NONE: Re: ONLINE-ADS>> Are we surveyed out?

Re: ONLINE-ADS>> Are we surveyed out?

Steve Runfeldt (
Sat, 25 Apr 1998 14:31:26 -0400

The company I work for bills us as "the Internet Survey Experts", so I feel
obligated to respond to this one.

I agree that there are too many web forms out there asking unnecessary
and at inappropriate times. For a survey to be an effective measure of
opinions it must be constructed so as to encourage their honest participation.
Requiring them to fill out a registration form before giving them access to
a Web
site or freeware software is a sure way to get invalid results. However, if
people feel that they are being listened to and queried for a good purpose they
will be honest and more than willing to give you their opinions.

Our latest approach to online surveying uses a JAVA based pop-up window and
icon. The pop-up appears to a random sample of visitors and gives them a
of whether to take the survey or not. The survey icon stays with the browser
while they visit the site so that they can complete the survey -- after
they have
conducted their business. This is just one of the ways that Internet survey
design can be used to increase the validity of survey results.

If the survey is well designed, with questions that the respondent can see are
pertinent, you will get a good response and answers that reflect the real
We have been running Internet surveys with response rates of over 50% in some

People often forget the second, but equally important, half of any survey
-- the
analysis of the results. I have been analyzing survey results for over 10 years
now. I have seen clients demand answers on the basis of very flimsy
results. If
you get a marginal result and a confidence level worse than 90%, then you had
better take those results with a large grain of salt. Mistaken actions can
when they are based on data with no clear trends. It is unfortunate that these
kinds of cases can lead to people claiming that all survey research is bogus.

If the survey questionnaire is designed with the results analysis in mind,
you are
going to get more actionable answers. When there are real trends in the
data they
are inescapable. I have seen statisticians engaged in esoteric discussions
regression analysis, simple correltation, factor, discriminant,
etc. All have their points and no single statistical method answers all
questions. But, when there is a solid trend in the data, all these methods
in the same direction. And that is what counts. Finding actionable answers.

We have all been watching the discussion on measuring online impressions
over the
last few days. Measuring impressions can tell you how many people saw your ad.
Only a survey can tell you what they thought of it.


Steve Runfeldt
VP Research

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