How to Glean Accurate Data from Polls & Surveys
Most businesses and brands want to gather as much information as possible from shoppers, subscribers and visitors. In many situations, there is a fine line between asking for too much information and failing to garner a sufficient amount of data. One wrong move and brands may alienate their audiences by being too invasive, while other situations may leave valuable opportunities on the table.
Additionally, brands may sometimes ask the wrong questions or fail to focus their surveys and questions in the right areas. Can this be avoided?
The answer is yes – but only with the right approach. Let’s take a look at how brands can survey their audiences and gather data that not only is abundant but also relevant.
Know Your Objectives Beforehand
Before you can collect any data from a poll or survey, it’s important to know what your objectives are in terms of obtaining the data. What exactly are you seeking to learn from your audience, and what actions are inspiring you to collect the data in the first place? The need to understand brand objectives in the context of surveys will help to more accurately formulate the types of surveys that deliver meaningful responses.
Surveys that are too open-ended or otherwise lack proper framing often produce results akin to pinging noise into an empty canyon. It might be noticeable but otherwise meaningless.
Target Your Audience Accurately
Who exactly are you trying to survey? There are instances where surveying your entire audience produces the best results, while there are others where you only want to hear from a subset. Many social media platforms allow for custom targeting features that can whittle down your audience – even basic survey forms created through platforms like Mailchimp and Google can produce tiered and conditional surveys that show specific individuals unique questions based on select responses.
It may prove more beneficial to target individual aspects of your audience with custom survey questions and polls for maximum accuracy in terms of responses provided.
Conduct A/B Testing
Every poll and survey – regardless of planning or structure – has the opportunity to perform poorly. This could be due to its design, the types of responses given or a variety of other factors. However, randomizing key aspects of your survey can help ensure there are no underlying biases that skew results.
For example, randomly ordering your multiple-choice options in select polls (ensuring that no one answer is always the first choice listed) can reduce the chances of skewed data. Likewise, shuffling the ordering of questions – and even producing different variations of the same survey – may shed light on tactics that do not work (as well as reducing the chances of structural biases in responses).
Allow for Open-Ended Responses
One more recommendation for improving survey and polling accuracy: allow for open-ended responses in select situations. This could be general recommendations or thoughts at the end of a survey, or select open-ended responses available for key questions.
Generally speaking, people love pinging noise and random thoughts whenever given the opportunity. This can sometimes be a huge distraction from the purpose of conducting surveys in the first place, but in limited use, it can provide insight into your audience’s thoughts, wants and needs.
With this information in hand, you can now create better polls and surveys with which to collect accurate data. Brands of all sizes can benefit from accurate data: put these tips to good use and make the most of your audience’s responses!