best market research tool

Why Surveys Are the Best Market Research Tool

Why Surveys Are the Best Market Research Tool

best market research tool

If you’re contemplating how to find the best market research tool, look no further than the survey. 

This tool can be deployed to the masses instantly and uncover scores of critical information about your customers. 

We’re of course discussing the online market research survey, rather than its non-digital counterparts available in offline market research

That’s because online surveys offer a wealth of benefits that offline varieties, such as snail mail surveys, simply can’t match. 

Surveys are a “nice to have” auxiliary. They reveal a wide breadth of insights about your customers and how they feel about your products and industry at large. 

With this insight, you can improve your customer experience. 72% of customers will share a positive experience with 6 or more people, thus granting you free brand awareness and marketing.

Despite the critical insights businesses can access, only 25% of businesses last 15 years or more. Clearly, failing businesses are lacking customer insights and need survey research. 

This article addresses why surveys are objectively the best market research tool in online market research and in their entirety. 

Surveys Are the Best Market Research Tool: Campaigns They Support

One of the strongest abilities of conducting online research is that it can support a wide variety of business campaigns. This includes aspects of all areas of your business, as your customers affect it beyond the scope of marketing and selling.

While there are too many to list, here are some of the major campaigns and macro-applications this kind of research supports:

  1. Early business ventures
    1. Before you found and build any new business, you’ll need to know whether your idea is viable within your industry and niche.
    2. You will need to create a business plan as a framework for all your new business endeavors. Check out how to do market research for a business plan
  2. Concept testing 
    1. This practice is critical to conduct before you introduce new products to your industry.
    2. Engage in testing a variety of concepts to see which resonates the most with your target market, along with which has the highest demand. 
    3. You can also use it to ask customers themselves to pitch concept ideas for products and services.
  3. Customer development
    1. This refers to the mid-portion of the lean startup model, which is designed to tackle the problems in product development. 
    2. It requires to first fully evaluate a product opportunity and then ensure that the solution you propose will meet market demand and customer needs.
  4. Advertising research
    1. This is used to gain insights into the effectiveness of past and ongoing advertising campaigns, as well as to help brainstorm new ones. 
    2. You can conduct A/B tests on ads, run surveys, view existing ads in a similar business and more. 
  5. Brand tracking
    1. Gauge the performance of your brand-building efforts, such as brand reputation, awareness and perception against key metrics. 
    2. The brand tracking survey is one of the simplest and most accurate sources for keeping track of your brand health.
  6. Consumer analysis
    1. Create a customer analysis, as understanding your customers is the core of market research.
    2. There are various online approaches to establish this, including secondary and primary sources, which you can use to build your analysis.
  7. Purchase frequency
    1. Use a specialized analysis, such as the RFM analysis, to learn about customer buying behavior, preferences and how frequently they buy. 
    2. Conducting online research can also help you increase your purchase frequency.
  8. Customer satisfaction
    1. Satisfy your customers by understanding how they perceive your products, services and overall experience (CX).
    2. Surveys help you test your customer support and engagement sessions.
  9. Business relationships
    1. You can improve your business relationships by learning how your business customers, vendors and partners feel about working with you, and what they seek from the industry at large.
    2. You can do so via B2B surveys
  10. Learn how to lower bounce rate
    1. You’ll ideally want to lower your bounce rate and determine what your site visitors seek and don’t will help do so via survey research.
    2. This involves managing your site’s UX and user-friendliness.
  11. Conduct global studies
    1. The right platform will make it easy to conduct global market research.
    2. You’ll need to appeal to customers abroad and thus, go beyond the ability to serve them. 
    3. Survey research will help you understand their cultures and norms to better market to them. 
  12. Branding Initiatives
    1. Surveys allow you to understand how your customers feel about your branding initiatives, whether it is a new slogan, value proposition or overall image. 
    2. You can even conduct logo testing with survey campaigns. 
  13. Market segmentation
    1. Understand the makeup of your target market by segmenting its various groups via market segmentation.
    2. Learn about the existence of customer groups in depth, along with your customer personas
  14. Product satisfaction
    1. You can determine how your customers perceive your products before or after a product goes to market.
    2. Surveys enable you to measure satisfaction through various question types.  

Key Benefits that Make Surveys the Best Market Research Tool

Aside from allowing you to conduct research campaigns on a wide spectrum of business applications, topics and undertakings, surveys are the best market research tools because they offer a variety of other benefits.

benefits of surveys

The following explores some of the foremost benefits that surveys offer to researchers across industries.

1. Representing the views of many with one method

Surveys allow you to accumulate the responses of a large number of people in your target market, or survey target audience. In doing so, surveys enable you to get representative views of a wide swath of people.

Rather than having to find multiple ways to conduct primary research on your audience, surveys empower you to do so through just one means and one tool: the survey itself. What you can do with your survey, however, depends on your survey platform. 

With surveys, you can obtain key statistics, as well as the representation of individual views and experiences. In this way, you can conduct both quantitative market research and qualitative market research

That’s because you can create a multitude of multiple-choice questions, or ask a few in-depth one-ended questions to your respondents. You can even intermix both approaches into one survey. 

At any rate, surveys are your one-stop shop for gaining insights into all your customers' perceptions, thoughts, needs and views. 

2. Narrow respondent targeting

Surveys are multifaceted; they don’t just involve the questionnaire portion. 

