In today's competitive environment, marketing research is more important than ever. Even small businesses need to determine what their customers — both locally and online — need and want as well as how the business can go about filling those interests in the most cost-effective way possible. 

Surveying is a big part of researching your products' market. To help you create a survey that gives you what you need, here are 4 tips for designing a useful research survey.

Know What You Need

Define your specific needs and interests beyond simply wondering if people will want to buy your product(s). The more specific you are with what information you require and what decisions you must make, the more you and your market research facility can design a survey to get it. Focus on individual products or particular questions rather than muddling the data by trying to get too much out of one survey. 

Be Specific

As you identify exactly what you need to know, design specific questions to get that result. Open-ended questions may provide some additional information, but they should be used sparingly in conjunction with more concrete responses, including "yes/no" and ratings on a scale. Rather than asking, for example, what a respondent likes to drink, ask which of the following products would they be more likely to drink. You can mass more information this way and create follow-up questions more easily.

Use Simple Consistency

The more consistent your questions, the more likely people are to understand and respond to them well. If you design a scale system, such as rating things from one to five, be consistent about using the same scale throughout the survey. Likewise, phrasing questions similarly will help users understand what is expected of them. Avoid trick questions and long, complex inquiries which could easily bore or confuse readers.

Test it Out

Use the people around you as a test group as you design your survey questions. Anyone not familiar with the questions could potentially help you test the readability of the questions as well as whether or not you are generating useful responses. Ask for honest feedback and be open to constructive criticism. 

A professional market research facility can help you create or fine-tune survey questions. Use their experience and listen to their advice. The result will surely be a more helpful survey and clear direction on how you and your products should move forward. 

For more information, contact a business such as Murray Hill National.