Are you satisfied with the support you received today?

Customer Loyalty Based on Competitor Landscape Questions

  1. How likely would you buy from a competitor if their products(s) were cheaper?
  2. How likely would you switch brands if [competitor] had cheaper products/services?
  3. How would you compare us with this brand? (Leave an open-ended response field)
  4. How would you rate our products/services on a scale of 1-10 in comparison to [competitor]?
  5. What do you believe we offer better than our competitors?

How to Analyze a Customer Loyalty Survey

After you’ve completed your survey research, it’s time to enter the analysis phase. If you want to analyze survey data like a pro, there are several things you should scrutinize.

Firstly, compile the survey data into different forms so that can easily detect patterns and trends. For example, you may want to consider using cross-tabs, charts, tables, graphs and spreadsheets.

The way you choose to lay out your data will depend on your own needs and preferences. 

To delve into the subject of loyalty, start by looking at customer satisfaction questions and surveys. These will help you determine if customers are generally satisfied with your brand or certain aspects of it.

Then, pay attention to questions that relate to your company performance, as these will spell out the need for changes or whether your brand is in good standing. These can also relay opinions on trust.

Following this, look at the general customer loyalty questions; these can give you a broader understanding of how your customers feel about your brand. A high level of positive answers points to customers set on the path towards loyalty.

Finally, assess how your customers rate you in comparison to your competitors. Based on your findings, ask yourself, do your competitors pose a real threat? Will they hamper your customer loyalty? If so, consider the ways in which you can improve your products, services and experiences to gain an edge over them. 

The latter of this is going to be a more ambitious pursuit as it will involve innovating and potentially rebranding. But surveys can help on those fronts as well. 

Investing in Customer Loyalty Surveys

Customers who intend on shopping from you are the lifeblood of your business. This is because, as aforementioned, they will be the last to stop patronizing you, should a PR issue arise. 

As such, investing in customer loyalty sets you on the road to growing your profits and thereby, scaling your business. Loyal customers are not just repeat customers; they are living, breathing marketing conduits for your brand, as they are likely to recommend your brand and write positive online reviews.

In order to invest in customer loyalty, you must invest in the customer loyalty survey. This will help you gather the exact thoughts and opinions of your customers in relation to your brand. It will also allow you to grasp how you stack up against your competitors. 


Survey Panels Vs Organic Sampling: Which is Better for Market Research?

Survey Panels Vs Organic Sampling: Which is Better for Market Research?

Survey panels and organic sampling are two of the major methods used to collect survey data. Since getting survey responses without the assistance of software is an almost impossible feat, these two methods have reigned supreme.

Both of these survey response mechanisms are unlikely to wane anytime soon, due to the prevalence of online surveys. As a matter of fact, the online survey software space has risen by 8% between 2015 and 2020.

With online surveys granting market researchers and marketers a large sweep of survey types to conduct, the point of contention becomes: which type of survey response collection data is better, survey panels or organic sampling?

This article will explore both forms of data collection so that you can objectively decide which to opt for in your survey research campaigns. 

Defining Online Survey Panels

Survey panels, also called online panels or research panels, all denote a data collection method in which responses are collected by way of pre-recruited and pre-screened respondents who agreed to take part in a survey.

This method helps businesses in that it assures them that a group of people will take their survey; usually, members of their target market are called upon to take the survey. 

There are a number of ways survey panels can be assembled. One such method involves mail-in recruitment, which has significantly declined in the digital age. Another relies on phone calls via Random-Digit Dial (RDD), a method in which respondents are chosen to take a survey from random telephone numbers. 

When it comes to recruiting survey panels digitally, they are garnered through an opt-in format such as a signup page or through an email invite that routes users to the survey page.  All of these recruitment manners have low participation, as few people opt into panels.

That is why some brands and market researchers resort to compensating their pre-screened panelists.

The Pros and Cons of Survey Panels

Now that you understand the basic methodology behind survey panels, you ought to consider their pros and cons before fully forming your opinion on whether to use them or not. 

The pros of online panels:

  1. They provide a network of respondents for continuous survey participation. This is especially useful if you need to conduct longitudinal studies. 
  2. They are inexpensive and create fast studies. 
  3. Returning to the same respondents, allows you to detect changing opinions over time, allowing you to see how your target market changes its opinions.
  4. They allow you to create informed custom polling questions based on previous research.

