What are Video Surveys? How to Unlock a New Level of Insight
Video surveys – also called video questionnaires or video research at times – are an easy way to communicate with customers at scale. After all, people share their likes, dislikes, and opinions daily. So, it’s a natural extension to ask them how and why questions to get to the bottom of their thinking and decision-making.
This article discusses:
- What are video surveys?
- How video questionnaires scale customer feedback
- How to integrate video surveys
- Examples of companies that use video surveys?
- How different roles can use video surveys
- Video questionnaires and open-ended questions
- What do consumers like about video surveys?
What are video surveys in market research?
Video surveys allow you to gather actionable insights from your customers, consumers, users – anyone! Brands can ask questions directly to the people they care about most, and respondents leave their thoughts and feedback via video.
Video surveys are easy for brands as they hear directly from people. You can even combine quantitative questions with qualitative ones – as we do in our weekly consumer studies. From there, the software analyzes:
You can also create highlight reels to share a sampling of responses.
Consumers do video surveys asynchronously, meaning they answer your brand’s questions on their own time, and the brand can see the results as they come in.
There’s no need to have a moderator on the other side, which helps get consistent questions to the respondents and eliminates biases.
The video makes it easier for respondents to express themselves. It’s also much more personal, adding more of a human aspect to communication. They can portray emotion through body language and facial expressions. It’s an experience that’s simple and easy to use. It delivers spontaneous and honest answers.
Why video questionnaires scale customer feedback
It’s easy to get answers to open-ended questions through video surveys. Most of us now have smartphones in our pockets or our hands nonstop. So why not use video surveys to get feedback from your customers in a way that is easy for them and meaningful to you?
“Instead of answering checkbox questions, respondents can answer on their phone or desktop and really tell their stories,” said Jenn Mancusi, chief revenue officer at Voxpopme. “They can add additional context to their stories.”
Jenn discussed video surveys on The CX Leader Podcast.
The power of showing versus telling
Video surveys can also uncover product preferences that a text-based survey may not do as well. Take this example from Annie Pettit, chief research officer at E2E Research. In a nutshell, why ask consumers to recall what household products they bought, she said? Just ask them to show you on camera.
The speed of video surveys
Video survey projects can be completed in hours. For example, we run a weekly consumer study and launch the questions late on Fridays. By Saturday morning, 100 answers are usually done, ready for us to review on Monday when we return to work.
Examples of these quick-turn studies include:
- How affected are consumers by rising interest rates?
- Are consumers excited about 5G technology?
- How do consumers feel about drone delivery?
- What is the ideal return process for shoppers?
Read next: DIY market research: The how-to-guide
How to integrate video surveys
Video surveys can be used through a platform like Voxpopme. They can also be added by inserting a code block to whatever platform you use for surveys.
For quantitative researchers, they can be integrated directly into survey platforms such as:
Video surveys can also be added to communities like FuelCycle.
So whether you want to utilize video in a new or existing study or collect your videos alongside or after a survey, in just a few clicks, it’s possible. That means you can capture, analyze and share compelling customer stories across various quant and qual studies to boost your results’ impact without changing your existing program.
“I’m an evangelist for video,” said Kristin Luck, a serial marketing measurement entrepreneur. “The closer we can get to customers and potential buyers, the better. And I think there’s no more powerful way than hearing it from them in their own words. I think it just resonates more deeply.”
Hearing directly from consumers
Priscilla McKinney of Little Bird Marketing said video surveys connect consumers intimately to companies.
“Oh, I get to tell the company what I feel and think?” she said. “That specialness that they are being valued is really at the core of the kind of relationships we want.”
Jenn said she’s even seen feedback videos from consumers where they open with:
“I’ve been waiting to talk to you for thirty years.”
Added Jenn: “The consumer feels like she’s talking directly to a brand that she feels really close to anyways, and that was the opportunity to talk directly to that brand.”
Consumer perception is their truth, said Emmanuel Probst, Senior Vice President – Brand Health Tracking, at Ipsos, and author of “Assemblage: The Art and Science of Brand Transformation. That’s why it’s essential to hear them, empathize with them and analyze their thoughts at scale through conversational insights – including video surveys.
Augmented reality and video surveys
Video surveys also can be used in conjunction with augmented reality, something The Olinger Group has done with the Voxpopme platform. Jude Olinger shared on “Reel Talk” how his team allowed consumers to view a new type of leaf blower with AR and then share their feedback via video surveys.
Understanding the market in real-time
Video surveys can also be used to understand customer feelings about a current campaign. For example, for a Super Bowl, we set out to find out which brands won and lost in the battle of the commercials. We asked 150 North American consumers which ad was the most memorable.
They shared their most memorable Super Bowl ad during each quarter of the game in real-time self-recorded responses to a single open-ended video question. The study tested the unaided recall of the commercials, and scores were calculated based on the number of mentions for each ad across all video responses in less than 4 hours, thanks to automated video analytics.
Examples of brands that use video surveys
Video surveys can be used in all kinds of industries and verticals, Jenn said. That includes large brands to smaller businesses.
