Category Archives: Survey writing

Survey replacements – are they really ready?

I was recently part of a marketing training class where the teacher answered a question about surveys being conducted to garner audience perceptions and experiences with, “Stop doing surveys! Everyone who takes them lies.” Of course, being me, I offered, “Well, now that you’ve obliterated my profession, what do you propose we do to collect that information?” His answer was… Read more »

3 ways we fail our audiences and how to turn the ship around

Before I get going, I want to start by defining “audiences.” In this context, the audiences in question are those who we are asking to participate in our market research studies. Typically, the failure is happening with quantitative studies, not qualitative studies (at least, in my experience, this is the case). In quantitative surveys, we find bloated surveys, biz-speak language,… Read more »

6 common survey writing errors to avoid

trim a survey

Writing survey questions can seem like a walk in the park until you realize how many ways there are to do it poorly. From leading questions to hitting a double-header in just one question, there are a number of things to watch for when putting together your survey questions. Bias I’ll touch on this briefly because I have a full… Read more »

Survey writing tips: screeners

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Last year, I wrote a series of articles with survey design tips for new market researchers, whether doing DIY market research or new to the field in a market research company. Those articles focused a lot on all of the preparatory work that should go into designing a questionnaire, but aside from an article about scales, didn’t spend a lot… Read more »

Market research lessons from cycling

The cyclist journeys home The story begins with a traveler cycling home from work. All the way, the cyclist kept being passed by other cyclists, and couldn’t help but wonder, “I’m exerting so much effort, but I keep getting passed! I know I’m slower than most, but this is starting to feel silly.” The cyclist then did a quick analysis… Read more »

Survey design tip: choosing survey software

You’ve finally reached a point where you’re ready to dive into programming your survey. If you don’t already have survey software you’ve used in the past (or if you’re looking to renew a license and exploring options), this step can feel pretty daunting as you try to figure out the best price for the features available. Here are some tips… Read more »

Survey design tip: scales

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Likert. Likert-style. Positive. Negative. Words. Numbers. There is so much about scales for surveys that can be so confusing when you get right down to it. Truth be told, choosing the right scales and right scale setup for your questions in your survey can be both easier than expected and tougher than expected. Let’s look at how scale selection and… Read more »

Survey design tip: survey length

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Whether you’ve written surveys for decades or are just beginning, the question or survey length is one that’s been around for quite some time, but probably not quite as prevalent an issue as it has become in the past few years. With survey participants increasingly participating via mobile devices, the question of length has become pretty widely debated.

Survey design tip: fielding

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If you’ve followed the previous few weeks’ worth of survey design tips, you might notice I’ve been spending a lot of time in the efforts and questions that should be answered before you even start writing the survey. There’s a reason for that – taking the time up front to address these items will save time and effort in the… Read more »

Survey design tip: what will you do with the data?

will you act on the feedback

So far, in the weekly series about survey design tips, I’ve covered establishing the primary purpose for your survey; identifying your target audience for your survey; defining the different data cuts you want when you get the data back. Today, I want to delve a bit into the question of what will be done with the data once it’s gathered…. Read more »