The cons:

  1. Repeated survey participation causes panel fatigue, a term denoting the decline in the quality of survey data, due to the boredom or exhaustion of a panelist. This creates them to inaccurately provide responses, either due to skipping questions, ticking off the “don’t know” option or rushing through a survey. 
  2. They occur in non-organic (unnatural) environments — inauthentic environments create inauthentic responses. This is because a survey’s environment can affect its’ respondents’ mindsets.
  3. Web panels gather respondents either on desktop or mobile, creating scenarios in which participants are dependent on device types. As such, the survey experience is not very adaptive. 
  4. Panel conditioning: Repeated survey participation can change respondents’ true attitudes, behaviors and knowledge. This makes it difficult to differentiate between actual changes and changes in reporting behaviors.

Random Device Engagement (RDE): A Precursor to Organic Sampling 

Before you analyze the organic sampling method, you should understand what makes it tick. That is because organic sampling is reliant on the delivery structure known as Random Device Sampling (RDE).

This framework implements intent-based behavioral targeting, typically used by advertisers, to narrow down random respondents in a digital setting, such as on websites, mobile sites and mobile apps. 

Thus, it provides a solution for randomization and capturing the correct audience. 

Random Device Sampling works by tracing the unique IDs of respondents, which are used to track them across devices. RDE, therefore, institutes a mechanism that is both random and organic. 

Organic Sampling Defined

Also called random organic sampling, this method refers to an RDE-based response collection method in which a survey is deployed randomly to users who are already in apps and other digital spaces.

Since surveys are randomly transferred, this method allows respondents to take the surveys while they are in their organic environments. These are the spaces that users spend time in organically, meaning they chose to take part in those environments, rather than being taken there via a promotion, incentive or signing up at a web panel.

Organic sampling works by giving optional invitations (or call-outs) to users in organic settings, so that they would partake in quick surveys. These invitations (along with the surveys themselves) are natively integrated within the digital environments (ex: apps) that the users are in.

This makes several benefits possible. 

The Pros and Cons of Organic Sampling

Powered by Random Device Engagement, organic sampling has many upper hands. However, like the panel survey method, organic sampling also presents certain disadvantages that you should carefully consider. You ought to weigh them against one another before deciding whether or not to use them. 

The Pros of Organic Sampling

  1. An organic environment allows you to avoid panel conditioning, allowing you to extract genuine responses from participants.
  2. It targets respondents’ unique IDs so that they can be traced even while shuffling between devices, preventing the same participants from taking the same survey twice. 
  3. Using respondents’ IDs allows you to create respondent profiles, which build an overview of the respondents’ behaviors demographics, which are critical data to possess.
  4. In turn, the respondent profile helps prevent fraud, as multiple accounts or bots won’t able to submit their surveys. 
  5. It yields high response rates (higher than RDD and survey panels).
  6. It creates a seamless UX across all device types, rather than being tied to just one with little wiggle room. 
  7. It provides vast coverage, as RDE integrates natively with a bevy of digital and mobile platforms. That entails greater accuracy. 

The Cons:

  1. It relies on non-probability sampling, wherein some of the members of a population have been excluded and this amount cannot be calculated, which limits how much you can determine about the population from the sample.
  2. It will include biases based on the populations you have preset to include in your sample, even if you assign quotas.
  3. Organic sampling and RDE are at the mercy of the websites and apps that they can be integrated with. It is possible that your targeted sample pool visits apps and other digital places that your RDE survey isn't integrated with.

Which Sample Pool Method Reigns Supreme?

While random organic sampling has made a mark in the survey realm, due to Random Device Engagement, it still faces its rivalrous counterpart: survey panels. 

Other forms of survey sampling methods have been on the decline, yet survey panels are still in use. While they may appear to have fewer advantages and more disadvantages, survey panels still provide value to researchers. 

As such, it is entirely up to you to decide which survey sampling method is best for your market research needs. Random organic sampling is our survey sampling method of choice, as it continues to rise above survey challenges, provides solid results and does so in a short span of time.


