Paid Surveys – Should You Participate

The world is full of bad mistakes. Fortunes have been made and lost at single boardroom meetings. Companies launch products assuming they will sell just because they like them. Others turn down good ideas because they compete with existing product ranges. Believe it or not:


  • Henry Ford's son Edsel launched a new car in 1957 in the midst of a recession. Critics panned him for his arrogance in naming it after himself. They also called it the worst car ever made and wrote him out of history...
  • IN 1980, IBM chased young Bill Gates away because they did not believe Americans had any use for home computers. They believed the days of central mainframes would never end. Instead, they nearly did themselves...
  • Coca-Cola decided to reinvent itself in 1985 to counter growth of Pepsi. They dumped Coke in favour of New Coke that was sweeter. Consumers boycotted it forcing Coke to reverse the change. Many never returned...
  • In 2013, Microsoft launched Windows 8 designed for mobile phones. They used their muscle to enforce it in the laptop market even through it left out the features consumers love the most. They are busy with a rewrite...

If Only They Had Listened

In all four cases, executives went against advice that they should think again. The CEO of Coca-Cola went as far as saying nobody would tell him how to formulate the soft drink. He could have saves millions by asking readers of SurveyCompare what they thought first. This would have cost him a few thousand rand in total. Instead, he nearly put his company out of business.

Behind the Scenes on Surveys

These days, most companies appreciate the foolishness of launching untested ideas (there are some noteworthy exceptions where they keep their windows closed). Few would even dare to contemplate a product release without embarking on market research first. That's a fancy word for finding out whether anybody would want to buy it in the first place.

This is what lies behind those irritating phone surveys, and tasting tables in supermarkets. Sometimes they will ask a direct question, at other times they keep the true reason for their research a secret. That is why when the two products are just as good they are actually testing your responses to the logos.

The Power of Surveys Online

Techniques like that can produce confused results. There is also a danger of highly paid survey staff inadvertently influencing decisions. An increasing number of market researchers are choosing online surveys because:

  • They produce more dependable results
  • They provide the fastest results
  • They are cheaper than other options
  • They don't have to find respondents
  • They are random and eliminate bias

It's a Win-Win Situation

Online surveys work better than all other opinion-gathering methods because participants are paid and are relaxed about it. Their main demographic is they need the money. This means that other characteristics including gender, age, race and preferences are randomly distributed.

Online Survey Scams

I just have off the phone from a leading South African market research consultant. In fact, that's what inspired me to write this blog. We all know South Africa has its share of crooks. Well, let me tell you the online survey market has more than its fair share too.

Phoney Sites – An increasing number of online survey sites charge a registration fee. After you pay this, all you get is lengthy surveys not worth the money in return. In reality, your cash flows only one way with them.

Identity Theft – Reputable, paid survey sites ring-fence your data so your identity and email remain confidential. Others are actually accumulating lists that they can sell. Learn to spot the difference. Check out the reviews.

False Pretences – Crooks like these go out of their way to pretend otherwise. Trust your gut feel. If they are honest, they need say so only once. Be especially careful of those promising you a minimum income. That depends on the effort you put in.

Find The Trusted Sites

South African companies and marketing consultants increasingly entrust their online research to SurveyCompare. That is because they trust the quality of its results and the way it respects confidential information. Completing surveys online with it helps more South Africans supplement their income every day. It is a surprisingly easy source of extra money.