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Surveys. What is a Survey?. Get lots of structured information from lots of people. Simplify and standardize data collection. Use statistics to make predictions. Find out about things that can not be observed. Such as Thoughts, Emotions, Opinions, Intentions, Attitudes. Why Survey?.

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why survey
Get lots of structured information from lots of people.

Simplify and standardize data collection.

Use statistics to make predictions.

Find out about things that can not be observed. Such as Thoughts, Emotions, Opinions, Intentions, Attitudes

Why Survey?
the process consumers go through before taking some action.

Decision making process

  • The Need to Know Why

why people do or do not do something.

  • Likes, dislikes, attitudes, behaviors, influences
  • The Need to Know How
  • The Need to Know Who
  • Information on age, income, occupation, marital status, stage in the family life cycle, education, and other lifestyle factors is necessary to the identification and definition of market segments.

Survey Methods

  • Personal Interview

Door-to-Door (in-home), Mall-Intercept, Purchase-Intercept, Executive (office)

  • Telephone-Interview
    • People Computer assisted (CATI)
  • Self-Administered
    • Mail Survey
    • Fax
    • One-time vs. Panels
  • Computer

Direct Computer Interviewing

Interactive voice response technology-Automated Telephone


  • Internet

A Classification of Survey Methods

















personal interviews8
Can arouse and keep interest

Can build rapport and enlist cooperation

Ask complex questions

Immediate feedback

Can use visual and other aids

Clarify misunderstandings

High degree of flexibility

Probe for more complete answers

Do not need an explicit or current list of households or individuals

Personal Interviews


personal interviews9
Bias of Interviewer

Response Bias

Embarrassing/personal questions

Time Requirements

Cost Per Completed Interview Is High.

High refusal rate

A trained staff of interviewers that is geographically near the sample is needed.

The total data collection period is likely to be longer than for most procedures.

High selection error – non-representative sample

Personal Interviews


telephone interviewing
Selecting telephone numbers

Pre specified list

A directory

Random dialing procedure

Random digit dialing

Systematic random digit dialing (SRDD)

The introduction

When to call

Call reports

Telephone Interviewing

What are the Important Aspects of Telephone Interviewing?

telephone interviewing12
Central location, under supervision, at own hours

More interviews can be conducted in a given time

Travelling time is saved

More hours of the day are productive

Repeated call backs at lower cost

Lower administrative costs/ Lower cost per completed interview

Less sample bias

Better access to certain populations

Shorter data collection periods.

Telephone Interviewing


telephone interviewing13
Inability to employ visual aids or complex tasks

Can't be longer than 5-10 min. or they get boring

Amount of data that can be collected is relatively less

A capable interviewer essential

Sample bias -- Not all people have phones, or are not listed

Nonresponse associated with RDD sampling is higher than with interviews

Possibly less appropriate for personal or sensitive questions if no prior contact

National Do Not Call List 1-866-580-DNCL (866-580-3625)

Telephone Interviewing

Limitations and Disadvantages:

increasing phone survey response
Call at a convenient time (Weekdays 7-9 PM, Sunday afternoon)

Have a nice Pleasant introduction

Emphasize you are not selling anything.

State how long it will take.

Keep the survey short

Increasing Phone Survey Response

Self-Administered Types of Survey Research

Direct Mail Survey

Questionnaire is distributed to and returned from respondents via the postal service.

Respondent Reads Survey Questions and Records Answers Without Assistance

Mail Panel Survey

Selected group of individuals that have made an advance agreement to participate in a series of direct mail surveys.

Drop Off Survey

Questionnaires are left with respondent to be completed at a later time and returned to the researcher.

Mail Surveys

Requires a broad identification of the individuals to be sampled before data collection begins

Ad Hoc Mail Surveys (cold):

Questionnaires for a particular project sent to selected names and addresses with no prior contact by the researcher.

Mail Panels (warm):

Pre-contacted and screened participants who are periodically sent questionnaires.

A mail panel is a type of longitudinal study. A longitudinal study in one in which the same respondents are re-sampled over time.

mail surveys
Type of Return Envelope


Method of Addressing

Cover Letter

The Questionnaire Length, Layout, Color, Format Etc

Method of Notification

Incentive to Be Given

Mail Surveys

Some Decisions That Need to Be Taken

mail surveys18
Relatively low cost

Reliable answers as no inhibiting intermediary

Survey answered at respondents discretion

Can be accomplished with minimal staff and facilities.

Provides access to widely dispersed samples.

Respondents have time to give thoughtful answers, look up records, or consult others.

Mail Surveys


mail surveys19
No control over whom the respondent consults before answering the questions

The identity of the respondent is inadequately controlled

The speed of the response can't be monitored

No control on the order in which the questions are exposed or answered

Open questions usually are not useful.

