Opinion Outpost

Saturday, January 17, 2009

What are Online Paid Surveys?

What are Online Paid Surveys?

Webster’s online dictionary describes it as the following:
transitive verb1 a: to examine as to condition, situation, or value : APPRAISE b: to query (someone) in order to collect data for the analysis of some aspect of a group or area2: to determine and delineate the form, extent, and position of (as a tract of land) by taking linear and angular measurements and by applying the principles of geometry and trigonometry3: to view or consider comprehensively4: INSPECT, SCRUTINIZE intransitive verb: to make a survey
However we unless you have been living under a rock for the past 10 years sometime you or one of your close friends has been asked to fill out a survey. These surveys come in all shapes and size big ones, little ones, all types are out there. At first glance you feel proud to have had your input/opinion taken by the company, after a while we get hardened to the idea and most people
Just generally ignore them.

But surveys are important, especially to the cooperation as a valuable source of information about what people are thinking. It helps them in a few ways for Marketing Purposes also for Starting-Up Businesses and don’t forget for Launching a new Product. Many companies don’t have a close and immediate contact with their customers. Consider for example, some of the top household names in the grocery sector. Their immediate customers are distributors and major supermarket chains but their real customers, the ultimate consumer will make decisions maybe hundreds or thousands of miles away. The manufacturer needs to know why this customer chooses one product over another. But how do they find out?

The answer is surveys. The manufacturer hires a Marketing Research firm to find out what potential buyers think. The Marketing Research firm carefully crafts a series of questions designed to get answers to the primary questions that management has. Then they contract a survey making company to physically get answers to their questionnaire. They specify the demographics; geographic areas, qualifying questions, "How many Times have you purchased groceries last month?" "How much of the grocery shopping is done by you each month?" I think you get the picture here.

Years ago that meant sending interviewers onto the streets or onto the phones to ask people for their opinions. Fortunately, that time has changed with the internet however some companies still use the phone or face to face method. Surveys can feel like an interview and the atmosphere can be quite threatening.

Online paid surveys are nothing like this, as the survey takers remain anonymous and can take them at their own pace as and when it fits their schedule, rather than the exact moment they’re rushing out the door (subject to quota not being filled). Participants can be totally honest and truthful, as unlike face to face or telephone surveys, they don’t have to worry about saying something stupid. This means the product manufacturers and brand name companies find out what consumers really think rather than what they think the company wants to hear.

The survey maker runs a computer sort on its database of survey takers to see how many qualify under the demographic specifications. Then they select a representative sample of these; adjust the sample size to fit within their budget for this survey. When they are ready they post the survey on a private page of their website and send out email notifications to the chosen survey participants.

Now how do they know that these people are qualified and that they will take the time to go to the website and fill out the survey forms?

They know that these survey takers are qualified because they had all filled out applications earlier giving their complete demographic information. And, they know that most will come in and fill out the survey forms because they have already agreed to pay them for their participation!

And the survey maker's contract with the Marketing Research firm included the funds to pay the survey takers.

And so you see, it makes perfect sense for the manufacturer (and thousands of companies in similar situations of needing information and feedback from their distant customer base) to pay for this survey information. This means that there are many thousands of surveys being made, and the survey makers must have a large, stable list of survey takers available to send them out.


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