Development of data collection forms - Marketing

Developing forms of data collection

The main tool for implementing observing and polling methods is the questionnaire which performs three main functions - translating the purpose of marketing research into questions, standardizing questions and response forms, ensuring reliability and reliability of estimates.


The list of functions indicates the need to pay serious attention to the preparation of questionnaires, the design of which involves two approaches - tunneling and sectional.

With tunnel approach , broad, general questions are first asked, from which they gradually pass to narrow, private ones. Common questions provide warm-up and, if necessary, the transition to private matters.

With the sectional approach , questions on a particular topic are consistently asked before they are completely exhausted. The transition to a new topic is indicated with the help of some introductory phrase. In practice, a combination of these approaches is often used.

The questionnaire traditionally includes an introduction, requisite and main parts.

Introduction represents the organization conducting the survey, informs about the time spent on replies. Its main goal is to be able to persuade the target audience to answer the questions, showing how the people who participated in this survey will benefit. When polling by mail, the introduction usually looks like a cover letter.

In the requisite part the name of the questionnaire is given, the date and place of the interview are indicated, who conducts it. Then they ask the respondents to introduce themselves. For individuals - specify gender, age, occupation, membership of a certain class (group), marital status, name, address. For organizations - the direction of activity, size, location. For the respondent - his position in the organization, name.

Developing the main part of the questionnaire, you need to pay attention to the format of questions, their content and construction (number, sequence of presentation in the questionnaire), do not forget to enter control questions.

In Fig. 3.6 presents the main criteria for classifying questions.

Criteria for classifying questions

Fig. 3.6. Criteria for classifying issues

Open questions are often used in search studies to explore problem areas, as they individualize the approach, help to make contact easier. Respondent is not in a rigid formal framework, he has the opportunity to respond briefly and in detail, to treat the problem in his own way (Table 3.2).

Table 3.2

Question Types

Receiving name

Description of the reception essence


A question without a given structure

Question to which the respondent can respond in countless ways

What do you think about ...

Selection of verbal associations

The respondent is called one word each and is asked to name the first word that came to mind in response

Which first word comes to your mind when you hear ...

Offer Completion

Respondent is offered one unfinished proposal and asked to complete them

When I choose the product X, for me the most important thing ...

End of the story

The interviewee is offered an unfinished story and asked to complete it

Ending a picture

There are two characters on the picture, one of which expresses an idea. The interrogated are asked to present themselves in the place of the second character and enter their answer on his behalf in an empty oval

Thematic Perceptual Test

The interviewee is shown a picture and asked to come up with a story about what, but his opinion, on it is happening or can happen

Closed questions contain two or more alternatives that should (if possible) exclude each other. They can include in general all possible answers, from which the interviewee simply chooses one. Closed questions consist of two separate components:

• the motivating part (attracting questions to the subject of research, statements);

• the response part (the possibility of answers - categories, intensity scales).

Often closed questions are built in the form of scales. Scaling creates an analytical tool that makes available a quantitative assessment of verbal utterances.

Several types of scales are known.

Nominal Scale is a dimension in which numbers are assigned to objects or classes of objects only for the purpose of identifying them. These numbers just allocate an individual object, assigning a specific number to it. When using a nominal scale, the only nominal operation is counting.

The ordinal scale is a dimension in which numbers are assigned to data based on a certain order of objects. The ordinal scale includes certainty, since the same number will be used for all the same objects.

Interval scale - a measurement in which the assigned numerical values ​​permit comparisons of the difference between the members of one series and between different series of data. We can not compare the absolute values ​​of numerical values ​​when the measurement is based on an interval scale, because on an interval scale the report point is chosen arbitrarily. When using the interval scale, it is reasonable to compare the intervals, since the relationships between the differences remain unchanged regardless of the selected concrete constants. The median, median, and mod can represent the mean.

Relative scale is a measurement that uses natural, or absolute, zero and, therefore, allows comparisons of absolute values ​​of quantities. It differs from the interval one in that it assumes the presence of a natural, or absolute, zero, in relation to which there is a common opinion about the location of its location. Obvious examples are height and weight. In the relative scale, zero has absolutely practical value, i.e. means no measurable property. Using a relative scale, you can compare intervals, organize objects according to their size, or use numbers to identify objects (everything that is allowed to do interval, nominal and ordinal scales). A geometric or more commonly used arithmetic mean, median and mode are the applicable average values ​​when measuring characteristics using a relative scale.

Scale of summary ratings (Likert scale) is a self-report technique for measuring expectations, in which the participant is asked to indicate his degree of agreement or disagreement with each of a number of statements. The evaluation of the participant's attitude is determined by summing over all points of the scale. A number of statements are being developed that relate to the problem or the object of the study, and when the list of statements is worked out, the remaining questions are randomly arranged so that the positive and negative statements are mixed. This scale allows respondents to express the intensity of their feelings, but the interpretation of the results is often difficult.