How Market Research Can Build Consumer Loyalty

How Market Research Can Build Consumer Loyalty

Consumer loyalty is the principal objective of any business, a purpose more that should be more sought after than sales alone. This is because consumer loyalty is the main driver behind repeat sales.

This end cannot be reached overnight and to the surprise of many brands, it cannot be reached simply with a quality product. Instead, it takes several factors to build consumer loyalty. 

This article explores consumer loyalty, why it is crucial, how it can benefit your business and mainly, how market research can help you achieve it. 

Defining Consumer Loyalty

Consumer loyalty can be defined in several ways, some are more specific than others. While it may sound self-explanatory, for the purposes of market research, this concept is specifically defined as: the measure of a customer’s likelihood to patronize a business repeatedly. 

As the name suggests, this phenomenon stems from a feeling of loyalty to a brand, the kind that chiefly results from product satisfaction, customer satisfaction, and a good customer experience (CX). However, there are many other aspects that play a role in consumer loyalty.

These can be difficult to obtain as brands cannot fulfill all of their customers’ wishes. They certainly cannot achieve this feat if they do not know all of their customers’ pains, needs and concerns.

This is where market research comes into play. You can conduct market research in a number of ways. 

What Brands Gain from Consumer Loyalty

The goal of consumer loyalty is crucial to obtain and not just for the evident reasons. There are key facts of statistical importance that brands need to consider.

Firstly, customer Loyalty is the main contribution to customer retention. A mere 5% increase in retention raises profits by 25-95%. This is not only because retained customers make repeat purchases, but also because repeat customers spend more money.

Consumer loyalty breeds brand ambassadors, and 83% of consumers will recommend a brand they are loyal to.

Aside from these statics of customer loyalty gains, you ought to know how customer acquisition — the act of gaining new customers measures up to customer loyalty. While acquiring new customers is key to business growth, customer loyalty still reigns supreme in comparison. This is because:

How to Build Customer Loyalty with Market Research

Market research is an umbrella term that covers various methodologies to determine the success of a new product or service through researching one’s target market, competitors and the general state of an industry.

By examining your target market, i.e., customer base, you can learn about its preferences, needs and pain points. Tapping into the minds of your target market will allow you to serve them best, whether it is through new products, product upgrades, online experiences or general CX (customer experience). 

Market research involves using primary and secondary research, that is, self-conducted research and research that has already been conducted and made available, respectively. The following delineates the attributes that foster customer loyalty, along with how market research can build them up.

  1. Usability: Customers need to be reassured of the usability of your products/services. Understanding the ease of use of your offerings is thus crucial to creating customer loyalty. Primary research such as focus groups and surveys reveal the degree of your business’s usability, paving the way for understanding what works and what doesn’t.
  2. Trust: If customers don’t trust your brand for any reason, they will not return for future transactions. To test how you fare with your customers, conducting customer satisfaction surveys, Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys and other customer loyalty surveys. To get a sense of how customers generally view brands in your niche, you can use secondary research like statistics sites, industry reports and blogs in your industry.
  3. Customer Service: A key part of UX, customer service involves any touchpoint in which customers interact with company representatives. This includes leads speaking with sales representatives over the phone, a customer relying on a cashier or sales associate for help in-store, chatting with a rep via a site’s chat or getting phone support. You can use secondary research to get an overview of customer service in your industry via industry sites. You can also conduct secondary research on your competitors for ideas on how to boost your own customer service.
  4. Personalization: Greeting customers by their names on your digital properties is no longer a potent personalization method. Instead, customers are looking for more targeted efforts to show that their unique needs and desires are being met. As such, brands should avoid taking generic approaches in customer messaging and journeys. Instead, brands can use secondary research to see what segments in their target market desire. In order to conduct market segmentation, you are going to need to use surveys. Additionally, to understand your customers at a deeper level, you’ll also need to implement surveys.
  5. Social Media Presence: Social media has allowed brands to create more intimate relationships with customers. Creating social content can pique the interest of existing customers, prompting them to return to your brand at least to browse your social content. This can relieve them of boredom or curiosity, while keeping your brand on their minds. Primary research such as surveys can help you test your social media strategy to see what type of messaging and topics yield the most positive reactions. 

