As a professional marketing researcher I’ll admit I haven’t always been a fan of online surveys. My introduction was not a happy one. I had just contacted a client to ask about our ongoing annual research study. I was told that my services were no longer required as they were now using SurveyMonkey. What the heck was a Survey Monkey? My worst fears had come true…I’d been replaced by a monkey. Why couldn’t they call it Survey Einstein? I’d be okay with that. Maybe Mom was right. I should have been an accountant!
Since that ill-fated day I’ve learned to embrace the monkey and a variety of online survey platforms. After all, in comparison to other data collection methods, an online survey allows us to gather information quickly and at a low cost. But I’ve also learned this lesson…all of the pitfalls that exist for other survey techniques exist for online surveys. As the techies like to say,“garbage in, garbage out”. To avoid this danger I encourage you to keep three key rules in mind as you embark on your next online survey:
1. Clearly define your research objectives
2. Consider the flow of your questions
3. Think carefully about the wording of your questions
I will elaborate on these three points in future blogs.