How To Conduct A Survey That You Can Trust In 6 Steps

How To Conduct A Survey That You Can Trust In 6 Steps

Conducting surveys on your customers is one of the most effective ways to collect invaluable data and answer questions that are important to you. 

Surveys let you uncover hidden growth opportunities, reveal public opinion, gain deep insights into customer behavior, and even get extra media coverage when prominent publications cite your research. 

As an added bonus, merely the act of conducting a survey can boost customer retention and revenue, as HBR study shows: “The customers we surveyed were more than three times as likely to have opened new accounts, were less than half as likely to have defected, and were more profitable than the customers who hadn’t been surveyed.”

If you want to get meaningful results that you can act on, you need to survey the right people in the right manner. Otherwise, you risk collecting unneeded data and biases.

We’ve prepared this 6-step guide to help you to design, conduct, and organize an effective survey in no time. Let’s dive in. 

Steps to Conduct a Survey

  • Step 1: Write Down Your Research Goals
  • Step 2: Design Your Questionnaire
  • Step 3: Define Your Target Audience
  • Step 4: Distribute Your Survey
  • Step 5. Organize Survey Responses
  • Step 6. Analyze and Present Survey Results

Step 1: Write Down Your Research Goal

Every successful survey has a purpose. 

Are you trying to find out why you are losing customers? Do you want to know if your policies are effective? Are you figuring out what to do in the current market?

Understanding your survey’s main goal both improves its quality and reduces the time you’ll spend on executing your research.

In case you struggle to pinpoint your exact goal, write down a list of all the questions and issues your market research campaign needs and prioritize the most important ones. 

The following questions will help you understand your survey goal:

  • Do you understand who comprises your target market?
  • Do you need to segment your target market further?
  • Do you already have any existing data that you can use? 
  • Do you need data to improve an existing product or launch another?
  • What resources do you have to perform the survey?
  • What actions are you going to take after the survey is complete?
  • After you have figured out the main goal of your research, you can design your questionnaire.

Step 2: Design Your Questionnaire

The quality of a questionnaire is where the majority of surveys fall short. Experiments suggest that sensitive or vague opinion questions increase the potential of error by up to 30%Put simply, your survey is as good as your questionnaire is. 

Make sure your questions are clear and don’t contain jargon or uncommon abbreviations:

Poor example: Do you think VR is going to take off in the next 5 years?

Better example: Do you think virtual reality (VR) is going to take off in the next 5 years?

Another example of a weak questionnaire are leading questions that are structured to induce a certain response: 

Poor example: Do you agree that this is a great movie?
Better example: What do you think of this movie?

Take some time to learn how to write clear, unbiased, and effective survey questions to get the best results out of your research. 

Step 3: Define Your Target Audience

There are two main concerns when it comes to surveying participants: who should I survey and how many participants do I need.

Let’s clarify both. 

Who should I survey?

Surveying the right people makes all the difference. 

Suppose you want to learn if iPhone users are happy with the recent product updates. By surveying random iPhone users, you may notice that the majority of responses are somewhat neutral. But if you target specifically the Gen Z generation, you might learn that the younger demographic is worried about having to buy extra accessories.  

The more defined your target audience criteria are, the more accurate and deep your survey insights will be. Make sure to brainstorm what target audience will give you the most accurate insights and help you fulfill your survey goal.

How many participants do I need? 

When doctors want to examine your blood, they don’t drain all of it - they just need to take a small sample. It’s the same with surveys: a small sample of participants can accurately represent the opinions of a larger group. 

If there are 5,000 people in your company and you want to know how well the latest HR policy was received, you don’t need to survey all 5,000. In fact, surveying just 146 employees will be enough. 

Thus,  if you want to learn what all American high schoolers think about the recent TikTok ban, you don’t need to ask all 76 million of them. Surveying between 200 and 600 respondents will give you a sufficient amount of opinions to draw from.

For the majority of studies, 200 to 400 respondents will be enough to represent the opinion of a particular population.

If you want to calculate how many participants you need to get scientifically accurate survey results, feel free to use our sample size calculator

Step 4: Distribute Your Survey

Choosing who you want to survey is as important as how and where you will find your participants.

Let’s continue the example with surveying Gen Z iPhone users. Suppose you moderate a local school Facebook group and decide to post your survey there. Even if you get a large number of responses, the results may not accurately affect this demographic. 

This is because in this case, you don't pick survey participants randomly, instead, you survey only those who joined the local school Facebook group that you conveniently happen to moderate. This is called convenience sampling, since the majority of survey participants unintentionally live in one area. The survey didn’t account for Gen Z users from other areas with different average household incomes. 

To ensure you get the most accurate survey results, use a survey platform that can help you reach your targeted demographics more precisely. In short, avoid convenience sampling.

Here are a few common ways to distribute your surveys: 

  • Email. You can distribute your survey by email, especially if you have access to an established email list. The two main drawbacks of email surveys are that it’s harder to set specific target audience parameters and email response rates are generally low.
  • Social media: if you survey people via social media channels, although beware that sometimes social media groups attract people with shared interests that may not represent the opinion of your target audience or the general public.
  • Online Survey platforms: survey platforms such as Pollfish allow you to target specific audiences, control the number of participants, reach all quotas and easily organize your survey results. 

Besides these prominent survey channels, there are other survey solutions you can use; make sure to select the one most pertinent to your market research needs.

Step 5: Organize Survey Responses

After you’ve gathered your responses, you’ll need to organize the data before starting your analysis.

Here are the steps to prepare your data for analysis:

  • Clean. Sometimes people fill the survey twice by mistake. Although Pollfish survey technology prevents duplicate responses altogether, if you’re conducting a survey on your own, make sure to clean duplicates and “funny” answers before you proceed to organize your data.
  • Organize. Group survey answers that are similar to each other and try finding patterns that allow you to structure your data.

  • Visualize. Try finding ways of visualizing survey responses using graphs, charts and images. Visualized data is easier to analyze and refer to, especially if you want to share survey results with other people.

Step 6. Analyze and Present Survey Results

The data you collected during your survey can be presented and analyzed in many different ways, so make sure to go back to your survey goal that we covered in Step 1. 

Analyzing survey results and writing a report often go hand in hand, so it’s a good practice to go back and forth between the two until you fully narrow down your findings. 

Here are some questions that will help you write a better report: 

  • Did you achieve your survey goals?
  • How can you organize your findings into cohesive narratives?
  • What are the main insights that you gathered?
  • How can you use the collected data in the future?
  • Are there other ways this data can be interpreted? 

If you are presenting a report to others, remember that different audiences may be interested in different aspects of your survey.

In case your audience is primarily business stakeholders, then the main focus should be concrete customer preferences or aversions, along with actionable suggestions.

If you are presenting a survey to other researchers, they will be more interested in the technical aspects of your survey such as target audience, sample size, and data analysis method.  

