May 24, 2012 10:28:24 AM
Earlier this year Google launched Consumer Surveys, a service allowing business owners and individuals to survey a targeted audience. This is an incredibly useful tool for businesses wanting to gauge customer satisfaction and preference.
Here's how it works: Using a very clean interface, you begin by defining who should answer your survey question(s). You can target people based on their gender, age, and/or geography. You may also screen people by using a qualifying question. For example, if you wanted to show your survey only to people who have never eaten ice cream, you could make your qualifying question, "Have you ever eaten ice cream?" If the person responds "No," they will be shown your survey. If they respond "Yes," they will be thanked and will not be shown your survey.
Your survey can be a single question or can consist of multiple questions. You may ask multiple-choice questions, solicit star ratings and even allow respondents to select between multiple images.
Once your survey is complete, it will start appearing on websites throughout the Internet. Depending on your target demographic, survey responses will start coming in almost immediately. As survey responses come in, you can break the results down by gender, age, geography, income and a couple of other criteria.
Unlike most other Google products, this service is not free. Google Consumer Surveys charges $0.10 per answer. More traditional consumer survey services typically charge about $1 per answer. Set your budget depending on how many responses you want. Once your defined budget is reached, Google won't show your survey any more.
This service can be very useful for a company launching a new product or for a company developing a brand for itself. Trying to decide on the most attractive packaging for your product? Create a survey and let people select between the two designs. You could also survey people in the Golden Triangle to determine why they shop at one store instead of the other.
There are many other survey services such as Survey Monkey, Constant Contact and Checkbox; however, Google's advantage is its extremely low prices and large sample audience.
Peter Imes is publisher of The Dispatch. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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