What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Omnibus Surveys?

Like with most types of market research there are both advantages and disadvantages to omnibus surveys. Depending on your project’s objectives, needs, and budget the pros will likely outweigh the cons. 

For a quick synopsis, our market research company outlines the advantages and disadvantages of omnibus surveys below. 

Advantages of omnibus surveys:

  • Quick
  • High-quality
  • Cost-effective

Disadvantages of omnibus surveys

  • Limited number of questions (up to 5 to 10 survey questions)
  • Limited population targeting

In this blog post, I’ll discuss each of these factors in greater detail so you can get a better idea of what to expect when considering an omnibus study. 

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Omnibus Surveys?


What are the advantages of omnibus surveys?

The three biggest advantages of omnibus surveys are that they can be conducted quickly, gather high-quality quantitative data, and are cost-effective.

1. Collect data fast

When it comes to collecting data fast, I can’t think of any other methodology that could be completed more quickly. 

Data can be collected and reviewed within 48 hours when...

  • The survey questions are designed and finalized quickly.
  • The audience has a high incidence rate (i.e., general U.S. population, U.S. Census representative, etc.).
  • The number of survey completes is 1000 or less.

Additionally, if the deliverables for the survey are just a raw data export and/or a question-by-question data portal, the results can be sent as soon as data quality checks are complete.

Moreover, if the requested report includes key findings and insights, the results may need an extra 24 hours to be sent.

2. Gather quality data

With any market research study, data quality is super important.

There are several data quality checks market research professionals use to check data for any type of survey, including omnibus surveys.

Just because omnibus surveys are short does not mean data quality checks become less strict.

Factors market research professionals look for include time to complete or speeding, straight-lining, and red herring questions

3. Cost-effective survey results

Lastly, the simplicity of the survey and population are what make omnibus surveys so cost-effective.

Because brands sponsor only a handful of questions in a much larger survey, there are fewer costs needed for project management, design, and analysis.

Drive Research often refers to omnibus surveys as the timeshares of market research.

You get the benefits of staying at a rental home one or two times a year, without having to pay for the entire home and maintenance costs.

For more insight into the key advantages of omnibus surveys, watch this video!

Recommended Reading: What is the Most Cost-Effective Market Research Methodology


What are the disadvantages of omnibus surveys?

The two biggest disadvantages of omnibus surveys are the limit to the number of questions and screener questions.

1. Limited number of questions

Ideally, an omnibus survey should include up to 5 to 10 questions. A market research team can help craft the survey questions to gather as much useful information for the end client as possible.

Still, there’s usually a yearning for more data -- or maybe this is just us because we love data so much.

Luckily you can always run another omnibus survey right after the first one!

2. Little to no screener questions

Secondly, omnibus surveys are typically sent to the general U.S. population or a population that is representative of the U.S. census population.

While you can add a question to identify a particular audience (i.e., females, males, decision-makers, etc.), this will count as one of your survey questions.

Additionally, if you wanted to screen out a particular audience (i.e., non-decision-makers), this would increase the price.


Conduct Omnibus Surveys Fast with Drive Research

Drive Research is a full-service market research company located in New York.

Our team of senior market research professionals partners with brands across the country to execute streamlined omnibus surveys.

To learn more about our processes and timeline, contact our team below.

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at info@driveresearch.com
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040

emily taylor about the author

Emily Taylor

As a Senior Research Analyst, Emily is approaching a decade of experience in the market research industry and loves to challenge the status quo. She is a certified VoC professional with a passion for storytelling.

Learn more about Emily, here.


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