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Online surveys: demographics and motivation

Reaching a large sample of consumers in China is always going to be the goal of any brand, and setting up an online survey is relatively simple and low cost. However, experience would show that people here are unlikely to complete a questionnaire unless incentivised with a gift or money, and those that do are on the whole students, or those of lower income who have the time to allocate and a need for the money. Middle class consumers and middle earners are not attracted by the small incentives, and consider themselves better than those who might complete a survey of this type.

This brings into question both the reliability of the data from online surveys and the authenticity of the respondents to provide answers even if they were true. When I read about surveys of 10,000 Chinese these can only realistically be carried out online, as the cost of face-to-face interviews would be huge, and actually finding the right type of people willing to spend 30 minutes to an hour answering questions difficult. These issues begin to indicate that from any information gathered it may be possible to pick up some basic trend data, but to gather detail of real value is unlikely. …

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