In survey administration , marketers and researchers have to establish first their goals prior to the actual survey. What is it they want? How are they going to utilize the collected data? They also have to identify on what means and capacity they are to achieve their objectives. Remember that any form of data collection such as a marketing survey, requires and can exhaust resources. Therefore, it is only right to employ the most fitting data gathering approach depending on the survey questions. In addition, the sample population will then have to be identified. Who do you want to elicit information from? Lastly, the method of data collection will be determined. How will you bring out the data?
B2B or B2C marketers and market researchers are given different choices on how to administer a marketing survey. Each approach have their own merits and demerits, which should be taken into account and evaluated thoroughly before embarking on the survey process.
Survey Administration Methods
Basically, there are two classifications of approaches in administering a survey: personal approach and self-administered approach. A personal approach survey can be a face-to-face interview or a telephone interview. A face-to-face interview generally generates a good response rate; however, it presents a higher likelihood for bias as a result of the interplay between the surveyor and the surveyee. On the contrary, a telephone survey offers better obscurity and confidentiality compared to a face-to-face interview. Be that as it may, this type of survey is impractical to use of there are lengthy questions involved.
A self-administered approach includes paper-and-pencil survey, online survey, and mail survey. A paper-and-pencil survey is suggested if the respondents have no access to computers or they do not know how to use a computer. The downside of this survey is that it is time-consuming for the survey forms have to be manually disseminated. Survey administrators are also required to be physically present during the entire data collection process. As for an online survey, it is optimal for marketing researches that involve large sample size and diverse demographics. The respondents, however, should be computer literate in order to answer the questions. Among the three, mail survey is probably the easiest to supervise and carry out. However, with today’s technology, mail surveys are becoming less and less as an option.
Response rates are very critical when administering a survey. During the data collection process, the surveyor would want all the respondents to answer the survey completely. In order to improve the response rate, researchers do pilot testing. It eliminates stringent potential obstacles like poorly-phrased questionnaires. Other suggestions that will likely engage respondents are giving them incentives, guaranteeing confidentiality and/or anonymity, creating a professional-looking questionnaire, and adhering to the KISS precept or Keeping It Short and Simple. For those who will conduct the survey, the rule of thumb is to look professional, mannerly, and affable. And don’t forget to always say “please,” and “thank you.”
Pointers in Conducting Survey Administration
- Approach for Collecting Data– Can the data be collected elsewhere? Is there already an existing data for this topic? What method is optimal for this area of concern? Will random sampling work? Questions like these need to be considered when deciding for the data sampling technique.
- Survey Length– Always keep the survey short. Keep in mind that you’re asking for the data you need to know, not those that you like to know.
- Survey Questions– Obtain diverse responses on your survey questions. Be on point. Remember to ask yourself if you are asking the question you think you are asking.
- Survey Timing– According to research, you can get the best response rates if the surveys were sent out or conducted on Mondays.
- Survey Request– Make your surveys catchy, appealing, and fun. Do not forget to indicate the survey’s completion time. Is your survey a matter of social responsibility? Or an incentive-driven research?
- Survey Structure– Since it is common for respondents to drop out as the survey keep going, ask the important questions right away. Also, refrain from leading and confusing questions. When there is a scale for options, include an even number of option. This causes the respondents to establish an opinion, whether they concur or dissent, against to being indifferent or neutral.