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Market Research Surveys: The Complete Guide

Good Market Research Survey Questions

What are Market Research Surveys?

Market research surveys are questionnaires that are designed and sent to collect responses on a desired subject or business interest by asking the right survey questions. It usually targets consumers in order to understand purchasing behavior, interest and expectations, but can also be conducted for academic purposes and studies.

A market research survey seeks to understand a certain “pattern” in a given market - which can be segregated based on geography, age, gender and other demographics based on the nature of the study. This “pattern” provides insight into future trends using trend analysis, conjoint analysis and turf analysis.

Some of the key attributes of a successful market research surveys study are :

A survey is a set of questions that form a questionnaire. These survey questions are typically answered online. A survey questionnaire can be sent via email, SMS, QR Code etc, to be answered on a web or mobile browser.

Additionally, Mobile Offline App is an exclusive feature of QuestionPro’s market research survey software that allows users to capture survey research responses on a mobile or tablet, even in locations that do not have internet connection or suffer from unstable connection.

Survey Questions are the most critical part of any market research survey. Formation of these questions have attributes such as language, the question-type and answer type.

What is the best distribution method for your survey to get maximum and complete responses? Will Email surveys serve you better or a physical tablet/mobile based kiosk be better to collect responses? Does majority of your target audience own a smartphone for survey links to be sent over SMS?

While email surveys by far remain the most popular form of market research survey data collection, B2C businesses are also exploring kiosk-based tablets that capture live surveys from visiting customers in stores and business events.

For qualitative research, specialized survey portals (such as QuestionPro Communities) are often the choice of businesses who want to generate innovative ideas with less restrictive questions and more open-ended questions to pass on ideas.

Survey Analysis, which subsequently leads to market analysis, is the most critical aspect of any market research study. While companies in the past have been more prone to using Excel sheets for graphs and diagrams from survey data, there is a rapid transition to in-built market research survey software platforms that automatically provide live survey analytics, all in real-time!

QuestionPro features the complete set of analytics features - Trend Analysis, Turf Analysis, Gap Analysis, Conjoint Analysis, MaxDiff Analysis, Text Analysis and Strategic Analysis (SWOT Analysis)!

Your survey report is the complete set of conclusions drawn from survey analysis. This includes what the current trend is and what projections appear to be. A good survey report forms a complete thesis based on the market research survey objectives and survey data analysis.

What is an ideal Market Research Survey Process?

Conducting a successful market research survey and it’s subsequent market research survey analysis requires thorough planning and structuring. Here are some key steps to follow while conducting market research surveys :

Set iron-clad and clear objectives for your market research survey. Your market research survey is as good as its survey questions and your survey questions are as clear as your research objectives.

In order to identify the kind of audience you want to target with a market research survey, you and your team need to answer 2 primary questions :

Which geographic region will you be targeting for your research study?(If you are targeting multiple geographies with different primary languages, you will need to make use of multi-language surveys.)

What are the qualifying parameters for a respondent to answer your survey? (Such as age, gender, income, job title, purchasing preference etc.)

Survey creation today has to be on a digital platform using online survey tools. There are several reasons why online surveys have quickly taken over paper-based surveys, including, exponentially fast survey creation.

QuestionPro offers a complete suite of survey creation options with over 250+ ready made and mobile friendly survey templates, advanced and standard survey question types, brand personalization, survey theme and survey design customizations, powerful logic and branching options and a lot more!

Survey distribution methods vary based on the survey creation platform. For instance, using QuestionPro you can send your survey using both online and offline methods such as email, SMS, QR Code, Tablet/Mobile based Kiosk using the Offline Mobile App.

You can also instantly buy respondent data to send your surveys with QuestionPro Audience.

Receiving your survey data is real-time with platforms like QuestionPro, and so is survey analysis. Manual survey data update and market analysis is usually done using Excel sheets, which is possible, but requires additional man-power and time.

If you want to conduct specialized market analysis for the best insights, that requires using methods such as Turf and Conjoint Analysis. All survey analysis methods are real-time and automated in QuestionPro.

Why should you conduct a Market Research study for your business?

Keeping aside the importance of academic market research survey studies, businesses in particular need to conduct market research surveys for successful ventures.

This means getting viable information on the 4 “P”s of any business :

This includes understanding customer behaviour around the nature of your product, customer service, product enhancement vs price implications, functionality, look and feel and so on.

A good market research survey enables businesses with insights on what will be the most profitable way to position their product in the market. A good business strategy is when data oriented market research is leveraged to get a competitive edge over existing competition through creative product placements.

Nothing dictates a product’s journey more than its price. How much are potential consumers willing to pay for a new feature? Will decreasing your product price give you a sales boost or will improving functionality increase sales? These questions can only be answered by directly and exclusively reaching out to your audience through market research surveys.

Finally, all the above add up to how you intend to promote your product line - whether through organic or paid promotions. Insights collected from market research surveys plays a critical role in understanding what type of language and highlights will work best in promotions. This is the reason why every successful business conducts a thorough market analysis through research studies before pushing for a major marketing, promotional or advertising drive.

Types of Market Research - Market Research Survey Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative Research

Qualitative Market Research

A qualitative market research study focuses around collecting un-structured or semi-structured data from the target research respondents and derives market insights from the collected information.

Here are some of the common methods used for successful qualitative market research :

Focus groups

Focus group based qualitative research usually involve getting a few people for a face-to-face group discussion on a certain subject. Questions are usually based on “if”s around a certain product or subject of interest.

Physical focus groups are becoming more and more obscure with the rise in platforms like Communities where both data collection and market analysis can be done in a single online platform.

