Application of surveys and questionnaires in marketing research

Techniques and Tools in Marketing Research
Types of survey research: matching research objectives Types of questions: building the survey Sample size: key factor for result credibility Likert scale: precise measure of respondents' opinions Summary


In an era of ubiquitous market competition, gaining insights into customer needs and preferences becomes a key aspect of marketing strategies. In this context, surveys and questionnaires are indispensable tools, enabling systematic data collection and analysis of customer opinions. In this article, we will delve into the application of these tools in marketing research, examining various types of survey research, the diversity of question types, the importance of sample size, and the role of the Likert scale.


Types of survey research: matching research objectives

Survey research encompasses diverse approaches, and the type of survey depends on specific research objectives. Exploratory surveys are ideal for identifying new trends, descriptive surveys focus on specific phenomena, and causal surveys help understand the factors influencing customer behavior. Exploratory surveys may involve the analysis of demographic data, while descriptive surveys concentrate on a detailed description of customer preferences.


Types of questions: building the survey

The construction of a survey relies on using different types of questions, influencing the quality of the collected data. Open-ended questions allow for the free expression of opinions, while closed-ended questions facilitate statistical comparisons. Closed-ended questions can be single or multiple-choice and include rating scales. For example, a question about product preferences can be open-ended to allow respondents to express their opinions freely or closed-ended, where they choose from available options.


Sample size: key factor for result credibility

An essential element of a survey is determining an appropriate sample size to ensure representativeness for the target population. A sample that is too small risks obtaining inaccurate results, while an overly large sample may generate unnecessary costs and complicate data management. The sample size should be tailored to the scope of the study (e.g., marketing research) and the desired accuracy of the results.


See: Techniques and tools in marketing research


- In addition to sample size, sample structure is also of great importance. It is worth taking into account the distinction of the sample in terms of basic strata such as gender, age, size of place of residence and/or voivodeship and education. The data needed to build the sample structure are provided by the Local Data Bank of the Central Statistical Office (GUS) - explains Dr Monika Jaremków - R&D Director at the Biostat Research and Development Centre.


Likert scale: precise measure of respondents' opinions

The Likert scale, based on the degree of agreement or disagreement with given statements, is a common tool in survey research. It allows for a precise measurement of satisfaction, preferences, or product evaluations. The Likert scale can have different ranges, e.g., from 1 to 5, where 1 means "strongly disagree," and 5 means "strongly agree." It's worth noting that the Likert scale can also be applied to questions about customer satisfaction, allowing for a more subjective assessment of experiences related to a product or service.



The application of surveys and questionnaires in marketing research becomes a crucial tool for effectively understanding the customer and adapting business strategies. Choosing the right type of research, diversifying questions, accurately determining sample size, and applying an appropriate scale in questions are key elements of successful survey research. Carefully conducted surveys provide the necessary data for developing innovative marketing solutions and making strategic business decisions. Ultimately, it is through surveys and questionnaires that companies can gain deeper insights into market needs and build lasting relationships with customers, which is the foundation for sustained business success.


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Frequently asked questions

What are the main goals of a survey in the context of a marketing strategy?

The main goals of a survey in the context of a marketing strategy include understanding customer needs, preferences, and opinions. By collecting data through surveys, businesses aim to identify market trends, improve products, and effectively personalize marketing strategies.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of different types of questions, such as open-ended and closed-ended, in survey construction?

Advantages of open-ended questions in a survey include the ability to obtain rich, detailed responses, providing more complex information from respondents. However, the disadvantages include the time-consuming analysis and difficulties in standardizing responses. Closed-ended questions offer easier data analysis, standardization, and statistical collection but may limit respondents' freedom to express their opinions, leading to a loss of subtlety in the data.

How do you determine the sample size for a study?

To determine the sample size for a study, the first step is to precisely define the target population, the group from which you want to draw conclusions based on the collected data. Next, choose an appropriate data collection method, considering the study's characteristics and the population's features. Finally, determine the sample size precisely, ensuring representativeness and result credibility in the context of the assumed accuracy and level of statistical significance.

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