Market Research

3 Market Research Pitfalls Even Pros Need to Watch Out For

David Bee
6 min read

For surveying your target audience to work, you need to do two things: you need to get your audience to respond to your survey, and you need to make sure you don’t make any mistakes that compromise the integrity of the results.

Gathering responses on social media can be tricky, but done right, you can reach the exact audience you need faster than most other methods. 

When you promote your survey through social media, your business is front and center. Facebook is obviously the big one – but don’t skip out on Twitter or Linkedin. Before you dismiss market research in this manner, consider that promoting a survey through social media is a great way to not only reach existing customers – but to reach new ones as well.


The Pitfalls Even the Pros Fall Into

No matter how experienced you are or how much you know about your audiences, there are several mistakes that can be made. Some of these are innocuous, others can compromise your survey completely.

Here are three things you need to watch out for:

  • Not taking advantage of advanced question types
  • Missing out on advanced reporting features
  • Forgetting your margin of error


1. Collect the Insights You Need With Advanced Question Types

Sometimes checking a box or filling in a blank space won’t provide you with the accurate data you need. Recently, new types of survey marketing questions have been developed which are designed to engage your audience and help you collect more relevant data.

Video Sentiment

Video sentiment is designed to track someone’s response to a video while they watch it. It works like this: as the video plays, there’s a slider beneath it which the viewer can drag to either end of the spectrum. For example, one end of the spectrum could say “sad” and the other “happy.” As the viewer watches the video, they can drag the slider according to how they feel at that exact moment.

This type of survey question gives marketers the chance to track their audience’s immediate, visceral response to a video. Your viewer isn’t thinking – they’re just responding. Not only can you track how they feel about the video as a whole, but you can learn exactly when their mood changes. For any advertising campaign that may involve video, this is absolutely critical information.

Read more on SurveyGizmo’s video sentiment question type: here.

Audio Sentiment

This works similarly to the video sentiment question type, only an audio file plays instead.

The benefits are similar as well. You’re getting an immediate reaction, and you can track how your audience responds to each different aspect of your audio, rather than gathering a generic overall look. You can then utilize this information to customize your audio and improve it. A smart marketer knows that it’s not all about collecting new leads – it’s also about optimizing material to create a higher conversion. Video sentiment and audio sentiment surveys will allow you to do that.

Read more on SurveyGizmo’s audio sentiment question type: here.

Card Sorting

Essentially, card sorting works by giving your audience the chance to drag and drop things into various categories. For example, you could create two different categories: products your audience is interested in, and products they aren’t interested in. Then your audience could respond by dragging each product into the relevant slot.

This survey method allows you to get more specific measurements – you can get a feel for how your audience feels about each individual product. It’s also more interactive, which means the surveyed are more likely to pay attention.

There are multiple kinds of card sort in SurveyGizmo: Grouping (Open), Grouping (Closed), and Quick Sort. Which version you choose depends on the kind of data you want to collect.

Read more on the card sort question types: here.


2. Get Deep Insights With Crosstabs Reports

Crosstabs (also called cross tabulation) are designed to show a relationship between two survey questions, allowing you to see how different demographic groups responded to your survey.

For example, you could see not only how many people say they’re interested in a particular product, but who those people are. Perhaps your survey results show that 50% of responders are interested in a particular service. By crosstabbing, you can learn that 90% of that 50% are female.

This is how you deep dive into research that results in actual benefits for your company. First, you use crosstabs in reports to segment your audience, and then you lead change to best address each segment.


3. Keep Your Margin of Error Front of Mind

When you run a survey, your margin of error has tremendous importance – it tells you the likelihood that your survey results can be extrapolated to a larger segment of the population. For example, if you poll ten random people about whether they’d use your product, and nine of them say yes, that doesn’t necessarily mean that 90% of the population is interested in your product.

A higher margin of error means it’s less likely the data is valid. Even the best researchers have been caught flat-footed by forgetting to account for margin of error – and they end up acting with false confidence and making crippling mistakes. The best way to reduce your margin of error is to make sure you have a large enough sample size in the first place – and to make sure your survey reaches your target audience.


The Better Way to Do Market Research

Even the best researchers can make one of the above mistakes – and a handful of false positives can lead to major marketing mistakes. Once false confidence begins to grow, it becomes easy to overlook various things that could actually help you grow your business.

The next time you plan out a survey, keep the above in mind. Try to use advanced question types, pay attention to your crosstabs, and don’t forget to account for margin of error. By doing so, you’ll be sure to get results you can actually use to boost your next campaign, and in the process, leave your competition in the dust.

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