Online Surveys: Real-Time Opinions Give Businesses an Advantage

Market research helps businesses make better and less risky decisions and online surveys are an important part of this process. Find out why and how online opinion polling can be used in combination with other research methodologies.

market researchersFor anyone wishing to conduct market research, time is of the essence; part of being successful in business is timing and having access to information that your competitors do not.

While conducting the right type of survey, asking the right questions and analyzing the data correctly are all equally important, many businesses get stuck at the very beginning of the market research process and decide not to conduct opinion research due to budgetary constraints, strong assumptions about the marketplace, or manpower limitations.

Taking Advantage of Others’ Data

It’s no secret that market research reduces market risk for companies as armed with good information, better decisions can be made. Although the trend in the online survey spectrum has been steady growth, there are still plenty of organizations who choose not to take advantage of the vast amounts of research data that is available. Government bodies, industry associations and even private enterprise often publish the results of the studies they conduct which can be used by those unwilling to engage in their own surveying.

Mixed Mode Research

While market research methodologies such as telephone surveys, mail (postal) surveys, in-person interviews (including shopping mall questionnaires) still remain a strong part of the research process, online surveys are starting to dominate as the preferred type of methodology. Especially when used in a “mixed mode”, or in conjunction with traditional telephone surveys, postal surveys, etc., online surveying can be extremely useful in gauging a market’s attitudes and beliefs.

Online Surveys Give Businesses an Advantage

While telephone surveying can conducted relatively quickly using a large scale call centre, nothing beats the speed of an online survey. At the click of a button, a researcher can e-mail their broadcast to thousands of participants all over the world and watch as the results are delivered in real-time. Not only can especially time-sensitive surveys be conducted, but the data from the questionnaire can begin to be analyzed and trends can appear, even when not all responses have been received. The advent of sophisticated research software makes this process simple and user-friendly, as exporting data into the form of charts and graphs can be done at the click of a button, and emailed or printed off for the client to see.

Participant Benefits

Not only do online opinion surveys benefit the businesses conducting them, but participants of these surveys also benefit from their convenient nature. While it is possible for an online survey invitation to be inadvertently filtered to a user’s junkmail folder in their email, it is less likely for a respondent to miss receiving an online survey than it is a telephone call. Similarly, postal surveys can get lost in the mail, can be discarded without even being opened, or can be routed to the wrong person. While online surveys are by no means perfect, because each member of a survey panel has a unique and typically un-shared e-mail account, it is less likely for a person other than the intended respondent to take a survey.

As completing an online survey can offer a handsome reward, respondents are compensated fairly for their efforts. In addition to earning possible monetary compensation, respondents (panellists) also take part in the increasingly important process of market research. For without them and their valuable feedback, businesses would have difficulty in making in less risky decisions.

To become a respondent yourself, take a look at our market research companies directory and click the “join now” button on a panel that is of interest to you. Complete the new member registration form and you will become eligible to complete future studies.

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