Wow, Google has done it again, with Affordable Consumer Surveys!

Not just another online survey tool

For most small business owners, good targeted business intelligence is a tough thing to obtain. In most cases the owners must rely on big general consumer studies which are scattered throughout the internet. Although the consumer study information from the big studies wasn't great it was at least was something to put into a power point presentation. We have all seen the presentations quoting numbers from the big firms such as KPMG, PWC and ComScore. Now the small business owners have an affordable path to targeted, relevant and timely consumer feedback.

Perhaps you, the small business owner, don’t have a large panel of contacts or customers to survey. Maybe you don’t have a budget of any size put aside to get responses to the ONE important question you would like answered. Well, the Google Consumer Surveys solution is your answer. For as little as $50 you can target and survey 500 people with the ONE specific questions you need answered.

How Google Consumer Surveys work

Google Consumer Surveys is once again another genius solution from Google. Basically, Google pays publishers to host the survey against some premium publishers’ content. The publisher gets paid $0.05 for every completed survey. The small business owner who made the survey pays $0.10 per ONE question survey response. Everything happens very quickly with even targeted survey data being completely returned within a few days. As an added bonus, once the survey starts the data is reported as it is obtained. Then you the business owner can watch the progress of your survey until completion or simply wait for the completion email. Following is a video introduction from Google about their Google Consumer Surveys.

Wise Crescent Google Consumer Survey Sample

We ran a quick survey on the question, “As a business owner, what advertising channels have you used?” We provided several channel options and instructed the consumers to “check all that apply”. One channel option was, “Not a business owner”, which when reviewed by Google before starting our survey was rejected. Actually, they didn’t reject the option they provided the following guidance:

“Please note that Question 1 is using the Multiple Answers format where the respondent can potentially choose conflicting answers (e.g. "Not a business owner" and "Flyers" at the same time). This may negatively affect response quality. To avoid this, please delete the option "Not a business owner" since non-business owners can select "None of the above" instead.”

The “Not a business owner” option was deleted and the survey began. It really is also nice to know an actual person is reviewing the surveys before they go out. As expected, we have received a large portion of the responses as “None of the above”. We assume that "None of the above" responses are from people who are not business owners. We discovered later that Google does provide a small and medium business panel of 10,000 members, but they are only in the US. As our targeting is in Ontario with an age group of 35 or more, we really don't care that we are not targeting only businesses as the data we are receiving is fantastic. Never before have small business owners had the ability for $50 to survey any question they can think of. We love this stuff!

UPDATE: We could have used a screening questions to determine if the person is a "business owner" without paying for a second question.  We wouldn't pay as Google states, "Please note that a response is when the respondent answers the screening question and a follow up question".  This would have avoided most of the "None of the above" responses at no additional cost.

Here is a glance at the report (note: we removed "None of the above" as it was just a big blue line):

UPDATE: here is a link to the completed report.

Following is a video with more detail about reporting from Google Consumer Surveys:

Warnings and things to watch

Although the one question surveys can provide fantastic data at a very reasonable price, once you add more questions to the survey the response prices go up dramatically. You will want to keep an eye on your budget but it still is a very affordable way to obtain the valuable information you are looking for.

Also, you should take a good look at the Google Consumer Survey policies. Along with all the regular “appropriate content statements” you will notice that the Google Consumer Survey tool is not to be used for promotion. We found this out, without reading the policy (shame on us), when the Google advisor informed us that we would have to change “Like many others, have you discovered the new site:” to “Have you discovered”. Also, the responses had to be changed from “Yes (fantastic site) and No (I have to check it out)” to just “Yes and No”. We felt we would still get some good feedback and we wanted to test to see if it does indeed drive any traffic to the site.

How do you get going with Google Consumer Surveys?

To get going with Google Consumer Surveys you would simply signup here with your Google account. Set-up your survey and pay Google with your credit card and things will start rolling right after the agent has reviewed your content.

If you have any other questions or would like Wise Crescent to run some surveys for you, please contact us directly.


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