What is a Piggyback Survey?

January 8, 2019

Most would agree market research is an essential pre-cursor of strong business strategy. It provides better data for better decisions to improve strategy. It's hard to argue with the value of market research if you choose the right objectives and the right approach. The insights and recommendations derived from a survey offer tremendous ROI.

 

However, a common concern about market research or just marketing in general is the expense.

 

"It's too costly."

 

"I can't afford market research."

 

"I want to hire a professional but we cannot afford it, so we are doing one ourselves."

 

Sound familiar?

 

If budget is a concern, your organization should consider a piggyback survey. In this post we discuss the definition of a piggyback survey as well as the core benefits and drawbacks.

 

 

No. Not that type of piggyback. We are talking piggyback surveys here.

Learn more about what it is and the benefits here.

 

 

Interested in learning more about the market research basics?

 

Here is a link to our market research 101 category on our blog.

 

 

What is a piggyback survey?

A piggyback survey in market research is exactly what it sounds like. It involves several different clients or brands coming together to share the expenses of the survey effort. An organization piggybacks funding for a survey. Each participating company has a say in the questions being asked, the objectives of the study, and the results.

 

Another common term for a piggyback survey is an omnibus survey.

 

Clients agree to share expenses of the survey by each having their say on what questions to ask and usage of the findings. Essentially, rather than the project being proprietary to one brand, all brands can use the results freely.

 

Need an example?

 

Let's say several credit unions in Pennsylvania want to better understand the image and awareness of their institutions. While they are out at regional conferences together the marketing employees often discuss measuring their brand equity in their target market area.

 

However, no single credit union has the budget to spend on a 400 response online survey sent to residents in the area.

 

The credit unions decide to take on a joint venture for the survey. They agree to share the cost of a 1,000 response survey among the 5 local credit unions who signed up as part of a piggyback survey or omnibus survey.

 

As part of the survey design they ensure all of the 5 credit unions are listed in the awareness series to test aided recall as well as understanding source(s) of awareness for each. They are also asked perception and word associations for each.

 

All of the credit unions partake in the survey design and can utilize the analysis. Through this they can see how they compare to the competition and where they rank locally among other credit unions in terms of awareness, perception, and brand equity.

 

 

What are the key benefits of a piggyback survey?

First and foremost, it is cost savings. As previously mentioned one credit union tackling an image and awareness survey all by themselves can prove to be more expensive. However, if the cost is shared across 5 institutions, it becomes easier to press "go".

 

The shared cost of the omnibus or piggyback survey allows organizations to gather more data as well which improves reliability. A local credit union may only be able to afford 100 or 200 responses for a survey. But when combined with 4 other credit unions, they may be able to afford upwards of 1,000 responses.

 

 

 

Are there any drawbacks to a piggyback survey?

There are some drawbacks particularly centered around confidentiality and proprietary data. There are many organizations who do not want competitors to know they use market research to fuel strategy. It's viewed as a competitive advantage. The knowledge gained from market research helps organizations set itself apart.

 

As a result, many are not keen on openly sharing best practices for question types or wording. Because the objectives and survey design are a joint effort with full visibility, some organizations may not like communicating with competitors to prioritize certain questions or explain what they may be doing with the data.

 

 

Contact Drive Research

Are you interested in using a piggyback survey to address your market research needs? Contact our team at Drive Research now for assistance. Drive Research is a market research company in Syracuse, NY.

 

You can reach us at info@driveresearch.com or message us on our website here.

 

You can also call or text us at 315-303-2040.