Making Every Survey Count

Every business has a slew of questions about its industry, competitors and customers. . The challenge is twofold:  finding a survey solution to easily distribute our questions to the right audience, and creating a survey with the proper questions. Following our  six steps will help you conduct meaningful and unbiased surveys to answer your most pressing questions.

Good luck!


Mastering the Different Types of Consumer Surveys

Mastering the Different Types of Consumer Surveys

Consumer surveys are critical tools for sharpening your market research efforts, but they go far beyond that. They also help inform your advertising, marketing, product and sales strategies — they’re that powerful.

However, choosing the right survey for your needs may prove to be difficult, as there aren’t merely many different insights your brand may target, but there are also so many survey types to choose from.

We’ve covered the three main types of survey research methods. These methods are mainly centered on the frequency of survey distribution, while some of them include thematically-oriented sub-types.

Luckily for researchers, marketers and business owners, there is a multitude of survey types and subtypes. Some of these survey types fall within the aforesaid three main survey research methods, while others can be categorized as methods of quantitative or qualitative research.

Let’s get familiar with the various types of surveys for consumer research and other avenues of research.

Brand Awareness Surveys

This type of survey is generally the first you should consider conducting before you undertake any other survey types about your customers.

It is most ideal to run a brand awareness survey when you’re well-acquainted with your target market. However, you can conduct this survey even before you’re fully aware of who makes up your target market.

That is because you want to ascertain who knows about your brand; sometimes this can be consumers who narrowly fit within your target audience and sometimes this can be those who are not potential customers.

The latter is important in that although those consumers may not be interested in your brand, they may pass it along to someone who is, since they know about it.

Band awareness, nonetheless, is so much more than whether customers know about your brand. It includes:

  • Awareness of what your brand stands for
  • What the company is trying to achieve (beyond just selling something)
  • The meaning behind your company name or logo
  • How you differ from your competitors

As such, this survey type doesn’t merely measure, as it largely seeks to market your brand and everything it has to offer (including style and experiences).

Here are a few considerations to concentrate on for your brand awareness survey:

  1. Understanding whether your consumers acknowledge your company when they see it.
  2. Gauging how well your target market can recall your business by way of memory.
  3. Discovering how loyal your customers are loyal to your brand, especially in times of crisis.
  4. Ascertaining what customers associate with your brand.
  5. Bringing to light opinions on your logo and branding components.

When you’re in the midst of a marketing campaign and would like to work out how consumers are reacting to it, you can do so with this kind of survey. Here’s precisely what it can help you:

  • Identify which strategies and investments are most effective and which are under-performing.
  • Confirm if the opinions of your business are in accordance with how you intend on positioning your brand.
  • Pinpoint sentiments and associations about your brand that can help uncover more business opportunities.
  • See how your offering or experiences can improve.

Here are some useful questions to ask in brand awareness surveys:

  1. When you think of this product, what brand comes to mind?
  2. Which of the following have you tried? (Multiple selections)
  3. When was the last time you used this product category?
  4. How many of the brands have you heard of? (Select all that apply)
  5. When you think of this product, what brand comes to mind?

Customer Satisfaction Surveys

The most commonly used types of surveys, customer satisfaction surveys, like their name implies, gauge customer satisfaction.

Businesses can use these surveys to measure how content their customers are about a number of their experiences. These experiences include a business’s:

  • Product
  • Service
  • Online shopping
  • UX
  • Events

Since the participants’ responses are direct ratings of a range of offerings, businesses can make educated decisions on how to change their offerings or their overall CX. The responses can also show businesses which aspects of their business are profitable, so the businesses can, in turn, double down on those.

Customer satisfaction surveys are generally short and rely on several visual measurement tools as ratings. These include:

  • Stars and other shapes to determine how good or bad an experience was
  • Numbered scales
  • Color-coded scales

Like other surveys, customer satisfaction surveys rely on questionnaires (if the above units weren’t adequate for research).

Understanding how pleased your customers are is crucial for innovating your product, service and customer experience (CX). It can also determine the following:

  1. Whether or not a consumer intends to buy from you and is loyal to your business.
  2. Negative feelings towards your product, service, employees or experience.
  3. Knowing and making sure that customers are satisfied will reduce churn and increase customer lifetime value.
  4. Efforts to retain happy customers.
  5. Who to ask for (ex on social media) for good public reviews or testimonials.

Here are some examples of customer satisfaction questions to use in the questionnaire portion of your consumer survey:

  1. How would you rate your shopping/web/service experience?
  2. How likely are you to buy from this brand or this type of brand again?
  3. Was your issue resolved today?
  4. Did you find what you were looking for?
  5. How do you generally feel about the service of [insert industry or specific brand]?
  6. How would you rate the quality of [product, service, customer service representative experience]?
  7. Did you have an overall positive or negative experience with [the service, company, etc]?

Event Evaluation Surveys

This type of survey relies on gaining a more specific understanding of a customer experience, which, in this case, is an event. This survey type is essential to use if your business hosts events, whether they’re grand-openings, marketing events, webinars, etc.

These surveys are also crucial to understanding your target market, even if you don’t host or take part in any events. This is because your customers’ opinions towards certain events can help you tweak your offering or your messaging more to their liking.

It can also allow you to see how your customer base spends their time and money, which is critical to market research.

Here are a few pointers on how to improve your event and business in general via event evaluation surveys:

  1. Ensure your survey captures honest and in-the-moment perceptions from the attendees.
  2. Keep these surveys short, as many people won’t want to answer a survey after participating in an event.
  3. Find a way to tie the event with your product or service.
  4. Put your customers’ needs in the questions.
  5. Allow customers to discover your brand if you didn’t host/take part in the event.

As for the specific questions to ask in an event evaluation survey, we’re narrowed down a few effective ones:

  1. What motivated you to come to this event?
  2. What were your favorite aspects of the event?
  3. What were your least favorite aspects of the event?
  4. How likely are you to recommend this event to a friend or colleague?
  5. Did the event answer your questions and concerns? (can be open-ended)
  6. What did you think of the [products/services] in the event?
  7. Will you consider checking out [brands in the event or a similar brand not in the event]?

Lead Generation Surveys

The purpose of these surveys falls more within the confines of gathering contact information from your target market. They can also help reveal the types of people who make up your target market, as they deal with questions about your consumers’ job roles and preferences.

This survey method is a great way to both learn and reel in potential customers. As such, this type of survey should be used early on in your research. But it is not meant to be rigidly conducted at this point.

You can use it throughout your marketing and market research campaigns to build up a list of quality prospects.

Since the object behind lead generation surveys is to gain leads via their contact info, there are a few things to take into consideration.

  • Use only a few form fields, as too many tend to be unfavorable among users, especially if they are C-level executives who deal with their company’s finances.
  • The most important fields are names, job roles and email addresses, especially in the case of B2B businesses.
  • An opt-in button to get their permission to be contacted through their email address.
  • Questions that ask for their preferences within your industry about your offering
  • Interactive content (GIFs, quizzes, etc.) to set your brand apart.

