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Most surveys are customized to answer a specific set of research questions. Some surveys are omnibus studies, in which you add

questions about your topic to an existing survey. A number of national and local public opinion polls offer this option.

Table 3.5 displays the pros and cons of differ- ent survey formats.

Designing and Conducting a Survey

To design and conduct a surve , follow the same basic steps used for the other types of research outlined earlier in this chapter:

  • 1.

    Plan the research.

  • 2.

    Decide how the survey participants will

be selected and contacted.

  • 3.

    Develop and pretest the questionnaire.

  • 4.

    Collect the data.

  • 5.

    Analyze the results.

Quantitative surveys involve complex topics— such as sampling size and composition, ques- tionnaire design, and analysis of quantitative data—that are beyond the scope of this chapter. (See Chapter 5: Evaluating the Success of Your Counter-Marketing Program for more infor- mation on planning a survey.)

Other Market Research Tools

Other tools can help you gain insights into your target audience and develop effective messages and materials. These tools include diaries and activity logs, gatekeeper reviews, and readability pretesting.

Chapter 3: Gaining and Using Target Audience Insights

Diaries and Activity Logs

Diaries and activity logs are written records of what occurred each da , week, or other time period during a program’s planning or execu- tion. These records are kept and updated by people from whom you want input and feed- back about the program. They’re commonly used to:

  • Track program implementation

  • Assess the effectiveness of program implementation

  • Pilot test an intervention

  • Monitor whether planned activities are on schedule and within budget

  • Learn what questions program partici- pants asked

  • Determine what technical assistance program staff needed

  • Track the audience’s exposure to program components

  • Gain insights about the audience’s relevant day-to-day experiences (e.g., smokers can record each time they smoked a cigarette, and how they felt before, during, and after smoking the cigarette, providing insights into how smokers feel about smoking and how you might be able to help them quit)

If you plan to use diaries or activity logs to gauge the quality of program planning or execution, be sure the diaries and logs are started as soon as you begin program plan- ning. Have program managers or participants

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