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Step-by-step Guide to Creating the Perfect Market Research Survey!

Mathew Maniyamkott

1 July 2019

7 min read

Market Research before you launch a product or a service is a must as there can be times when there is a huge mismatch between what customers want and what you plan to offer. It should always be the right product at the right time and in the right market!

Any single attribute being a mismatch when you launch your business could mean a humongous loss. Imagine Mark Zuckerberg writing a book with the title-“How to become a Tech billionaire” and targets entry-level engineers around the world. That is wrong targeting although the product could be right for so many people. The global revenue of market research companies is pegged at 44.51 billion USD and this is how important conducting market research surveys are.

importance of product market fit


Benefits of doing Market Research:

There are many benefits associated with doing Marketing Research no matter what type of business you are in. Here they are:

  • You will be able to learn about your customers, their expectations from you and what your competitors do to keep ahead of you or what they lack when compared with you.
  • You can identify opportunities for your company which would not have been obvious earlier.
  • It can even help you survive in the market if you are going through a bad phase. Doing market research can give you a better understanding of your business.
  • Helps lower the risk when you want to launch a product or service because you know better since you know the market demand and expectations.
  • Market Research helps you understand what your customer thinks about you. Getting their honest opinion means that you can take action to change their perception.
  • Proper research can help you with estimating the number of sales that might happen therefore helping you to plan ahead and maximize your profits.
  • Once you keep doing Market Research periodically, you would have enough data to predict trends in your niche which gives you a huge advantage over your competitors.
  • When you go to your customers to learn about their opinion of your new product/service, you get feedback that is completely unbiased and devoid of any attachment to your product, thereby getting the best feedback available.
  • Information that you get from various quarters will help you monitor your journey and also help you craft a reasonable market positioning strategy.

Sure you can invest on professional market research firms that will do a good job, but you can still arm yourself with the power that Internet is and conduct your own Marketing Research. SurveySparrow shows you a step-by-step framework using which you can do market research for your own products and expect useful insights so that you can be prepared for the launch. Here are they:

1. Have a Clear Objective

When you are doing market research, you should have clearly defined outcomes for what you want to achieve and the results that you want should be measurable. A result that you want to know from the research could be how much people are willing to pay for your product, whether a subscription-based model would work or is it a one-time fee that your potential customers would prefer- it could be anything.

focus on market research surveys


The reason behind having a clear goal is that it will help you narrow down the necessary tools and methodology that you need to use for the research. It will help you design the survey in a manner that is most effective when the expectations are clear. Get your team in place and ask them to choose 2-3 objectives that are most important for you.

2. Decide Who You are Going to Survey

Do you have an email list of people that already know about you and your product and would be more than happy to spend a few minutes to help you? Is there already a list of targets from a previous survey? Use any set of data that aligns with your target audience. If you are selling a product in North America, it doesn’t make sense to target someone who lives in the MENA region.

Describe in detail about the kind of people you aim to target. Make it as specific as possible to increase the probability of getting a reply. Take in as many demographic factors like age, location, the area of residence, occupation and more to narrow down the number to the most relevant factors.

Make it as specific as possible to increase the probability of getting a reply. Click To Tweet

3. Design your Survey

Once you know whom to target, the next important step is to make sure that you design the survey in a manner that most respondents would be willing to reply. Decide the kind of market research question types and phrases that you want to use in the questionnaire that you are planning to send. Even ordering the questions most appropriately can swing more people to respond. Once you have decided the questions, do not email them before you run it across other stakeholders so that they review the questions as well.

If there is a possibility to keep the number of questions to a minimum, then do it without fail as lesser the size of the survey, people would be more inclined to answer it, and higher your survey completion rates. Take help from a good Market Research Software, if you haven’t mastered the art of creating surveys; most of them come with ready-to-use templates!

