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Survey Design: Avoiding the Common Pitfalls That Can Sabotage Your Data

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This workshop will focus on the typical mistakes made when designing surveys.

Published in: Marketing
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Survey Design: Avoiding the Common Pitfalls That Can Sabotage Your Data

  1. 1. 1 AMA Iowa Experience Event February 5, 2016 SURVEY DESIGN Avoiding the Common Pitfalls that Can Sabotage Your Data Presented by:
  2. 2. 2
  3. 3. 3 Types of Research
  4. 4. 4 Types of Research Qualitative Research Quantitative Research • In-person Focus Groups • Phone Surveys • Online Chat Focus Groups • Mail Surveys • Bulletin Board Focus Groups • Online Surveys • IDI’s – individual interviews • Omnibus Surveys • Dyads, Triads • Online Communities • Journals, Diaries • Usability Testing • Mock Juries • Ethnography (observational)
  5. 5. 5 Consider the respondent’s point of view Survey Design Will they be able to answer your questions? Will they want to answer your questions? Will they be motivated to answer all your questions?
  6. 6. 6 Survey Design
  7. 7. 7 Do not have mutually exclusive responses Mistake #1 Good: What is your age? ____ Under 20 ____ 20 – 29 ____ 30 – 39 ____ 40 – 49 ____ 50 + Bad: What is your age? ____ Under 20 ____ 20 – 30 ____ 30 – 40 ____ 40 – 50 ____ Over 50
  8. 8. 8 Asking double-barreled questions Bad: How satisfied are you with the pay and work benefits of your current job? Good: • How satisfied are you with the pay of your current job? • How satisfied are you with the work benefits of your current job? Mistake #2
  9. 9. 9 Not providing all answer options What type of vehicle do you own? ____ Van ____ SUV ____ Sedan ____ Truck ____ Convertible ____ I do not own a vehicle Other _________________ Mistake #3
  10. 10. 10 Not providing all answer options What is the main reason why you attended AMA Iowa’s Q&AMA event? ____ The event sounded interesting ____ I wanted to see what a trivia night was like ____ Networking opportunities Other (please specify)________________________ Mistake #3
  11. 11. 11 Questions are not clear and precise, have ambiguity In a typical month, how often do you shop at a mall? Ambiguous: ____ Never ____ Occasionally ____ Sometimes ____ Often ____ Regularly Mistake #4 Good: ____ Not at all ____ 1 or 2 times ____ 3 or 4 times ____ More than 4 times
  12. 12. 12 Using absolutes in questions Mistake #5 Bad: Do you always eat breakfast? ____ Yes ____ No Good: How many days a week do you usually eat breakfast? ____ Every day ____ 5-6 days ____ 3-4 days ____ 1-2 days ____ I usually don’t eat breakfast
  13. 13. 13 Questions that are leading or biased Bad: Is Colgate your favorite toothpaste? Yes or No Good: What is your favorite toothpaste brand? __________ Bad: The Mac operating system rarely gets infected by viruses and therefore the Department of Education should only purchase Mac computers. Yes, No, Maybe Good: The Department of Education should only purchase Mac computers. Yes, No, Maybe Why do you say this? _______________________________ Mistake #6
  14. 14. 14 Using Loaded Questions Bad: What kind of wine do you like to drink? Good: Do you like to drink wine? ____ Yes ____ No If Yes, what kind of wine do you like to drink? (could be open-ended or drop-down menu) If No, why do you not like to drink wine? Mistake #7
  15. 15. 15 Confusing rating scale questions; Reversing rating scales Q1: Please rank your overall satisfaction with Company ABC on a scale of 1 to 5. 1 2 3 4 5 Q2: Please rank your satisfaction with Company ABC’s customer service staff on a scale of 1 to 5. 5 4 3 2 1 Mistake #8
  16. 16. 16 Confusing rating scale questions; Reversing rating scales Q1: Please rank your overall satisfaction with Company ABC on a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is Not At All Satisfied and 5 is Very Satisfied. 1 2 3 4 5 Q2: Please rank your satisfaction with Company ABC’s customer service staff. Not At Not Very All Satisfied Satisfied Neutral Satisfied Satisfied Mistake #8
  17. 17. 17 Not using language your respondent understands Using too much jargon, slang, acronyms Bad: What marketing and research organizations are you a member of? (Please select all that apply.) ____ AMA ____ DMA ____ MRA ____ NAMA ____ PRSA Other _____________ Mistake #9 Good: Need to spell out acronyms
  18. 18. 18 Open-ended questions that do not have parameters Bad: According to you, what are the factors that contribute to the success of a company in the poor economic conditions? Good: In your opinion, what are the key factors that contribute to the success of a manufacturing company in the present recessionary economy? Please briefly describe up to three. 1. ________________________________________________ 2. ________________________________________________ 3. ________________________________________________ Mistake #10
  19. 19. 19 Asking too many open-ended questions Creates fatigue and disinterest in completing survey Adds unnecessary length to survey Mistake #11
  20. 20. 20 Pre-survey design, identify your plan for analysis Don’t let them off the hook too easily from answering a question Proof, PROOF, Proof Test, TEST, Test Organize survey to minimize bias Design Tips
  21. 21. 21 Q & A

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