Designing a good survey is HARD. I have done enough market research theory and practice as part of my dayjob to respect those that do it really well, and I am sure beyond all doubt that I am merely an enthusiastic amateur.
I also know that market research as absolutely essential to keeping our world functioning. It’s the polling during an election. It’s the feedback survey after a terrible online purchase. A good survey, at the right time, can help change the conversation, providing data where before there was only opinion, and shining a light on long-held assumptions and prejudices.
So I’d like to ask you, dear reader, to invest maybe 10 minutes of your time to fill out this survey for me. There are 25 questions, most of them multiple choice. They cover some of the big topics that I write about here: what’s your collection like? How do you use your pens? What do you look for in a pen? How do you buy?
I hope to use the findings to write up a ‘state of the community’ post (or a series of posts) in the new year. With luck and encouragement, some of the brands and retailers you buy from will see it and get useful insight into what customers like you expect. If nothing else, it’ll be interesting to see how you compare to the other denizens of the blogs, forums and Instagram accounts that make up this rag-tag community. So please, share this post far and wide — every pen addict that completes this survey makes the results more and more robust.
In return for your time, I plan to run another giveaway at the start of January, drawing on the list of participants in this research. No further details yet, but I hope you know my word is good.
And one last point: normally market researchers develop a draft survey then pilot it with a small group to validate that the questions and response options make sense to the audience. I’m launching this straight from my brain to the world. If you think the survey is nonsense — for instance, if I’ve missed a whole set of answers — please leave a comment below explaining why. I may be able to fix it without invalidating the results!
(Survey not showing up? Your browser may be blocking it. Try the direct link here: https://eciton.survey.fm/the-great-ukfp-fountain-pen-survey-2020)