As for the questions, remember to ask questions that will help your brand determine whether the prospect is an MQL. The following lists a few question examples for lead generation surveys:

  1. What is your role in the company?
  2. Are you in charge of your team’s budget?
  3. How do you intend on growing your business?[or gaining customers, questions that deal with growth/scaling]
  4. Would you consider buying this [ex: software]  to improve your revenue and overall business goals?
  5. How do you stay up-to-date on industry trends?

Job Satisfaction Survey

This type is an example of a survey delving into a specific topic or theme to better understand your personas and user base. Since employment is a major factor in the quality of life, it is wise to pick your consumers’ brains on this topic.

In fact, 51% of American workers have reported that they get a sense of identity from their jobs. Since jobs define who the public is, or at least a large percentage of it, your business can stand to create surveys centered on job satisfaction.

After all, participants more satisfied with their line of work and income are more likely to spend.

A job satisfaction survey is similar to an employee satisfaction survey, but offers a much more intimate view. That is because the latter deals with all members of an organization, whereas the former deals with the personal outlook of an employee to measure their satisfaction.

Here are a few questions designed for this survey type:

  1. What does your job represent to you personally? (Answers can include: just a way to earn money, a way to be involved in something important, a way to better myself, etc.)
  2. How would you rate your satisfaction with the work you do? (Can use a scale)
  3. How meaningful is your job to you? (Can include a scale)
  4. Do you feel empowered to make purchases?
  5. If yes, on what kinds of items? (Answers can include media, travel tickets, products in your niche)

Choosing the Proper Type of Survey

While the above lists several fundamental survey types for your market research campaigns, these are just a drop in the bucket, in terms of quantity. There are various other survey methods, both based on survey research methods and on specific topics.

The true value in surveys comes from their ability to give you full control of the questions, thereby the topics for your consumers to answer. That’s why, before you settle on the types of surveys to use, you should first find a practical and user-friendly survey tool.

This way, you can be sure that you’re gaining the maximum satisfaction in your survey process. Once you find an exceptional survey solution, you can comb through the different survey types and choose the best one for your business.

4 Panel Survey Examples for Market Research

4 Panel Survey Examples for Market Research

A panel survey is a method of research that uses a consistent panel of participants, with the researchers returning to the same people to run surveys or host interviews repeatedly over time. This is also known as a type of longitudinal study. In this post, we’ll look at four panel survey examples – and analyze the advantages and disadvantages of using panel surveys for your research. 

Note: If you’re looking to do market research without the drawbacks of conducting panel surveys, try Pollfish. Our unique methodology guarantees authentic high-quality data, and it’s a fast and reliable way to survey targeted (yet randomized) people while they’re already engaged on their devices.

Panel Survey Examples: What Do Researchers Use Panels For? 

The best way to explain the uses of a panel survey is by setting out a panel survey example. In this section, we’ll see four examples of when panel surveys can be used to good effect. 

Example #1: Tracking Changes Over Time

One of the strongest examples of a panel survey is when researchers ask the same question(s) to a group of the same people over a long period of time. 

For example, if you were conducting a sociological experiment to understand if (or how) age correlates with wealth, you might set up a survey to ask about income, expenses, and assets. And this survey might be repeated every five to ten years. 

Alternatively, if you run a business, you’ll need to acquire ongoing insights into the market – and into audience behavior. For example, if your gym wear company wants to track the fitness habits of people over the course of the year, a panel can be questioned every three months. You can run surveys with the same questions about how long people exercise for, where they exercise, and how they exercise.

Example #2: User Experience Research

Another common example of using a panel survey is in UX and UI design research. When a company is building an app or a digital product, they want to gauge the customer experience as they go. While usability testing (i.e. tracking how a person interacts with a specific feature) is often done using different methods, qualitative research about design and experience can be done using panels or focus groups.  

The benefit of a panel survey here is that the participants remain constant – which removes a key variable. And you can select panel participants based on their background or expertise, which will allow your pool to answer questions in a way that adds value to your product development process. 

Example #3: Customer Satisfaction Surveys

If you want to gauge customer satisfaction and positive/negative sentiment over the lifetime of their interaction with your product, you can take a select group of long-term customers and ask them questions periodically about your value proposition. These surveys can be framed to reveal hidden sentiments, or can be explicitly focused on asking how satisfied they are with what you offer. 

In this panel survey example, the business would be able to track patterns of customer happiness over time – for example, to see whether features continue to add value months or years after the customer signs up. And you can incentivize participation with gifts, reduced subscription fees, or extra services.

Example #4: Employee Engagement

One final panel survey example is for businesses to track employee engagement and team morale. In essence, here, your staff are the members of the panel – and you might survey them every week, month, quarter, or year. In this case, you’re surveying the same people about issues such as:

  • Do they enjoy their work?
  • Are they meeting their goals?
  • Do they understand the company mission?
  • Are they happy with their compensation?
  • Where can the company improve?

If this is the type of panel survey you’re looking for, there are plenty of tools out there that are specialized for human resources and employee engagement purposes. 

Pros & Cons: The Advantages and Drawbacks of Panel Surveys

One of the primary advantages of a panel survey is that the participants learn to trust the researchers, and therefore may be open to deeper and more truthful answers. And this ongoing relationship can allow researchers to dig deeper with follow-up questions. Another advantage is that with screening having occurred at the start of the research, all following surveys are quicker than starting from scratch.

However, the disadvantages of panel surveys include:

  • Panel conditioning: When you’re surveying the same people repeatedly, previous surveys might influence their responses and/or behavior. For example, if they know a certain question triggers a longer process, they may choose an answer that offers the path of least resistance. Or if you’re asking about a particular activity, like eating donuts, they may eat less (or more) thereafter.

    Note: Furthermore, panel surveys don’t tend to occur within a “natural” setting, and therefore the artificial environment might affect thought processes and responses to questions.
  • Panel fatigue: If a person feels like the pay-off for participating in a panel survey is no longer worth the effort, the quality of their response may drop. This leads to incomplete or poor-quality survey responses, and survey “straight-lining” – i.e. answering the same to every question.
  • Declining participation: Over time, inevitably, participants will drop out of the process – either due to panel fatigue, or other reasons. This will damage the quality and depth of your data. 

And with survey panels, you run the risk of accidentally signing up “professional” panelists – especially when there are cash-based incentives on offer. Though screening should be designed to pick up these people before they enter the process, they’re adept at slipping through the net. 

Finding a Better Alternative to Panel Surveys

With increased pressure on people’s time, survey response rates have been decreasing. It’s harder than ever to guarantee consistent high-quality data, and as conventional survey companies scramble to include as many willing participants as possible, the quality reduces yet further. 

