Create Efficiency in Market Research with an Automation Survey

Create Efficiency in Market Research with an Automation Survey

Automation has been propelling technologies ever since its onset and market research is no exception. With an automation survey, market researchers can support a wide variety of effective survey studies and much more.

It goes beyond simply creating surveys, as it can support all the main types of research, including frequency-based research such as longitudinal. cohort and retrospective research.

This is because an automation survey can automate a wide variety of tasks that would otherwise be tedious and time-consuming.

This article elucidates the meaning and capabilities of an automation survey, so that you can create efficiency in market research. 

Defining an Automation Survey 

An automation survey denotes a survey or survey tool, i.e., the platform that enables or runs primarily on survey automation. 

Survey automation refers to the automation of surveys, which involves all of their key components, such as the screener and the questionnaire, made possible through an online survey platform, with predefined rules, conditions and workflows.

In this context, an automation survey is thereby not merely a survey or survey type; rather it is a system that incorporates automation in various aspects. In turn, this minimizes the labor that market researchers would need to pour into their market research projects. 

This kind of survey — or survey technique rather — allows market researchers to create effective surveys for all kinds of research campaigns.  It is the chief manifestation of the adoption of automation in market research.

The Need For Automation

75% of companies use automation, specifically, marketing automation for their daily operations. 31% of businesses have automated at least one function a rise from years ago. These statistics point to a blossoming state of automation.

Automation has seen an increase in adaptation across businesses and industries — and for good reason. It offers researchers and employers of various industries to avoid doing routine, manual work that can easily be completed by robots and computers. 

Aside from this self-evident advantage, which comprises the core of automation, automation presents other key advantages. They include the following:

  1. Allows you to extract large amounts of data in small time periods.
    1. This is especially crucial for market research.
  2. Frees up time so that workers can exert their efforts towards priorities.
    1. Helps avoid burnout in this way.
  3. Creates a more efficient use of materials.
  4. Forming a better quality of output if used correctly.
  5. Enables researchers to spend more time analyzing results to make better business decisions.
  6. Certain automation capabilities allow researchers to avoid survey bias.
  7. Sets a faster follow-up in motion in the research campaign. 
  8. Gains responses in real-time with consistency in data quality.
  9. Allows you to engage a wide range of audiences for your target market and its segments. 
  10. On a larger scale, automation has been discovered to boost productivity and raise the GDP. 

The Power of an Automation Survey for Your Surveys 

Survey automation works by way of the needs and preferences of your survey campaign. This is because the survey platform you use should enable you to set all the conditions you require of your respondents.

The Survey Screener: Automating Participation

A strong survey platform should have a screener that works by way of automation. This facilitates all the requirements of your respondents to be automatically collected. Thanks to this kind of automation, you don’t have to search for respondents manually on the Internet and implore them to take your survey.

Additionally, if that wasn’t enough of a relief, you don’t have to check the qualification of all respondents who enter a survey. This is a major convenience since there are many conditions you can set to qualify or disqualify potential respondents. For example, you may need to survey men and women ages 18- 50 in a particular area. Automation allows you to do so by presetting demographics.

You can also segment your survey in a hyper-granular way by adding screening questions with their permissible answers. This way, you can allow respondents to take the survey via behaviors, attitudes, psychographics and virtually anything else as it pertains to the respondent.    

Quotas: Allowing You to gather the Right Amount of Participants

Automating the gathering and entry of qualified respondents is a major advantage of the automation survey. It also does more via quotas. A quota is a set quantity of a particular feature (response) in your survey.

A strong automation survey ought to include quotas in the screener, so you wield full control over who takes part. This means, aside from who participates, you’ll get to control how much. For example, you can set your survey to an overall quota of 2,000 completes in most survey platforms. 

But a true automation survey should allow you to take this concept further.

Such a survey should allow you to add quotas on all the respondent qualification categories. For example, your study may require surveying more people of a particular ethnic background or age. You should be able to allot quotas to all the respondent qualification categories: demographics, geolocation, mobile usage screening and more.