Best Practices to Nurture Customer Loyalty

Developing customer loyalty requires market research and after you’ve gathered a substantial amount of it, it’s time to implement some best practices. You can experiment with the following options to see which tactic works best for growing customer loyalty.

  1. Loyalty rewards programs: an oldie but a goody, this type of program helps both to attract customers and to keep the customers buying from you. This program, like its name implies, rewards your customers for being customers. For example, you can implement a point-based system based on the number of purchases customers make, which will reward customers with a discount, credit or some other benefit when a certain amount of points is reached.
  2. Optimize your digital user experience (UX): We live in the digital age, where many purchases are done online. But it doesn’t end, as window shopping is also done in an online format. Many shoppers browse websites to get a sense of your offerings, so you should ensure your best offers are on display, along with seamless website experiences. Avoid long page load times, messy navigation or time-consuming check-outs. 
  3. Communicate with targeted solutions: Show your customers that you’ve been paying attention by only massaging them with targeted solutions. For example, if they frequent your business for one type of need, focus on those such products. Give suggestions on past purchases and cater to their whims. You can achieve the latter by scrutinizing your customers directly, by way of questionnaires. 
  4. Innovate your products: Product development can be laborious and pricey, but it is well worth it when it comes to customer loyalty. With competition left and right on the internet and in brick-and-mortar shops, consumers will look to brands that provide the best product experiences. As such, you should research your top competitors to see how they’re improving their products. You should also inquire from customers directly, what they would like to see improve from your products/services. 
  5. Hire employees who care: Since customer service is dependent on interactions with employees, you ought to hire carefully by vetting your job applicants. You should also place etiquette and politeness as top qualities for any consumer-facing role. But aside from hiring the best talent, you ought to keep your talent happy. Implementing employee satisfaction surveys will help measure how satisfied your employees are on the job. Employee happiness is sure to relay over to customer interactions.

Market Research: The Constant Giver 

Since market research is concerned with staying in the know constantly on your market, customers and competitors, it is thereby a perennial tool for various business needs. As such, it is more than just a tool, as it entails using various sources of data.

Continually performing market research through both secondary and primary means will ensure you’re ahead of the curve, especially when it concerns consumer loyalty. Let’s face it, no matter how well you improve your product, service and customer experience, you are not a mind reader.

Consumers change their minds and can be swayed by competition instantly, especially in our increasingly digital world of information (think advertisements) overload. Surveys are thereby a vigorous instrument to measure customer satisfaction, calculate glitches, reveal frustrations and much more. You can uncover virtually any aspect of the customer experience through survey research, therefore empowering your business and stimulating customer loyalty. 


How to Conduct Fashion Market Research Like a Pro

How to Conduct Fashion Market Research Like a Pro

Fashion market research provides business owners and entrepreneurs with valuable insights so they can make confident, informed decisions to guide the development or evolution of their fashion business. 

Valued at an impressive 1.5 trillion U.S. dollars in 2020, the global fashion/apparel industry is a behemoth industry covering a wide variety of garments and accessories.

While this sector has traditionally experienced consistent growth, the past year has been turbulent and challenging. Whether you are considering a new fashion venture or are looking for innovative ways to recover from an unprecedented year, market research is an effective way to guide your efforts.

This article covers how to conduct a combination of primary and secondary research o to power your fashion market research campaign. 

Fashion Market Research Overview 

Fashion market research is the process of gathering and analyzing information to  gain insights into the fashion industry, which includes its top players, your competitors and mainly, your target market. Whether you own an existing apparel business or are considering an entry into the world of fashion, market research can ensure effective use of your marketing expenditure and increase the likelihood of business success.

Fashion market research is used to achieve the following:

  • Understand how customers relate to your brand or a competitor’s brand.
  • Identify areas for growth, new markets, and customer segments.
  • Understand how existing customers would like to see your brand evolve.
  • Gain insight into consumer spending when it comes to fashion needs and wants.
  • Collect information about consumer opinions and interactions with various fashion segments (e.g. fast fashion vs. luxury brands).
  • Understand how fashion marketing campaigns influence consumers’ opinions and behavior.

Undertaking a market research campaign project can provide you with the confidence you need to succeed in a highly competitive industry. The end-goal of fashion market research is to gain sufficient information to make informed decisions about your business so that it can thrive. 