At Pollfish, we don’t use conventional panels. Our unique methodology, called Organic Probability Sampling, is built on something called Random Device Engagement (RDE). RDE polling relies on advertising networks and other device portals to engage people wherever they are. This might be through a smartphone app or a mobile game, where respondents participate in return for an incentive. 

Each screened participant has a unique ID, which prevents them from taking the same survey more than once, weeding out bias and fraud.

When working with Pollfish, you don’t need to use conventional panels – which are slow and subject to conditioning, fatigue, and declining participation. Instead, get authentic insights from our pool of over half a billion people (and growing) – who are already engaged on their device and ready to participate. 



The 3 Major Types of Survey Research Methods

The 3 Major Types of Survey Research Methods

Within the ever-evolving and accelerating market research space, there is a litany of surveys making the rounds. Businesses are scrapping to get all the necessary consumer insights into their hands, and this is a fitting approach to satisfy any target market.

That’s because surveys allow you to gain an edge within your niche and outperform your competitors. While nothing is guaranteed, researchers and marketers have long been turning to surveys to observe the minds of their customers and potential customers.

Before perusing through the aforementioned litany of surveys, you ought to know about the different types of survey methods. That’s because there’s no “one size fits all” approach when it comes to survey research. 

Business needs vary, as do their industries, customers and campaigns. Let’s navigate the three most salient types of survey methods.

Survey Research — Beyond Distribution Type

In survey research, there are four types of distribution methods — but we won’t be covering those too much in depth. That is because they are widely known and seen. It’s virtually impossible for you or your business to not have heard of them in a limited capacity at the very least.

However, for the purpose of organizing the in-depth survey methods we discuss later into the deployment types, we’ll briefly mention them here. The four different types of survey deployment methods are:

  1. Paper surveys
    1. Written questionnaires
    2. Mail-in surveys
    3. Newspaper surveys
  2. Online surveys
    1. Online forms
    2. Proprietary surveys (on brand sites)
    3. Email surveys
    4. In-app surveys
    5. Third-party surveys
  3. Telephonic surveys
    1. Cold calling
    2. Anonymous respondents
  4. One-on-one interviews
    1. In-person and onsite interviews
    2. Less anonymity

All of these survey deployment types can serve both qualitative and quantitative research needs. The ones you choose to incorporate into your market research campaigns is ultimately up to the needs of your business. Some businesses prioritize ease, some prefer quick insights while others prefer cost-savings.

Now that you know survey distribution types, less delve further into specific survey methods.

Cross-Sectional Survey Studies

Cross-sectional surveys concentrate on a very specific point in time and exist as a quick overview of a small population sample. This method is ideal for situations wherein quick answers are needed to gain knowledge on standalone, or single situations. 

This survey method is based on three conditions: 

  1. the distribution of surveys to small samples 
  2. within large populations and 
  3. conducted over a small period of time.

The sample pool is drawn from specific variables, usually, only a few to narrow down a unique and usually small population. The findings are recorded within a short period of time and are studied and archived within that one specific point.

The variables are not manipulated as this type of research method is for observations only. This approach cannot measure causation between certain occurrences (ex. Inactivity and weight); rather, it measures the correlation between occurrences.

Longitudinal Surveys

The antithesis of cross-sectional surveys, longitudinal surveys study variables over a longer period of time. This can be anywhere between weeks and on the far end of the spectrum, decades. 

As such, they require more input in terms of several aspects, including participants, time and money. In this regard, a larger pool of participants is used and studied for much longer.

Similar to cross-sectional research, this method is also observational and studies the exact sample pool for the duration of the study.

Longitudinal surveys come in three main sorts:

  1. Trend surveys: 

    1. Study trends
    2. Observe how participants’ tendencies change over time
    3. Ask the same questions at different points in time
    4. Don’t necessarily study the exact same participants throughout, since the focus is on trends
  2. Panel surveys:

    1. Focus more on people than trends
    2. The same participants are studied throughout the duration of the study
    3. Tend to be more expensive and difficult (tracking & keeping up with the same people for years on end)
  3. Cohort surveys:

    1. Regularly study a group of participants that fall under a specific category
    2. Don’t require the same participants to take part every year
    3. Examples include those born within the same decade, workers of the same industry at the same time, other common life experiences

All three of these kinds of surveys help researchers study how people change and, as longitudinal research, they are also part of correlational research.  Longitudinal surveys help businesses and researchers scrutinize developments and changes.

They allow researchers to assess whether the changes are due to age, life factors or trends.

Retrospective Surveys

This survey method is yet another type based on frequency. It combines aspects of both cross-sectional and longitudinal survey methods. 

Retrospective surveys observe changes that occur over a longer period of time, much like longitudinal surveys. However, like cross-sectional surveys, they are facilitated just once. As such, responders discuss happenings from the past. These include feelings, attitudes, experiences and beliefs.

The findings are thereby longitudinal in nature, but performed in a cross-sectional fashion, ie, without requiring the long amounts of time to collect the data, like in traditionally longitudinal studies.

This scaling back on timing and monetary savings are the major advantages of this type of survey method. However, it does have its fair share of drawbacks, mainly those of memory distortion. For example, memories from the recent past may be vivid or clear enough to provide researchers with accuracy.

But memories of the more remote past, or even those of both the recent and distant past, when compared against one another, may lead to inaccurate answers.

Settling on the Correct Survey Method

Before you conduct any survey research, there are several questions you can stand to ask yourself or your own business. These should help you narrow down the proper survey method and distribution channel for your survey research. 

Here are some questions to consider which method is most suitable for you:

  • Do you need to gather long-term, continuous research or are you looking to gain insights on the current timeframe?
    • This will help you decide between choosing a cross-sectional or longitudinal survey study.
  • If you prefer a long-term study, are you willing to persist in obtaining responses from your sample pool, or do you want to pursue different respondents each time?
  • Would you prefer to survey the same group of respondents in the long term?
  • How often do you need survey responders to take part in your survey research campaign?
  • Are you looking to understand the development of people’s behaviors or trends within your industry?
  • If you don’t need to conduct a survey across a large span of time, do you need to question respondents about the past?
  • Do you need to study a specific category of participants, or can they fall within a more broad category?

As a business, you should cross-reference your responses to these questions with the information above. That way, you can make an educated decision about which survey method and (survey types) are best for your business. 

Market Research Trends Dominating 2020 — and Beyond

Market Research Trends Dominating 2020 — and Beyond

2020 has seen its fair share of downsides, to put it mildly. But the year has also seen advancements on the market research front. Indeed, there have been several trends coming out of the woodwork or making headway in innovations on existing trends.

These trends have steadily become forces to reckon with when it comes to collecting research on the markets.

In this article, we’re going to give a rundown on some of the biggest market research trends dominating 2020. These have held a sturdy weight in the space and we foresee them to carry onto the next year(s) due to their magnitude.

