Tag: market research

The Austin Research approach to survey design

It’s easy to design surveys but very difficult to design surveys well. At Austin Towers we have over 20 years’ experience of designing market research surveys and believe we know a thing or two about creating great questionnaires. This experience informs the principles of our approach to survey design: Focus on objectives: questions should relentlessly focus on the research objectives. It…

Avoid binary options when writing attitude statements

I’ve just received a survey from an insurance company that recently provided me with a quote. There were a couple of grids of attitude statements in the questionnaire including this one:The statement that particularly irked me was “I received a confirmation of what had been done”. Attitude statements should attempt to measure respondents’ attitudes but this is a Yes/No question….

10 personality traits of top survey designers

Good survey design isn’t easy. An effective survey designer needs to have many qualities. Here are 10 personality traits its important to have:   1. Be purposeful: set survey objectives and make sure they are clear (more on this here – http://austinresearch.co.uk/purpose-a-market-researchers-best-friend/) 2. Be focussed: stick to your survey objectives. Make sure that every question contributes to meeting your objectives and resist including…

Don’t get lost in a forest of data – focus your research.

My wife and I are currently in the process of “re-doing” our bedroom. It’s a process we’ve previously been through a few times with other rooms but, despite this experience, we’re not great at it. We both agree that a room needs freshening up but neither of us are great at visualising what we eventually want the room to look…

Root survey research in respondent reality

These days, it’s not difficult to find blogs or articles on survey engagement containing worthwhile advice on question design, the importance of how your survey looks, mobile optimisation etc. But many of these articles overlook one of the most fundamental ways to engage respondents; making the survey relevant. Too many times I’ve answered surveys that ask me for perceptions of…

Purpose: A market researcher’s best friend

The best market research projects I have been involved in have been purposeful, research that meets a clear need and enables clients to make critical business decisions. A clear sense of purpose sees everyone pulling in the same direction allowing projects to move forward quickly and effectively. When research has real purpose it makes it easier to write questions or…

Working with clients to produce shorter surveys

Shorter questionnaires produce better quality data than long questionnaires. I imagine most research agencies agree with this statement but it seems that few are following through on it and producing questionnaires that don’t overburden respondents. A barrier to producing shorter surveys can be a desire to please the end client. Understandably the client wants to get as much out of…

Rank bad questions: how not to ask ranking questions

I’ve seen a couple of questions recently which have asked respondents to rank long lists of attributes. An example is shown below:   Ignoring the fact that I’ve never looked for any “benefit” in a loyalty rewards programme for an online travel agency, and I’ve no idea which criteria I should be using for ranking these benefits, there are several…

Its not a maths exam! Don't ask respondents to calculate percentages.

A client recently wanted to include a question on a b2b survey asking retailers what percentage of their sales of a certain product were accounted for by different brands. I took their request very literally and turned it into a question that directly asked the percentage of total sales that each brand accounted for. There was no problem with respondents understanding…

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