Here are five of the most retweeted links on the Twitter #MRX communitythis week, four of which touch on challenges with surveys.


Are surveys a thing of the past? – Ray Poynter recently led a brainstorming session on the future of market research:

When the conversation concentrated on the next five years it was clear that traditional research concepts, such as surveys and focus groups are going to play an ever decreasing role in market research, even in the context of mobile surveys and community discussions. The key changes are going to be in the integration of data sources…

I will leave my comments here with one prediction. At the moment something like 50% of market research relates to surveys, focus groups, communities, discussions, polls, and other traditional forms of market research. In five years this will be under 25%.

I look at this not as a decline of surveys but as a rise of alternative methods; the analogy I use is that of The Survey Superpower in a Multi-Polar World.

The perils of DIY research – Brian Singh offers this screenshot of a DIY survey done poorly:

DIY survey mistakeI’ve seen this mistake many times with SurveyMonkey surveys in particular. The good news for the poor survey author is that most respondents will answer this question in the spirit with which it was intended and, with a bit of data cleaning, they should be able to use the most of the rest of the responses. See my past post, When DIY Surveys Become DYI Surveys.

Why I think surveys are better on mobile phones than on PCs – Ole Andresen offers “a contemplation in three parts” (Part I, Part II and Part III) on his personal experiences with taking surveys on mobile devices, where he finds the user experience to be far better than on personal computers.

Join the dots to see the full insight picture – Writing in MarketingWeek, Michael Barnett discusses the evolution of insights departments away from an emphasis on survey projects to instead synthesizing results from many types of data.  “When people take notice of market research, it is usually the result of a big consumer survey that delivers an attention-grabbing top-line result. But the headline results usually belie a meticulous process of gleaning insight from customer data from many sources over a long period of time.”

The Research Club at Insight 2011 – Derek Watkinson shares photos from the Insight Show in London at the end of June. Not a survey in sight!

Author Notes:

Jeffrey Henning

Gravatar Image
Jeffrey Henning, IPC is a professionally certified researcher and has personally conducted over 1,400 survey research projects. Jeffrey is a member of the Insights Association and the American Association of Public Opinion Researchers. In 2012, he was the inaugural winner of the MRA’s Impact award, which “recognizes an industry professional, team or organization that has demonstrated tremendous vision, leadership, and innovation, within the past year, that has led to advances in the marketing research profession.” In 2022, the Insights Association named him an IPC Laureate. Before founding Researchscape in 2012, Jeffrey co-founded Perseus Development Corporation in 1993, which introduced the first web-survey software, and Vovici in 2006, which pioneered the enterprise-feedback management category. A 35-year veteran of the research industry, he began his career as an industry analyst for an Inc. 500 research firm.