I have a favourite research joke. Have you heard it before? It has two possible punch lines and it goes like this.
What’s worse than a pie chart?
Answer 1: a 3d pie chart
Answer 2: several pie charts
I bet you’re rolling on the floor laughing aren’t you! Well, I have a treat for you because that is not the funniest marketing research joke I know. There are several formats of the funniest ever market research joke too so get ready…
We know 40 minute surveys are too long but no one’s ever going to stop writing them. HA HA HA HA HA HA
We know long grid questions are a bad idea but no one’s ever going to stop using them. HA HA HA HA HA HA
We know respondents hate multiple loops but no one’s ever going to stop writing them. HA HA HA HA HA HA
You think these aren’t jokes? I challenge you to prove otherwise. I’ve been in numerous situations where laughter is the standard response to these statements.
I find it infuriating to listen to smart and informed people overtly display a lack of effort to address the problem and laugh it off as silly. They generally feel they have no power. Clients feel they have zero alternatives in writing their surveys and vendors feel clients will take their business elsewhere if they refuse to run a bad survey.
Let me say this. Every single person out there has power to make surveys better. Imagine if we all worked together. Imagine if everyone spoke up against bad surveys. Imagine if everyone took quality surveys seriously. Imagine what would happen to our complete rates. Just imagine.