The Makeup of Fashion Market Research

Fashion market research is made up of two sources of information, referred to as primary and secondary research. By using both primary and secondary sources of information, you can determine several key factors about your target market and its various segments. These include:

  • Annual spend on fashion in your niche
  • A comparison of shopping experience frequencies, in-store vs. online
  • Wardrobe share of certain brands and/or apparel categories
  • Where and how your target market discovers your brand
  • Shopping triggers
  • Spending forecasts
  • Marketing channels
  • Product diversity 
  • How in-demand your products or brand are

To reap the most insights, you should plan to incorporate both primary and secondary sources to drive your fashion market research towards success.

Primary Research for the Fashion Industry

Primary market research refers to the unique data that is gathered from first-hand sources. While it is more labor-intensive to gather primary information, you are rewarded with data that is particularly relevant to your particular business and customer base. It also puts you in control in terms of the data you collect and then leverage. 

The most valuable sources of primary information for fashion market research are:

  • Online survey tools about existing or prospective customers, i.e., those in your target market that have not yet bought from you.
  • Phone, in-person, and mall intercept interviews
  • Focus groups:
    •  In contrast to one-on-one interviews, a focus group allows for moderated discussion among participants. This provides the opportunity for the group to share ideas and discuss a topic or trend, which is particularly useful when conducting fashion market 
  • Field research:
    • This gives marketers an opportunity to observe and understand how customers behave in a natural setting. When it comes to fashion market research, field research provides valuable information about how customers browse and shop, both in-store (through natural observation) and online (via session replay tools). 
  • User testing:
    •  Often used to test out new design concepts, user testing gauges customer interest and reception. It is also used to test out in-store shopping experiences and changes to fashion websites. 

Secondary Research for the Fashion Industry 

Secondary research is performed by sourcing data from existing, published sources, i.e., data that you don’t need to amass yourself, as it has already been conducted. You should then parse through and organize the secondary data to prepare it for analysis.  A strong analysis involves comparing the secondary resources against each other, along with their primary source counterparts.

Good sources of secondary information for the fashion industry include:

  • Market and industry research reports and white papers
  • Fashion industry websites 
  • SEO, keyword, and trends research
  • Governments statistics
  • Your competitors’ websites and other digital properties such as apps, mobile sites, ads, etc.

Secondary Research Sources for Fashion Market Research

To give your fashion market research a jumpstart, we have gathered some of the most relevant sources of secondary information for the fashion industry. 

  1. Marketresearch.com Market Research Reports & Industry Analysis: A veritable font of information about the fashion and apparel industry, this site lets you search and filter to find general industry reports and more specific reports that pertain to your niche or sub-sector. 
  2. McKinsey’s State of Fashion Annual Report: A trusted global consulting group, McKinsey publishes a free annual report on the fashion industry that contains insights on the global economy, consumer spending and behavior and the fashion industry as a whole. The recently published report on fashion in 2021 pays special attention to the impact that COVID-19 has had and will continue to have on the industry in the coming year.
  3. Statista.com Global Apparel Market - Statistics and Facts: Statista offers a wealth of information and statistics on the fashion market. You can access a variety of charts and reports for free, or purchase more comprehensive reports, such as Apparel Market Worldwide dossier
  4. NPD Fashion Trend Tracker: The global consulting group NPD has created a subscription-based trend tracker that provides the latest information on changing fashion trends. Use this to track change and identify areas of growth in your vertical. 
  5. NPD website: In addition to paid sources of information, the NPD Group is also an excellent source of free information about the fashion and apparel industry, published as articles and blog posts on their website. 
  6. The Business of Fashion: This online magazine collates insights gathered by journalists in over 125 countries. Subscription-based memberships are available for those who want to gain insights from a leading source of fashion industry news and information. 
  7. KPMG Sustainable Fashion report: Published by KPMG, this free report focuses on consumer perception of sustainable fashion. The group interviewed over 1,000 individuals in the world’s largest cities to understand how consumers relate to sustainable fashion and responsible buying behavior. 
  8. CommonObjective.co: For anyone with an eye on sustainability as it pertains to fashion, Common Objective is a valuable source of both free and paid information about trends, sourcing, marketing, consumer behavior, and more.