On-call interviews

One of the successful and still widely used qualitative research methods is conducting on-call interviews, mostly used when the respondent is a business leader or senior official. This allows the researcher to “open-up” the conversation such that the research sounds more like a conversation, that spans across a number of topics of interest, and less like a survey.

Innovation research

Innovation research, also referred to as innovation games, are specialized focus group studies where the final goal is to crowd-source innovative ideas. Platforms like Communities have made it possible for businesses to conduct such qualitative research remotely and tap into Global respondents. This allows organizations to get the best ideas from the best minds without the barrier of physical presence.

Advantages of Qualitative Market Research :


Given that qualitative market research by nature is conducted at a smaller scale than quantitative survey-oriented research studies, they are relatively much cheaper.

In-depth insights

Due to the open-nature of qualitative research and the freedom of the researcher to dive deeper on any subject of interest, these studies have the potential to provide deep insights to ven minute aspects of the research.


The same nature of qualitative research that offers in-depth insights, is also responsible for the great flexibility they possess. This gives the researcher the ability to identify sub-topics of interest as the conversation proceeds with the respondents and dive deeper.

Answering the "Why"

Qualitative market research is a popular option when the objective of the research is to find answers to “why”s, meaning, the causes behind occurrences, events or actions which require politely pressing the respondents to answer key questions.

Quantitative Market Research

Quantitative Market Research Surveys is used by organizations and researchers to conduct market research studies through structured questionnaires and utilizes statistical survey data analysis methods to derive meaningful and actionable insights.

Once conducted through traditional pen-and-paper , today Quantitative Research makes use of advanced market research survey software platforms that add incremental value to the quality of surveys, responses and insight.

Here are some of the attributes of Quantitative Market Research Surveys :

Survey Questions

While survey questions may appear to be simplistic, there are great details to them - Single select questions, multiple-choice questions, rating scale questions etc. There are also several types of scales and questions, such as the Semantic Differential Scale, Likert Scale, Dichotomous question-type etc.

QuestionPro’s survey platform provides a vast range of survey question and question-types, both standard and advanced.

Moreover, to make it simpler for researcher to create surveys, there are over 250 ready-made survey templates to simply select, edit and send!

Survey Design

Survey design refers as much to the look and feel of the survey, as much as it does to the logic and branching techniques used in the survey. The idea of a good survey design is to make survey questions more precise for the respondents while ensuring consistent branding and personalizations to make these online surveys visually appealing.

Survey Distribution

Today Email Surveys dominate survey sending and distribution methodologies, however, kiosk-based point-of-sale/event surveys are also becoming popular.

With QuestionPro, you can send or schedule email surveys, alongside QR code, Offline Mobile Data Capture App, SMS Survey, Web Intercept Surveys and automated IVR Surveys.

Survey Collection

Survey collection depends on the method of distribution. If a survey software was utlized, response collection is real-time for platforms like QuestionPro.

Even better, QuestionPro also enables you to live-track survey responses based on who has not started, started but completion is pending and fully completed the survey in a powerful dashboard.

Survey Analysis

Survey Analytics in quantitative research makes use of powerful methods such as Conjoint Analysis, Turf Analysis and SWOT Analysis among others. The application of these analytical methods to get concrete data-oriented insights makes quantitative research a favourite among business and academic researchers.

In QuestionPro’s market research survey software, all analytics are done by the engine in real-time, fully automated and through advanced analytics programs.

Advantages of Quantitative Market Research Surveys :

Fully data-oriented decision making:

Because of the precise nature of quantitative market research surveys, the data and subsequent analysis provides organizations and researchers the ability to make decisions that are fully backed by data.

Zero scope for analytical errors:

If you are using QuestionPro which is a fully package survey software, all the way from creating to analysing market research surveys, there is “zero” scope for analytical errors. All data is computed by the system in real-time and the analytics reports are error-free!

Concrete projections:

Time projections and trends are one of prime reasons for quantitative research methods. Given that data collection and analysis are error-free on a survey software, so are the projections made using the various statistical survey analysis techniques.

Learn more: Marketing Surveys

Statistical Survey Analysis Techniques for Market Analysis

Statistical Survey Analysis techniques that drive Market Analysis is primarily done for Quantitative Research. Here are the most popular and widely used statistical survey analysis methods for Market Analysis :

TURF stands for Total Unduplicated Reach and Frequency. Market analysis using TURF provides details on aspects such as user frequency and marketing reach without any duplicates, hence giving a real estimate of market potential.

Conjoint Analysis is used to understand how different attributes (or features) of a given product or service range in importance to a customer or potential consumer. Conjoint is widely used in modern Market Analysis given the feature-rich digital products of our time.

MaxDiff Analysis is used to understand consumer preference across different attributes. For example - A product’s branding, advertising, features etc. all become attributes for response collective under this type of statistical survey analysis technique. MaxDiff Analysis has some similarities to Conjoint Analysis, however it is much simpler to implement and use.

Gap Analysis typically is used to measure actual performance vs desired performance. This type of statistical market analysis answers the question on what needs to be done to move the needle to a more desired position.

SWOT stands for Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threat. A SWOT analysis is a market analysis technique that takes a holistic view of an organization's key strengths and weaknesses from a business standpoint.

Trend Analysis is widely used to analyse data over time with the intention of identifying a plottable trend and relationship in the data changes. This trend may then be used to predict future trends in the movement of data.

Cross Tabulation is a statistical survey analysis tool that is used for categorical data tabulation. Categorical data involves values that are mutually exclusive to each other.

Text Analysis is a technique that researchers implement to arrange and bring structure to unorganized data. Analysis of text in documents or graphics is done to convert it into computer readable language.