Our journey to the revival of surveys

In line with what Kristof De Wulf said in a previous blogpost, in which he quoted Darwin ‘It is not the smartest of the species that will survive, but the ones most adaptive to change’, we are starting 2013 with our embracement to change. Methods like Research Communities (MROCs) support the continuous dialogue with consumers, are shaping the bigger picture and bring more context to marketing questions. Our mission: bring the consumer to your boardroom.

But is there a vacancy for survey participants in that boardroom?

Survey participants are more than just rows in a dataset, generating statistical (significant) outcomes. The survey formats today are characterized by a lack of 2-way communication and engagement. Surveys often assume that participants’ answers can be put in a box, without taking into account how answers change based on the context or moment in which consumers act.
In line with what we believe in, we want to change how our clients, participants and even our own people perceive ‘online surveys’. We want to change the total experience for all stakeholders, which should lead to consumer empowerment impacting today’s business.
With this in mind, I’ve taken up the role of the ‘revival of surveys’-mandate within our R&D Forward Thinking lab. For a 6 months period I’ll be focusing on how we can redesign surveys and give them the facelift they deserve.

The road to revival starts with internal leverage

This revival process could only start after gathering information, thoughts and ideas from the right people. In a first phase we wanted to gain input and thoughts on the future of surveys from the InSites team. For this purpose we created a separate brainstorm stage on our internal communication platform. In the end we gained over 31 ideas with over 160 votes. As you can see in the figure, the different ideas capture all facets of the whole surveys process.

Revival of surveys - ideas

In a second more contextual phase, we organized different experience-exchanging moments with the different InSites Consulting offices, in which client experiences were shared.
Connecting these dots showed that there is a clear need for aligning our current MROC solutions with the benefits surveys bring and vice versa. The goal is to optimize our current survey solutions by creating modular components that can easily be used as an add-on in community platforms. On the other hand, we understand the value of shaping the contextual consumer space in more traditional quantitative projects. The latter might bring the survey participant closer to his position in the board room.
Testing different modular options as well as gathering consumer and client feedback are the next steps in this revival process.
So for those disbelievers out there, surveys are not dead!

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