Confront New Challenges with Market Research 

Fashion businesses have more challenges to consider than ever before. If your business is struggling to recover from the global pandemic, market research can help you identify new areas of growth. With a tightened budget, market research is vital to ensure your marketing and advertising spend is used wisely.

Or perhaps you are looking to evolve your business in response to the concerns of “woke” consumers, who demand a higher level of environment and social responsibility from fashion brands. Market research can help you meet these demands and shape your targeted messaging. 

Even without new challenges, every fashion business fights the constant battle to remain relevant and stylish in an ever-changing landscape. Consumers on the hunt for something unique and new will continue to push fashion brands to evolve their style to satisfy their customers’ demands. 

Fortunately, this demand comes with more direct access to your customers via social media. You can benefit from an engaged audience by regularly deploying online surveys to gather insights about their needs and desires, no matter how often they change.

Regardless of your motivations, fashion market research can provide you with valuable insights to help you make confident decisions in the months and years to come. 


Diving Into Cross-Sectional Surveys

Diving Into Cross-Sectional Surveys

There are several survey studies that you can conduct on consumers or on virtually any subject you wish. As mentioned previously, there are three main types of survey research methods: cross-sectional studies, longitudinal studies and retrospective studies.

Fortunately, you can create and customize a survey for each type of survey research method. In this article, we will delve into cross-sectional surveys, which are a part of their own distinct set of survey research: cross-sectional studies. 

Mainly used in developmental psychology, this research method expands to a wide variety of other sectors. This includes studying consumers and a business's target market.

Defining Cross-Sectional Surveys

A cross-sectional study is defined as a study in which research is gathered about a particular population at one fixed point in time. As such, this type of survey research method has been dubbed as a snapshot of a studied population.

This kind of study is conducted via cross-sectional surveys, surveys designed specifically for the cross-sectional model. Using an online survey tool, researchers and business owners can craft their own cross-sectional surveys and deploy them to a specific sample pool.

This type of survey therefore does not require using a survey panel. In fact, it is often contrasted to panel surveys, as they follow a panel over several points in time. Additionally, it runs contrary to longitudinal studies, as they too inspect participants beyond a specific position in time. 

The Key Aspects of Cross-Sectional Surveys

To fully understand cross-sectional surveys, aside from their definition solely, you ought to understand their key features. The following lists the core aspects that distinguish these surveys from that of others. Here is how they differ aside from their deployment frequency:

  1. They are part of observational studies, in which no intervention takes place, only pure investigation.
  2. They fall under descriptive research, which seeks to describe the what, how, when and where of variables, as opposed to the why. 
  3. They can find current and prevalent attributes in a population.
  4. They do not manipulate variables. 
  5. They cannot be used to uncover the cause of something, but rather the makeup of a phenomenon or opinions thereof. 
  6. Researchers use them to look at various respondent characteristics, such as age, education, income, gender, etc.)
  7. They provide an overview of what is occurring in a particular community, situation, etc. 

How They Differ from Longitudinal & Retrospective Surveys

Cross-sectional studies are in diametric opposition to longitudinal studies; they are also different from retrospective studies. As such, the surveys for each will differ in design, function, frequency of deployment and purpose. 

Unlike cross-sectional studies, longitudinal studies observe a group of people over an extended period of time, as opposed to just over one point. The length of study varies; it can take place anywhere from weeks to years. 

Therefore, these studies help put forth a depiction of a sequence of events. These are used to detect changes and developments within the sampling pool. Cross-sectional studies, on the other hand, paint a picture of just one moment in time, usually the prevailing one.

Retrospective studies combine aspects of both cross-sectional and longitudinal studies. They study respondents with surveys that deal with questions about past events. In this way, researchers can compare past feelings and attitudes with those of the present, much like in longitudinal studies. 

However, retrospective surveys can be conducted just once, as with cross-sectional surveys. They may amass data on one point in time or several. 

Additionally, unlike longitudinal studies, which involve continuous studies, retrospective surveys draw from a pool of an already existing data set. As such, they only deal with events of the past and will not gather any data on new opinions and attitudes that respondents may hold.  

It’s important to note that all three of these research methods/survey types are observational, allowing researchers to record and understand the subjects’ behaviors via observation only.

