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Omnibus Surveys: Conduct Budget-Friendly Quantitative Market Research

Kate Williams

Last Updated:  

30 May 2024

9 min read

If knowledge is power, then in business, market knowledge is a superpower!

Business without market research is similar to pizza without cheese (ignore if you don’t like cheese)!

You can’t imagine running a business successfully without gaining knowledge about the market trends. Let’s say you’re thinking about buying a new laptop. You have to figure out what laptop you should get. You can’t find the perfect laptop according to your needs without researching its screen quality, CPU, RAM, storage, battery life, reviews, and budget. In short, market research exists everywhere.

However, conducting market research is not as easy as it seems. Several companies get stuck on the budget factor before running research. This is where an omnibus survey can help. It helps conduct market research surveys at a low cost and in a short time. But how? Let’s decode the ifs and buts of omnibus surveys in this article below.

What is Quantitative Market Research?

Just like consumers, market research is a crucial part of businesses. We do market research to understand a product, while companies conduct market research to understand their customers. Sometimes, companies skip the research part. Maybe because they don’t know its value or how to use it properly, but skipping this research can cost you a lot of time.

You can take Microsoft’s example as a classic failure due to a lack of market research. In 2006, Microsoft launched a portable media player, Zune. Zune was supposed to compete with its famous rival, Apple’s iPod. However, in 2011, Microsoft’s Zune was discontinued despite millions of dollars invested in it. The reason was poor marketing segmentation and no differentiation from the iPod. You see, that’s the importance of research.

Among all the marketing research methods, the quantitative research method is the most common type. The quantitative method is the best fit if you want specific information about your company, target customer, market, and customer population. Conducting quantitative market research can help you get answers to questions like “Who are my potential customers?”, “Why are people not purchasing my product?” “What is the market trend?” etc.

Quantitative research mainly includes two methods for gathering data- surveys and questionnaires. Also, you can conduct email surveys, telephone surveys, and face-to-face surveys to collect quantitative data.

The omnibus survey is one such method that helps you get rich insights into your business industry, consumers, and market in the most convenient way. That means that this survey is the ultimate solution when you only need answers to a few questions related to your brand and don’t have the budget to conduct a full-fledged survey. In our next point, we’ll learn the basic definition of the omnibus survey and how it can help in quantitative research.

What is an Omnibus Survey?

First, we need a basic definition of an omnibus survey before discussing anything further.

An omnibus survey is organized on behalf of different companies. It includes a single questionnaire with multiple questions in various categories. This survey is regularly sent to a specific target group for market research.

Generally, omnibus surveys are conducted by agencies and driven by several paid sponsors, who buy questions in the survey as it provides a cost-effective survey solution.

Let us give you an example here. Suppose you’re considering having dinner at your town’s fanciest restaurant. Now, let’s say your budget is tight, and if you go there alone, you might end up paying a lot for dinner. However, because of the budget issue, you decided to go to the restaurant with your five best friends. And whatever the dinner costs, you can spread the bill with your five friends, making it much more affordable.

These surveys work exactly like this example. In this quantitative market research method, several organizations pay a survey agency to buy questions related to their industry. These questions from different organizations create one extensive survey with multiple unrelated questions. The questions could be about different products, services, behaviors, and brands. Let’s make the definition easy with an example:

Consider three companies.

  • A wants to know about the customer loyalty of its organization
  • B wants to ask homemakers about cooking habits in the kitchen.
  • C wants to ask teenagers about issues with their beauty products.

In omnibus surveys, these unrelated, random questions are asked in the same survey script. And several organizations (companies A, B, C) will buy the survey script together to share the cost of the market research.

How are Omnibus Surveys Conducted?

These days, the methods for omnibus surveys vary a lot from the past. As we already know, this is the era of digital technology. Even the marketing world has shifted its focus from traditional to online over the past few years. Previously, agencies used to conduct omnibus surveys through telephone, and now they use online platforms online survey software to collect quantitative data. High-quality, real-time data, quick responses, and cost-effective solutions are the reason.

