Advantages of Online Surveys: Knowing Their Strengths and Weaknesses

Are you thinking about launching an online survey or participating in survey-and-answer programs to earn a little extra cash? If so, it helps to start with a basic understanding of what surveys are and the advantages of online surveys.

Online surveys were one of the first opportunities to flood what we now refer to as the “gig economy.” Workers from around the world are now seeking out opportunities to make money online or through their smartphones. On the other hand, businesses, entrepreneurs, organizations, and other professionals need insight into the markets they serve in order to launch competitive products, increase brand awareness, and grow profits.

The concept of answering simple questions in exchange for a financial reward started out with websites that connected consumers with gift cards, points, tokens, or other modest compensation in exchange for their opinions or information about their lives, preferences, and buying habits. Those in need of market research or other insight could launch simple campaigns that compensated members of their target audience for their time and provided information.

Today, there are many other “gigs” available to consumers and workers who want to earn money on their own schedule or in their free time. Surveys remain an enjoyable past-time for some and a modest income supplement for others. As mobile apps like 1Q make the process more accessible and fun, more consumers are participating in reputable market research programs.

Let’s dig into the benefits of online surveys to see if this opportunity might work for you. We’ll then look at the cons of online surveys as well to ensure you know what to expect when participating in a market research platform that relies on surveys.

Advantages of Online Surveys for Market Research or Other Objectives

  • Results are delivered quickly. Mobile apps and websites allow you to launch a survey in just minutes. Real members of your target demographic will have the opportunity to participate right away, so you don’t waste time waiting on data to accumulate.
  • Participants have good reasons to answer quickly. Apps like 1Q that compensate survey participants by the answer provide a great incentive for rapid response rates. Participants know that each question may only remain open for a limited period because companies might have restrictions on how many answers they want to collect. In order to receive compensation, acting quickly on as many questions as possible is encouraged.
  • Surveys are cost-effective and easily tailored to a range of budgets. Some market research strategies are quite costly, which limits effectiveness for brands or entrepreneurs with limited marketing funds. Paying per answer for a launched survey allows every user to maintain full control of the expenditure. Campaigns can ramp up or scale back, making this a flexible way to gain market insight.
  • Access to real people within narrowly targeted demographics is easier than ever. Before the convenience of online and mobile app surveys, it was difficult to find individuals within a targeted demographic and convince them to answer even one question. Many survey and answer apps today still rely on simulated answers from bots rather than real people. That’s what makes apps like 1Q so valuable. You can get answers from real people within your target market, and they actually want to help you out because it helps them reach their goals as well.
  • You have complete control over the process, and it’s quite flexible. You determine how many questions you launch, whom they’re sent to, and how many responses you want to receive. You can take questions down and add new ones at any moment.
  • Follow-up questioning allows you to gain continuous insight from the same people months or even years apart. 1Q allows you to send follow-up questions to participants providing insight for your company. It’s incredibly difficult to get past or current customers to answer surveys without compensation even once, let alone on a weekly or monthly basis. Market research platforms provide the incentivization needed to gain that follow-up information.

Cons of Online Surveys for Market Research & Business Insight

The biggest con of using online surveys for market insight is the reliance on individual memory and honesty. Some participants may not answer questions truthfully, while others may guess if they don’t fully remember the correct answer to a question. Even though most survey questions are in regard to personal opinions or past behaviors, you can never assume complete accuracy and honesty across all questions.

Another issue is how different participants define some terms used in some surveys or choose between answers that don’t quite fit their honest answers. If “yes” and “no” are the only options and neither fully fit a participant’s opinion, they’re likely to pick one based on their own gut feeling or reasoning.

Even with these potential cons of online surveys, there’s still tremendous value in getting insight directly from consumers within a target demographic. For most businesses, there are more advantages of online surveys than disadvantages.

Advantages of Online Surveys for Money – Pros for the Participants

  • The process of answering simple survey questions is fast and enjoyable for many participants. Those that stick with a market research platform long-term tend to have fun and appreciate even modest tokens of appreciation from the companies they help.
  • Small rewards add up over time, helping consistent participants meet financial goals. As the gig economy continues to gain popularity, many consumers are embracing any legitimate opportunity for a side income that they can find. Platforms that make it fast and easy to earn money over time are appealing to many independent workers as well as busy professionals who don’t have a lot of time for other types of gigs.
  • Participation can vary over time without consequence. One participant may answer more survey questions at some point in their life while backing off when other obligations become more intense. Keeping an app on your phone is painless and allows survey-takers to choose when and how often they want to participate.

Cons of Online Surveys for Participants

The cons of online surveys for participants often come down to the small monetary reward that comes from a single answer or survey. Some consumers will give up on an app if they don’t earn a significant amount of money right away. The participants most likely to contribute on a frequent basis will see greater financial gains over time, but not all consumers have the patience and foresight to commit long-term to a side gig or income opportunity.

Consumers are also giving up personal information when answering some survey questions. They must provide basic demographic information like income range, age, and marital status to gain access to the maximum number of question opportunities. While consumers are more open to sharing that information now than ever before, many are still hesitant to participate as a result.

Are the Pros Worth the Cons for You?

Assessing the pros and cons of online surveys for money or market research comes down to honest answers to just a few questions.

  • What are your current goals? This may relate to financial goals, business marketing goals, product development goals, or any other area that correlates to an interest in launching or participating in surveys.
  • How could launching or participating in a survey help you reach one or more of your goals? Get as specific as possible. Make sure that your expectations are clear and that you have clear objectives for participation in any type of survey.
  • What are your ideal and maximum budgets for this project? This question is specific to launching surveys for market research or other business objectives. Your expected budget will help you determine the best structure for each survey you launch. How many responses can you afford to receive before reaching your maximum budget, and is that adequate for your objectives?
  • How much time do you have to put into answering surveys? This question is specific to participating in surveys through a reputable service. How much time would you need to spend on this activity to meet your financial goals, and do you have that time available? Keep in mind that you may spend some of that time multitasking. For instance, answering questions while shopping at a local store.

Your answers to these questions will help you determine the pros and cons of participating in surveys for insight or financial gain. The next step is to sign up with a leading mobile research platform that makes it easy to reach your goals.

When you’re ready to get started, 1Q is ready to get you started. Our platform is entirely self-serve, so you can sign up and start launching or answering surveys immediately. Now is the time to tap into financial rewards or get the insight you need to make wise business decisions.