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29 November 2012

Learn More By Asking Fewer Questions

This post from HBR in August called Learn More By Asking Fewer Questions resonates with me, given our work on Google Surveys:

"What the smartest innovators and smartest marketers I know have in common is not asking a lot of questions but making sure the most important questions get asked and answered. By definition, the more questions asked, the less important any single question seems. Customers and clients have no interest in viewing your market research surveys as final exam questions. Indeed, what marketers rationalize away as customer-centric curiosity, customers frequently interpret as opportunistic exploitation. Ironic how 'proactively eliciting customer insights' can hurt your reputation, isn't it?"

And it connects with another recent article, What does Google's election success mean for polling? which says:

"The failure of phone and online panels is due to a combination of skewed sample bases with dire response rates. By opening up the sample frame to the entire internet and by making the respondent experience a pleasant one, Google have actually restored research to the standards that were preached and taught decades ago – but which were lost in the avalanche of new technology."

The conclusion is something we've tried to do all along: Focus on the user.
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