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Are we Using Marketing Research Surveys or Experiments?

Marketing research surveys and marketing experiments are both valuable tools that companies use to collect data that is useful for planning and decision-making. Each of these data-gathering tools have specific applications and benefits.

What are Marketing Research Surveys?

Marketing research surveys ask a respondent from a sample population to answer specific questions about a desired topic. The goal of a research survey is to glean answers from a sample group of people that represent a proportionate, larger slice of the population.

These marketing research surveys are crucial to obtain market data and make complex group comparisons easier to understand. Results can be used to develop audience characterizations or segments. They are also useful for providing concrete numerical (metric) data that may determine how an organization plans and establishes business goals as a direct response to the results.

When to Use Surveys

Surveys are ideal when there are fixed budgets and time sensitive goals to achieve. They usually have a narrow focus and may use open-ended questions that allow respondents to expand on the topics and reveal insights that may not be anticipated. The results are qualitative data that help convey opinions and emotions to the marketers.

Experiments Reveal Cause and Effect

A marketing experiment reveals the cause and effects of a particular stimuli or variable on a controlled group. Experiments predict what happens when a variable is changed from one version to another. This type of market research helps organizations discover new strategies and establish campaign objectives and may even be useful in confirming the usefulness of an existing initiative.

Experiment with ­­A/B Testing

Experimental research is helpful when testing one campaign versus another. A/B testing of an advertisement is a type of marketing experimentation that provides a direct comparison between one version of an ad and another. The results define the performance and value of ads so marketers can plan to use the highest performing ads and continually improve them.

Therefore, if a marketer wants to understand a respondent’s emotions and feelings toward a product, a marketing research survey would be an appropriate tool. If the marketer wants to determine how one factor affects another factor—and which of these performs better or is more successful—marketing experimentation would be the ideal tool.

When used appropriately, both marketing research surveys and marketing experimentation are valuable tools for collecting vital data that lead to informed decision-making goal fulfillment.­­

Robert Vergara


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