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Five Things You Should Get Right before Carrying Out a Market Survey

Market surveys are a good thing. Without them, your business activity could amount to swimming blindly in waters possessing unpredictable currents. When conducted and used properly, they could give you valuable insight into various aspects of the market you want to gain a foothold in or expand your share of.

Before you send out survey questions, you should take note of the following things:

  1. The Purpose of Conducting the Survey: Of course, this has to be the first thing you decide upon. But you should be able to craft your survey questions in a way that helps you accomplish the aim of conducting the survey in the first place.

  1. Demographics: Markets are typically segmented; design your questions with this in mind. Classifications to consider may vary depending on the purpose of the survey. It might be based on age, income level, gender, or other relevant divisions which might play a role in the variety of tastes and preferences as indicated in data collected through the surveys. This could be elicited by requesting for details pertaining to these from those being surveyed. However, take care to include the assurance of anonymity when information about the age or income groups to which survey participants belong is being requested, because many people consider these details sensitive.

  1. Sample Size: The larger the sample size, the better. Data from smaller sample sizes are less likely to reflect the general population, which is what your survey, in fact, tries to mirror.

  1. Survey Medium: Surveys can be carried out online or offline; printed questions may be handed to people to fill, or posed verbally to them by volunteers, who record the answers given. Online surveys can be done using survey platforms such as SurveyMonkey and SurveyGizmo. While it is true that online surveys may not adequately cover certain demographic groups, they are increasingly being used by businesses to collect vital data about the market-shaping preferences of the young and educated.

  1. What the Survey Questions Look Like: Make sure your survey questions are not too numerous. Attention spans these days aren’t what they used to be, so it’s apt to tailor the questions to suit, at most, a ten-minute period for answering them. This can be achieved by making questions simple and straightforward. They should not be open-ended. Questions could come with option boxes; answering them would mean ticking the boxes representing the answer the person being questioned chooses. This makes it quicker and easier for the surveyor, as well as those who will be asked the questions.


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Ikenna Nwachukwu

Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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