Additionally, an automation survey should allow you to automate the number of responses per screening answer. If your survey permits respondents of multiple screening answers to take part in the survey, you should be able to assign each screening to answer a quota. This is one of the most granular ways to gather the correct respondents, and more precisely the correct amount.

It becomes possible due to automation. But there’s so much more that this survey tool can do for your market research; it can automate a wide variety of tasks to ease your workload and gain accurate results.

Boring Tasks That a Survey Can Automate

There are several boring tasks in the market research process that an automation survey can get rid of, through the prowess of automation. 

The following enumerates some of these key tasks. Bear in mind that not all automation surveys are built alike — therefore, not all such surveys offer the same kind of automation capabilities. 

  1. Skip Logic: Also known as survey routing, this is a valuable function for both retaining responses (thus lowering survey attrition) as well as giving you the correct insights.
    1. This allows you to send respondents to relevant questions based on their responses to a previous question. 
  2. Deployment: Not only won’t you have to fret about which networks, websites and apps will allow you to distribute your surveys, you won’t have to manually send them out to the networks, as the survey automates all of this.
  3. Iteration: An automation survey will not stop iterating across different websites and apps until it fulfills all of its quotas. Thus, you can rest assured that you’ll never come up short.
  4. Data Organization: An automated survey does not merely cull data. It will organize everything for you, possibly rendering you to rethink storing it in a spreadsheet. 
    1. It should also give you the option of crosstabs and other kinds of exports of organized data.
  5. Visualizations: Data will not be displayed in just one manner. Instead, you can view it in a variety of formats.
    1. This is because this data should be displayed in various visualizations: pie charts, bar graphs and spreadsheet-esque displays which feature the most popular to least popular answers.
  6. Quality Checks & Disqualifications: Even if your respondents pass the screener portion, their surveys may not count towards the final number of completes/quotas. This is because some survey respondents that you should keep an eye on providing faulty, inaccurate answers.
    1. Instead of gathering low-quality data to be filtered by in-house experts after a survey obtains all of its quotas, an automated survey includes quality checks as the survey is running. These will automatically disqualify respondents who use a VPN, provide gibberish answers, along with other faulty data.
  7. Incentives: Most people don’t have time to spare; incentives are one of the most powerful motivators for online users. 
    1. This survey tool incentivizes respondents right then and there, without the need to manually reach out to them, thereby keeping their identities anonymous.

The Disadvantages of the Automation Survey

While this tool allows you to perform market research across verticals and research campaigns, it too has several drawbacks. As a business owner, market researcher or general researcher, you ought to be wary of them all.

Here are some of the shortfalls of automated surveys:

  1. Subject to survey attrition: No survey form is immune to attrition. Some respondents will simply drop out before completing their survey. There are certain best practices that can help you avoid this.
  2. Cannot undo an automated task: Once you preset a certain function, be it a quota, a question or a skip logic rule, it cannot be undone. If there is some automated feature you need to redo, you would need to run another survey. 
  3. Vulnerable to Basic Insight: While you can create qualitative surveys, they may not be as insightful as a phone or in-person interview. 
    1. You can correct this with open-ended questions, but with a lack of an interviewer, you won’t be able to probe further on the answers to these.

Excelling Market Research with Automation

Automation is here to stay; luckily the market research space can benefit from it with the automation survey. To reiterate, this is not merely a survey type, as it can refer to a platform along with its native surveys.

While many online survey platforms offer automated surveys, they are not equivalent on any front, including on their automation capabilities. The proper automated survey platform will allow you to complete all the functions stated in this article, along with allowing you to reap all of the aforementioned benefits.

As such, you ought to choose wisely in your automated survey tool; consider it the driving force behind all your market research endeavors. Even if you decide to conduct experimental research, a survey is still the most substantial tool for amassing primary research about your target market and all else.

Using Automated Surveys to Attain Business Goals

Using Automated Surveys to Attain Business Goals

Automated surveys are leading the charge on catering to a business’s target market; consequently, they make up the building blocks of a business. While this may seem like a long shot, it is the case for a number of reasons.