However, the process of conducting an omnibus survey is quite simple. The survey sponsors pay a certain fee to buy a few questions or a set of questionnaires. The question numbers can vary from 1 to more than 30, depending on your budget and needs. You can ask questions about your brand awareness, perceptions, customer loyalty, and more.

3 Steps To Conduct An Omnibus Survey

Step 1

Omnibus survey companies gather information from multiple companies about their needs and business objectives for marketing research. Suppose you’re interested in conducting this survey. In that case, the omnibus survey team will learn what questions you want to ask from your target audience. If you haven’t outlined what to ask in the survey, you can get help from SurveySparrow’s survey templates. From these templates, you’ll get access to different types of engaging questions for your target respondents.

Step 2

Once you select what to ask, omnibus survey companies will program the surveys accordingly. Now, survey programming can be a hectic process. You can use Typeform alternatives like SurveySparrow to program the survey in the most attractive way.

Step 3

Once the omnibus team is all set with the survey questions, they’ll send them to multiple respondents to get real-time insights on your market research.

So, this is the simple process of conducting an omnibus survey. Several agencies or organizations conduct these surveys to help businesses run quantitative research and get rich insights. But wait, this survey’s simple process is not the only reason people use it. Companies get more advantages from an omnibus survey. Read all about it in our next section.

The Key Advantages of Omnibus Survey

A newly launched software company decided to introduce their new product. Before launching the product, they quickly ran a search through Google about “how to do market research?” which showed them a long list.

The list contained several kinds of market research methods. From focus groups to face-to-face interviews to questionnaires, the list goes on and on.

However, the small-sized company was out of budget and had no scope for conducting market research. The company’s CEO was concerned about how to reach people and decided to skip the research part.

The above story is a reality for many small-sized or newly launched organizations. Small-medium businesses or new organizations already have a lot of day-to-day responsibilities to deal with. It’s tough to make time or plan an extensive budget market research for them. In some cases, companies don’t even know how to conduct research in the first place. In such scenarios, omnibus surveys can act as a wonder.

The omnibus survey is one of the most effective ways to reduce marketing research costs while getting quality and needed data. Other than the cost-effectiveness, with this survey method, you can expect advantages like:

Quick Responses

As per Statista, 60% of respondents said that real-time customer analytics was necessary for improving customer experience at the time of the survey. Quick responses help businesses uncover insights about their new products or consumer behavior faster. You can detect your consumers’ needs, pain points, and expectations more easily with real-time responses. Omnibus surveys can save you time as they can gather insights quickly.

You can get responses within 24 to 48 hours, depending on the survey length and question types. And if you use effective survey software like SurveySparrow, you can get data in real time. As soon as your respondents complete the survey, you’ll get notifications to know the immediate results. You can review the results with tabulated charts, graphs, and much more.


Conducting this research can be expensive for your business. The global revenue of the market research industry crossed 73.4 billion US dollars in 2019. The cost of market research includes several factors like data collection methods, sample size, budget, etc. But, as multiple organizations share the omnibus survey, it can save a lot on your budget. You won’t have access to other questions that are asked by other brands in the omnibus survey.

For example, a company conducted one omnibus survey containing 30 questions for three organizations. Then, they can send three separate survey results, each containing ten answers, to these three different organizations.

First Step for Market Research

The omnibus survey builds a solid foundation for your future market research needs. Suppose you want to target a more specific audience. In that case, market research is a necessity, and a business should keep its future research goals in mind while choosing the survey questions.

Here, take an example. Let’s say you’re launching a new mobile in the market and want to find out which age group is best to target. With this survey, you can know the age group between 20 and 35, which is the most relevant age group to buy your mobile. In your next market research, you’ll already have this data to guide you.

These are some primary advantages of using an omnibus survey for quantitative market research. However, it has some disadvantages too. Well, don’t worry, because we have a solution for you. Read on to find out!

How can SurveySparrow Help You with Omnibus Survey?

Probably the biggest disadvantage of conducting omnibus surveys is its long survey experience. It’s not unnatural to have omnibus surveys with 30 to 50+ questions on 10 or above topics. But the problem is that people don’t spend that much time completing surveys these days. If your survey gets too long, they’ll get disengaged, bored, or worse, they’ll throw their phone away(okay, maybe they’ll not throw the phone away!).

