How to Conduct an Omnibus Survey in 9 Steps

Have you purchased your omnibus ticket? Well, get ready, because the omnibus is leaving the station!

Okay. So we aren’t going to be discussing an actual bus in this article, or any form of transportation for that matter. Lucky for you, that means no fare necessary! Who doesn’t love free stuff?

In this article, we will go over the fundamentals of omnibus surveys and share with you the step-by-step process of how to conduct this type of market research with a third party.

How to Conduct an Omnibus Survey in 9 Steps

What is an Omnibus Survey?

An omnibus survey is actually quite a simple concept.

It’s one survey (typically administered online) that's completed by a large number of respondents. Throughout the survey, the respondent is asked a number of questions from a wide range of topics.

The types of questions and the topics covered in the survey depend on which brands are sponsoring the survey itself.

You heard that right. Brand, with an s. Plural.

Omnibus surveys are sponsored by more than one brand, which is why the survey itself covers such a wide range of unrelated topics.

Think of an omnibus survey as having roommates.

In notoriously expensive real estate markets, it's quite common for two, three, or more people to split the cost of one apartment while each retaining their own private room.

You still get a place to live and a room to call your own, but you don’t have to break the bank in order to do so.

That’s how omnibus surveys work. Each brand gets a section of the survey that they can use to gather meaningful information, without having to sponsor an entire survey on their own.

Learn more about omnibus surveys and how they differ from traditional surveys in the video below.

How To Conduct An Omnibus Survey in 9 Steps

Step 1: Get yourself a proposal

The first step in almost any market research project is requesting a proposal from a market research company, and omnibus surveys are no exception!

After reviewing the details, like the number of questions and realistic sample size, you can sign off and get started!

Because this type of market research is less thorough than other methodologies, a proposal will likely be a short statement of work (SOW).

Step 2: Kick things off

After you’ve signed off on the proposal, you’re ready to sit down for a kickoff meeting with your dedicated market research team.

At this meeting, the team will discuss the kind of questions you want to ask, the type of information you wish to obtain, and the kind of respondent you’re looking for.

This meeting gets all parties on the same page and sets everyone up for long-term success.

Step 3: Survey preparation

Now we’re talking!

At this step, the market research team will get started on drafting a questionnaire for your omnibus survey.

Even if you already have one started, the team can take a look and make suggestions and improvements to help capture as much information as possible.

This step typically includes a bit of back and forth between you and the market research team.

Once you’re happy with the result, the team can get started on programming the survey online!

Step 4: Programming your survey

In order to successfully conduct an online omnibus survey, you need to get it on the web!

Once you’re satisfied with the survey document, the market research team will get it loaded into their online survey software.

While this may not be the most exciting part of the process, it's extremely important that your survey is programmed properly to ensure a smooth experience for your respondents.

Step 5: Testing your survey

It would be a shame to invite thousands of people to take your survey, only to find out later that a question was mistakenly left out.

This is why it's imperative that you test your survey several times to check that all questions, logic, spelling, and grammar, as well as the layout of your survey, are all in tiptop shape.

The team at the market research company will be sure to thoroughly test the survey, but we advise you to take a test drive through the survey as well for an enhanced testing experience!

Step 6: Who’s it going to be?

The last thing you need to do before launching your omnibus survey is select the data you wish to append to the final results.

Some factors to consider here are demographic such as:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Occupation
  • Household income

Depending on the information you’re looking to obtain from the survey, appending these data points to the final analysis can prove extremely useful.

And don’t worry, the team at the market research company can help you narrow down which factors are best for your analysis in the event that you’re undecided.

Step 7: Launch the survey

With your survey written, programmed, and tested, you are ready for takeoff!

What our market research team typically recommends is starting off with a soft launch of the fieldwork process.

This allows the team to monitor the early results a bit more closely to ensure that everything is going smoothly with all aspects of the survey.

If everything looks good, then it's time to launch the survey in full!

The time to complete fieldwork for an omnibus survey can be as little as 1 day.

You’ll be analyzing results sooner than you can say, “Wow, this market research company is really good at what they do!”

Step 8: The analysis

Depending on the package you chose with the market research company, your final deliverables could include an executive summary, a raw data file, or a comprehensive report, among other things.

At Drive Research, you’re guaranteed access to an online portal that allows you to track fieldwork progress and then see the final results instantaneously.

Prefer to view the results in Excel? That’s a download option!

More of a PDF guy or gal? Another download option!

Does PowerPoint strike your fancy? You guessed it, another download option.

An online portal is an invaluable tool that allows you to truly immerse yourself in the data.

Here is an example of the online survey portal Drive Research shares with clients.

Step 9: That’s a wrap

After receiving the final data from your section of the omnibus survey, you’re ready to analyze, dissect, and take action. Now it’s all up to you!

At this point of the process, the market research team will offer to go over the findings with you.

If you wish, they can set up a call or a meeting with you to guide you through the results.

And voila! With these nine simple steps, you’ll be swimming in omnibus survey results in no time!

Conduct an Omnibus Survey with Drive Research

Drive Research is a national market research company located in New York. Our team specializes in various qualitative and quantitative methodologies including omnibus surveys.

Interested in including questions in our next omnibus market research study? Contact our team and we'll respond right away.

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at [email protected]
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040


Devan Grant

Devan's love for learning serves him well as a market research professional. With two years of both quantitative and qualitative research in the healthcare space under his belt, he knows what it takes to answer some of the toughest market research questions.

Learn more about Devan, here.

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