Online research is an important tool for gathering information and insights for businesses across different industries in our digital age. The versatility of online research, coupled with the valuable data it generates, has made it one of the more powerful market research tools used by companies seeking to improve their products, services or marketing strategies.
Proper planning and consideration is however crucial when conducting online research, especially when navigating the complexities of the process. Before starting any online research, it is essential to define clear objectives for your business. This article aims to highlight the essential factors to keep in mind when conducting online research to ensure accurate, reliable and viable results.
Online Research Self-Checklist
This checklist covers key components of online research, including survey planning and design, formulating the right survey questionnaire, and data collection.
1. Planning and designing your online research
Identifying your company’s business issues
It is important to understand any problems or challenges your company may be facing to ensure that your research objectives address these concerns and contribute to effective decision-making.
Define the purpose of conducting your online research
Establish the primary goal of your research, for example—identifying customer preferences or market trends—and work towards creating a focused and efficient research plan.
Ensure that the purpose of your data analysis is clear
To ensure your business is able to derive the right insights, it is best to align your analysis with the research objectives your business has set out.
Specify your target audience
Identify the demographics, location and characteristics of the population you wish to study as this will enable the designing of a more precise survey.
Determine the expected outputs
It is recommended you outline the anticipated results to help guide your final analysis and ensure the results generated are presented in a meaningful way.
Consider marketing measures based on the results
As a business owner, it is important to explore potential marketing strategies that could be informed by your research findings, as this will ensure that your efforts yield actionable insights for your business.
Allocate time for your next action
It is crucial to allocate sufficient time to analyse the data generated, extrapolate conclusions and make the necessary changes required.
Allocating the right budget for your survey
Before embarking on your online research journey, do determine the financial resources required, and whether it is a one-time or annual budget expense. This allows the business to factor in components such as survey distribution, analysis and action implementation.
2. Preparing the survey questionnaire
When it comes to the survey questionnaire, it is important to include the right questions and structure them in a proper manner. Consider these factors when preparing a survey questionnaire.
Ensure your survey questions align with your objectives.
Check that your survey questionnaire is free of errors and any ambiguous expressions.
Avoid using technical terms.
Do not ask loaded questions.
Ensure that questions are clearly crafted and can be easily understood.
Be concise in the way you structure your question.
Use split conditions to avoid inconsistencies in answers.
Include options, such as “non-applicable” for respondents who may not find relevance to the question.
Ensure proper permission is sought before asking sensitive questions, and place the sensitive questions at the end of the survey.
Ensure a rating scale that is equal.
Check image resolution of the survey on different devices.
Ensure video functionalities (if any).
Test all external links and landing pages.
Design questionnaires that can be easily tabulated, and cross tabulation.
3. Collection of survey data
The key point of any online research is data collection as it provides insights into customer preferences, market trends and public opinion, which are all critical to decision-making processes for a business. Effective survey data collection supports the development of a more targeted marketing campaign, improved products and services, and a deeper understanding of the factors driving your success.
The checklist below can be used to ensure that your business’ survey data collection process is done properly.
Ensure that the target audience selected can provide the data required.
Collect a representative sample size.
Avoid setting targets in extremely niche market segments.
Set target audience conditions to prevent survey result biases.
Ensure that your servers are compatible with PCs, smartphones and tablets.
It should be a key factor that your respondents will be Internet users.
Account for the potential of non-participation in multi-round surveys.
Anticipate low input rates for open-ended questions.
Consider the probability of invalid responses.
These are variable conditions to consider when planning an online research campaign for your business. While this checklist is a guide for you to start your business on this journey, you can also get in touch with our consultants who are trained to run effective online research programs which are tailored to your business’ needs.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to effectively use online research for your business, contact us here:
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