The Use of Blockchain for Security, Elimination of Data Silos & More

The advent of the blockchain has powered the cryptocurrency industry — but it hasn’t stopped there. A decentralized ledger system, the blockchain’s first line of storage was cryptocurrency transactions, but it is capable of storing virtually any kind of data.

Due to its immutable nature, all recorded transactions cannot be corrupted or modified in any way. The blockchain also operates in a members-only capacity. It extends security with features such as proof of member identity and verifiable transactions.

Aside from stronger security, blockchain technology provides the following to the market research industry:

  1. Less oversight required, with approved members only using a particular blockchain

  2. No need to deal with additional intermediaries.

  3. Much less prone to hacking due to encryption, peer-to-peer oversight and decentralization.

  4. Better protection for data, as it is stored into blocks and broken down from large databases.

  5. Elimination of duplicate responders, since nodes can identify consumers with their data

  6. Reduction in data silos, since data is decentralized across a network of users

  7. Ease of interoperability between blockchain participants to share data.

The Rise of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence

Machine learning has risen over the years in implementations across industries. To put things into perspective, machine learning uses artificial intelligence for gathering patterns to peruse current happenings and predict future behavior.

Using a breadth of algorithms, machine learning stores data to glean customer activities and behaviors, which it uses to predict future customer activities. AI also assists in market research through a number of ways.

Firstly, it has been setting trends in the process of deep learning segmentation. Market segmentation has long been used for developing customer personas in the ad tech, marketing and market research verticals. Deep learning segmentation is a segmentation framework that has been improved by AI, as AI identifies patterns too intricate for humans to understand or make use of without biases.

This way, businesses can both make sense and make use of big data, rather than have it go to waste or not understand it to its maximum potential.

AI has also provided the market research industry with:

  1. Processing large sets of data

  2. Identifying trends within a complex system

  3. Cutting costs by reducing the time to conduct market research

  4. Building up layers of insight for a more precise customer understanding

  5. Performing repetitive and manual tasks faster than humans

  6. Understanding qualitative and quantitative data via Natural Language Processing (NLP)

  7. Eliminating human bias by processing information only

Automation Continues Aiding with New Innovations

Automation is on the rise across multiple industries, to the point where roughly 60% of all occupations contain at least 30% of automatable activity. It is thus no surprise that automation has made its way to the market research industry.

Much like artificial intelligence, automation procedures reduce manual intervention so that more windows of time open up for humans to work on other matters.

For research purposes, automation has revolutionized many researching tasks, with the innovations of social listening, sampling, quota collection, survey distribution and more. These reduce the need for interviewing and searching for survey participants, among other changes.

Here are some of the ways automation serves the MR industry:

  1. DIY survey platforms allow for streamlined aggregation of primary research.

  2. Application of more tech-based, automatable solutions (ex: in-app solutions)

  3. The elimination of the need for sourcing and requesting samples

  4. Survey re-routing so participants only get relevant questions (Ex: if they answered X, they are taken to question Z, skipping a few other questions)

  5. Allowing researchers to more easily handle larger sets of data.

  6. Storage and quick access to a variety of customer data

  7. Sending reminder notifications to participants so that they finish their surveys

Based on a study of 924 respondents, via NewMr & Greenbook

The Simplification & Prevalence of Mobile Surveys

The mobile space is growing, both in terms of traffic and app development. As such, the market research industry has pushed surveys to take part in the mobile experience.

Mobile surveys have been significantly making strides, as 30-40% of surveys are completed on a mobile device. With mobile the growing number of mobile users and mobile traffic, this device has lent itself to be a key battleground for rounding up the thoughts of consumers.

Mobile surveys are trending in the MR space, along with some of their own, unique features. Here are a few:

  1. Unique templates to match brands’ style

  2. The capability of granting a white-label feel

  3. Adaptation to a multitude of mobile websites and apps

  4. Short surveys zeroing in sub-niches and subtopics

  5. Seamless integrations within various mobile formats

  6. In-app data analysis

  7. Adoption of a low code platform

Remaining on the Lookout for More Trends

Market research is an expansive practice, neither fixed on one type of research method (primary or secondary). Rather, much like customer expectations themselves, it is constantly evolving and accelerating in some respects.

In order to keep a leg up on your vertical and target market, your business must stay on top of trends in the MR space. This includes emerging trends, along with established ones that are still carrying weight and innovating new sub-trends.

All the aforementioned trends in this article have seen steady popularity in that these tend to be cost-effective, time-saving and quashing of one or several inconveniences. Your business can therefore stand to adapt some of their innovations or practices.

Stay on the lookout for more market research trends. We’re always watchful to provide the latest trends. That way researchers and general business owners can become more competitive and relevant to their target market.

The Advantages of Conducting Mobile Surveys

The Advantages of Conducting Mobile Surveys

Mobile surveys have revolutionized the market research space. These useful tools for understanding a target market help uncover revenue and scaling opportunities for all kinds of businesses. 

As one of the most tried and true methods for unlocking your target customers’ desires and needs, surveys not only allow you to understand your customer base but also inform you on the overall landscape of your industry. 

This is because you can formulate questions that are not necessarily about your own product/service, but rather a similar one, an innovation to an existing offering or an entirely new one.

The tactic of surveying a pool of consumers is not new, although it has undergone a revolution, from the snail mail surveys of the ‘90s, to the phone surveys of the ‘00s and today’s internet surveys. 

Nowadays, mobile surveys have been making headway — and for good reason. There are several notable reasons as to why it’s advantageous to conduct mobile surveys.

A Mobile-First World

We are no longer living in a digital world, that is, in a digital-only world. We are living in a mobile-first world, and this is not a generalization. It is true by a number of objective measures. 

First off, over half of all web traffic is on mobile. This is no meager chunk of internet traffic, so it is safe to assume that many of your site visitors are there by way of mobile apps or mobile websites. 

Secondly, this strong presence will soon break away from the halfway point of internet traffic. That is because mobile traffic is predicted to grow by 25% by 2025. Clearly, mobile traffic, although weighty, is not stagnant and will continue to increase, perhaps significantly dominating desktop and tablet traffic combined.

But there are more ways in which mobile is taking a large share of the internet traffic pie. 91% of internet users access the internet through a mobile device. Here are a few other ways in which mobile use is surging on the internet.

Mobile Use Yields Mobile Convenience

Although desktops, laptops and tablets are all getting thinner as technology evolves, the go-to device for on-the-go usage is still the mobile phone. It’s the smallest and most portable device out of all four device types. 

And since people use mobile for making calls more so than landlines, they are frequently within reach of their phone. 

However, it would be unwise to assume all commuters and walkers travel with their laptops or tablets in tow. Despite this, it is far safer to infer that most people on the go carry their phones with them.

