While surveys are perhaps the simplest methods of conducting market research, it is crucial not to approach them without a plan in place.

Conducting market research and incentivizing consumer participation is an invaluable component of understanding a company's buyer persona and shaping future marketing decisions. It allows you to dive into the minds of your customers, potential customers, and broader target audience, then use that information to adjust future products and services.

Surveys are perhaps the simplest methods of conducting market research, but approaching them lackadaisically and without a proper plan can lead to poor-quality data (aka dirty data).  Ensuring that you have thoroughly planned and prepared for the survey research process will ensure that your efforts are not wasted and that you gather meaningful, actionable data to help you shape your company's future goals. 

So, before collecting data through survey research, we wanted to share the most important items to check off your list!

1. Where to start — the tools to use 

Before you begin, you'll need to research and choose a survey platform where you can build your research questions and receive user-friendly data from participants. Many survey platforms are available across the web, but some of the most popular include:

  • SurveyMonkey
  • Google Surveys
  • Microsoft Forms
  • JotForm

All of these platforms offer intuitive, built-in tools that enable effortless creation of engaging and professional-looking surveys. Plus, survey platforms can seamlessly integrate with reward and incentive platforms like Giftbit further enhancing the participant experience, while ensuring the gathering of high-quality data for your market research.

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2. Next, consider your purpose

Establishing the purpose of the survey is the first step, and it will shape all your later steps. If you're planning a survey project, you probably already have a purpose in mind. However, you may need to make it more specific and relevant in order to adequately shape your survey questions and research design. 

Clearly defined research objectives and questions are the pillars of successful incentive surveys. Based on your purpose, outline the specific information you want to gather and design your survey questions accordingly. This will help you focus your efforts and gather data that is directly relevant to your research goals.

With that in mind, here are some purposes to conduct an incentive survey:

  • Gain consumer feedback on a new product or service
  • Determine consumer opinions about a topic or interest
  • Understand why consumers abandoned a product or service
  • Gauge customers' experiences with a company

3. Identify and define your audience

Identify your target audience: Understand who your survey participants should be to ensure that the collected data represents your intended market segment or customer base accurately. This will help you make informed decisions based on data that is relevant to your target audience.

Next, you'll need to define the target population for the survey. If you're interested in understanding general public opinion, you'll want to include a diverse audience of respondents. On the flip side, if you're looking to gauge a specific audience's opinion — like former customers or people between ages 20 and 30 — you'll need to make sure that the survey adequately targets and engages this population.

4. Develop a comprehensive survey design

Craft your survey questions in a way that elicits meaningful responses from participants. Use a mix of closed-ended and open-ended questions to gather quantitative and qualitative data, respectively. Also, consider the flow and structure of the survey to ensure a smooth and engaging experience for participants. 

If you're unsure about how to begin crafting a survey for optimal results, we invite you to read our comprehensive guide on "How to Design an Effective Market Research Survey". This resource will provide valuable insights on word choice, structure, readability, and eloquence while ensuring the original meaning and purpose are preserved.

Why Gifbit? Ease of use, and simplicity.

"Loved the Zapier integration with our survey system. Super easy to customize. Lots of gift card choices. Good customer support." (Source: Capterra)

Stacey, Director in US
Human Resources, 201–500 Employees

5. Gather a mix of participants

How will you locate survey participants? You should ensure that your list of participants is diverse enough so as to not skew the survey data in one direction or another. Here are a few methods of gathering participants for your survey research:

  • Calling for participants on social media platforms
  • Creating Facebook Ads with links to the survey (depending on budget constraints)
  • Pulling a list of leads from your CRM database, and scrubbing them against your defined target
  • Inviting participants to refer a friend (and incentivizing them to do so)
  • Leveraging your own network on social media, LinkedIn, and other groups
  • Posting on consumer research networks like SurveyMonkey and Amazon Mechanical Turk 

6. Before you send it, test it!

Before launching your survey to a larger audience, test it with a smaller group of individuals to identify any issues or areas of improvement. This will help you refine your survey and ensure that it delivers accurate and reliable data.

By paying attention to these considerations, you can maximize the value of your survey research, making it a valuable tool in shaping your company's future strategies and success.


The art of incentivizing for outstanding results

To effectively incentivize and achieve better results, it's important to consider the right approach. Merely reaching out to a wide range of people doesn't guarantee a high response rate. Most individuals are not inclined to spend their free time participating in surveys without some form of incentive. Hence, market research and incentivizing go hand in hand.

Of course, there are various ways to structure an incentive program, depending on your budget. If you have a limited budget, a sweepstakes-style incentive where participants can enter to win a gift card might be suitable. On the other hand, if your budget permits, offering a small reward to each participant, such as a $5 Starbucks or Amazon gift card, can be effective as well. 

What’s important here though, is your audience! It is crucial to ensure that incentives are structured appropriately to avoid skewing consumer opinions, and collecting dirty data. 

For instance, consumer feedback surveys may not require an incentive; some customers are eager to share their opinions with a business. Similarly, the incentive should not be overly generous to attract participants solely motivated by monetary gain, who might rush through the survey and compromise data quality. 

Creating an effective, successful customer feedback survey is not only about asking the right questions but also about encouraging customers to answer them. So, when you are crafting an incentive survey, always remember to:

  1. Be transparent and upfront with your purpose!
  2. Consider the time and effort required to complete the survey.
  3. Offer incentives that are tailored to your target demographic and provide perceived value.
  4. Communicate the incentive up-front and prominently throughout the survey 
  5. Always follow-through!