In this chapter we look at the design and construction of questionnaires. Questionnaires are used in a variety of contexts in marketing research. They can be employed during the conducting of a survey, including mail surveys, telephone interviews, formal structured personal interviews and self-administered studies. Irrespective of the context in which survey research is conducted, the ways in which the questionnaire is constructed are very broadly similar. However, questionnaires must be developed carefully, tested and debugged before they are administered.

A questionnaire is a data-collection instrument. It formally sets out the way in which the research questions of interest should be asked. Even simple questions need proper wording and organisation to produce accurate information. Consideration needs to be given to how questions should be worded, in the light of the objectives of the research, and the target group of respondents who are to be questioned. Attention also needs to be given to the organisation of the questionnaire and to its pretesting. The procedures recommended in this chapter apply to mail, telephone, personal and computer-assisted telephone interviews.

There are definite guidelines for preparing a questionnaire. First, there are limitations to what a questionnaire can measure. People can accurately report the make or brand of a fashion item they have bought for some time after the actual purchase. If it is a frozen-food item, their memory span will be considerably shorter. If it is a commodity-type product such as salt or sugar, where the brands are almost indistinguishable, it will probably have been completely forgotten. Depending on the subject, there may be recall of something that respondents think they have seen when actually they have not.

Online Survey Champion

Online Survey Champion

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