This does not merely apply to travelers. Internet users partake in the mobile internet experience in the following scenarios:

  • Between sending text messages (especially if they are working remotely)
  • While reclining and/or resting
  • Between meetings
  • While waiting in line for any service
  • While talking on the phone (especially if it’s via speakerphone)

While all of these appear to be ordinary occurrences, they are apt opportunities to send surveys. That is because many of these situations paint a picture of the users being inactive, unoccupied or simply idle. 

In this case, a well-put-together survey may assuage their boredom. This would expose your survey to millions and allow it to capture real-time users. 

An Innate Simplicity

Since phones are smaller and allot far less real estate than desktops or tablets, businesses and content providers are forced to simplify their interface so that only the most important online elements fit. 

In short, they would take a mobile-first approach to design. This is positive news for your business — at least for your UX/ digital department, in that they would need to apply fewer elements and effects per page. 

When users are sent on a survey via your mobile website or app, the page they open should be as bare as possible, ideally with just the survey questions and media files. (The menu should exist as a hamburger in this instance).

This is a breath of fresh air for users as well. It is because of the hectic nature of many internet pages, which bombard users with distracting content (think ads, unsolicited videos/music playing, too many links, photos, etc.).

The minimalist nature of mobile thus makes for a much more convenient environment for survey respondents. 

Speed to Insights

With so many internet users surfing the web on their phone, your survey is bound to get responses exceptionally fast. This is especially true if your survey targets high-traffic apps. To truly reap this benefit, your survey provider should deploy surveys over a vast network of popular apps.

Luckily, at Pollfish, it does. We partner with 140,000 app providers so that active users on high-traffic apps are exposed to your survey instantaneously upon opening the apps.

Additionally, the mobile experience, when produced correctly, is known for speed. Think about it; it is much easier to see all of your tabs when browsing on desktop. But on mobile, you can’t see them laid out all at once; usually, it requires doing some swiping, otherwise, only one tab is shown. 

That’s why on mobile, users are prompted to answer quickly so that they can return to their customer journeys on the apps/mobile sites they’ve been using.

Mobile Surveys: All Rainbows and Sunshine?

Closing off, we want to conclude that while conducting surveys on mobile has ample advantages, it also carries some disadvantages. But these shortcomings are not necessarily insurmountable.

That’s why we’re sharing them, so that you can optimize your mobile experience to obtain the most out of your surveys.

Here are a few:

  1. Mobile apps have to be made for a variety of operating systems and phones. As such, researchers should make sure their app can support several mobile devices.
  2. Some file sizes of surveys along with the apps themselves may be too large for users’ phones, as phone space is limited. This is primarily the app providers’ issue, but it will affect researchers’ survey usage as a result. 
  3. Not all mobile users have access to a sturdy data plan, so they may be wary of using up their data to take a survey.

There are surely going to be other forks in the road with the mobile survey experience, but mobile is king. That being the case, the shortcomings aren’t outweighed by the benefits. 

The key is to ask the right survey questions to gather the most relevant insights about your industry and the minds of your target market.


What is a Consumer Research Panel, and How Can it Help?

What is a Consumer Research Panel, and How Can it Help?

A consumer research panel is defined as a group of individuals brought together with the express purpose of providing opinions, insight and feedback on products and services. In simple terms, a consumer research panel is the participating audience in market research campaigns.

These panels are used in a wide variety of campaigns, including those on advertisement research, product testing, and other initiatives that require the input and insight of a target audience.

Panel members are selected to represent either a particular group or the general public, with panels made up of tens (and sometimes hundreds) of thousands of people. Businesses can then segment the panels based on certain criteria and demographics to ensure they’re reaching the right audience with their questions.

Consumer Research Panels: Why Do They Matter?

Thanks to the internet and social media, sales channels are becoming increasingly saturated, with consumers bombarded by messages and offers morning, noon and night. With this in mind, businesses are now, more than ever, searching for marginal gains in order to outmaneuver the competition.

And while products and services can share price points and features, consumer research panels can help business owners understand a key intangible when it comes to standing out from the crowd: customer experience (CX).

For example, if your competitor is operating under the (false) assumption that their product or service is meeting their customers’ needs, quality consumer research can help you set your business apart and establish it as a market leader.

The goal of these panels is to actively listen to — and act upon — meaningful insights from your target audience. When you understand how your product or services makes them feel (good or bad), you can make the necessary adjustments to position your offering more effectively.

How is a Consumer Research Panel Put Together?

Consumer research panel participants are often recruited via online channels. Participants are then organized based on certain factors, such as gender, age, location, profession, and personal interests. The more information gleaned at the recruitment stage, the better, as it allows you to target an incredibly specific and targeted audience.

Usually, participation is incentivized – with panel members receiving rewards in exchange for their time and insight. Rewards can range from cash and gift cards to money-off vouchers and points, which can be redeemed against products or services.

Once a panel has been formed, research can be conducted. Questionnaires are sent to a select group of respondents designed for a particular target audience.

How Does it Differ From Other Types of Customer Research?

A consumer research panel gives you the opportunity to evolve your ideas, involving the same target group throughout for feedback on your iterations. This helps you ensure that you’re moving in the right direction as you make changes to your product, service, brand or message. 

Using a panel is, therefore, in stark contrast to focus groups or other one-off surveys. These tend to be “once-and-done” endeavors, where you receive feedback in isolation, based solely on what’s put in front of the group or survey recipients at the time. 

This can make actionable insights harder to come by, especially if you’re unable to reconvene the focus group or reach the same survey respondents to gauge their opinions on the changes you’ve made.

What Are the Benefits of Using an Online Consumer Research Panel?

Online consumer research panels allow you to efficiently connect with target market segments, collecting valuable feedback in the process. This method of research has the following benefits: 


  • Higher response rates from motivated respondents: Panel members are often highly motivated to respond as they’ve opted-in to take part in the research. This can result in a higher quality of feedback.
  • Current insights from a representative audience: When maintained properly, a consumer research panel offers an up-to-date picture of your audience’s thoughts and behaviors. 
  • Quicker and lower cost: Consumer panels can deliver faster insights at a lower cost when compared with other research methods – especially with focus groups, which require time and expenses to run, thus taking longer to coordinate and screen respondents.
  • Feedback can be implemented faster, too: The data received from online consumer panels can be analyzed quicker, with trends and patterns spotted and sorted with just a few clicks. This means that if there’s an overriding consensus that something isn’t working, you can change it quickly before it’s too late.
  • Anonymity means nothing’s off-limits: The online nature of a consumer research panel means you can freely ask questions regarding sensitive information, including sexual health and activity, alcohol and drug use, relationship status, and other questions on private matters. 

What Are the Drawbacks of Consumer Research Panels?

