Surveys have proven to be a great way businesses or marketers can gather information and important data from prospective consumers and existing customers. Customer surveys are indispensable tools for businesses that reply on data.

Importance of online surveys for businesses

Market research is big business. Global giants spend billions of dollars each year on focus groups, product testing, interviews and surveys to gather data about both existing and new products.

Online surveys can be used for marketing purposes in various ways. Business can find out how consumers make decisions about what to buy, what makes them choose a particular product or service over the other, and which products they like or need, what annoys them about certain products etc.

Online surveys are cost effective and provide a substantial return on investment, unlike traditional offline surveys that are expensive, labor intensive and could be take days or even months to complete.

To save time and money, many companies are turning to online market research. And a lot of companies now provide online survey services for companies that need data on what consumers think about brands, products and services.

Businesses invest in market research because it gives them hard data upon which to base their important decisions.

Most businesses outsource their surveys to a professional survey company. These survey firms compile a database of people and then contact suitable respondents for each survey, offering cash, vouchers, rewards etc. as incentives.

Crowdology paid surveys reward members for doing fun, topical online surveys on behalf of companies who want to measure public opinions on a wide range of subjects.

How consumers can benefit from online surveys

Compensation varies by company and by survey. You may receive a few dollars, or be sent free products in exchange for trying them and providing feedback about them. Some consumers also receive points. Those points can be redeemed for rewards such as discounts on products, free airline miles or gasoline gift cards.

If you want to take opportunity online surveys offer to earn some side money, choose your surveys carefully. Don’t expect to earn a full salary from taking online surveys.

The key is to sign up with several survey sites (which are all free to join) to increase your chances of being selected for impending surveys.

Be warned, though, some sites  pose as survey sites to obtain marketing information from consumers. These sites will sell your information to advertisers, and you will get tons of unsolicited spam emails.

Most sites have a threshold you have to reach before you can redeem your points or cash. Check this before you start or sign up– in some cases you’ll be able to claim the money pretty quickly.

On some sites you will be doing surveys for months before you see any cash. Find out what works for you and how much time you can dedicate to online surveys.

Online surveys with rewards are a potential win-win situation for companies and consumers. Company gets valuable market research from a targeted survey audience, and the consumer is paid for his time through discounts and freebies on products he likes.

Lots of businesses make informed decisions based on online surveys. Other forms of surveys including phone calls, postal mails, “mall intercept,” are not as popular as online surveys.