Week 3 – Online Surveys

January 18, 2015

The power of online research and surveys can be instrumental in understanding a consumer and their perceptions of your brand, brand experience or shopping for your product or service. In conjunction with traditional research gathering, like focus groups or data mining, online surveys can provide immediate insights into real-time consumer behavior and perceptions.

Additionally, the value proposition of online surveys has never been stronger, given the decreased cost through inexpensive survey instruments, as well as low fees with email providers, plus quick speed to market, the data that can be obtained near instantaneously is tremendously valuable for a business. Companies like SurveyMonkey.com make it quick and easy to gather quantitative and qualitative data on a brand or subject.

While I agree with the article from this week’s readings about the challenges of online surveys, given the article’s date at nearly 10 years old, I believe that many of the barriers to online research have largely diminished. As noted, the participation rate on online surveys back then, both in engagement and completion, surpassed phone and mail formatted surveys, and has likely increased with the cost of direct mail and the national “Do Not Call” phone registry.

However, the increased functionality of piping and branching online survey questions greatly outweighs the diminished value of junk email or low participation rates as barriers to online research. An article by Cvent reaffirms the value and flexibility of leveraging online surveys for market research.

Furthermore, with the rapid adoption of technology through mobile and portable “connected devices,” combined with the almost pervasive presence of high-speed internet and Wi-Fi access, consumers can now engage when and where it’s convenient for them to provide feedback on what they do and don’t like.

Finally, while the readings briefly address the increase in for-pay survey networks, this is one area that has undoubtedly grown with increase online survey deployments. Such networks of users can be sorted and filtered to provide segmented and targeted audiences ideal to completing online research of potential or unknown consumers of a brand. Having personally been part of several online research panels and networks, survey fatigue is a real thing and brands should absolutely consider this when selecting data sets/audiences for deployment.

With regards to SurveyMonkey.com and Qualtrics, overall it appears that Qualtrics provides a richer robust platform of options and selections for a survey designer. Additionally, the reporting functionality appears stronger which an assist in quicker analysis and stronger communication to stakeholders and leadership.


  1. Beyond email deployments of online surveys, what are some other tactics that brands can use to launch and engage participants in online surveys?
  2. Have you participated in an online survey network? What incentives entice you to complete a survey?

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MMC5427, Online Research, Online Surveys,