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A survey is a survey, it is something better than nothing?

Constructing a survey is not as easy as you think so. You may think that it is just throwing some questions into a paper, with 2 or more multiple choice answers, and you are done.

It is more than that. And you will see it here.

Survey constructing challenge

The process for building a survey starts at the moment you (or someone from your business) decides it is necessary to make research. The decision of making research comes along with identifying the research need and with it, answering these five important questions: What is your research question? What will you do with this information? Could you access this information in-house or through a third party? When do you need this information? Does the benefit of the research project outweigh the cost of the project?

Having these questions answered leads you to the next step that is designing the research study, and here is when you start building the actual questionnaire, with all the questions that will be held in the survey.

First of all, you generate the topics, items, or issues that will potentially be touched in your survey. Second, you make a draft with questions and their different possible answers. To make this, you must consider that there are different types of questions that you can use, and different types of scales to measure answers. For example, your question can be categorical (or nominal), metric (scale type), or an open-ended question.

Deciding which type of question is better fitted to answer your main inquiry is part of the process. Remember that your main research objective should be the path that leads the survey construction and that every question should be in line with reaching that objective.

Good vs Bad

The line that divides a good survey from a bad one is thin and it is important to have it in mind.

Good surveys are made of well-constructed questions (and answers), questions that are aligned to the main objective and that respect the don’ts’.

Bad questions would lead to a bad survey, a lack of information, and a loss of money.

What is a bad question?

  • Questions that assume criteria that seem to be obvious, or that are subject to an interpretation.
  • Questions that are beyond the responders’ ability.
  • Questions that use specific examples to show a general case.
  • Questions that ask for details that are easily forgotten or hard to remember.
  • Questions that are double-barreled.
  • Questions that lead the responder to a specific answer.

Does it matter?

Doing a survey that does not meet the main objective need will probably be a survey whose information report will be discarded or archived. But also, doing a survey whose information is not reliable or nurturing would also make the information not relevant when analyzing results.

Making a good survey actually matters, although is cheaper than other types of research, there is a budget that might be lost if the information is not valuable.

Conducting a bad survey, it’s absolutely worse than not even conducting one.

Hope you liked today’s “Let’s talk about…” topic, I look forward to reading your comments and positions about it! If you want to know more about marketing research, check this post!

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