Written by: Autumn Fox, Account Executive for Ellensburg Downtown Association
The Ellensburg Downtown Association team has been hard at work administrating a survey about downtown shopping habits. As we inch closer and closer to our goal of surveying 1,000 CWU students, I thought I’d share some of the things I’ve learned about market research.
- Make sure everything works.
When creating my survey, I was concerned about the wording, question order, and page count. One thing I didn’t consider was actually inputting the survey. It didn’t take long for me to find a giant flaw in my SurveyMonkey setup. None of my “other” boxes worked. Luckily, I had only entered about 15 surveys when I had to restart the whole thing to fix my error.
- Plan ahead. Really far ahead.
My team and I have been surveying for weeks, but the planning process began months ago. It took a lot of debate and discussion to decide on the best way to reach our goal. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for advice from people who’ve done similar types of research. Thankfully, I was able to ask our past account executives, Ann Reynolds and Jordan Cox-Smith, for survey advice. Their advice was absolutely crucial to the planning process.
- Make people take your survey before it goes live.
When drafting a survey, it’s hard to tell if it’s going to make sense to anyone else. The best way to make sure your survey is as great as you think it is is to have someone else look it over. In fact, you should have several people look over it. This can help you avoid survey pitfalls such as awkward wording, similar questions, and missing answers.
- Put great people on your team.
Without my amazing junior account executives, this survey would’ve been absolutely impossible. This lesson is true for nearly any project, but having driven people on your team can make all the difference. The ability to work together should never be taken for granted, especially when you’re all working toward a common goal.