Advantages and Disadvantages of Internet Marketing Research
Internet marketing research is an essential part of any internet business. It is necessary to understand who you are targeting, where you are going and how you are going to get there. However, in the midst of all your plans it is easy to overlook one of the biggest disadvantages of internet surveys; the demographics you choose.
If you don’t understand who your target audience is it’s very likely that you won’t be able to reach them. Many businesses have failed because they chose the wrong market to advertise to. For example, a popular company might have chosen a niche that doesn’t mean much to most people. So even though the economy is recovering, that small company might not be able to survive long enough to see a profit. With that said it is important to know your target audience, or else you won’t be able to research and target the best way to make money online. A lot of times companies that do internet surveys fail to capture the demographics they should because they didn’t think about who they were trying to reach.
While every survey is going to have some sort of demographic, it can be difficult to research that data. In order to get accurate numbers you need to know your age, gender, income level and marital status. There are a few things to keep in mind when doing a survey like this; age and income level is important because you need to make sure you are giving your respondents the right information. It would be unfair to ask someone how old they are if they don’t actually know how old they are. Income level is important because you need to make sure that the people you are surveying are getting what they should out of the deal. Marital status is just a little bit harder to figure out, but if you use your common sense it shouldn’t pose as much of a problem.
As mentioned earlier, a lot of the time people aren’t sure about the answers they give so there can be some problems when using internet surveys for marketing research. The most common problem is called response bias and it happens when people answer the question differently because they agree with the answer or they disagree with the answer. If the information you are collecting is highly dependent on people’s opinion then you have the potential to get responses from all sides which will skew your results. This means that you could get results where the product or service has low response rates but they end up higher than they should have been.
One of the biggest disadvantages of internet marketing research is that it is impossible to eliminate all of the distractions from around us. You can’t survey someone while driving their car, walking their dog, watching television or sitting in traffic. While it might be possible to conduct online surveys effectively without having the distractions, you will still need a group of respondents to conduct a true market research.
While some of the disadvantages listed above are really just inconvenience, there are a few that are real problems. Because of their transient nature, online surveys for marketing can’t be regularly used to gain statistically significant data. It is much more useful as a quick source of information. While there is a lot of potential in the online survey, its limitations are important to consider before taking it on as part of your marketing strategy.