Creating and analyzing online surveys is something I have come to love as someone who graduated with a degree in Advertising from the University of Florida. I conducted a few online surveys through Qualtrics in a few of my classes, analyzed the responses, and created an advertising campaign and marketing strategy from the results. Without these surveys, I don’t think I really would have had a clear vision of the campaign, or even understand my target market.
My final semester at UF I had to create a campaign for Brevard Community College as they transformed into a four-year state college, Eastern Florida State College. My group and I began by conducting secondary research to see truly understand what the college and its competitors currently do. But, we couldn’t stop there – from personal interviews to focus groups to ethnographic studies to online surveys. Each one of these methods of primary research had its advantages and disadvantages. But, online the online study provided us with quantifiable data.
The online survey was created and distributed in a timely and cost-effective manner, especially when comparing it to the other methods of research used. First of all, an online survey has global reach. However it is distributed, whether it is a simple link via email or appears while visiting a website, anyone has the ability to take the survey. Along with that, online surveys have a pre-screener built in. When I conducted the survey for Eastern Florida we only viewed and analyzed the results of the participants who met our needs. This in itself saved us time. We were able to control the order of the questions based on a respondent’s previous answer and target a person more specifically. None of these things would have been possible otherwise.
While there are many advantages we did find some disadvantages. Some people just didn’t want to take the time to complete the survey, making the response rate lower than the ideal. It was also difficult to control who took the survey. It was impossible to ensure we had an equal amount of males and females and a good distribution of ages that took the survey.
Since I have conducted surveys on my own I am probably more likely to take an online survey, or one in general, than someone else. But, I still am guilty of refusing to take them sometimes.
- Have you ever conducted an online survey? If so, describe your experience.
- Do you think the results of online surveys are more or less valid than those conducted in person?
- What persuades you to participate in an online survey?