A semantic differential scale is used to evaluate a relationship. Participants are asked to mark those cells from a set of polar adjectives or sentences that best describe their feelings with respect to the object. Such a scale can be used in a survey. Each respondent will be asked to read the full range of polar phrases and note those that best describe his feelings about the object of interest (research).

The Stapel scale serves to measure the relationship. Respondents are asked to indicate how accurately each of the statements describes the object of interest (the subject).

Examples of closed questions are listed in Table. 3.3.

Table 33

The main tricks of using closed questions, proposed by F. Kotler

Receiving name

Description of the reception essence

Alternative question

A question that offers a choice of two answers: yes or no

Question with a selective answer

A question that offers three or more answers

Question with the Likert scale

The question with the offer to specify a degree of the consent or disagreement with an essence of the made statement

Semantic Differential

Scale of discharges between two bipolar concepts, in which the interviewee chooses a point corresponding to the direction and intensity of his feelings

Severity Scale

Scale with ranking of any characteristic in terms of importance: from not at all important to extremely important

Scoring Scale

A scale with the ranking of any characteristic: from unsatisfactory to different

Among the shortcomings of using closed questions are the following:

• The risk of making random decisions on one of the given alternatives is not ruled out;

• Depending on age, experience in making judgments and other factors, there are "subjective scales" estimates, i. The scale specified by the verbal scale is interpreted differently by different estimators.

The advantages of using closed questions include the following:

1) there is no need for subsequent classifier work of the evaluator, subjective influence decreases;

2) better quantitative data processing is provided due to the fact that questions with variant answers are easier and more convenient to process, comparability, higher instrumental and content reliability.

In addition to dividing issues into open and closed, it is advisable to use the selection of such types of questions as direct and indirect. With direct questions , the interviewee speaks directly about his own behavior or personal opinions. The respondent is motivated to personal decision in a given situation, to identify one of the given options with his own decision. With indirect questions, the interviewee is indirectly induced to respond. The starting point for the application of indirect procedures is the assumption that people judge the problems of their lives less severely if these judgments can be attributed to other persons, groups or generally public opinion.

In addition to questions, it is possible to use statements.

The criterion for their selection is the syntactic features. The statements are more in line with empirical evidence. Through the utterance, as a rule, the position of judgment is predetermined. This makes it easier to make a decision. Statements are also less individual, this can in some way increase the willingness to respond.

In most cases, it is easier to build response scales from narrative sentences.

When choosing a method of data collection, it should be borne in mind that telephone interviews use relatively simple questionnaires compared to those conducted by mail.

From the perspective of obtaining the final results of the research, sometimes it is sufficient to use the names scale. If you want to rank the measured properties, perform a statistical analysis, you should use the interval scale or the ratio scale.

If questionnaires contain questions of all formats, each of the questions must be evaluated in the light of the above requirements.

The content of the questions determines what we need to know by getting an answer to the questions.

Among the requirements that determine the content and construction of questions, the following are usually called.

1. Having a clear-cut testable hypothesis or a simple model that facilitates understanding of the situation under study makes it possible to formulate questions more quickly.

2. The question should be focused on one problem, and formulated as briefly as possible. If the question is long, then the interviewer can get an answer only to a part of the question, since a structurally complex question disperses the interviewee's attention. In addition, a complex issue can be understood differently by different respondents starting to think in their own way.

3. Questions should follow in a certain logical sequence. Questions are first asked to help identify the degree of competence of the interviewees in the field of ongoing research. Completing the survey, ask classification questions (age, education, nationality, income level, etc.), the personal character of which can scare off the respondents, if such questions start a survey.

4. Questions should be formulated in such a way that they do not prompt the respondent with the desired answer for the researcher. It is not possible to include in the list of answer options that is obviously unacceptable for the majority of respondents.

5. One should avoid asking two questions in one sentence. Do you know that the company N provides marketing services and in this area is the only one in our area? Such questions need to be divided into two separate questions.

6. For the question to be understandable and not to allow speculation, one should not strive for scientific origin, the use of terminology should be strictly metered.

The final stage of the development of the questionnaire is the coding of questions, which facilitates the task of entering information into the computer after its collection. Basically, you use numeric codes that characterize the different answers. Now there are enough special computer programs intended for coding questions of the questionnaire.

You can attract company employees, not all of whom understand the essence of the proposed study, so they can act as potential consumers and track down the shortcomings of the questionnaire. Having worked out the questionnaire on the employees of the firm, marketers can apply it to individual respondents. The reaction to the research itself is monitored, it is checked, the instruction on completing the questionnaire is clear, is the terminology available, is the sequence of questions successful, etc.

The next step in the processing of the questionnaire is a pilot test (five to ten respondents selected according to the same principle that will be used for a full-scale questionnaire). The procedures for conducting a survey should also be identical. During the pilot test, the time factor is monitored (when the house is questioned - within 20 minutes with a reward and 5 minutes without it, in other conditions - no more than 3 minutes), and it is checked whether the survey falls within the planned budget.

