Strategic plans in marketing are very important and should be carefully prepared. Surveys are conducted to collect the necessary information to develop the research documents. The current essay discusses the general benefits and limitation of the survey research method as well as analyzes its usage in the field of marketing. Comparison with other methods of research is also presented to determine the best method for market research for business.
The benefits associated with the use of survey tools in researching the target market for the business are numerous. The first benefit is the time required to complete the research. For example, online survey is faster than the traditional one because the information needed is collected automatically and in timely manner. The researchers get the responses instantly via Internet, while paper questionnaires issued to be filled out require more work. In the online research method, the marketing professionals get the responses in the first three days after the research activity starts, indicating it is a faster way of collecting information.
The second benefit of survey method is that it costs half the research expenses incurred by businesses in marketing research. Surveys are cheaper because it requires very little paperwork. The expenses of postage or hiring people to fill out the questionnaires in the databases are eliminated. In the online method of data collection, the responses from the target market are processed automatically as they are received. Therefore, the method is cheap and economical for many businesses.
For a marketing research to be effective in attaining its objectives, the information collected during the survey should be very accurate. Therefore, the third advantage of online survey is that it provides more accurate information with little errors if any. Despite the traditional method where the staff enters the data manually into the systems, in online survey the participants enter their responses directly into the database. It qualifies the data to be more accurate because human error is reduced.
Despite the many advantages associated with the survey research method, it has some limitations. For example, online survey is available to the limited pool of respondents because many of the target people may not have access to the Internet. The participants are required to respond to online questionnaires, thus, the generalization to population may not be applicable for research development. Therefore, the sample taken to draw the conclusion may lack validity.
Surveys depend more on the participant’s cooperation to give out information. Internet users receive many messages from different sources and may end up deleting the questionnaires without considering them. The online method attracts few responses than the traditional method because there is no chance of convincing the respondents to cooperate. Therefore, the method is limited to the number of responses received and it may be challenging to develop a reliable research project.
Another limitation is the lack of trained interviewers to conduct the online survey. The respondents need to be guided on the research subject matter to make them aware of the objectives. Presentation is important because many participants may not be fully aware of the reasons for filling out particular questionnaire query due to misunderstanding of the research topic. For the method to be more effective in marketing research, a technique should be developed to ensure the respondents are well versed with the topic before responding.
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Surveys can be used in different areas for research purposes. In marketing research, surveys can be applied before launching a new product for a particular segment. The second area, where survey can be used in research, is service quality and satisfaction, which enables the researcher to identify strengths and weaknesses of the service offered. Target market analysis is another area, where survey is applicable. For a successful business establishment, the researcher should analyze the market segments to identify the opportunities available. The forth area whereby survey can be used is the creation of brand awareness. The researcher needs to know the popularity of the client’s product in the market in order to advice the business in a better way.
The product launch survey in the area is beneficial because it helps the researcher to get feedback from the customers about their perception of the new product. For a successful introduction of the product in the market, the researcher needs to know consumer’s preferences. On the other hand, the service quality survey is beneficial because it determines the success of the business in the market and possible areas of improvement. For a business to grow and develop, a feedback from the target customers is necessary. The survey will guide the researcher on the best indicators in making smart business decisions.
The target market survey is beneficial in collecting information about the consumer base for the product or service. The survey will estimate the business success in the market if it ventures in the area at a particular point in time. The brand awareness survey serves a crucial purpose for the researcher to eliminate any bias in the responses for brand popularity. The survey indicates the level of brand reach in the minds of customers and the ways of increasing the reach.
Survey method involves the use of structured questions, which are sent to the respondents to fill out according to their understanding of the research topic. In comparison, observation method involves recording of the behaviors of the target people in a systematic order to acquire critical information about them. Both survey and observation methods are basic ways of gathering primary descriptive and quantitative data in research.
Survey method is more appropriate in research projects, which require direct responses from the participants. Through structured questions, the survey is beneficial in analyzing activities in the markets. However, observation method is more applicable when the researcher wants to make a general analysis of the customers’ behaviors in a particular area. The monitoring aspect of the researcher helps to identify the patterns of the customers in a certain environment.