Firstly, customers of the present are more demanding than ever, as 76% of customers expect businesses to know about their needs. Automated surveys are the most apt tools to deliver on this front, given that the raison d'etre of automated surveys is extracting key insights about customers as a means to better serve them. 

As such, these tools are the most equipped to understand customers as precisely as possible and thus help businesses in fulfilling their needs. 

Moreover, companies in the U.S. lose over $62 billion annually due to poor customer service. Automated surveys function as preventative efforts against losing money. This is because they help gather key insights on your target market, allowing you to test your own marketing efforts.

This article explains automated surveys and their various formats, along with how they help attain business goals.

Defining Automated Surveys

Automated surveys are surveys designed for the modern age. As their name hints at, these surveys are conducted via automation — the application of technology that performs tasks that humans otherwise would, in an effort to minimize human labor while achieving the same outcomes. 

This new form of surveys has rung in the era of automated surveying, the practice explained above. In doing so, automated surveying has brought about new auxiliary tasks, which have led to many improvements in different areas.  

These improvements hinge on the capabilities unique to automated surveying and have allowed marketers to gain insights for different areas of business. 

The Capabilities of Automated Surveys

Automated surveys can be used for a variety of campaigns and macro-applications. They also carry out specific uses, such as avoiding customer churn rate, etc. Here are a few more key purposes and ends that these surveys can help you attain in your research endeavors.

    1. Marketing: Marketing market research surveys can be used to study a wide variety of behaviors and opinions, as they relate to marketing. These surveys automate processes that deal with learning about competitors, campaign effectiveness and customer base.
    2. Branding: These surveys help you conduct branding market research, i.e., surveys that test brand awareness, design, logos and other associations of a brand.
    3. Advertising: You can automate surveys for advertising market research, which involve high-level campaigns, concepts and individual ads.
    4. Market segmentation: These surveys allow you to conduct market segmentation, which allow you to learn the subgroups of your target market. This is ideal for more advanced targeting, as not all members of your target market share similar interests, behaviors and other categorizations.
    5. Competitor intelligence research: These surveys gather data on competitors, both direct and comparable, so that your business can find market opportunities, product ideas, costs and other competitor aspects for comparison. This shows you businesses how they stack up against your business contenders. From this intelligence, businesses can make key decisions on how to differentiate themselves from competitors and offer better customer experience (CX).
    6. Customer loyalty: This is a key differentiating factor in the success of any business, as loyal customers will make repeated purchases and engage in other positive behaviors, such as leaving positive online reviews and engaging with your social channels. The customer loyalty survey can be conducted in a number of formats and styles.
    7. Obtaining quality answers: This is also referred to as avoiding survey fraud. There are various ways your surveys can receive poor answers — the kind that are inaccurate, rushed or spell out gibberish, as nefarious respondents do not care about providing honest, quality answers. Respondents can also simply be too bored or exhausted to partake honestly. Automated surveys can bypass low-quality responses by way of technical checks. 

The Pros and Cons of Automated Surveys

Automated surveys help simplify various difficulties; by easing tasks for businesses, they can reach their goals that much quicker and less laboriously. But like any form of automation, they too can fall prey to a few snags. Here are a few of the key advantages and drawbacks that automated surveys present:

