Surveys in business are useful in gathering information and insights that will contribute to company’s clearer understanding about the market, the industry, product and services improvements, consumer lifestyles, preferences and demographics among others. As such, it is important that a survey design is clear and asks the pertinent questions a business or a market research need to gain sufficient details and insights. In business and in market research, for instance, questions regarding trends, growth rates, preferred brands, competitive edge, opportunities and risks are important. Survey questions vary depending on subject matter and target respondents.
The growing usage of business/market research as a way of understanding customers, competition and identifying growth opportunities led to the development of more survey portals in the web that survey design services. This writer analysed one of the sample survey questionnaires that aimed to understand the important consideration to successfully implement brand building strategies (Please see Index A for the list of questions).
The survey question designer used fill in the blanks, multiple choice and yes or no questions to gain information from its respondents which made the questionnaire easier to read and to answer. The questions are about the company’s product and services, growth, market share, customer satisfaction and loyalty and income level of the target consumers which are relevant indicators and measures to determine the performance and the effectiveness of the brand and the current brand strategies.
It is important to note, though, that the fill in the blanks questions are quite limited, only two out of 11 question. This prevents the questionnaire from gaining insightful responses that are very helpful in achieving adept research. Fill-in-the blanks questions are very useful in the qualitative research to investigate the relevant issues and understanding business trends and environment and the reasons for its current strategies and future plans.
Its provision of the multiple choices and range of figures for quantitative questions such as the market share is excellent as companies tend to be reluctant in providing information about financials and numbers. Providing a range will still allow them to answer the question without violating their confidentiality corporate policy. This will also enable the researchers and the analysts to estimate well based on the interviewees’ responses.
Although, generally the survey questions found are easy to answer and understand and can gain informative research, there are few lapses. The questionnaire seemed to be bias in the market segment choices as there is a less representation of the middle class as part of the answer choices in the respondents’ target market. Lower and upper middle class does not necessarily mean middle class. The use of word “class” instead of “income” as in lower class and lower income is less politically correct and economically inaccurate.
On the positive note, the questionnaire did not suffer from having double barred questions which increases the likelihood of gaining accurate answers. The questions do not have double negation as well; they are properly constructed and are grammatically correct.
It will be helpful if the survey questions are in proper sequence in terms of thought and coherence of topics. It will help the respondent answer with a clearer line of thought while the researchers will be able to analyse the answers easily. In the sample questionnaire, it is noticeable that the ordering lapses/issues of the questions.
The survey questionnaire will be better if the all questions relating to customer loyalty will be in sequence and all questions about customer satisfaction will follow after the sets of loyalty-related questions. The questions about target market and current market should be placed after the question about product positioning while question about market share of the product should be asked after identifying the flagship product of the company.
Academe and marketing experts have noted important elements of effective survey questionnaire. It is important to consider the logical order of the questions, simplicity of words, direct and interesting (Birmingham University, 2011). It is also important to consider setting the respondent’s mind set one at a time, place insightful questions in the middle and the delicate questions at the last part of the survey (Kaden, 2006). Interviewee needs to determine the 10 most important questions and make sure that these are in the list. There may be times that during the interview and research need to add a follow up questions to the answer of respondents to gain more perspective about the reasons of the interviewees choices or company and product performances. There may be times that respondents will be unable to provide answer to one of the list of questions. Hence it is important to be prepared to provide a back-up question that will make the respondent provide a rough view or estimates.
2014. Sample Brand Questionnaire. Estorebuilder. Retrieved from https://www.estorebuilder.com/manage/dashboard
Kaden, Robert. February 28, 2006. How to Write an Effective Survey Questionnaire. Marketing Profs. Retrieved from http://www.marketingprofs.com/6/kaden5.asp