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Senin, 18 Mei 2009

Using Surveys to Conduct Market Research

Need to conduct a little market research, but don't know what approach to use? Among the many tools out there, the survey stands out as a time-tested and popular option for many small businesses.

Telephone surveys are popular because they're inexpensive and easy to do. But you can also conduct surveys through the mail, in one-on-one interviews, or on the Web. Your business' specific needs and budget will determine which type of survey to use.

Surveys can help you evaluate your customers' buying habits, compare your products with those of your competitor, or test a new ad campaign. In other words, surveys produce essential data that can guide many important business decisions.

Once you've determined your survey method and specific goals, you're ready to write the questionnaire. As you prepare the questions, remember a few basic rules:

  • Keep the questions short and to the point.
  • Include no more than 12 questions per survey.
  • Ask one question per sentence.
  • Put your questions in logical order, usually from general to specific.
  • Pretest your questions. Try out the questionnaire on friends, employees, and colleagues before you send out the real thing.
  • Avoid questions that could trick or embarrass the respondent.
  • Use neutral language. Try not to influence the response.
  • Ask respondents their age and income level — have them choose from among a range of ages and income levels.
  • Reveal your company's name and how you will use the information.
  • Thank the respondents for their time and effort.


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