Benefits and Drawbacks of Gamification in Online Surveys

Online surveys are a common method for conducting consumer research. Online surveys are generally more cost-effective and more easily reach a target audience compared to focus groups or in-depth interviews (IDIs).

Although online surveys are common and very valuable during a research project, the respondents can find the surveys repetitive and boring. In order for the responses to be honest and thorough, it is necessary for the participant to be invested in the quantity and quality of their answers.

Gamification is the use of gaming techniques to enhance concepts, ideas, and practices that are not games, for example, online surveys. In market research, the goal of gamification is to make the survey more interactive, engaging, and enjoyable during participation.

Due to gamification, the participants become more motivated to complete the survey and provide quality answers, resulting in higher quality data for analysis.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Gamification in Online Surveys

Learn more about what gamification in market research is, the benefits, and the drawbacks.

Examples of Gamification 

Gamification can involve changing the wording of questions, using a progress bar, virtual interaction through ranking or use of an avatar, or providing a gift after completion of the survey.

Simple examples of gamification include:

(1) Changing “What type of music do you like?” to “If you owned a radio station, what artists would you play?”
(2) Placing a progress bar at the bottom of the survey, so the participant can see their progress and how close they are to completion as they progress through the survey.
(3) Using an avatar to rate glasses, hats or clothing.
(4) A clothing store providing a coupon or code for a discount after a customer service survey.

3 Benefits of Gamification in Online Surveys

More engagement

As discussed earlier, participants can find online surveys repetitive and tedious, resulting in the attitude, “I just want to get this done.” Respondents will not necessarily take as much time and consideration with their decisions if they are bored and disengaged.

Challenges respondents to dig deeper

The use of gamification drives respondents to spend more time on each question. They are more likely to think about their answer on a deeper level. Think about responding to a question with yes or no versus having to rank five items from more important to least important. Answering yes or no would be a quick and instinctive response, while ranking items in order would require more thought and contemplation.

More enjoyment from participation

Engage Research also discovered when gamification was implemented, (including timed responses, labeling exercises and rewards systems), there were consistently high enjoyment scores upon completion of the survey. According to a study, 66% of the general population in the United States plays games in 2018. If the population enjoys games, it makes sense that gamification surveys have a higher enjoyment score.

3 Drawbacks of Gamification in Online Surveys

Although there are benefits to gamification, there are also drawbacks.

Questions can be viewed as annoying

Although Engage Research found positive attributes to the use of gamification, researchers at Piedmont College in Georgia found gamification questions turned people off and resulted in a substantially lower response rate.

Questions are more involved

Gamification questions tend to be lengthier. Instead of checking adjectives that apply to a question, gamification would require the respondent to type 5 adjectives to describe something. Instead of all words in the questions, the questions may include pictures or interactive activities, increasing the length and time required to complete the question. It can be more beneficial to keep questions short, sweet and to the point in surveys.

More expensive

Gamification surveys often cost more to conduct than a standard survey. Think about the software required to use an avatar to see glasses, hats or clothes versus simply listing the items as text response choices. With more involved software, more involved support and maintenance goes hand-in-hand.

Trend 3: Engaging Content

As already mentioned, technology and globalization has changed and will continue to change the face of marketing. According to a recent study by media agency Zenith, the internet will catch up to television regarding “time spent using” in 2019, and a large percentage of that time will be spent watching video content.

With the emerging increase in video content views, market research will need to strategically uncover what target markets are watching and why. Live video is becoming more and more popular. YouTube use was reported as one of the top social media platforms in 2018 at 87%, demonstrating the power of video content. Although video content will continue to rise as an effective way to reach target markets, the content must be engaging to capture and keep the target market’s attention.
VoC supports a company and brand to create and use engaging content that the target market will be drawn to. With advertising and marketing, how quickly the target market becomes engaged is vital to the success of a marketing campaign. With video marketing, the most enticing content needs to be shared immediately since the average video viewer decides to watch or skip the video within 10 seconds.

A professional market research project can provide the knowledge for a company to put their best and most engaging content out into the marketplace. Driving brand, product and service awareness leads to more viewers converting into purchasing customers.

In Summary

Online surveys will continue to be a popular and valuable tool for conducting market research. Standard surveys have been the most commonly utilized, but the use of gamification is expected to increase by 2020. There are studies that conclude gamification is beneficial, as well as research that demonstrates people prefer standard surveys.

Gamification offers both benefits and drawbacks. When conducting a market research project, it is imperative to work with a professional market research company such as Drive Research. Market research professionals can help you navigate through the multitude of options and guide you to the best fit for your project.

Contact Our Online Survey Company

Drive Research is an online survey company located in the United States. Our team works with clients across the country in a variety of industries to assist with the design, management, and execution of online surveys.

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