However, you can avoid this problem using effective survey software that can smartly collect relevant data. Enters SurveySparrow! This software comes with some great features like attractive survey templates, video surveys, and customized surveys to give life to any boring, long survey experience.

1. Dual Survey Experience

The best part about this software is its dual survey experience. It has conversational forms and chat-like surveys to help you better engage with your target audience. The sleek design of these survey forms can be customized with different survey themes, background videos, themes, or gradients. You can even decide on the color palette, button fill, fonts, and more.

SurveySparrow’s survey software allows you to collect data with a wide variety of questions. For instance, drag & drop, matrix, multiple-choice questions, rank order, NPS score, rating scale, etc. You can mix and match these questions. This way, your target respondents won’t feel bored answering long omnibus surveys. It will keep the survey-taking experience smooth.

You can only craft relevant questions based on your respondent’s previous answers with conditional logic branching, skip logic, and display logic. The question piping feature of this software allows you to have a one-to-one conversation with the right audience and keep them engaged throughout the long survey session.

2. Share Options

One of the best Typeform alternatives, SurveySparrow, comes with multichannel sharing options. This survey tool allows you to customize your surveys and create recurring surveys effortlessly. Recurring surveys will help you to share omnibus surveys at any frequency- daily, weekly, quarterly, or monthly. In fact, you can remind the non-responders with a reminder email to make sure you get a high response rate.

This software’s unique link share option allows you to create shareable web links. Later, you can track these links to analyze the performance funnel and your best-performing channel. You can even embed surveys anywhere to get actionable data from the most unlikely places. It can be a pop-up card or a chatbot for websites. You can literally embed your surveys anywhere your audience is. Have a look at the holistic multiple-share options available at SurveySparrow.

Screenshot of multiple-sharing option from SurveySparrow

Transform your omnibus surveys into engaging conversations with SurveySparrow. Isn’t this multiple-sharing option interesting? Our omnichannel distribution ensures your surveys reach a diverse audience. Ready to use now? Sign up for FREE right away!

Sharing surveys with software is extremely easy with the social share option. If your target audience spends a huge lot of time on social media platforms, share the survey there. You only need to use meta tags, descriptions, and attractive images to make the survey-taking experience more enjoyable. Also, the QR code feature of SurveySparrow lets you download a scalable QR code for your survey. Simply use the code in posters, pamphlets, or receipts to get higher survey responses.

3. Track Survey Performance

It’s crucial to track the performance of your omnibus survey. With the market research software of SurveySparrow, you can gain rich insights that help you find out which channel got maximum responses. The rich dashboard of this software is equipped with graphs, charts, histograms, and in-depth reports. With real-time reporting, you can gather data as soon as your respondents hit the submit button. As Omnibus surveys are conducted with a large audience group, the real-time data collection feature can work as a savior for the Omnibus survey team.

With cross-tabulation, you can compare the responses you received. Thus, you can spot the market trends, spot patterns, and blind spots to understand your customers. Advanced report filters let you set the answers based on several parameters like location, period, respondent details, completion rates, etc. And we’ve already mentioned how it can help you configure the survey frequency accurately. The best part of online survey software is it allows you to secure your data by keeping an offline copy of the survey in PDF format.

With the online audience panel, you can easily find your potential target audience for your market research and listen to your audience across 80 countries. When you have the right questions and refined data, you can get valuable feedback in real time. This rich data will help you identify your organization’s strengths and weaknesses and ultimately help you make better decisions.

Wrapping Up

We all know how market research helps us make better business decisions. The omnibus survey adds a cherry on top by conducting this research in the most cost-effective way. For those who don’t have a huge budget or are working with limited resources, the omnibus survey is probably the best solution for their market research needs.

So, are you ready to take the bus? I mean the omnibus! If yes, go through this detailed guide on this survey and make your market research experience happy!

Kate Williams

Product Marketing Manager at SurveySparrow

Excels in empowering visionary companies through storytelling and strategic go-to-market planning. With extensive experience in product marketing and customer experience management, she is an accomplished author, podcast host, and mentor, sharing her expertise across diverse platforms and audiences.

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