“The real power comes in where it works alongside traditional methods,” Jenn said. “Adding a video layer to the quantitative data can help you understand your customers better.”
For example, consider this qual-quant-qual approach.
Here are some examples of how companies use video surveys to understand their customers better.
“Our partnership with Voxpopme was instrumental in keeping our ears to the ground to see what our consumers were dealing with and how they were navigating this new world,” said Megan Kehr, analytics insights associate manager at PepsiCo.
In PepsiCo’s “Humanize” initiative, the company tried getting marketers closer to customers and understanding them better. That was accomplished by using video surveys to allow consumers to answer questions on their own time, no matter where they were.
Deeper customer understanding
Understanding the customer goes beyond “what flavor they pick up at the store and why,” Megan said on an episode of “Reel Talk: The Customer Insights Show.” “But there’s also so much more behind the people who are drinking our products and what’s going on in their lives. And then figure out how our brands can help them ease the tensions they are dealing with. How we can fit better into their lives and what they are facing on a day-to-day basis.”
With Voxpopme’s video surveys, “they could do it on their mobile phones, pick it up whenever they feel like it. So they are not put on the spot or speaking to somebody they don’t know.”
Megan said she got “more authentic responses because we met them where they were.”
Subway used video surveys to get quick feedback from a Super Bowl campaign.
“Literally, we had like a 12-hour turnaround,” said Wendy Semrau of Subway. “It was just amazing how many responses we were able to generate in that short amount of time. We went through the results right away on Friday and shared them right away with the team. There’s no other tool that we can do that with. A lifesaver for us.”
Global Old Spice campaign in the London Underground
Global used video surveys to understand brand recall and sentiment for Old Spice.
A new Old Spice campaign in the London Underground put the Old Spice scent into the posters in the subway system, said Emma Brett of Global.
“That was something new. Something we didn’t know would work,” she said. “We didn’t know if the posters would smell, what people would think. We used Voxpopme to get a few opinions about the posters. If the scent was strong enough, etc. It was really good feedback for the client. It proved that the campaign was a success.”
Maher Beltaifa shared how Faurecia wanted to find out how people want to communicate in the future in their cars. Do they want to move beyond touching screens and buttons? What does that look like?
“We were looking at the future of communications,” said Maher, who is now an insights manager at Coca-Cola. “Maybe not tomorrow, but maybe the day after tomorrow.”
They wanted to discover the future of voice, and “maybe there will be something different even,” Maher said. That could be gestures to communicate with the devices in our cars.
Read next: More about the project
He discusses how the team decided to use qual and video surveys in this clip.
“We’ve had so much success inside the walls of RB,” said Elisabeth Trawinski, director of insights and analytics at Reckitt. “It’s about bringing that external lens inside the company.”
Reckitt used video surveys to understand how customer behaviors and rituals change.
Ashley Shelley, previously senior manager, consumer insights at DISH Network, said on an episode of “Reel Talk” that DISH uses video surveys in various ways – from a few questions to ad testing to asking customers about new concepts.
Creating highlight reels from the video responses is “pure gold and so much better than pasting open ends into a deck,” she said.
DISH moved to video surveys at first with a project where they needed respondents to pronounce the topic. Answers would be most beneficial when researchers could hear and see what the respondents give them.
“They had to be answered with somebody actually giving us the response,” Ashley said. “We couldn’t do it in a quant survey.”
Video surveys also help DISH reach harder-to-reach consumers, such as:
- in rural areas
- the elderly
- Spanish speakers
“Voxpopme has a great panel of older consumers as well,” Ashley said. “A lot of times, somebody will come to me with a research question, and I can say, ‘I can get you some video feedback on that, and it’s your target consumer.'”
And the process is quick. You can decide on a question in the morning, launch it that day, and get answers by the following day.
“I thought I would have to sacrifice the integrity or the depth of the research,” Ashley said about the perception when something can be done quickly. “How could it be so quick? For me, Voxpopme changed my mind about that. I feel like with video surveys; we aren’t sacrificing anything.”
The speed helps with influencing decisions, Ashley said.
Which roles can use video surveys?
Video questionnaires can be used by several teams to understand their customers. Let’s look at some examples.
Teams can use video questionnaires, especially as part of the design-thinking process. Even if a product is revamped post-launch and turned into something customers would love, a bad launch can tarnish a product’s reputation. Video feedback can help product managers tackle any issues before the official launch.
Even after a product’s release, they can use video feedback to get more accurate information. With positive reviews influencing someone’s decision to purchase by as much as 91%, ensuring a product is what the people want is key. Video feedback will allow a product team to constantly stay on top of the customer experience.
Research and analytics play a significant role in effective marketing. Direct video feedback from your audience can differentiate marketing success and failure.
Use video feedback before running a campaign to understand how it might perform at scale. The feedback will allow you to get nuanced feedback on why an audience segment likes or dislikes a particular idea.
Video feedback can also be useful after the fact, giving marketers a chance to understand what people like and don’t like about their brand’s current messaging.
