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4 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Survey Questions
By Geoff Penney

At InCrowd, with six years in the life sciences market research business, and having worked with over 200 unique pharma brands, we’ve learned a few things about market research and how it needs to be designed in order to obtain high-quality insights.

First and foremost, it’s about putting serious thought and consideration into your questions and answer choices – and keeping them short. From the desk of our in-house market research experts come these simple and easy guidelines to make sure you are designing the most clear microsurveys.

Phrase the question properly.

  • Keep question wording short and concise, and look at the question and related answer from all sides to make sure there is a single interpretation.
  • Keep the answer clear and distinct from the other possible answers or you risk calling your research findings into question.

Don’t telegraph the “right” answers.

  • Use wording that masks the right answer, particularly for screening or qualifying questions. Otherwise, unqualified respondents could game access to the survey.
  • Always hide the intentions and goals of the research. If survey questions give this detail away, respondents could figure out the “right” answers and erode the integrity of your work.

Be sure you ask the “why?” questions.

  • You want insights into behavior or preferences, which means you need to get to the underlying motivations or influences. Do so by exploring the “why” behind an answer with follow-up open-end text response questions. These will allow you to capture respondents in their own words – and the motivations behind their behavior and preferences.

Tease out brand features

  • Tracking brand satisfaction is an important barometer of success, but understanding the importance of discreet brand features in the purchase decision is the ultimate goal. You want to learn if a brand feature is a “nice to have” or a critical aspect in how the customer makes choices. If you want to capture degrees of satisfaction or fulfillment of unmet needs, you need to understand the relative importance of the different drivers behind your brand’s success.

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