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  • Tuesday, Sep 1st, 2009 at 2:59 pm
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Using Google Forms for Online Market Research

September 1st, 2009 by Jared Bothwell

Previously I wrote about using Google Apps to build quick and easy online surveys. Rather than take somebody elses word for it I thought I would take a closer look and find out just how easy it was.

The first step is to setup up a Google account. I guess most folks would have one by now but if you don’t it is a fairly easy process and can be done when you sign up for Google Docs. By the way if you haven’t heard of Google Docs it is essentially a bunch of office tools that are available online. The great thing is that they are based on cloud computing so the software and data is not stored on your system but stored on severs somewhere in Google land meaning you can access your documents from anywhere. Being online means it makes document collaboration a cinch too.

To demonstrate how Google forms can be used I have set up a basic survey in order to get a feel for it. Click here to have a look.

How to Set Up A Survey Using Google Forms

Once you have your set up your account you create your first survey.

1. Select form from under the ‘New’ tab

You can see that you can also select other documents including spreadsheets, word documents and presentations.

Select form

2. Select Question Type

The question types available are fairly basic but should suit the requirements for most simple surveys.


3. Design Your Survey Questions

From here on in building your survey is pretty straight forward. The interface is clean and straightforward making it possible for most people to build a fairly simple online survey.


4. Create Your Survey Theme

Once you have finished adding your questions to your survey you can add a theme to your online survey. While there is no requirement to apply a theme to your survey it does make it look heaps better. It can also give a more friendly look to your survey making people more willing to complete it – always important.

Google Forms Themes

Google Forms Themes

Google Forms Themes

5. Survey Deployment

Once you are happy with your survey you then need someone to respond. This means deploying your survey out to your intended respondents. Google provides you with the link survey_link

Or you can email it out to your respondents,

email_this _form

Embedding the form is also an option under ‘More Actions’.

6. Reporting

All the data from the form is submmiteted direclty into a Google spreadsheet. This can then be analysed via the Spreadsheet tool. Additionally there is a basic reporting function as well. See below for an example of what this looks like.


Click here to have a look at the completed survey.

Posted in Online Market Research Tools | 8 Comments »

8 Responses

  1. Sheldon (Marketing Consultant, NZ) Says:

    Those themes are ghastly.

  2. Jared Bothwell Says:

    I agree, some of them are a bit naff, I have just changed from Zen to Notepad. It seems like you can’t design your own or even add your own logo etc.

  3. Online Market Research Says:

    Not the perfect tool indeed but still a free one so… Carrying out an online survey with a market research agency is not that expensive but many entrepreneurs don’t do it – not least because of the supposed cost. It depends what you want…

  4. Jared Bothwell Says:

    If I was an entrepreneur looking to do a survey I don’t think I would recommend using Google Forms. Google Forms is better suited to internal data collection or very basic surveys. As Sheldon said they don’t look the best and there are some better options out there.

  5. Pre-startup projects Market Research Says:

    I definitely agree with you Jared but we have to say that a free tool is still free so not that bad.

    But you’re right, this kind kind of free tool has some limitations.

    Here is an article which talks about the difference between DIY Online Market Research and using an agency:

  6. Jared Bothwell Says:

    Thanks for the link to the article about DIY surveys, often we find the main reason that businesses decide to DIY survey is because of the perceived cost of using a market research agency. That is why we offer a consulting option which allows a business to DIY survey but have their hand held through the process – we find that this is an effective ‘middle-way’.

  7. Google Makes Online Surveys Easier with Google Docs | Rock Research Blog Says:

    [...] last week I wrote a quick tutorial on how to build a online survey using ‘Google [...]

  8. albert marshal Says:

    great article