QUESTIONNAIRE DEVELOPMENT BEST PRACTICES

surveywritingThe quality of the data you collect through quantitative research directly reflects the quality of your questionnaire. Investing the appropriate time to construct a well-designed, effective survey will ensure that you can confidently count on your data to make sound business decisions.  However, if you do not invest time and thought in drafting your survey, regardless of the number of respondents, your data may not be reliable.

Below are some guidelines to help you construct a well-designed survey:

  1. DEFINE THE STUDY GOALS/OBJECTIVES AND STICK WITH THEM

    1. What are you trying to answer with this survey?
    2. Clearly articulate 2-4 broad objectives the survey should address, and use them to guide you as you develop specific questions.
  2. DEFINE YOUR AUDIENCE

    1. Who should be answering the survey and providing data?
      1. To determine your survey’s audience, consider your study objectives, category, product, advertising and behaviors you are interested in learning about.
      2. Similarly, consider the population of respondents you are looking to target for your survey – what demographic and behavioral profiles do they need to meet? As a note: narrower, more targeted audiences can result in higher respondent cost and longer field time.
  3. CONSTRUCT THE SURVEY

    1. When writing each question, be mindful of the survey length, consider how its data will be used and and if it will contribute to your research objectives.
      1. A good exercise is to draft the survey with all possible questions and trim the survey down to 20-25 questions that best address your goals.
    2. Two elements to think about while constructing your questions:
      1. Types of questions to include: There are many ways to ask any question, and different ways can provide you with different results. Choose the most appropriate structure based on the objective of that question. The two most widely used types of questions are:
        1. Closed-end questions:
          1. These questions provide participants with answer options or scales for their responses. There are several types of close-ended questions — multiple response, single response, scales, ranking, etc. — and each provides different results, and supports different objectives.
        2. Open-end questions:
          1. Respondents type in their own words to respond to a question. This is often used to avoid exposing respondents to options that might guide their responses.
      2. Question bias: Ensure that the way you phrase your questions does not inadvertently guide respondents’ answers. For example, asking respondents to give their opinion on a product and providing them only a list of positive attributes will result in a falsely-positive assessment of the product. Similarly, using a scale that is unbalanced, leaning either positive or negative, will result in data that does not represent how consumers really feel.
  4. CONSTRUCT THE SURVEY FLOW

    1. The survey flow is as important as the questions themselves. As a rule of thumb:
      1. Separate your survey into different sections, with each section addressing a specific topic. This provides a flow that is easier for respondents to follow and understand.
      2. Start broad and then narrow: ask broad opinion questions – such as overall satisfaction or overall opinion – at the beginning of the survey to get respondents’ true top-of-mind reactions before they are exposed to more specific questions and options that might influence their later responses.

Writing a quality, unbiased survey is one of the most important steps in gathering useful data. It’s OK to ask for help or leave the survey writing to the experts. At Lab42, we are skilled in all aspects of survey writing and can provide consultation on a survey you already have or construct your survey from scratch. Just remember a well written, neutral survey will provide your business with the highest quality data and allow you to make the most informed business decisions.

ADDITIONAL ANALYTICS BY LAB42

Your data is only as good as the quality of your analysis. Lab42 provides additional analytics to help you gain more valuable insights from your data and make sound business decisions. These additional analytics are designed to help you at different stages in the product lifecycle – from product development to tracking performance in market.

Lab4 specializes in the following analysis techniques:

  1. TURF Analysis
  2. Van Westendorp Price Sensitivity
  3. Derived Importance / Quadrant Maps
  4. Factor / Regression Analysis

TURF ANALYSIS

What it is: The TURF Analysis is a technique that allows us to assess the ideal number of product attributes which will attract the most unique (unduplicated) customers. Continue reading this post…

2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: THE COUNTDOWN CONTINUES

With only six months remaining until the United States elects its next President, we have already seen one of the most drama filled election cycles in recent history. In the six months since our last research, the list of candidates has slimmed to five from the original nineteen, and we are starting to see more consistency of voters’ viewpoints. Check out our infographic and results below.

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Continue reading this post…

Concept Testing: Turning Consumer Insights into Better Products and Services

Some new products and services are groundbreaking, successful and quickly become integral parts of our lives. Others aren’t. Numerous studies have shown that as many as 80% of new product launches fail each year. If you or your clients have an idea for a new product or service, make sure there is market demand before you get in too deep. A small investment in quantitative research early in your exploration could save significant expense in the future.

In this blog post, we highlight the basics of concept testing – including what it is, study design and best practices. To learn more about Lab42’s approach to concept testing, you can download our full whitepaper below.

WHAT IS CONCEPT TESTING?

A Concept Test is a research strategy designed to assess the market viability of a new product or service. It will help you determine how appealing the concept is, how likely consumers are to buy or use it, and to identify areas for further optimization.

STUDY DESIGN

Lab42 uses a very straightforward process for testing concepts. After screening for the appropriate audience, qualified respondents are exposed to the un-priced concept and asked a battery of questions to assess its appeal, effectiveness and potential customer motivation. In addition to our standard set of concept test questions, we can also add additional modules that will allow you to understand the appeal of specific features of the concept and determine the acceptable price ranges for the product or service. We finish the survey by asking respondents for their demographic information, which will allow us to analyze the aggregate data along these demographic points. Continue reading this post…

USING RESEARCH AND DATA TO DRIVE YOUR PR

At Lab42, we realize how challenging your job can be as a PR or communications professional. One successful media pitch can make a huge difference to your clients’ businesses. However, clients do not always have pitch-worthy news. Even if you have a PR strategy already in place, you can propel your clients’ media exposure to new heights by generating genuinely newsworthy data using market research.spotlight

When we started Lab42, we realized that the best way to display our market research prowess was to conduct our own survey, generate compelling insights, and transform those data points into an infographic. The tactic worked quite well for us. Our research and infographics have been picked up by dozens of news outlets, including The New York Times,Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Forbes, Mashable and Newsweek (to name a few). After seeing our success with this method, we started recommending it to our clients.

Traditionally, market research has been used for internal projects – customer and employee feedback, concept testing and ad testing, for example. But market research is also a strategic marketing and PR tool. Generating custom, specific insights for your client or business is a great way to stay top-of-mind with the media.

If you are new to the world of market research, here are key points to keep in mind:

Continue reading this post…