Thursday, September 10, 2009

Survey Design Tips

There was a time when everyone:
A. Issued press releases whether or not they had news.
B. Asked about getting on "The Oprah Winfrey Show."
C. Conducted surveys that all too often did not contain news.
D. All of the Above.
E. Didn't think this was a cute or clever way to introduce a blog post about surveys.

Ok, the answer may be D & E, but since organizations still conduct surveys, I thought it useful to cite some good points from Paul Gillin:
  • Validate assumptions -- surveys should be a fishing expedition.
  • Match the survey type to your objectives -- online surveys are good for some purposes, focus groups for others. Make sure you understand the benefits and risks of a survey type before fielding it.
  • Make the survey interesting -- seems basic, but many surveys are not.
  • Keep it simple -- again, seems, um, simple, but many surveys are not.
  • Avoid the most common questionnaire errors -- such as "leading the respondent with questions that mention your product name or use your marketing language."
Gillin's article is hard to find, but I found a version of it here.

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