Market Research with Google Consumer Surveys

The downfall of many new business and products is that the creators loved their idea too much. A quick search for failed tech products will reveal thousands of cool gadgets and gizmos that while awesome, clever and unique, never made enough sales to break even. The inventors loved their pride and joy so much that they assumed the rest of the world would care. But products can be like first-time parents showing off a snotty, crying bundle of burden.

Google has developed Google Consumer Surveys to help anyone decide whether or not to go ahead with an idea. By simply asking their target market “Hey, what do you think of this?”, business and individuals can act on information instead of blind ambition.

The name, however, makes Google Surveys seem like a half baked web app already replicated a hundred times over around the web. Maybe it’s something cooked up on an off-day at the Googleplex in California?

Well, actually no. It’s not.

Google Consumer Surveys is a web app that would invoke tingles in the loins of market researchers across the US. So how does it work? Quite similar to Adwords really. The basic steps involve attaching a credit card to your account, selecting your demographic (age, gender, location, etc.), and creating your survey for their responses.

Then, a content creator like a blogger creates premium content on their site. For a user to access the content they must answer a question on your survey. In return they get a commission from Google.

Depending on your survey, how many responses you require and the value which Google’s algorithm places upon your questions you’ll have to pay a per response fee. Broad demographic surveys can be as cheap as 10¢ with refined questionairres costing upwards of 50¢ per response.

The actual costs will have to be balanced by the business against their needs. However, information and proper market research are key to success and with such a powerful tool available 50¢ could become $5,000 profit.


Results will begin showing for your survey in real-time within hours of it going live. On the survey’s page in your account you’ll be greeted by your list of questions as well as basic results and response rate as you can see in the screenshot below.

Responses to Your Questions

Responses to Your Questions

Clicking on an individual answer allows for further scrutiny. Down the left hand side of the screen there is a margin of buttons and filters with which you can narrow down results. Criteria include demographic information like age and location as well as income and urbanicity.

Data displayed for your review

Data displayed for your review

If your survey has been responded to in any way ‘out of the ordinary’ then the app will let you know by placing a red alert under the question in your survey. For example, if a question has gone unanswered by many respondents, or if response time was slow then a message will appear beside that question. Depending on your needs and interpretation of your survey the significance of the alert is entirely up to you – date will be displayed as per usual.

Data translated into bite-sized captions

Data translated into bite-sized captions

The Insights tab is where the real magic happens. As anyone who has ever attempted market research will tell you – trying to turn a database of responses into usable conclusions and statement upon which to base decisions can be the most challenging task of all. With Insights Google’s AI delivers a host of barcharts and plain english explanations of your data.

When your survey has reached the desired number of respondents you can download the collected data as a CSV file. This enables you to carry out more specific analysis using Excel or specialist marketing tools such as Apteco.

The only downside I could find with it is that it’s only available in the US. Hopefully Google will soon make Consumer Surveys available worldwide.


If one word were to sum up the design of this app it would be ‘Googley’. It follows the same sleek, clean-cut design of Googles other web apps such as Gmail and Drive. Features unique to Consumer Surveys look fantastic. For example the margin for filtering data is layed out for ease-of-use and looks great. The presentation of the data itself is extremely professional and wouldn’t look out of place at a presentation at a Fortune 500 company.


The fact that this app comes from one of the world’s most successful tech company’s who have the largest database of online consumer trends, searches and web activity is a massive vote of confidence in the app and the data collected from it.

The whole experience of using Google Consumer Insights is a positive one which is almost effortless – yet returning quality results at a low cost.

I think anyone with a small webstore, consultation practice, new invention, or a ‘bricks and mortar’ store should consider using Google Consumer Surveys. It’s without a doubt the most accessible and powerful marketing tool I’ve encountered in years.


Google Consumer Surveys is a simple market reaearch tool from the tech giant. It allows people to quickly create a survey for respondents to fill in. Google will find respondents via content publishers. All the creator has to do is sit back and watch the results roll in. Payment can be made in a similar fashion to Adwords - per respondent.