The Pros

  1. Discovering key unknown facts: Automated surveys can amass a wide swath of insights, allowing you to come across facts that were otherwise unknown, such as certain customer preferences, needs, distastes and even personas.    
  2. Reduction of labor: By their very nature, automated surveys were designed to cut back on human input, making certain business campaigns less labor-intensive. They especially curb difficult manual tasks such as finding qualified respondents and typical manual tasks such as sending the surveys out to the correct respondents.
  3. AI-powered: Artificial intelligence is arguably the strongest force of automation in that it learns human behaviors as it automates. As such, it mimics human intelligence so that surveying takes key actions (preventing disqualified demographics and answers, instituting quality checks, etc.)
  4. Quickening the research process: Market research can be a lengthy process, as it involves turning to both primary and secondary sources of information. These surveys are known for ramping up speed, allowing you to breeze through the survey and larger market research process.
  5. Identifying key business strengths and pitfalls: These surveys allow you to dive deep into the perceptions surrounding your business along with its various campaigns and communications. This gives you insight into how your business excels in the eyes of your target market, along with the areas for improvement.  
  6. Keeps boring and technically challenging tasks at bay: These surveys automate a series of tasks and subtasks that are not only laborious, but dull as well. Certain key tasks to the survey experience, such routing respondents to particular questions based on their previous answers is virtually impossible to do manually. It would take too long and require technical knowledge.
  7. Accruing real-time responses. As these surveys accrue responses, you can view them in real-time, allowing you to analyze, report and understand how much more time your study will need and the rate at which you get responses. 

The Cons

  1. Parked answers: This refers to respondents who begin a survey at a particular time, yet “park it,” i.e., leave it inactive, until a later time that they wish to complete it. This can create biases, in that certain events that occurred in the interim can sway respondents’ answers. 
    1. Additionally, it slows down the survey process, regardless of its real-time results. 
  2. Lengthy surveys: Automated surveys typically allow researchers to take the DIY approach. As such, many researchers create surveys on the longer end of the spectrum. This may be detrimental to your survey response rate and campaign at large if you don’t provide incentives.
    1.  Sometimes, even in the case of incentives, long surveys lead to boredom, disinterest and therefore, biases.
  3. Misinformation: Even a well-built survey can be susceptible to misinformation. While a strong survey platform can weed out biased answers, some can still fall through the cracks. For example, a respondent may provide an open-ended answer that is not thought out and presents a half-truth just to finish the survey.

When Automation Powers Market Research

Automated surveys provide recourse in the overarching campaign known as market research. Although there are still many types of research you’ll need to conduct manually, such as rifling through secondary sources, organizing focus groups and the like, automated surveys remove a major weight from researchers’ shoulders.

This is because, aside from the macro applications and main purposes that automated surveying helps businesses fulfill, there are a myriad of other capabilities they can perform

Their edge lies in their capacity of automation, a relatively new concept. This makes automated surveys far easier to conduct than phone, email and CRM-based surveys. 

Frequently asked questions

What are automated surveys?

As the name suggests, surveys that are conducted by using automation are known as automated surveys. They reduce human labor while offering the same outcomes that have led to many improvements in different areas.

What can you use automated surveys for?

Automated surveys can be used for a range of campaigns, such as preventing customer churn. Not only this, automated surveys are used in different fields including marketing where it analyzes the behavior and opinions of people. Other fields include branding, market segmentation, advertising, customer loyalty, and competitor intelligence research.

What are the pros and cons of automated surveys?

When it comes to the pros of automated surveys, they help businesses differentiate between their strengths and pitfalls, reduce manual labor, quicken the research process, collect real-time responses, and enable businesses to discover previously unknown facts, such as customer preferences. Not only this, these AI-powered automated surveys enable businesses to study human behavior in real-time. The cons of automated surveys include parked surveys left inactive by the respondents, lengthy surveys, and misinformation, for instance, open-ended answers that present a half-truth response to a question.

Why are automated surveys better than manually designed ones?

Automated surveys are better than manually designed ones as they are easier to conduct than phone, email, or CRM-based surveys when it comes to market research. They also offer researchers an edge as they minimize the burdens associated with manually designed surveys. Automated surveys achieve this by performing several capabilities in addition to macro applications.

What are the capabilities of automated surveys?

Automated surveys can be used in marketing to automate processes that deal with competitor research or studying the customer base. In branding, automated surveys test brand awareness, logos, and their link with a brand. They are also used in advertising, marketing segmentation, and competitor intelligence research to advertise market research, learn the subgroups of a brand’s target market, and gather data on competitors, respectively. Other than this, the capabilities of automated surveys include assessing customer loyalty towards a brand and preventing survey frauds.