We believe that before purchasing market research services one has to know how to write marketing-oriented questionnaires. Here are seven steps of how to do so.
1. Pre-marketing survey: start with a binary question (yes or no answer) in order to determine whether the interviewee
is relevant for your research objectives.
Example based on a Thomas Cook travel agency:
"During the past year, did you travel out of the country at least once?"
1. Yes 2. No
If the answer is "No", you can thank the person and end the interview. If it’s a "Yes", proceed ahead.
2. Continue the survey with 2 to 3 closed-ended questions about the general consumer behavior (habits) of
"When you traveled out of the country during the past year, what was your main means of transportation?"
1. Plane 2. Train 3. Bus 4. Car 5. Other
"When traveling, with whom you tend to travel on most trips?"
1. Family 2. Spouse 3. Friend(s) 4. Alone 5. Other
3. Continue with 2 to 3 questions about the relevant market/ markets:
"When traveling what is your preferred method of booking services?"
1. Online 2. Agency 3. Directly with service provider 4. Other
"Have you heard of Travelocity.com and Expedia.com?"
1. Just Travelocity 2. Just Expedia 3. Both 4. None
4. Continue the survey with 1 to 2 questions that are to do with positioning (see practical tip) relating the
researched brand to its specific direct competitive brands:
"Here are four major brands: American Express Travel, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, TUI, Thomas Cook (your agency) - As far as the brand is concerned (this is a USP, see SWOT), can you allocate a grade from 1 to 10 (1 is for a local brand & 10 is for a well known global brand) to each of the agency networks you may know or heard about?"
5. Continue with 1-2 open-ended questions related to your brand; Thomas Cook, in this example:
"What are the keywords that come to mind when you come across a Thomas Cook travel
agency brand name?"
"If you have had any interaction with Thomas Cook Travel, can you comment its quality
6. Post marketing survey: continue with demographical questions screening for relevant data pertaining to the
Instead of "How old are you?" (Only if it’s relevant to the marketing research objectives), you can
ask: "Please select the decade you were born in: 1970-1979, 1980-1989, etc."
Instead of "How much money do you make?" (only if it’s relevant), you can ask: According to The United States
Census Bureau the average yearly houshold income was $50,200 in 2008, is your income
1. Much higher 2. A little higher 3. Around the declared average 4. Below the declared average
7. End the survey with a note of thanks.
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