Unfortunately, online consumer panels aren’t all sunshine and rainbows. They do, in fact, have some clear and obvious drawbacks, which include: 

  • Small sample sizes and limited availability: Depending on your industry and target market, you may experience difficulty in finding respondents due to age, location, or lack of internet access, all of which could skew your data. 
  • “Bad eggs” can derail your research: There are certain types of consumer panelists who can throw your research into disarray. From bots and fake accounts to professional survey takers – who are more interested in completing your questionnaire in record time than delivering accurate insights – consumer research panels can suffer from a lack of transparency and data quality if managed poorly. 
  • Online survey fatigue: Chances are you won’t be the only one trying to reach your target audience with a questionnaire. Online surveys have never been more popular, but this level of popularity can lead to jaded recipients simply ignoring or deleting your invitations.
  • Risk of panel dropouts: Using the same panel for months on end won’t guarantee that it’ll stay intact. Participants may drop out over time, meaning the quality and accuracy of the feedback could be affected.
  • Lack of clarification or follow-ups: Other, more qualitative methods of consumer research will often involve a trained interviewer, there to prod and probe a respondent into expanding on an interesting point or observation. This is lacking from online consumer panels, making it difficult to clarify what someone meant if their feedback is vague

Examples of Consumer Research Panels in Action

As we touched on earlier, there are a number of ways in which a research panel can be used in pursuit of valuable insights and game-changing feedback. Here are a few examples:

  • Product testing: Some research panels can be incentivized to provide feedback in exchange for an early look at a new product – so long as they provide an in-depth response based on their first impressions and overall experience. This is particularly useful pre-launch, allowing you to gather feedback and make improvements. 
  • App onboarding: Similar to product testing, you can use a research panel to test the onboarding process for an app or piece of software. This will put your interface at the fingertips of the very people you hope will use it post-launch, giving you a vital glimpse into their experience and enjoyment.
  • Ad testing: Marketing companies and digital agencies can use consumer research panels to test the impact of a particular advertisement or campaign, ensuring that it makes a connection with the target audience and encourages them to take action.

An Alternative to Conventional Consumer Research Panels

Used properly — and with a reliable and vetted panel of respondents — consumer research panels can help your business gain a competitive advantage. At least, that’s the idea. Because, as more and more companies are discovering, consumer panels are on the downswing. Those drawbacks we mentioned above are becoming more prevalent, making quality feedback harder to find.

Here at Pollfish, we don’t use panels of professional survey takers. Instead, you benefit from our market research methodology by sourcing real people who are online right now. We let you survey people who are going in and out of applications, through our partnerships with publishers. It’s a randomized yet targeted survey distribution method, and you reach verified respondents who have real insights. 

With over half a billion people in our network, we never have to worry about data quality. We can simply remove those bad eggs and retain only the best, most authentic, and most useful information.


How To Run Market Research For Your Startup

How To Run Market Research For Your Startup

Market research is a vital component of any business; it is especially indispensable for startups, which are notorious for carrying many risks. For instance, startups have a dismal rate of failure in 2020: a heaping 90% of new startups fail. Unfortunately, this is but one of the many other grim statistics these companies face.

Luckily, startup companies that conduct market research have a major leg up in their field. That’s because market research is a wide-spanning strategy that allows businesses to glean an array of insights. This includes findings on their competitors, customers, potential customers and the sector/niche at large.

In this article, you’re going to learn how to run startup market research for your company to stay ahead of the game and preempt failure.

Where to Begin on Market Research for Startups

Given that market research is an umbrella term, it’s common to be uncertain as to where to begin. It may seem that with market research websites, tech platforms and the mighty Internet itself, market research is information overload. It’s just another headache-inducing task that will produce few results.

That’s where you’re wrong.

Knowing where to start conducting a viable market research plan is key to garnering essential business knowledge, and the results can make or break your startup.

The first undertaking of doing market research is, well, discovering if there’s a market for your product or service. Many entrepreneurs evade this critical first step, as it may seem too obvious.

Or, you may feel a tad too complacent with your offering, deeming it abundantly innovative or useful, so much so that it doesn’t need to identify a market to which it belongs.

That’s a major misstep. You must always first identify the market you belong to. Only thereafter, can you determine your precise target market and continue with your market research. Most importantly, the market you identify can help you learn if your product or service is in demand. If you have too niche of a market, you will want to amplify your marketing efforts to bring more awareness to your niche and increase its profit-reaping potential.

Understanding Your Market

Once you’ve identified which market your product or service falls under and whether it’s worthy to branch into, you’re going to need to have a solid grasp on your market. This is not a “one and done” task, as market trends and marketing strategies across markets evolve with the times. Sometimes these changes occur in a matter of days.

Understanding your market, or more specifically, your niche, will help catapult you towards success. This is the bulk of market research and it involves relying on a swath of different sources.

There are two types of sources to observe in your market and niche, and in market research as a whole: primary and secondary sources.

Primary research

is research that you generate yourself, usually directly from the customers. This type of firsthand information is crucial for understanding your buyer personas and segmenting your target market. We’ll analyze primary research later in the article.

Secondary research

is the research that’s already been generated from a variety of sources and made available on the internet, trade magazines and other literature.

For the purpose of understanding your market, niche and competitors, we’re going to focus on secondary research.

You ought to accumulate as much secondary information as possible if you want a clear picture of your market. Here are the secondary sources you should turn to when running your market research on your market itself:

  1. For the latest trends within your market/niche, obtain trend reports from credible sources such as Google Alerts,Google Trends and Keyhole. These are keyword-based tools that can help you identify trends via:

      1. Finding the latest blogs, news, videos and search terms for free (Google Alerts)
      2. Monitoring search terms and drawing data on users searching for the terms for free (Google Trends).
      3. Overlooking keywords, topics, social media handles, URLs and mentions for a fixed price.
  2. Next, gather all the necessary statistics on typical personas within the market, buying habits, conversion rates and more.
    1. US Census Bureau and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (public market data)
    2. Research agencies: Pew, Forrester and Gartner for a wide span of market reports
    3.  Industry content sites (news and blog sites particular to a niche. Ex: Ars Technica for tech and IT; Mashable for tech, culture, science; Product Hunt for sharing and discovering new products; etc.)
  3. Then, study your competitors closely.
  4. Identify direct and indirect competitors:
    1. Direct competitors: Businesses with products/services that closely resemble your own and can substitute yours.
    2. Indirect competitors: Businesses with relatively similar products/services, but cannot fully substitute one another.
    3. Find the potential weaknesses in your competitors’ offerings, or learn how to use their strengths to improve your own.
    4. Parse through their websites to understand their pricing, customers and content.
    5. Research their sales channels and social media.
    6. Use specific tools for competitor analysis (SEMRush, Nielsen,, etc.)
  5. Finally, store all the findings on your market (the specific niche, and competitors) into an organized and comprehensive document such as a presentation for current and ongoing reference. This is going to be your market knowledge base.

