Using survey targeting to better engage your audience

November 19, 2015 by Dr. Jian Huang

The insight you get from a survey means more when you know more about who is providing the feedback and the context from which they provide it. There are a couple of ways to get this level of detail.

The common way is to ask survey takers in the survey itself to provide information about themselves (e.g. demographic, psychographic characteristics). With that information you can segment the results and review feedback from your audience based on their specific gender, age, income, opinions, interests, values, etc. or a combination of those characteristics. While this is great information, asking the questions necessary to gather this information increases the time it takes to complete a survey and is often off-putting to survey takers. The more time a survey takes and the more personal information you ask, the more likely a survey taker will leave before completing.

The modern way to get the same insight and more without increasing the risk of losing survey takers is by using the information you already have on hand about your survey audience. Many organizations already have a deep data set of characteristics that can be used to pre-target survey participants.

Here is an example of how Survature makes that possible.

Let’s assume that you run a non-profit organization and you’re considering new methods of collecting donation payments. Before you make a decision on a new method you’d like to know the opinions and priorities of the donors based on how often and how much they have given in the past. You don’t want to ask them directly for that information because maybe they won’t recall those details correctly or they may feel uncomfortable providing that information.

There is a better way.

Based on your non-profit’s existing donor data, you can create segmented lists of donors based on different ranges of donation amounts. With the Survature platform, you can use the same survey for all of those segmented ranges but provide a unique survey URL for each individual donation range. When you view the results, you can easily switch between viewing all of the results together, or view results individually for each of the pre-targeted ranges. These targeted survey URLs are available in Survature’s segment builder which makes stratifying additional segments even easier.

Even better, you can add additional variables to the targeted URLs like individual donation amounts or when the donation was pledged. Data variables such as these can get tagged to the URLs of the survey which means you don’t have to ask a survey target for those answers. These variables will go directly into the surveys results where they are available for analysis on Survature's fully automated result dashboard.

Using Survature and your existing data to define and setup survey targets is a big plus. It reduces survey fatigue on the part of the taker by not asking questions that you may already have answers for and it gives you better data and a clearer profile of your audience and their opinions and priorities. Both of which help move you towards a better understanding of your audience so you can make clear choices for improvement.

Contact an Expert

Jian Huang is the Chief Executive Officer at Survature providing the vision for reinventing the way the world experiences surveys. He is a professor of computer science at the University of Tennessee (UT) researching data analysis, visualization, and human-computer interaction. His research has received funding from the National Science Foundation, the US Department of Energy, the US Department of Interior, Intel, NASA, and UT-Battelle. Jian received his PhD from the Ohio State University.