Marketers can send video feedback requests to people on their company email list, prompt website visitors with a pop-up, or request feedback within an app. This allows audiences to discuss what they like and don’t like about current ads, marketing efforts, or messaging.
Video surveys are great for open-ended questions
Open-ended questions have been a major part of market research and, more specifically, surveys for many years. They are essential to unearthing truths that closed-ended questions could otherwise miss.
Video questionnaire open-ended questions are just like text-based open-ends. But instead of writing down responses, respondents record a video. As a result, videos are often more authentic than edited written copy.
- Consumers love it because they can express their opinions
- Researchers love it because it delivers rich insights
- Decision-makers love it as they get to identify actual customer stories
What are video open-ends?
As the name suggests, video open-ends are just like text-based open-ends but require the respondent to record a video response instead of typing out their answer.
Examples of types of open-ends to ask
At Voxpopme, we’ve tried and tested thousands of open video questions while collecting over 5 million consumer-recorded video responses. So, we wanted to share our knowledge by offering some starter questions that have proven to deliver valuable, visual insights. We’ve put together a collection of simple but effective open-ended questions you can use when crafting your next video research project. These short-format templates will need adapting, combining, or expanding to suit your specific needs but are here to get those creative juices flowing again.
We’ve segmented the question examples based on the various areas of a business to make them relevant to your particular research goals.
- What would you change/improve about product X?
- Why do you choose product X over Y?
- What do you think of the taste/look/feel of new product X?
- Any other products compare to this and how do they compare?
- How does or doesn’t this product solve problem X for you?
- What did you like most about product X?
- Imagine and explain life without product X? (ethnography study)
- Show us how you use product X? (ethnography study)
- What are your expectations/requirements of service X?
- Any changes you would most improve to the service of brand X?
- How likely are you to recommend service X and why?
- Where did you come across this service?
- What was your primary reason for using/purchasing this service?
- Any steps you took in your decision to use service X?
- What did you think of advertisement X?
- Your favorite part of ad X?
- What emotions did the ad elicit?
- Which ad was your favorite and why?
- Are the claims made in the ad believable?
- How does this ad fit with what you know about brand X?
- How unique is this ad compared to others you have seen for similar products?
- In what ways does the ad you just watched impact your purchase consideration for brand X (if at all)?
- What makes a great ad?
- What are your initial thoughts when you hear brand X?
- In your opinion, what do you think brand X represents?
- Is your perception of brand X positive or negative and why?
- What traits are you looking for from a brand in category X?
- How and where do you come into contact with brand X most?
- What are the positive attributes of brand X?
- Any negative attributes of brand X and what are they?
- How was your last experience when visiting store X?
- What did you think of the customer support in store X?
- Why did you choose to shop in store X over its competitors?
- Do you have an alternative to brand/store X and why?
- Show us your favorite section/display in store X and tell us why it is?
- When did you last go to buy a product/service but didn’t buy your intended item and why?
- Please explain if you would return to this store and the reasons for your answer.
- How was your experience shopping with brand X online?
- Was it easy/difficult to navigate the site and find what you were looking for?
- Did you experience any difficulties when trying to buy a product from mysite.com?
- Explain your opinion of our website checkout experience?
- How did online support work?
- What don’t you like about your current service provider/product?
- How does your online experience of ‘brand X’ differ across different digital devices?
- What promotions come to mind when you think of season/event X?
- Any seasonal promotions would you like to see product/service X offer?
- What time of year do you begin looking for product or service X?
- Any promotions stand out most for you in store X?
- Please show us prominent category X promotions in store Y.
- How do you prefer to discover promotions for product/service X?
- What are your thoughts of our loyalty program?
- How does loyalty program X compare to the loyalty program of competitor Y?
- Would you say brand X provides value for your money?
- What are your thoughts on product X’s quality for the price paid?
- Does cost play a role when purchasing product/service X in category Y?
- The cost of product/service give you a particular perception of brand X?
Wider brand exploration & personification
- If Brand X was a celebrity who would they be and why?
- Which make of car is brand X most similar to?
- Brands are a party – what type of party guest would brand X be?
- How has brand X changed over time?
- Who do you think to be the leader in category X and why?
- If brand X came to life as a person, what would they be like?
- Where does brand X rank amongst its competitors and why?
- Draw what you think X means and explain why.
What do consumers like about video surveys?
Consumers love video because it allows them to easily portray their emotions, which researchers value highly for content richness and ability to drive action in the boardroom. After all, nothing is more powerful than seeing your customers face to face (digitally via video) and sharing insight into their thoughts about your product, service, or brand.
Additional consumer feedback includes…
Shubham, 25, of New York, said he “likes the fact that he gets to provide his opinions, and since you are on video, it makes you less shy, and your voice is heard.”
Lauren, 38, of Tallahassee, said leaving a one-minute video is worth it, and it’s great to see that brands get what they need out of the videos.
“Doing video surveys is more fun,” said Meagen, 33, of Forres. “It makes me happy knowing I can make a small difference somewhere.”