Understanding Your Customers and Potential Customers

Now that you have aggregated a slew of research within your industry and competitors, it’s time to do a deeper delve into your market research. This latter stage is all about your customers: current customs, those in a nurturing stage and all other potential customers.

That’s where primary sources come largely into play. We’ve covered secondary sources and how they can help you research your overall market, but now, it’s time to understand your target market.

A target market is a group of people that a company targets as the primary buyers of their product/service. This is the group on whom a company focuses all of its marketing initiatives. This is the main group of a market, as it is the one most likely to make purchases and become loyal customers.

There are two types of primary sources: exploratory primary sources and specific primary sources. Both of these are necessary to render a clear understanding of your target market.

Here is how to continue your market research by investigating your target market:

  1. Preface the makeup of your target market via the secondary research you’ve conducted in the first half of the article. This will give you a general sense of who your target market is.
  2. To fully understand your target market, switch to primary sources to understand the full scope of your target market and cater to them the right way.
    1. Run exploratory primary research on your target market. This involves conducting:
      1. open-ended interviews over the phone or in-person
      2. surveys with a small amount of respondents
      3. surveys that cover the entirety of your target market

3. Identify issues and potential opportunities to study within your target market.

4. Use these topics to narrow into the specifics of your target market with specific primary sources.

    1. Create surveys that focus on specific segments of your target market.
    2. Focus on questions aimed at solving points of friction or problems

Closing Up on Setting Market Research in Motion

Aside from understanding your customers’ preferences, needs and problems, it is of utmost importance to first understand them from a demographics perspective. As highlighted in Step 1, you can gather some qualities about your target market from secondary sources. But it’s only a primer and far from giving you the full picture.

Surveys, on the other hand, give startups a major advantage over secondary data and even other primary sources such as focus groups. This is because you control all the questions you collect on your subjects. This includes demographics data such as age, location, gender, education and income level, ethnic background, marital status and more.

A twofold market research tool, surveys also grant you access into the minds of your target audience. Again, this is because you are in control of conceiving all the questions about your target market.

Understanding what in particular your customers’ desire and how they generally think will empower your market research efforts and business in general to stay ahead of the curve. It will assure that you know how to properly market to your customers.


The Most Insightful Market Research Questions You Can Ask

The Most Insightful Market Research Questions You Can Ask

With great customer expectations in today’s ever-growing digital world, market research has become exceedingly important. It should be at the fore of every business’s strategy. Even if you feel as though you’ve nailed your target market down to a tee, there will always remain work to be done on the market research front.

That’s because market trends sway, as do the opinions and desires of your customer base. That means when you least expect it, even your most loyal customers will turn to your competitors, sometimes for good. But you can still stay in the know about what your customers want and think by running a sturdy market research plan.

As part of any solid market research endeavor, you’ll need an apt set of questions to help answer the most pressing needs and opinions of your customers. You’ll also need sets of questions that pertain to your needs as well; this is especially crucial to understanding your customers’ minds in relation to your product or service.

Let’s explore four sets of insightful market research questions.

Questions Based on Pain Points

These questions are thematically based on the difficulties customers’ may have undergone, are currently experiencing, or may run into in the future. In regards to the latter, these types of questions are great in that they are wired to prevent the pain points from occurring in the first place.

Here are some examples of market research questions on customer experience (CX) and customer journey points of friction.

  1. What is the most difficult aspect of [action related to your product]?

    a. For example, if you supply sneakers, the action can be a certain physical activity people perform in sneakers. If you sell software, it can be in regards to an issue your software helps address.

  2. What bothers you the most about [product, service, or aspect related to either of the two]?

  3. What issues do you typically run into on our website?

  4. How can we better support your needs when shopping for…?

  5. What frustrates you the most about [product, service or action related to either on]?

Questions Based on Goals

Goals-based questions help answer what your customers want, in that they inquire specifically about what it is customers are looking for and what they hope to gain from a product or service. These questions do not necessarily have to zero in a particular product/service — although some of them should. Rather, they can focus on improving specific tasks/actions related to your field. This will not only help you understand how your customers feel about your market but will allow you to innovate more and faster.

Here you’ll find some examples of market research questions on customer goals.

  1. What do you look for in a [product, service or action related to the particular market]?

  2. What do you think [product, service, action related to either one] can do to improve its usefulness?

  3. What can [product, service, action related to either one] do to help improve your overall user experience?

  4. What aspects would you like to see in new [products or services]?

  5. What do you hope to gain when taking on [problem or goal within a market]?

Questions Based on Pricing

Pricing has always been (and will remain to be) a major part of the buying equation. Even customers in the luxury sector care about prices to some extent. No one wants to be ripped off; even businesses aim to save money. For example, in 2020, 69% of companies are expected to decrease ad spending.

Thus, it is ideal to have reasonably priced goods or services. But you won’t know what is considered as a reasonable price until you conduct a questionnaire on your target market. Referring to general internet research alone will not suffice for this.

Here are a few examples of market research questions to ask about pricing.

  1. What is a reasonable price range for [product or service]?

  2. Are there any conditions in which you’d be willing to buy [product or service] at a higher range?

  3. What do you think is the ideal price for [product or service]?

  4. How would you rate the prices within [industry, niche, or specific market]?

    a. These can be answered within a gradient of too high/too low answers

  5. Is [price point] too high, low or a fair ask for [product, service or completion of an action]?

Questions Based On Psychographic Traits

Psychographic questions help reveal the psychological characteristics within your target market, or your entire pool of respondents. This type of approach to market research questions involves the feelings, interests and attitudes your customer base holds.

It allows brands to understand their customers at a more intimate level, specifically, about their views on any topic. You can tailor these to focus on your product/service or the desired act of making purchases.

Here are a few examples of questions based on psychographic traits.

  1. Which of the following is most important to you?

  2. How do you like to spend your free time?

  3. If you had more time, which of the following would you do?

  4. If you had more time, what would you spend more money on?

  5. How do you favor making purchases?

  6. What interests you?

  7. What draws you to one brand over another in the [niche, industry, space, etc.]?

A Reminder on Market Research Questions

All four of the question types covered in this article are critical to tap into the brains of your current and potential customers. What’s more empowering about these kinds of questions is that they can help you expand your target market and appeal to a much wider audience. They can inform both your marketing strategies, your content and the innovation of your product/service itself.

But you must remember, these in-depth questions do NOT cover demographics. Instead, these questions are for those who already passed the screening question portion of the survey.

Screening questions, which determine the eligibility of a respondent to partake in a survey, answer demographics questions about the responders. While they are incredibly necessary to understand who your respondents are, they do not necessarily allow you to draw conclusions on your customers’ behaviors, needs and attitudes (although a few of them might).

A strong survey should combine both sets of questions for a comprehensive market research assemblage.

If you’re looking for more great resources on using surveys to meet your business and marketing goals, check out the Pollfish Resource Center, or reach out to our 24/7 customer experience team for guidance and support.