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Online Surveys

An introduction to online surveys in market research 

In an ever-evolving business landscape, gathering actionable insights is paramount to making informed decisions. Online surveys serve as a vital tool in this regard. Essentially, an online survey is a structured questionnaire that your target audience can complete over the internet. It is often used for collecting feedback and data on various aspects, including customer satisfaction, employee engagement, and product preferences.  

For businesses seeking to gain a competitive edge in South Africa’s diverse markets, online survey research is invaluable. These surveys provide a wealth of data that can be instrumental in shaping business strategies and understanding consumer behaviours. 

Online market research surveys not only save time but are also cost-effective. They offer an efficient way to reach a large audience and can be instrumental in collecting data for market segmentation, product development, and measuring customer satisfaction, among other critical aspects. 

Using online surveys for market research

Factors to consider when using online surveys

There are many reasons for conducting B2B online surveys, including cost savings, time savings and improved data accuracy levels through automatic routing. Online surveys also allow for feedback on audio-visual material e.g. TV ads, radio ads, print ads, branding, designs, and concepts.

We usually recommend conducting Online Surveys after considering the following factors:

Over the years, we’ve identified various techniques to maximise survey response rates and effectiveness:

Techniques for maximising the effectiveness of your survey research strategy

  • Introductory Communication: Start with an introductory note from senior management to establish credibility. 
  • Personalised Invitations: Send customised email invitations with clear instructions. 
  • Diligent Follow-ups: Encourage completion by sending personalised reminders to those who haven’t finished the survey. 
  • Quality Checks: Employ contradictory response checks, negative question comparisons, and verbatim comment reviews to ensure data quality. 
Benefits of online surveys 

Below are some of the many advantages of using surveys in research:

  • Cost-Effective: Significantly lower costs compared to traditional methods. 
  • Time-Saving: Rapid data collection and response analysis. 
  • Versatility: Useful for collecting a wide range of data, from customer feedback to market trends. 
  • Accessibility: Reach a broad and geographically diverse audience. 
  • Accurate Data: Automated routing and real-time responses ensure data accuracy. 

Online surveys are one of the many research methods used by Insight Survey to unlock valuable market insights. They stand out as an exemplary research method due to their efficiency, accessibility, and the richness of data they can provide. 

Market survey research methods to consider 

In conclusion, online business surveys and market research is a powerful and versatile tool for any business seeking to navigate the complex South African market. Whether you are looking to launch a new product, explore new market segments, or simply understand your customers better, online surveys are an essential resource. 

However, it is also vital to recognise that online surveys are just one piece of the puzzle. Insight Survey offers a plethora of research methods tailored to meet diverse business needs. From in-depth interviews to focus group discussions, our suite of services ensures that you have all the data you need to make informed decisions. 

We encourage you to explore the various research methods Insight Survey has to offer and to consider incorporating online surveys as part of your comprehensive market research strategy. Be informed, be prepared, and let Insight Survey be your guide in the ever-changing South African market!  

Online mobile/cellphone research

The functionality, connectivity and processing power offered by modern mobile phones has opened up exciting, new possibilities for collecting market research data via online surveys, particularly in business-to-business markets where respondents can be difficult to reach.

We offer short online mobile/cellphone surveys which can be integrated with telephone and personal interview fieldwork.

B2B Research Methods

In market research, surveys are used as a technique for collecting data and insights from a specific population. Market research surveys can help businesses understand customer preferences, market trends, and competitive positioning. This information is invaluable for making informed business decisions, such as entering new markets, developing products, and creating marketing strategies. 

Market research surveys can take various forms, including: 

  • Customer Satisfaction Surveys: Used to gauge customer satisfaction levels regarding products or services. 
  • Brand Awareness Surveys: Measure how well consumers can recognise a brand and associate it with specific products or services. 
  • Advertising Feedback: Gain crucial feedback on advertising to evaluate ROI, as well as advertising concepts to make improvements and refinements that resonate with your target market, before launching.   
  • Product Development Surveys: Gather feedback on new product ideas and features. 
  • Market Segmentation Surveys: Identify different customer segments based on various criteria like demographics, behaviours, and needs. 

There are numerous reasons why online surveys are employed for research purposes: 

  • Wide Reach: Online surveys can access a broad audience, irrespective of geographic locations. 
  • Audio-Visual Feedback: Online surveys can include video clips, audio clips and images to gain feedback on advertising and new product concepts.  
  • Cost Efficiency: They typically have lower costs compared to traditional paper surveys or face-to-face interviews. 
  • Rapid Data Collection: Online surveys facilitate quick collection and analysis of data. 
  • Flexibility: They allow for various types of questions including multiple choice, open-ended, and rating scales. 
  • Real-Time Analysis: Responses can be analysed in real-time, allowing for timely decision-making. 
  • Anonymity: Respondents can remain anonymous, often leading to more honest and candid responses. 

Yes, an online survey is a widely-acknowledged research method. It involves the use of structured questionnaires that respondents can complete via the internet. Online surveys are particularly advantageous for their efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and ability to reach a geographically dispersed audience. They are versatile and can be utilised in various domains including market research and customer feedback. 

There are many reasons for conducting B2B online surveys, including cost savings, time savings and improved data accuracy levels through automatic routing. Online surveys also allow for feedback on audio-visual material e.g. TV ads, radio ads, print ads, branding, designs, and concepts. 

Online Surveys should be consider when there is a quality list of respondents with accurate email addresses; the target audience have access to computers (PC/Laptop/Tablet) or cellphones and they have internet access; and if the answers to concise questions can be completed in less than 10-15 minutes.  

In order to maximise survey response rates and effectiveness, the survey methodology should include an introductory memo from the client CEO or senior management; send personalized email invitations to customers with simple directions on how to access and complete the survey; send follow-ups including personalised email reminders to respondents with uncompleted surveys; and provide contradicting response check, negative question comparisons, and verbatim comment reviews.  

Online surveys, being a subset of market research surveys, are especially effective due to its accessibility and speed, making them an essential tool for businesses operating in today’s fast-paced and globalised markets, including the dynamic South African market. 

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