4. Come Across as Friendly in Your Surveys

In the surveys that you send to your customers, do you come across as a business that is not trying to forge a relationship with the customer but is only trying to gain from it? Remember, even your business is about relationships. You need to show empathy to your customers and you should make them feel appreciated in all communications with them. The fact that you have the Internet makes it easy for you to connect with anyone, but this is a double-edged sword since trying to create a connection can go horribly go wrong if you don’t use the right words and show the right attitude.

empathize with customers in market reseach


Communicate in a language that your users talk to their friends and family every day. If you use a conversational tone, you will not come across as a robot. The smallest of things matter when you communicate with people, something as simple as including their names on the email makes them feel special. Is there a way to personalize each interaction with your potential customer? Then do it.

5. Use a Rating Scale

There are a wide variety of scales that are used to measure a customer’s response. Although all these different scales might seem similar in the first instance, once you observe them deeply, you will understand that they are used for different purposes. Although there are more than 20 different types of scales being used, they are mainly categorized as 1. Comparative scale and 2. Non-comparative scale.

There are a lot of factors at play when you want to decide the kind of scale that is to be used. Four of the most popular scales that are used are 1. Likert Scale, 2. Graphic Rating Scale, 3. Semantic Differential Scale and 4. Side-by-side matrix. Using different scales in your survey will engage the respondents more and help you prevent them arbitrarily choosing the same value. Using multiple scales will also help you get more perspectives from people and it will be useful to analyze.

Using multiple scales will also help you get more perspectives from people and it will be useful to analyze. Click To Tweet

6. Get More Responses

Although the sub-heading might sound like a cruel joke, there are many ways for you to get the response to your surveys and we’ll tell you the tips for better survey responses. Getting a survey replied from an old customer might not be a big ask because they already know your product and may or may not like your product, but they are still closer to filling your survey than a non-customer. This is where you need to provide incentives for people to complete your surveys. As a token of appreciation, you can either send free e-books, free 30-min expert advice, gift cards and much more. Most of these methods usually work because of the incentives associated with them.

wrong question types ruin a survey


A short, well-crafted copy can go a long way in even making a complete newbie fill your survey. Use a clear CTA button when you ask them to fill out the survey. Use the subject line to entice the potential customer into opening the email. Using all the above tactics can help increase the responses you receive.

In fact, go a step ahead and call some of the people who have answered your survey and get more insights from their opinion about the product and the areas to improve your offering.

7. Evaluate the Research

Analyze the data that you have collected, for there is not much you can do with the raw form of data. It needs to be put into charts, graphs and tables to make sense of it. There are a lot of visual analytics tools like Tableau which can help as well. Whenever you come across a piece of information that makes sense and could be useful for business if replicated in the business, then you are good to go.

Use text analysis to pick out the most common words used. Print out the data into different formats including spreadsheets so that it can be studied. The best part about online surveys is that you can see preliminary results even when the survey is going on, this will help in refining the survey process more than anything.

8. Create an Action Plan to Work on the Survey Results

This is probably the most important part of taking the survey: taking action. Now go back to the first stage when you had clear-cut objectives. From the information that you have received in the survey, chart out actionable statements and inculcate them into your business. Do not make any drastic changes to your business unless it is extremely pressing. Make small changes incrementally so that the users will get accustomed to it. The changes that are required can be useful for various quarters: it could lead to optimizing the user onboarding, might help with increasing email sign-ups or increase the number of people scheduling a discovery call.

This is probably the most important part of taking the survey: taking action. Click To Tweet


The process to create a Market Research might not necessarily be expensive. There are a lot of tools that get the work done which helps from the initial stages of data collection to the end where you collate the results and analyze them. But the results associated with a survey can be extremely rewarding as you are hearing directly from the customers about what they expect from your business.

Use different types of Market Research Surveys to make sure you don’t lose sight of the bigger point. Reaching out to your customers often to get their opinion and acting upon it is the sign of a business that is going towards success.

Mathew Maniyamkott

Guest Blogger at SurveySparrow

Regular contributor to various magazines. Passionate about entrepreneurship, startups, marketing, and productivity.

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