Just Say No Already.

Annie Pettit this morning tweeted from the Net Gain 4.0 Conference in Toronto:

Clients still want 1 hour surveys and we can’t do anything about it : I say turn it down!!

I’ll go further than that: I say turn it down and make it clear to the client that they are the cancer that is killing market research. What in the world can you learn from a sixty minute survey that you can’t learn from a 5-minute one? (I’m not talking about an in-depth qualitative research project, or something where you hook someone up to an EEG and have them watch an episode of CSI: Miami to see what their brain has to say. I’m talking about asking questions, on the phone or on a screen. 60 minutes is 55 minutes too long!

Do we really think the respondents still on the phone (or on the web) at the one-minute mark, the ten-minute mark, and the 60-minute mark are identical?

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4 Comments

Filed under bad user experiences, data quality, Market Research, matrixes make me cry, The cancer that is killing market research, web research

4 responses to “Just Say No Already.

  1. Glenn

    I agree. Moreover, I’d say that any respondent who is still answering at the 60 minute mark is either “going through thye motions” or so atypical that they’ve just disqualified themselves from any representative sample.
    Tell the client that if they want to throw their money away, we can just make up some numbers and charge them for that. They’d get better value because it would be quicker, and just as valid.

  2. Rasmus

    this is totally off-topic, just something I thought about- in surveys where you have to select your state from a drop-down menu with state abbreviations, isn’t there a substantial number of people who don’t KNOW their abbreviation?

    I’m thinking of thousands of Alaskans choosing ‘AL’ and not ‘AK’, or maybe people from Minnesota picking ‘MI’ instead of ‘MN’.

  3. The 60 minute interview is just a part of the general low standards we now see of questionnaire design. The most important component of any survey is the engagement of the respondent, questionnaires have to recognise and cater for what they want to tell us. Often this is overlooked.

  4. Pingback: Not Part of the Future: Long Surveys | Future of Insight

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