Google Consumer Surveys: New Marketing Tool

Google has introduced a pretty interesting online market research tool that’s worth a look. Called Google Consumer Surveys, it has quite a bit going for it, including real-time access to an online customer base, quick and easy survey creation and publication, and appealing price points for small and medium businesses who might not have the budget to conduct nationwide market surveys. However, the success of Google Consumer Surveys rides on how willing consumers will be in taking a survey in order to continue reading an article, view a video, or use an app. It will also be interesting to see how other online survey tools, like SurveyMonkey, SurveyGizmo and ConstantContact's Listen-Up, will respond to Google's entry into the market survey arena.

How It Works

Google Consumer Surveys
Here’s an example of content that requires the user to complete the survey before reading the rest of the article.

Google is partnering with Web publishers, such as content providers, video creators, online news sites and app developers, to place Google consumer surveys on their sites in exchange for compensation based on survey clicks. Visitors to these sites must complete the survey question in order to access the remainder of the content for free.

Businesses or organizations that want to use Google Consumer Survey need a Google account. If you have an existing Google account, then you can get started at the Google Consumer Surveys Home Page.

Google developed an interactive platform with screen prompts for creating an online survey. You begin by choosing whether to poll any Internet user or a targeted demographic group. Google limits each survey to one question, but you have 12 format options for your question, among them multiple choice, side-by-side images, image with drop-down menu options, open-ended text question, or five-star rating scale. According to Google, one question surveys receive more accurate responses and a higher response rate - 15 to 20 percent compared with the 0.1 to 2 percent industry standard.

Google Consumer Survey Creator
Screenshot of Google Consumer Surveys interface - organizes the survey creation process into four steps.

Google also gives users a lot of options in creating their surveys, such as how many responses you want to list for the survey question, whether you want to use an existing template or create your own, and the number of responses you want to receive.

Another beneficial feature of Google Consumer Surveys is that you can see the raw data as it’s coming in using Google’s online interface. Google also automatically aggregates and analyzes the responses so you can view results in chart format, and provides geographic and demographic comparison insights based on respondents’ IP addresses gathered by Google.

Example Google Consumer iPhone Maps Survey
An example of survey results presented in bar chart format.

Price Structure

Probably the most attractive thing Google Consumer Surveys has going for it is the price. Considering online market research surveys can run anywhere from $600 to $3,500, Google's price is pretty affordable. Google offers three separate price plans. The general population survey costs $150 for 1500 responses ($0.10 per response). It allows you to poll a general representative sample of the Internet population in the U.S., Canada, or United Kingdom. The demographic targeting survey is $250 for 500 responses ($0.50 per response). It allows you to target a subpopulation defined by gender, age, or U.S., Canada, or United Kingdom geographic locations. The custom audience survey enables you to target a specific population by using a threshold question first, such as "Do you play golf?" followed by your survey question. The cost is $0.50 per response for follow-up questions or $750.00 for 1500 responses.

Great Marketing Research Potential

For many businesses, using Google Consumer Surveys makes sense, especially if you have a small marketing budget and need consumer input to tweak a marketing campaign or product branding/packaging before rollout. The surveys can be conducted and completed within 48 hours and provide you with some good, credible data.

Google Consumer Surveys can be used to gauge consumer behavior, public reaction, or customer preferences to just about anything. Just off the top of my mind, some good surveys to run that would provide a good return on investment would be:

  • Asking a question about product brand preference so you can determine customer satisfaction between your brand and the competition.
  • Finding out which feature in a particular product is most important to people.
  • Gauging online public response to new marketing materials, such as which logo they like better?
  • Determining how much Internet users would pay for a specialty product, for instance, you can target pet owners to determine price points for organic dog biscuits.
  • Verifying how well your brand awareness campaigns are working.
  • Discovering which news topics online users have heard about.
  • Evaluating the type of information consumers what to see on product packaging.
  • Finding out which color people prefer on product packaging.
  • Measuring how important a particular service is to consumers.
  • Determining the average number of text messages sent from a phone each day.
  • Planning future product development.
  • Gaining key insights on how people feel about national issues, which can be used for elections data or research.
  • Getting a feel for which display ad would have a better response.

Let Us Help With Your Survey Planning

If you're short on time, unsure about what types of surveys to run, or just stuck on how to word your survey question to get the results you desire, we can lend a hand by running your entire market research campaign or assisting with certain parts of it. Get in touch today to get started on complementing your marketing strategy with market research.

John Crenshaw
John Crenshaw
UFO company founder. 15+ years experience in performance marketing.
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