Describe the benefits and limitations of surveys for marketing purposes.

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Survey research can be very useful for marketing purposes, but it has its limitations.

The major purpose of survey research in marketing is to understand people’s attitudes towards a product, a marketing campaign, a store, or something else connected to selling a product.  Surveys are good because they can capture the opinions of the people being surveyed.  You can find out what people think of your advertising.  You can find out why they like or do not like the product that you sell.  These are things that can better help you to understand the motivations of your customers or potential customers.

The major limitation of a survey is that it can be relatively ineffective at obtaining objective information.  For example, let us imagine that you want to know how much customers have spent on a given type of good in the past year.  If you ask this through a survey, you are at the mercy of your respondents’ memory.  They may not really remember how much they have spent.  They will end up guessing and you will not really get an accurate set of data.

Survey research, then, is typically best at obtaining subjective data such as opinions and is not as good at getting objective data, particularly if that data is hard for respondents to remember.