How Global Surveys Offer Optimal Research Across Geographies

How Global Surveys Offer Optimal Research Across Geographies

In order to conduct research on an international scale, researchers must implement global surveys in their studies. 

These surveys allow researchers to amass insights from virtually every geographical location in an efficient way — should the online survey platform that houses them allow it.

With global surveys, businesses and general researchers can understand the attitudes, opinions and habits of those living outside of their country. 

It is particularly useful to implement global surveys when conducting a study for thought leadership, given that it arms brands with original data to use in their content marketing strategy. However, they can be used for a number of different purposes.

This article explores global surveys, their use and importance, and how a platform that offers global support and capabilities tailored for global studies will best suit any business. Additionally, this article provides a Pollfish use case for a major study using global surveys

Understanding Global Surveys

Like their name suggests, global surveys are surveys designed for an international audience and deployed across different countries and continents

These surveys are developed to gather information from different geographical markets and can be used to compare and contrast the intelligence garnered from surveys deployed domestically

Global surveys allow businesses to understand their international customers, an increasingly important need, given that most businesses sell online and can therefore be found by those across geographical locations. 

These surveys also allow businesses to understand pressing issues across the world and see how the opinions of those issues differ across countries. Thus, this kind of intelligence allows businesses to extract unique data which they can use in their marketing efforts.

Global surveys can be used for major research undertakings, such as the study on stress and smoking rates in low to middle income countries. This study was conducted across 41 countries with a survey sample of 217,561 people. Global surveys provided a strong global reach, along with launching cross-sectional studies and using the results to form prospective studies

Global studies can also be used for smaller research projects, such as those that only focus on one country abroad or a handful. They can be used on one aspect of a marketing campaign, such as gathering sentiment around a new ad campaign.

The Value and Importance of Global Surveys

These kinds of surveys lend themselves to various research projects, as there are many directions a research endeavor may take. 

For example, a business that wants to gain more online traffic from the southwestern region of the US may discover a new segment of their target market: site visitors from a nearby country, such as one from the Caribbean. If this traffic becomes significant, the business ought to conduct primary research into that segment.

In this way, businesses can also seek to branch out into further markets, such as those in Europe or Asia. In order to do so, they would need to extract insights on their global target market, i.e., the segment of the population most likely to buy from a company. 

The same concept applies to businesses with an international presence; they may discover physical visits from those outside of a country (i.e., tourists) or digital visits from other countries. 

Aside from this sort of perspective, global surveys bring other kinds of value and importance for a variety of studies. The following lists the ways these surveys are both practical and advantageous.

  1.  They can be applied to all six of the main types of research
    1. This involves retrospective, cross-sectional, longitudinal and perspectives studies.
  2. They provide ease of access to segments that would be otherwise unreachable.
    1. This is especially the case for mail-out surveys and phone interviews, which would be far more expensive and difficult to execute.
  3. A study run by these surveys may reveal results that can apply, or at the very least, be tested on similar target demographics in the domestic sphere.
  4. They can be used as instruments of comparisons for the same demographics that live in different countries.
    1. Ex: Irish American middle-aged men versus Irish middle-aged men living in Ireland
  5. They help cater to the individuality of specific markets.
  6. They allow businesses to understand cultural matters in a firsthand way.
  7. They allow businesses to learn how those abroad view key events and products in their home country.
  8. They bring ambitious research projects in-house.
  9. They present a critical stage in market research for companies seeking to bring their business abroad
    1. This includes keeping a business’s headquarters domestic, but shipping to other countries.
  10.  They allow businesses to obtain international thought leadership.

All in all, international surveys ensure that businesses and researchers meet their international research goals.  

How Global Surveys Were Used for a Major Research Project

Global surveys are often conducted for major research undertakings such as the Social Media & COVID-19 global study among Generation Z and Millenials, which was conducted as a joint study by the World Health Organization, two other organizations and performed entirely on the Pollfish platform

In this global research study, surveys were deployed across 24 countries in an effort to understand how the younger generation consumes COVID-19-related news. As such, these surveys were used as a vehicle for understanding how fake news around a major topic forms. 

The study wound up uncovering the presence of an “Infodemic,” that is, unproven claims, rumors and generally false information spreading about the coronavirus pandemic. The infodemedic was itself a kind of epidemic, as false information spreads at lightning speed online.

Thus, this global research study explored where Gen Z and Millennials get their COVID-19 news, who they regard as trusted sources and what their awareness levels are of fake news. Additionally, the study examined their COVID-related concerns and dug into the size of their social media accounts, including their likelihood of sharing unverified information. 

This provided concrete information and data for two additional actors in this study: Wunderman Thompson and the University of Melbourne (Australia). This data provided marketing content for these two actors, which other brands can take advantage of, should they use global surveys from a robust online survey provider.

In order to forge strong global research and market research studies, the online survey platform that researchers use must provide various capabilities and relentless quality. The Pollfish whitepaper on the WHO Social Media and COVID-19 study provides a detailed look into how its platform did just that. 

The Key Ingredients of a Successful Global Survey Study

In order to reap the benefits of global market research, there are several things researchers will need to apply in their global surveys. First off, the platform you use should allow survey deployment to virtually all countries

You never know when you’ll need to study a specific geographic market, thus it is best to use a platform that offers an international reach.

The surveys should allow you to conduct the study in the language appropriate to the country (i.e., users) that they’ll be sent to digitally. While researchers will be hard-pressed to find a platform that offers survey creation in all languages, it is key to be able to have access to numerous languages as opposed to merely English, Spanish and a handful of other most-spoken languages.  

A strong online survey platform — such as Pollfish — offers researchers the capability of creating surveys in 46 languages.  

Given that global survey campaigns can be difficult to organize, other aspects of the survey process must be simplified. For example, researchers ought to be given a reasonable completion time of their global surveys. This way, they’ll be aware of the approximate length of the survey and be able to execute time management.

Finally, there are the more technical aspects of the surveys that are just as important (if not more so) in a global campaign as they are in a national one. The surveys should offer relentless quality assurance.

These include offering a granular data filtering system, a mobile-first approach to the surveys in keeping with the current age SaaS integrations, applying the random device engagement (RDE) method to draw the most relevant and quality respondents and other features. 

Relying on Continuous Global Support

Global surveys can help businesses gain insights to international markets for a vast array of purposes, whether it be for content strategy, gaining original insights, understanding another segment of your target market or other needs.

However, not all global surveys are built in the same fashion, thus, they don’t all offer the same capabilities. The power of these surveys rests in the online survey platform that hosts them. 

Researchers must pay keen attention to all the functionalities of an online survey platform before deciding on the one that can provide optimal quality in global surveys and all matters pertaining to carrying out the research.

A suitable survey tool such as Pollfish, will offer global support, so that you can create, deploy and analyze global surveys with ease without incurring higher costs. Pollfish offers the same costs regardless of the surveys’ targeted countries, fielding research to 160 countries at scale and at speed. 

Surveys are available in 46 different languages and include the Translate Survey feature, which makes reaching non-English speakers a seamless process.

Pollfish uses the random device engagement or RDE methodology, a top-notch method for extracting customer data by reaching global digital users in their natural digital environments; this includes some of the most visited websites and apps. 

With global support offered around the clock and a strong online survey platform that uses machine learning to remove poor quality data, Pollfish is the most ideal survey platform.