Survey or Experiment?

Marketing Research for Brands Series

Surveys and experiments are terms typically used in conjunction at a street level. In a marketing research setting or product design lab, they take on an entirely distinct differentiation. 

Let’s dive in! 

Surveys typically refer to the process of gathering information regarding several variables in a structured and contained data collection method. 

Surveys are often conducted in need of some descriptive research and or secondary data need following primary research analysis.  

Whereas the process and design of market research surveys work within the restraints set forth by the designers and are left untouched, experimentation provides an added ingredient. 

Experiments allow market researchers to manipulate a variable. This is vital in the case of causality or “cause and effect.”  

Experimentation design offers the spotlight on causality. The nature of experimentation, arranging conditions, and variability to determine the measured outcome or change.

When deciding between surveys or experiments, market researchers and brands must ask themselves how they wish to manipulate attributes of their research design. 

Experiments should be the chosen route when deciding to compare a small number of attributes to find the best fit, crafting optimal content, juggling pricing, concept testing, product design, or A/B testing

As opposed to surveying. Surveys require a larger component of variables, choices, and respondents. 

Next time you are deciding between the two, revert to this guide to help decide!

For a quick dive into designing a market-leading survey, click here