Targeting is another critical aspect of surveys, often the very first you’ll need to work with. You’ll need to set in specific respondent qualifications in order for your survey to target the correct people. 

By doing so, those that don’t fit your respondents' qualifications will be disqualified, thus their surveys won’t be used in your target market sample

A strong survey provider will include narrow targeting, meaning that you can target respondents on a much wider variety of categories than just age, gender and location.

target survey audience

Instead, your survey should allow you to target participants using the following categories:

  1. Ethnicity
  2. Household income
  3. Marital status
  4. Employment status 
  5. Number of children
  6. Organization
  7. Mobile usage criteria
  8. Geolocation criteria
    1. Country, region, state, county, city, US census region, postal code, etc.

In addition, your survey should allow you to include screening questions, in which respondents will gain entry into your survey only if they answer the questions in a particular way or with a certain response. 

3. Worldwide reach

Globalization and a connected global economy have made more companies shift their focus to markets abroad. 

Thus, you should conduct research on your international customers. Conducting surveys makes this possible. 

Your survey provider should make it easy to research customers from around the world without hassle. With Pollfish, you can conduct global market research, as the platform reaches respondents in over 160 countries.

In addition, Pollfish doesn’t charge you more for conducting surveys in different countries.

Our survey translations feature makes it easy to understand international data, as it will likely be in a language other than English. The feature allows you to translate all the languages supported by Google Translate. 

It would be nearly impossible to conduct global research without the use of an online survey platform. 

4. A variety of options to customize your questionnaire

Surveys allow you to be flexible in the type of survey studies you launch, and not in just the topic of the survey. Thus, you can customize your questionnaire by adding a variety of question types.

A strong platform will be able to support various types of survey questions. This includes the following:

  1. Single Selection
  2. Multiple Selection
  3. Matrix Question
  4. Drill down question
  5. Open-ended
  6. Slider
  7. Ranking
  8. Net Promoter Score (NPS)
  9. Rating stars
  10. Numeric open-ended

You can also customize your questionnaire by adding advanced skip logic. This creates question paths for different respondents based on how they answer certain questions. Logic routes respondents to relevant follow-up questions based on their previous answers. 

In addition, you can make your questionnaire unique with a variety of survey templates for different campaigns. For example, Pollfish offers templates on brand awareness, advertising testing and many other topics. 

5. The ability to study any topic or support any campaign

This can be done by adding the aforementioned survey templates, which set the questionnaire by way of a topic and its accompanying questions. 

You can modify these templates to your liking, by either editing the questions, removing them, adding new ones and changing their order. 

You can also study topics that are more unpleasant to discuss. Thus, these would be increasingly difficult to include in in-person and even phone interviews or in a focus group

Surveys facilitate this type of campaign by providing full anonymity to respondents, as well as providing ease of adding sensitive questions. These include a variety of subjects that respondents would otherwise feel awkward or uncomfortable sharing their thoughts on. 

6. Fast Responses and Data Collection

A strong survey platform will retrieve data quickly. Much faster than you would with any other market research method, since it is automated. 

Pollfish surveys often take hours to fully complete, with a few days being the longest wait period. 

best market research toolReal-time results makes it a kind of real-time market research, despite not observing customers as something occurs to them. However, you can still view their completed responses in real-time, so, when automated, survey research is a kind of real-time market research. 

With speedy access to survey data collection, you will get results far sooner and can take action all the quicker to please your customers. 

7. Candid Responses

This is made possible due to the organic survey sampling method, specifically, Random Device Engagement (RDE).

This survey distribution model, also commonly referred to as organic sampling, is a method that randomly distributes surveys across the internet, prompting random users online to take the surveys. 

RDE engages random netizens where they are, voluntarily. They are therefore not professional survey panelists, but real customers that aren’t pressured to answer questions in a particular way. 

Thus there is no need to be wary of the survey bias that arises from professional survey takers and panelists. Many of those individuals aren’t fully anonymized or have their identities hidden (from the researchers) at all. Thus, they are under more pressure to answer questions in a cartina manner.

You don’t have this problem in organic sampling, as non-professional survey takers exist where they are online on their own will, In addition, their identities are completely private. Thus, they are free to answer questions honestly. 

Gaining all the Data You Need

At this point, you should see the extensive value that surveys bring for all your research needs.

However, despite all of this, a survey is only as strong or useful as the online survey platform that hosts it. As such, it is even more important to decide on the proper survey platform before you choose a survey type to run, let alone begin conducting a campaign. 

You should therefore select your survey platform carefully. A strong provider will allow you to fulfill all of your online market research activities. This includes all the activities mentioned in this guide and more.

Pollfish survey software allows you to create a comprehensive survey data collection, one you can customize to your liking, view however you see fit and organize it to the max.

We offer an advanced method to deploy your survey to millions of random users online via the organic sampling method. 

Ours is called Random Device Engagement (RDE), a kind of polling that relies on advertising networks and other digital portals on devices, to engage random people where they are, voluntarily.

This way, respondents won’t feel pressured to answer in a particular way, as survey panelists would, as they are completely anonymous and randomized. 

Researchers can reap a wide breadth of information on their respondents and access a wide pool of insights in their survey results dashboard.

In addition, you can send your survey to specific respondents and on specific digital spaces, by simply using the Distribution link feature. This allows you to post your survey anywhere you wish, along with emailing it to those you wish to research. 

When you rely on such an exhaustive online survey platform, you can carry out any survey campaign you wish and get timely results.