Consumer Surveys from Google: Understand Your Audience

Google Consumer Survey’s have missed the radar for a lot of small businesses, but Google continues to remind us that this Google Analytics feature isn’t going anywhere. If you’ve ever wondered what your audience is thinking about a particular topic or you need inspiration, Consumer Surveys can help give you the exact answers to your questions. You have to pay for it, but the potential return could be huge if you ask the right question to the right people.

If you’re still not convinced, according to Google Consumer Surveys are accurate enough to be considered the #1 online poll and #2 overall poll in predicting US Presidential elections. In other words, this feature can’t really be beaten when it comes to surveying.

Different Ways Your Small Business Can Use Consumer Surveys

Consumer Surveys are exactly what they sound like—you ask a question and get to hear back from your audience. The more advanced description is included in the next section, but the general gist of it all is that simple. The question then is of course: How exactly can a small business use these types of surveys?

Google actually gives you eight example uses of the tool and breaks up the uses into which departments and companies could really benefit. Below are the options Google has laid out and for whom:

  1. Concept and Product Development.

Great for: Entrepreneurs, brand managers, marketers, ad agencies, and R&D companies.

This is a great way to decide which features your audience likes best or how much they would be willing to pay for a particular service or feature of your service. You can even ask how your product name is interpreted.

Example: How much would you be willing to pay for the perfect mattress? Can include multiple-choice answers.

  1. Market Trends.

Great for: Entrepreneurs, research companies, PR firms, R&D Companies, and market analysts.

Determine if there is really a demand for something you want to invest in or launch. You can gain shopper insights and discover the size of different marketers.

Example: Have you ever waxed your car, or do you always take it to the dealership?  You can leave this open-ended or have two multiple-choice options.

  1. Brand Tracking.

Great for: Research companies, brand managers, marketers, and market analysts.

Typically you’ll want to ask the same questions over the course of a few months in order to get your data about whether or not people are recognizing your brand. The data will give you a graphical representation so you can see if your brand is steadily increasing or not.

Example: What brand do you hear most often when you think sunglass sales? Offer multiple choice answers.

  1. Marketing Design.

Great for: Entrepreneurs, marketers, and ad agencies.

This can help you pick the best headline or determine which banner ad or “click here” button is the most inviting. My favorite is using the surveys to figure out which promotional deal would be best amongst an audience.

Example: Which promotional deal would you like most? Multiple Choice: Free shipping, 15% off, buy one get one free, free returns.

  1. Campaign Measurement.

Great for: Brand managers, marketers, and PR firms.

See what is working when it comes to your campaigns. Did you introduce something that really worked? Is your campaign getting a positive reaction?

Example: How likely are you to work with an SEO agency? You could have a star system here where they can choose one to five stars.

  1. Timely Questions.

Great for: Entrepreneurs, brand managers, marketers, ad agencies, and market analysts.

Get quick answers to a business question or to a current event so that you know how to market.

Example: Did you vote for the most recent local election for Mayor?

  1. Customer Satisfaction.

Great for: Research companies, PR firms, R&D Companies, and market analysts.

Determine how someone’s experience was both in the store and online, and figure out how likely someone is to review or recommend your company.

Example: How would you rate the online shopping experience? A star system works well here.

  1. Custom Survey Portals.

Great for: Research companies and brand managers.

You can contact the Google Consumer Survey sales team to create a customized survey portal just for your company. This is great for those looking to research in-depth.

How Consumer Surveys Work and Getting Started

You can visit this link to get started. It costs 10 cents per complete for one question and $1.10 – $3.50 per complete for 2 to 10 questions (one user can answer up to 10 questions). It takes just a few minutes to get started and you will start having answers within 24 hours.

Below is how it works in detail:

  1. Choose your target audience.

You are also given the choice to choose your target audience. You first select your target country, and then you choose how you want to filter: By demographic facets or with no filter at all. Extra Hint: How you want to filter usually goes hand-in-hand with the type of question you’re asking.


  1. Choose a format for your question.

You are then prompted to choose which “type” of question you’re asking. Types include multiple-choice, star-rating, image selection, open-ended, standard, and more (as you can see in the screenshot below).


  1. Ask your question.

Once you choose your type, you can start filling in the blanks with your question and potential answers if you chose a multiple-choice formant like I did in the screenshot below:


  1. Confirm how many answers you want to gather and accept the price.

You have the option to choose the frequency you want your question shown as well as how many responses per question. Your price will fluctuate depending on what you choose. You then click “Buy Now” and you’re set to go!


  1. Watch the web answer your question and wait for your results.

Consumer Surveys will show your question across different online news sources, entertainment sites, etc. where it is embedded either in the content or through the mobile app. People will then answer your question in exchange for reading a piece of content, listening to music, earning an app, etc. This is easier for readers and mobile users than having to subscribe or pay a fee, so your question will typically get answered.

The person’s demographics—gender, age, location, etc.—are assumed by the system based on his/her browsing history and IP address. Google explains that one of the benefits to doing these sorts of surveys is the fact that you don’t have to ask those demographic questions yourself.

  1. Get analyzed results through an interactive online interface.

The results will give you graphs and clickable demographic segmentation so that you can analyze your results easier. You can share results with clients and/or colleagues (much like a Google doc) as well as export data as a .csv file. You are also emailed a summary .csv report once the survey is complete.

If you’ve used Google Consumer Survey’s to figure out the answers to a question for your company, we want to hear about it. Let us know what you asked and the type of information you received in the comment section below.

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