The Types of Cross-Sectional Surveys

There are two types of cross-sectional surveys: descriptive and analytical. Typically, researchers rely on both when conducting this type of study. However, one of these methods may exist entirely on its own. 

Descriptive: 

A cross-sectional descriptive survey evaluates how frequently, widely, or extensively a particular behavior, phenomenon, attitude or opinion occurs in a demographic group. The findings of each of these categories is thus reviewed and measured on prevalence. 

There is a slight distinction made when assessing these different traits in that, when performing studies on the prevalence of something, the study is called a “prevalence study.” On the contrary, when feelings and opinions are analyzed, it is called a “survey.” In either case, surveys can be used to study all of these categories. 

Since it is purely descriptive, this method can exist on its own in a cross-sectional study, as opposed to the following study.

Analytical:

An analytical cross-sectional survey probes into the association of two related or unrelated variables. This type of research isn’t entirely infallible, as variables and outcomes are simultaneous, along with their studies. 

For example, say you need to find the association between a risk factor and health. Since the risk factor and health result are measured concurrently, with no other variable taken into consideration, it may be difficult to determine whether the risk factor alone contributed to the health outcome. Due to this limitation, analytical studies are usually not conducted alone. 

Which Industries Depend on these Surveys for Market Research

There are various industries that depend on cross-sectional surveys for their market research needs. As such, these surveys can serve a wide variety of applications. The following cites several industries that put these surveys into practice.

  1. General business: In the general business sphere, you can conduct these studies to understand how your target market and its segments react to changes in offerings, along with how you set up marketing, advertising and branding campaigns. 
  2. Healthcare: Researchers may use this survey to study how certain groups of people are prone to certain disorders and conditions, along with how lifestyle changes affect health and much more.
  3. Retail: Retailers can use these surveys to find trends in relation to spending and how they differ between genders and income levels.
  4. Psychology: Psychologists can conduct these surveys to study a wide variety of people to understand similarities and differences in their mentality and psyche.
  5. Education: This survey can help educators understand how students of various grades perform in a new course of study. 
  6. Real estate: Real estate agents and business owners can use these surveys to measure the demand of real estate in particular neighborhoods at the current time. 
  7. Technology: Those in the tech sector can learn the prevalence or existence of certain frustrations and pain points that new SaaS or tech products can help solve. 

The Pros and Cons of Cross-Sectional Surveys

Like many other types of survey research methods, cross-sectional studies offer both advantages and disadvantages. It’s vital to consider both of these facets, as they will not merely guide your decision in choosing to use these surveys. They will also allow you to know what to expect if you do use them for your market research needs.

Pros

  1. Surveying multiple variables shows how differences in income, gender, age, et al. correspond with a critical variable of interest.
  2. Can be used to prove or disprove assumptions and hypotheses. 
  3. Relatively inexpensive to conduct.
  4. Fast results despite large amounts of data from a large sampling pool.
  5. Findings can be used to create new hypotheses, inciting new studies and more thorough research.
  6. Captures the specific feelings, attitudes and behaviors at a specific point in time.
  7. Can be used for a wellspring of other research methods (retrospective surveys, market segmentation, branding, etc). 

Cons

  1. Cannot be used to uncover behavior over a period of time.
  2. Does not determine cause and effect since variables can affect the relationship between the cause and outcomes.
  3. Cannot be used to find conclusions about causation.
  4. Results can be biased if there is a conflict of interest (with the funding source).
  5. Cohort differences can affect groups. (Those born in the same decade may share certain experiences, but those within that group born in a certain area may share only experiences connected to their location).

Questions, Trends and Key Things To Remember 

There are a variety of questions pertinent to cross-sectional surveys, as they are descriptive and observational in nature. You would compose them based on the prevailing characteristics you want to unearth or see if there are any correlative qualities behind components like risks, behaviors and outcomes.  

As such, there is no list of general questions to ask in these types of studies, as they are specific to populations, variables and their conditions. Investigating the ins and outs of a specific population allows marketers and business owners to understand the relationships between variables. If you need to examine trends, you can repeat these surveys at different points in time. But remember — these surveys should NOT be repeated in the same group of respondents, as they are not follow-up surveys, which are only used in longitudinal studies.