Online market research is a powerful tool that enables you to better understand your business and the market for your goods or services. However, creating a survey from scratch can seem a bit daunting to first-timers.To help get you up to speed, I wanted to quickly cover the basics: what an online survey is, what they are being used for, and who is using them.Let’s jump in…

What is an online survey?

The concept of an online survey is a fairly straightforward one; it essentially enables you to put a few hundred people in a room and ask them any questions you have. Orchestrating this feedback loop online has enabled both large and small companies to substantially reduce their market research costs, as it’s far more cost-effective to ask people these questions remotely than it is to assemble them in person.

What is an online survey?

 What are surveys being used for?

Now let’s look at how surveys are helping companies garner insights and drive results. There are countless applications, but some of them of the most popular use cases include:

  • Consumer Behavior – Understand consumers’ activity to create an offering that best suits their needs
  • Demand Assessment – Gauge the overall level of interest in your concept before pursuing it
  • Product Design – Ensure you are launching your product with the most appealing design
  • Feature Selection – Invest in what people want the most, discard unnecessary features
  • Pricing – Understand people’s willingness to pay to set a price that maximizes profitability
  • Marketing Design – Select the logo or ad design that people are most drawn to
  • Video Evaluation – Get feedback on your explainer video or video advertisement

By understanding what people want, you can better develop an offering that meets the needs of your market. For instance, if you run an Italian restaurant and need to decide if you should add mushroom risotto or margarita pizza to your menu, you can provide a sample listing that includes a description and image of each and let the audience vote. The results of your study can confirm your intuition or shed light on otherwise unknown consumer preferences.

Who is using online surveys?

Surveys are being used across a wide variety of professionals throughout many different industries:

  • Academic institutions
  • Advertising agencies
  • Brand managers
  • Consultants
  • Consumer research firms
  • CPG companies
  • Food and beverage companies
  • Journalists
  • Product managers
  • Restaurants
  • Small businesses
  • Start-ups
  • Technology companies

If you’re wondering whether an online survey would be helpful to your business, ask yourself three questions:

  1. Are you uncertain about something?
  2. Would feedback from other people be helpful?
  3. Can you act on this feedback once collected?

If you answered yes to all three, conducting a survey will provide you with actionable data that will help drive your business forward.