Good reading and writing skills are needed by respondents.

The interviewer is not present to exercise quality control with respect to answering all questions, meeting questions objectives, or the quality of answers provided.

High non-response rate

Mail Surveys


The respondent may not clearly understand the question and no opportunity to clarify

No long questionnaires

Need for good up-to date mailing list

Response rate is generally poor

Number of problems such as obsolescence, omissions, duplications, etc

Ineffective as a way of enlisting cooperation.

Mail Surveys

Disadvantages (Contd.):

Perceived amount of work required, and the length of the questionnaire

Intrinsic interest in the topic

Characteristics of the sample

Credibility of the sponsoring organization

Level of induced motivation

Factors Affecting the Response Rate


Tactics Employed to Increase Mail Survey Response Rate

  • Advance postcard or telephone call alerting respondent of survey.
  • Follow-up postcard or phone call.
  • Monetary incentives (how much?).
  • Premiums (pencil, pen, keychain, coupons, etc.).
  • Postage stamps rather than metered envelopes.
  • Self-addressed, stamped return envelope.
  • Personalized address and well-written cover letter.

• Personally signed cover letter.


Tactics Employed to Increase Mail Survey Response Rate

• Entry into drawing for prize.

• Emotional appeals.

• Affiliation with institutions or reputed organizations.

• Multiple mailings of the questionnaire.

• Bids for sympathy.

• Offer to share information from the survey.

  • Promise of contributions to favorite charity.

Drop-off questionnaires

  • The interviewer can explain the study, answer questions, and designate a respondent.
  • Response rates tend to be like those of personal interview studies.
  • There is more opportunity to give thoughtful answers and consult records.
  • Costs about as much as personal interviews.
  • A field staff is required.

Fax Surveys


  • Relatively low cost
  • Can be accomplished with minimal staff and facilities
  • Provides access to widely dispersed samples.
  • Respondents have time to give thoughtful answers.
  • Local faxes are free.
  • Administrative costs are fixed.
  • It is fast.
  • List management is easy.
  • Can send and receive by computer.

Fax Surveys


  • Higher fixed costs for computer/fax equipment, multiple phone lines.
  • Cost varies by time on line, time of day, distance, and telephone carrier.
  • Generally limited to organizational populations.
  • Loss of anonymity.

Internet Surveys

To realize the importance of the marketing research interviewer.

Internet Samples

  • Unrestricted
      • Open to any Internet user.
  • Screened
      • adjust for unrepresentitiveness of the self-selected respondents by imposing quotas based on some desired sample characteristics


  • to target populations in surveys that require more control of the sample
  • Greenfield

Internet Surveys


  • The advantages of interviewer administration (In contrast to mail surveys).
  • smaller staff needed,
  • High-speed,
  • Instantaneous data access – real time reporting
  • Cost efficient
  • Automatic data entry
  • Multimedia stimuli
  • Easy to update
  • Ability to reach a lot of people, and often those hard to reach

Internet Surveys


  • Potential for longitudinal studies
  • Surveys can be unobtrusively included with a general site
  • pre-screening of respondents possible
  • tracking
  • Easy to personalize
  • No geographic boundaries
  • supervision and quality control potentially better.
  • better response rate from a list sample than from mail
  • use a branching or skip pattern

Internet Surveys


  • Internet users are not representative of the population as a whole (strong sample bias)
  • Strong selection bias for respondents who are not pre-screened
  • security/privacy issues
  • unrestricted: anyone can complete the questionnaire
  • fully self-selecting

Free Trial Survey Software

  • Free Online Surveys
  • eSurveypro
  • Question Pro
  • Keysurvey
  • Checkbox survey

E-mail Questionnaires

  • The questionnaire is prepared like a simple E-mail message, and is sent to a list of known E-mail addresses. The respondent fills in the answers, and E-mails the form plus replies back to the research organization
increasing response internet e mail survey
Almost all the actions listed for mail survey should hold for E-Mail/Internet survey with some modifications.

The questionnaire should be fairly short.

No need for advance notification

Have short, pleasant introduction

Monetary incentives not given. But sharing information would be nice.

Reminder e-mail would be useful.

Increasing Response: Internet/E-mail Survey
Sample Criteria: Ability to reach and get responses from the desired sample (sample control)

right type of people

“adequate” sample size.

Information Criteria: Ability to get the desired information from respondents.

Need to Expose Respondents to Various Stimuli or Perform Certain Specialized Tasks e.g. Taste tests, product concept and prototype tests, etc.

Length of Questionnaire

Degree of Structure of the Questionnaire

Control social desirability

Administrative Criteria:

time for data collection and analysis

Interviewer control

Error control


Criteria for Determining Choice Of Particular Survey Methods





Factors Determining the Choice of Survey Method.

Use for long, complex questionnaires where respondent is important and budgets are high.

