The increase in the number and variety of online surveys over the last few years is down to one reason, for the most part. Companies have become conscious over time that they can only rely so much on customer brand loyalty and that, if other companies begin to offer the people more of what they want, a market share will naturally fall. This is not cynical and has nothing to do with fickleness on the part of the consumer, rather it has everything to do with people’s willingness to have their needs directly served.
Companies will therefore gladly spend money for people’s opinions, in the knowledge that if they listen to opinions they will increase the amount they sell, more than covering the cost of the research they have commissioned. In order to make this research more relevant, they tend to keep the survey as anonymous as possible. They will run separate surveys on their own site – to pick the brains of the “loyal” customer, but know that market dominance comes from attracting the unaffiliated customer. Therefore they will pay for surveys to be run by largely anonymous data collection sites.
This is responsible for the rise of a number of online survey sites who will gladly receive a company’s money for the act of running surveys on their websites and pay the people who take the surveys for the benefit of their opinions. It is rare to see an online survey on one of these sites which specifies which company has placed it, because more honesty is guaranteed by anonymity.