When choosing the format of the question, it is advisable to take into account:

• the nature of the property being measured;

• the results of previous studies;

• method of data collection;

• the desired level of the measurement scale;

• The ability and response of respondents.

If the study is based on previous results, you should use the questionnaire previously used. In any case, it is advisable to use already proven formats of questions than to invent new ones.

No less important than the content and formulation of questions, the interviewer's behavior and the polling environment, have the structure and design of the questionnaire.

The design of the questionnaire. The questionnaire is not just the sum of individual questions. The quality of questions can only be realized in a well-written questionnaire. Summarizing the rules of compilation of questionnaires given in different sources, let us dwell on the most important of them.

1. The question directs the flow of the thoughts and ideas of the person in question in a certain direction, creates a "coordinate system" for the answer, i.e. there is a so-called radiation effect. The interrogated person transfers the coordinate system to subsequent questions of other content. Especially often this effect is observed in matters affecting the sphere of feelings. To reduce the radiation effect, use:

• Receiving funnel - general issues are placed before private;

• emotionally affecting issues with a "quenching function" that interrupt the resulting stream of views.

In written surveys, due to the radiation effect, special problems arise. The interviewee can flip through the questionnaire, look around the entire open page. Therefore, you should ask him to refrain from viewing and answering questions in order. In addition, it is necessary to build a questionnaire so that there are questions that are not subject to the radiation effect.

2. The questionnaire should encourage and support the interlocutor's interest and readiness for statements. The overall positive attitude is created by the introductory remarks themselves. However, a positive attitude disappears if the first questions are difficult to answer or if they affect the intimate area. Therefore, the first question should, if possible, awaken interest among the respondents, while at the same time being combined with the range of the following questions, so that the transition to them is not spasmodic. Difficult or personal questions should be asked at the end of the interview, until the interviewee has time to close in on himself. Questions should be given in logical sequence. The last questions are asked questions that classify respondents into groups, as they are personal in nature and less interesting for others.

A series of monotonous questions need to be mitigated by changing topics. In this case it is desirable to use the transitions And now we will return once again to the question of ... & quot ;, Let's move on to the next problem. "

Addressing the interviewee as an adviser and counselor contributes to the sustainability of contacts and positive attitudes, especially in open questions (What is your opinion ...?, What do you think ...? What do you think about ...?).

3. During the interview, the self-esteem of the respondent should be asserted, since the person, who is deprived of his sense of dignity, answers absentmindedly, closes in himself. He has negative emotions, somehow influencing the answers. Therefore, the statement of questions should be such that, out of a feeling of false shame for his opinion or deed, the interviewee was not embarrassed, did not feel uncomfortable.

The researcher should use simple, unambiguous words that do not affect the direction of the response. Prior to the widespread use of questions should be tested beforehand.

4. When working with a large questionnaire, the level of attention of the respondent changes. Initially, weak attention is being raised, so that by the end of the interview, it will decrease again. A favorable placement strategy can correct this process, causing a rapid rise in attention, its stability and then reducing the decline at the end. Therefore, when constructing a questionnaire, difficult, complex questions requiring the strain of all abilities and full readiness for statements should be in the middle of the interview, more simple and interesting for the interviewee - at the beginning, more simple and uninteresting - at the end.

5. When constructing a questionnaire, it is important to accurately calculate the volume and duration of the interview. They depend on how much the questionnaire or the interviewer provides for personal participation in the interview of the person interviewed. Responding with a positive attitude toward the survey, with interest, the respondent tends to downplay the actual time expenditure. As a general rule for unprepared interlocutors, it is recommended that you limit yourself to 30 minutes.

6. Registration of the questionnaire, printing techniques have a significant impact on the installation of the interviewee in relation to the survey.

The questionnaire should meet the following requirements:

• aesthetic impact as needed;

• Visual partitioning - all the answer cells should be placed one on the other side of the other, notes and directions should be printed in a different font, the question and answer fields should match each other in the same way;

• location of answer alternatives on one page;

• Suitability for subsequent statistical summary of results.

After the questionnaire is approved and the type of interview is determined, it is necessary to instruct the interviewers, who are presented with two basic requirements:

1) the need to strictly adhere to the questions of the questionnaire;

2) stay within the accepted interview procedures.

When conducting a survey not by specialized research agencies, but by employees of the company (mainly employees of marketing departments) who do not possess the necessary qualifications, special attention should be paid to characteristic errors.

The most typical errors in organizing surveys are:

• the direct formulation of questions;

• overload of questionnaires by questions;

• Inability to correctly determine the sequence of questions;

• processing polling results without using specialized information processing packages such as SPSS Statistics , which is fraught with incomplete information.

With the accumulation of experience in the development of the marketing system of the company, these difficulties are overcome and problems are solved.

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