Use when you have a mailing list, somewhat long / complex questionnaire, and budgets are low.

Use to reach a large number of people quickly and you have a short questionnaire that can be easily understood.

Use when target audience is educated, topic interesting, short questionnaire, have e-mail list, representativeness not a major issue

comparative evaluation
Personal Phone Mail Internet

Sample control    

Use of physical stimuli    

Diversity of questions    

Length    

Perceived anonymity    

Potential for interviewer bias    

Field force control    

Speed    

Cost    

Comparative Evaluation

Advantages & Disadvantages of Survey Methods

Note: These reflect typical situations. For example, an elaborate mail survey may be

far more expensive than a short interview, but this is generally not the case.

Did you ask the right questions in the right way?

Did you ask the right people?

Did they tell you the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?

Will they?

Can they? Do they have the knowledge, opinions, attitudes, or facts required. Do they understand the questions?

Structure causes a loss of data richness.

Have the Respondents/Interviewers understood and correctly recorded the responses

Lack of control causes time and response problems.

Potential Problems with Surveys

How accurate are the results?

overview of the types of errors in survey research methods
Random Sampling Error

statistically measured difference between the actual sampled results and the estimated true population results.

error because of chance variation

Reduce by increasing sample size

Range can be estimated with a certain level of confidence

Nonsampling Error (Systematic Error)

results from mistakes or problems in the research design or its execution

Causes data to be misleading or incomplete in some systematic way from true population parameter

If you are aware of the problem you may be able to deal with it.

Overview of the Types of Errors in Survey Research Methods
  • Survey research errors can be classified as either:
systematic sample design error
Frame Error: The list from which you draw your sample is not what you think it is—some on it don’t belong and/or some who belong are not on it – sample is not representative of population (e.g. telephone directory)

Population Specification Error: incorrect definition of the universe or population from which the sample is to be selected. You left people out of the study.

Selection Error: You include or exclude people in the sample so that it is not random. Use of incomplete or improper sampling procedures or when appropriate selection procedures are not properly followed (e.g. non-probability samples such as intercept surveys)

Systematic Sample Design Error
systematic measurement error
Surrogate Information Error

Acquisition of the wrong data because wrong question was asked. – failure to define problem, e.g. New Coke

Interviewer Error

interviewer may, consciously or unconsciously, influence respondents to give untrue or inaccurate answers. – training problem

Instrument Bias

misunderstood or leading questions – questionnaire design

Processing Error

sloppy data input

Non-response Bias

differences betweenthe “did” vs. “did not” answer question

Response Bias

a failure to tell the truth, consciously or unconsciously

Systematic Measurement Error
  • Difference between the information sought and that obtained

Your company has just launched a new brand of pancake syrup. In order to improve sales the marketing department would like to know why consumers buy the brands and sizes they do. How would you go about collecting this information?


Calgary Transit would like to conduct a ridership survey. Funds are limited but they need a relatively large sample. How would you suggest they gather the information?


Your company makes the new flip and fold device. You want to find out what consumers think about it and how much they are willing to pay. What sort of survey technique do you use and why. Who do you target in your survey



Watching what people do

The information must be observable

Helpful if the behavior is repetitive and of short duration

Approaches to observational research

  • Natural Versus Contrived Situations
  • Open Versus Disguised Observation
  • Structured Versus Unstructured
  • Human Versus Machine Observers

What does gathering data through Observation entail

What are the advantages of observational data collection as opposed to surveys?

What are the relative disadvantages of observational data collection as opposed to surveys?


Main Observational Research Methods

  • Direct Observation
    • Shopper Patterns and Behavior
  • Contrived Observation
    • Mystery Shopper
  • Content Analysis
    • Analyzing written material into meaningful units, using carefully applied rules
  • Physical Trace Measures
    • “Garbology”
  • Ethnographic Research
  • The researcher becomes Immersed in or part of the group
  • Behavior (Emotion) Recording Devices

Toothpaste manufactures have found consistently that if they ask for detailed information on the frequency with which people brush their teeth, and then make minimal assumptions as to the quantity of toothpaste used on each occasion, as well as spillage and failure to squeeze the tube empty, the result is a serious overstatement of toothpaste consumption.

    • How would you explain this phenomenon?
    • Would it be possible to design a study to overcome these problems and obtain more accurate estimates of consumption?


  • We see what people actually do
  • May avoid interviewer bias


  • No information on motives attitudes or intentions
  • Time-consuming and expensive

Machine observation

  • Traffic Counters

Time and flow in retail stores

  • Behavior Measurement

People Reader: reading habits

  • Physiological Measurement

EEG: electroencephalogram

GSR: galvanic skin response

Pupilometer: pupil dilation

  • Scanner Based

Store scanners read the UPC codes on products and produce instantaneous information on sales