What is a Survey?
A survey is a tool for the collection of various pieces of data which form a picture about a subject area. In order for the result to be reliable and reasonably conclusive, the data collected must be accurate and gleaned from a wide sample area. As part of their task in assessing the viability of a product or service in the marketplace, market research companies will produce surveys as a way of posing various questions to particular target groups. For example, if a manufacturer were thinking of producing a new and different type of baby product for new mothers, the market research company would set about constructing a particular set of questions aimed at women who are pregnant with their first child.
Taking part in surveys is a great way to help shape a new product and it also helps to improve existing products and services. You can expect to be asked factual questions about yourself, your lifestyle, your occupation etc, but equally as important, you can expect to be asked exactly what you think about a product or service. The process is engaging, interesting, and really makes you think. But how can you be part of it?
Getting involved is easy: simply carry out an online search and you will see a long list of various survey panel options. The next step is to spend some time perusing the numerous and varied panels before selecting the ones you wish to research, then signing up.
Thinking about Taking Part in Surveys?
It's worth taking some time to read the various reviews that other panelists provide, whether it be on the survey site itself, or on a site dedicated to providing reviews and users' general thoughts on how the survey panel performs. These reviews are a very good guide as to which panel may or may not be right for you. Some panels look for families with children, others may look for people in professional occupations, or maybe even self employed people. Whichever category (or categories) you fit into, you can at least expect to take part in surveys that are generally of interest to you and what you buy and use regularly.
Many survey panelists' reviews contain some some very good information about how often they receive surveys and what they think about the rewards offered. Some of the reviews you find may also be given a star rating, which can really help if you are struggling to decide which panel to choose, or which ones to pass by, but the principal areas that most people are concerned with are as follows:
1. How often are surveys sent out?
2. Is there any particular day of the week when surveys are sent out?
3. What are the chances of being screened-out?
4. On average, how long does each survey take to complete?
5. Are the rewards attractive and fair?
The first four points are fairly standard and ones that are unlikely to put you off signing up however they are answered, yet the question of rewards is often the most important deciding factor for some. Most reviews will tell you the same thing: you won't get rich taking surveys, but fair and honest reviews will tell you that it is possible to make some extra cash that can really help you out at holiday times, birthdays etc. Keeping a realistic attitude on the subject of rewards will help you to have the best experience with each company.
Surveys are Fun - Enjoy the Experience!
Regardless of what survey panels you choose to sign up with, it's crucial that you enjoy the experience. There is no point taking part in surveys if you can't stay focused, or if you're feeling bored with the way the panel operates - this will show in your responses and you may suffer a decline in invitations as a result. By their very nature, reviews are an important aspect of making a decision to sign up with any organisation and can often be the deciding factor. It's sensible to keep a level head with reviews and to bear in mind that they are there to assist you in coming to a decision, not to actively encourage or discourage you from doing so. Sign up to the panels that you feel drawn to; complete your profile as fully as you can and, above all, take pride in expressing your opinion and helping to shape the products of tomorrow.