Recently, I was consulting on market research for a brand that wants to measure customer satisfaction. There were many questions and I decided to write about it in an easy step by step guide of how to build a survey when you don’t have a budget to bring in a professional market research firm, we will use the consulting experience as an example in each step.

Define your objective

First, you need to define what information you are searching. For example, you could try to measure brand awareness, campaign efficiency, customer satisfaction, among others. In the case that I was doing consulting, they were interested in learning more from customer satisfaction.

Define your research audience

Based on your objective you must think who needs to be surveyed, or who should not be surveyed. For example, for an alcoholic beverages brand, the responses of a 16-year-old are not ethically relevant for their present strategy.  Also, you should define how many people you want to survey

In our article case, the research audience is consumers of the brand on hospitals, recreation centers, and retiring homes located in South Florida.

Therefore, their team would survey 100 consumers in these locations, in a period of two weeks, once the Corona Virus crisis has passed. In their case, they decided the number based on the budget they had allocated.

It’s worth mentioning that the selection of sample size should ideally be done using a statistical approach. However, in the real world, some companies don’t have the budget available for it. This means that your results could have a higher margin of error than what you ideally desire. However, in our case, 100 people seem acceptable.

Define your research technique

Here is where it starts to get complicated and you really need to reflect. Here is where you ask yourself how the survey would administer. For example, a brand can send it via email, intercept customers in a mall, or using a pop-up. Also, you could think of it as would you use a digital survey or a printed version? You should design the execution based on your objectives and your research audience.

For our example, I recommended a digital execution but with a strong recommendation of using a large tablet. Why? Old demographics can have issues with eyesight, filling a survey on a phone could lead to miss answers. Therefore, having a large platform to read makes it’s easier for them to accurately respond to the survey.

We also defined an incentive of free coffee for anyone filling the answers, that should buy you at least 5 to 8 minutes of attention.

Finally, their team would select the customers to survey, being responsible to screen out people out of the research audience.

Develop your questionnaire

The next step is to write your questionnaire, my recommendation is to always focus on what you need and have very specific but easy to read questions, around your research objective.

Also on the don’ts, never assume that answers are obvious, and avoid double-barrel questions like is the product hot and delicious. One question at a time!

For our consulting, we are preparing a 7-minute survey to measure customer satisfaction regarding price-value, flavor, variety, and convenience.

Execute and report

Finally, you must execute the recollection of information, and all the data must be computed, analyzed, and reported to management. Surveys are a great way to measure specific factors.

Analyzing the information will ultimately allow you to detect issues in, for example, price or location and set up a strategy to respond to it. So, if you invested in market research, use it in your favor.

Moreover, I want to remember you that there are other types of market research, like interviews or focus groups, that require more budget but give you more detailed and interactive sources of information.

In my personal experience, I have worked using these techniques for product launches and the results have been extremely useful.

Finally, I want to remember you that recently I discussed the value of market research, I believe any firm reaches a point that requires market research to take the next step. I hope you enjoyed this article, if you have any questions please reach out in the comment section below!

Photo by Vanilla Bear Films on Unsplash

Photo by Tyler Franta on Unsplash