Gamification of Surveys In The Real World #MRX

Gamification in market research is becoming more and more popular. People like fun, people like games, it’s a great way to increase participation in market research. But is gamification really taking off or is the idea of gamification really taking off?

I suspect many people are interested in taking advantage of it, but it’s hard to actually implement. Turning a survey into an interactive game requires time, money, and a new sense of creativity that many of us wish we had but know we never will. Some forms of gamification turn quantitative surveys into large scale qualitative studies that require large scale qualitative analysis, another skill that many of us don’t have.

Now don’t get me wrong. Where a study should be conducted via gamification because that is the best way to get the best data, then neither time nor money should hold you back from conducting the study that way.

But for the rest of us, all is not lost. Quantitative survey writers CAN learn from the gamification paradigm. Think about the kinds of questions that normally appear on a survey and then think about what they could look like in a gamified study. One is boring and one is fun. More fun = better engagement. Better engagement = better quality data. Consider the following pairs of questions.

How likely are you to recommend the following brands to friends and family?
If you were having a dinner party, which of these brands would you serve to your friends and family?

How likely are you to purchase each of the following brands?
If you had only $10 in your wallet, which of the following brands would you buy?

How new and different are each of the following brands?
If a friend asked to try a food they’d never had before, which of the following brands would you give to them?

Have you purchased any of the following brands?
Which of the following brands are in your fridge right now?

Yes, the questions are very different. Yes, the questions will elicit different results. Yes, the questions still follow the same general format as a regular boring quant survey.

But, the questions will be new to responders, more interesting, more engaging, and they won’t elicit the rote thought that most questions do. They will elicit more careful thought, something I suspect you want. So the next time you’re writing a survey, consider doing something new. Consider putting a little thought into a brand new style of questions.

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