The High Cost of Cheap Surveys
Recently I was shopping online and came across a website that featured knock-offs – famous brand name products that are made cheaply oversees and sold at amazing low prices in the U.S.. This particular website showcased knock-offs that really missed the mark. Ever purchased “Adidos” running shoes or a shirt from “Dolce and Banana?”
Setting the legal issues aside, the lure of these products is that they look the same but cost much less. Some might even consider it a smart purchase. However, buyers soon find that the knock-offs are nowhere near the same quality, functionality and value as the real products. In fact, they often have to buy something else to replace their first purchase.
The same holds true for online, do-it-yourself surveys. Companies such as SurveyMonkey and Zoomerang have grown significantly by providing marketers with online survey tools and templates to conduct their own research. They feature multiple formats, question types, charts and graphs to produce smart looking surveys. Unfortunately, they suffer from the same issues of quality, functionality and value as knock-off products.
So why do marketers keep buying do-it-yourself solutions? Unlike logo design or website development, the perception is often that any smart marketer can develop survey questions. After all, the reasoning goes, marketers know their industry. They know their consumers. It’s just asking simple, straight-forward questions…and with a nice template, it will look as good (or good enough) as a professional survey and save a lot of money. But therein lays the challenge. Good surveys start with good questions. Like a computer, the value of the output is only as good as the data you put into it. How you ask questions, the types of questions you ask, the format, ratings scales and more all define the data that comes out of a survey. A poorly written survey provides poor data, resulting in costly marketing decisions.
So before you are tempted to buy a cheap bottle of Johns Daphne Tenderness Whiskey, take a moment to consider what it might really cost you.