Skip to main content

How to Use Polls as Part of Your Market Research Plan

Polls are an outstanding way to collect feedback and engage with your audience.  Polls have become more popular for two specific attributes: first -- they don't take much time.  You can read a poll and answer a poll in less than 10 seconds and that increases response rates.  The second reason is that polls often have the feature of providing immediate feedback about how other people answered the same question.

How to take advantage of Polls for more traditional research

If polls are so wonderful, why don't we see more of them -- other than the political kinds?

The answer lies in the fact that a really good poll should provide valuable, actionable answers that you can do something with.  And that is easier said than done.

Polls are one reason for having a research plan

Because the premise of a poll is to ask one question at a time, it becomes critical to have a research plan in place -- otherwise, you'll find yourself asking all kinds of ridiculous questions that have no purpose.

But that doesn't mean that you can't have fun with polls.  Polls are meant to be more general in nature and even go viral, so it's worth taking the time to brainstorm around potential questions that you can ask that are both fun and informative.

HINT: If you've been following the series and have used our recommendation to use crowd sourcing tools like IdeaScale, then running a few polls is the obvious next step to get some quantitative clarity around a specific topic.

Here are some ideas, samples and types of questions you can ask with polls





  • Which (product, site, service) is your favorite?

  • Which (product, site, service) do you use most often?

  • Why don't you use ____________

  • Where do you go for information on____________

  • Ask psychographic questions.  Draw up a series of statements and run them as a series. For example: In general I am willing to take risks (strongly agree, strongly disagree)


Polls DON'T replace good statistics

Polls are a great source of general information - but not all polls are statistically valid.  If you're simply posting a poll on your web site or letting it run viral - that sample is not truly random.  It's generally self selected and that means that you have to read that data with care.

MicroPoll is Free and Easy to Integrate

MicroPoll is a terrific tool to use because it's easy to integrate into the rest of your research plan.  Not only that, but it also has some fantastic advanced features that expand its functionality beyond simple polling.



Two of my favorite features are the viral feature that allows respondents to pass the poll on to THEIR friends or network and the feature that allows for open ended responses.  This allows respondents to round out their answers.

How have YOU used polls as part of your market research plan?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Results of the Presidential Job Index Survey (week ending 7/1/2010)

Quick update on the results for the presidential job index survey for the week ending 7/1/2011. As a reminder this is a weekly survey that we conduct and we publish the results for the survey every Friday. To participate in this week's survey, please download the SurveySwipe application and take the survey.

Remember, you get points that you can redeem for various rewards when you take our surveys. We have already distributed several paid apps like Angry Birds for free.

Highlights

Almost 900 respondents took the survey.
52% vs 53% last week of the respondents approve of the job that President Obama is doing.
Respondents included 28% Democrats (31% last week), 25% Republicans (22% last week), 24% independents (27%) last week and 2% with the Green Party (3% last week).



You can view the reports here or directly on your phone.

Top 5 Infographics of the Week: Cyber Security

Earlier this week, we experienced a power outage with our data center at Internap. During this short period of time, our customers were unable to access the site. Luckily, it didn't last long and we are back up and running now thanks to our dedicated support team that responded quickly and worked diligently.

Cyber security is, and always has been, a very important issue for us as we continue to grow and meet the demands of a technology-driven society. Nothing is more paramount than the safety of your valuable data. And apparently we weren't the only ones affected, as LinkedIn was experiencing difficulties on the same day and Internap had 3 massive outages earlier this year. Check out these infographics with stats on the importance of cyber security and the impact it can have on small-medium sized businesses.

Top 5 Infographics of the Week: Internet of Things

In 2008, the number of things connected to the internet exceeded the number of people on Earth. By 2050, we are expected to surpass 50 million different devices connected to the internet. And we're not just talking smartphones and tablets - we mean everything. Wearable tech, household appliances, smart homes, public transportation, hospitals and even cattle have all been using sensors to transmit data automatically. It is an exciting yet scary time to be alive. The various interactions between these different entities are opening up doors for more apps, more software and more auxiliary services. With so many "things" connected online, the possibilities for information exchange becoming wider everyday. Check out the top 5 infographics to learn more about the IoT.