Let us assume that you are a Market Research Manager at a furniture company and you are planning to launch a new furniture line at the end of 2013. However, before you launch the new line you wish to conduct an online survey on whether your line ‘Fall – 2013’ is more or less likely to be a hit or miss on the European Union (EU) market.
So far, so good. Yet, the following question will almost instantly arise: “What is the population that I would like to survey?”. Or, who do you need to survey to gain valuable insights on the success of your new furniture line? In this case the answer is rather straightforward. Assuming that you are launching the new line on the European market, that minors do not buy furniture and that your furniture is reasonably priced, your population consists of all adults in the EU.
After I finished my PhD, I decided it was time to quit Academia and head for pastures new: The Exciting Universe Of Market Research. As a way of integrating myself in this new universe, I started reading various blogs and (quasi) scientific articles on market research and online surveying. As CheckMarket is specialised in online surveys this seemed like a fitting starting point.
However, to my initial surprise, it took me only a couple of blogs to reach the conclusion that Likert Scales – the same scales that are practically declared holy in my previous universe; the academic one – have come under some scrutiny. Even to the point that it is seriously questioned whether they should be retained or replaced by so-called ‘Slider Scales’. However, in this post I will come to the defence of Likert Scales – if they actually need me defending them. I will argue that the case of Likert Scale v. Slider Scale is based on the design and the customer-experience of online surveys, rather than on sound methodological arguments. Without a shadow of a doubt, slider scales have a more inviting design but as it turns out, there are not too many methodological reasons to favour them over ‘boring’ Likert Scales.
“It’s about the results”. We all know that actually analysing the results of surveys is often the most time consuming process of the whole project. Follow some of the tips below while creating your survey, and you will save time afterwards. A little preperation ahead of time will save lots of time later.
CheckMarket offers fifteen different types of answers when you draw up your questionnaire. A frequent application in this list is in particular the use of open questions. This gives the respondent full freedom, albeit limited to a certain number of characters, to react to a given question or position.