“In general, questionnaires are effective mechanisms for efficient collection of certain kinds of information” (economicsnetwork.ac.uk).
When looking for answers and identifying possible problems to a situation, marketers must look at what market research has to be done in order for them to achieve their designed outcome. “Market research is the systematic and objective process of generating information for use in making marketing decisions” (Zikmund & d’Amico, 2001). Before any research is even considered, marketers must have a clear objective and make sure the questions asked reflects that objective so the right information is gathered to help solve and identify issues that can be corrected and answered.
By doing market research it adds value and credibility to an organisations objective and can provide answers which can be impartial and unbiased. Market research can also delve deeper into reasons behind opinions and behaviours. However, to get the desired outcome which meets the objective, the correct research method has to be used to achieve this.
Questionnaires provide uniformity as each respondent gets an identical set of questions and are “…designed so that answers to questions are scored and scores summed to obtain an overall measure of the attitudes and opinions of the respondent” (economicsnetwork.ac.uk ). However, just like any good form of market research there needs to be planning, implementation and interpretation.
“Planning is an act of formulating a program for a definite course of action” (thefreedictionary.com). When putting a questionnaire together, the questions have to be asked like “What is the purpose?”
Planning and implementation equates to interpretation. When the questionnaire is put together and answered by the respondents, the findings have to be analysed and more importantly have to be reflective of the main objective for example the most popular holiday destination and why. The way the marketer interprets this has great significance in identifying possible issues and helping find the best solutions.
As a “questionnaire design is an important issue as it can affect the number of people who respond and the quality of the response” (Home Learning, 2009), it must have structure, relevance to the objective, clarity and be unbiased.
By asking 10 people between the ages of 25-30 the same questions via text message for example, not only does this generate a great response rate it also allows the respondent to answer in their own time. Using text messaging as form of communication to get the questionnaire across also demonstrates building and maintaining relationships with respondents which can result in a quicker response rate. By emailing people a questionnaire it is a cost effective communication tool; the subject heading has to be attention grabbing in order for recipients to click, open and respond to the questions asked.
With the rise of social media , if you want your questionnaire to target a wider audience, you can create a poll on Twitter by clicking on the icon circled in the diagram below.
To generate traction, you can hashtag key words within the question. For an example, I would use a closed question such as “#Data is more than numbers. It is #storytelling. The #customers story. What’s your view? #customerexperience”. I would then give the option of yes or no for the audience to respond. By using hashtags, it makes it easier for people to find, follow and contribute to a conversation.
Closed questions “…are easy to analyse as respondents choose from a list of pre-prepared answers” (Home Learning, 2009) and the answers can provide quantitative information i.e. numbers and statistics. However, for marketers to meet their objective, some scaled and open ended questions could also be asked as that can help find out the strength of feeling or attitude of respondents. Marketers could also do this by working with the sales team to grasp customers attitudes and feelings towards products or services. The more questions asked and research done the better the outcome in regards to service and to meeting the desired objective.