Traditional long-form surveys ask for feedback, but they fail to take emotions into account. Don’t be a dinosaur and collect data in more user centric ways.


Long-form paper-based surveys have been a mainstay of marketing for decades. More recently, long-form surveys have moved online, collecting data from dozens of questions at a time.

However as technology has moved on – and attention spans have shrunk – long-form surveys have started going the way of the dinosaurs. They’re outdated and cumbersome, and can be an expensive waste of time and money for marketers.

People are using iPhones and tablets more and more to communicate. However they are becoming less receptive to using them for surveys. They are reluctant to tie up valuable time giving long-form feedback. This is compounded by challenges such as Attention Deficit Disorder, which reduce the available time you have to engage with people and collect reliable data.

So how do you capture quality customer feedback quickly and accurately if rates of participation in long form surveys are low, and the reliability of feedback is uncertain?

The answer lies in agility and in using new technology to your advantage. There are now more efficient, more user centric ways to collect relevant feedback.

Marketers need to be more ‘in the moment’. They also need to be more pragmatic when it comes to collecting data. One solution is to look at using the short survey, which can generate response rates 28% higher than long-form surveys.

What’s wrong with old-style long-form surveys?

Traditional long-form surveys ask for experiences and feedback, but they fail to take emotions into account.

This is key because research shows that emotions drive human behavior. If emotions are not surveyed, they are absent from the feedback process – and absent emotions mean no human impact. Any feedback gathered in the absence of emotions is therefore useless.

The best survey results are collected when emotions and experiences are fresh in the mind of the participant.

This poses problems for marketers using long-form surveys.

What’s wrong with old-style long-form surveys?

Long-form surveys can take months to undertake. Firstly there’s the time gap between the experiences being surveyed and the time of the survey. This inevitably means you get feedback based on memories rather than raw, fresh emotions and reactions – and this affects the reliability of data. There is no arousal and no engagement with the pure emotion that was linked to the original experience. This process if called ‘rationalization’ – the person being surveyed has think about the questions and to ‘rationalize’ them rather than sharing a raw, true experience.

Secondly, long-form data collation also means there’s a time gap between when the survey takes place and when the data is analyzed. There’s then a further time gap to when it’s distributed to stakeholders.

The data may already be out of date or an action point beyond repair. This restricts an agile company’s ability to act on the results or to fast-track solutions.

Just as problematic is that long-form surveys are time-consuming for both participants and marketers. For participants, the surveys can often take 30 minutes or more to complete and lead to the ‘halo effect’ and survey fatigue. Answers end up inaccurate or biased because participants get bored and move to ‘auto pilot’ to just get the survey finished.

For marketers, they are riddled with missed opportunities – adaptations arrive too late, and there are problems collecting, collating and analyzing the data. Often, the right questions are not asked, the ratings scales not mathematically sound, and the questions are not answered properly. There are too many variables skewing the results, and this leads to inaccurate data analysis. In short: it’s an expensive waste of time and effort.

What are the alternatives to long surveys?

The answer is research that’s based on a short survey – or a series of short surveys – that ask targeted, timely questions that can maximize response rates. This kind of technique makes it possible to conduct several short surveys in parallel and therefore avoid cognitive overload. For example, it’s better to ask four sets of five questions than 20 questions at once, assuming the various sets of data do not need to be cross-referenced afterwards.

To achieve this, Emolytics offers an accurate, state-of-the-art solution that’s quick and easy for participants, as well as being efficient and cost-effective for marketers.

Our Emoscore offers a proven and unique KPI for user centric marketing to help you gauge accurate feedback from your customers.

It uses a scientific approach and rigorous methodology to tap into the emotional responses of your customers and allow you to see – quickly and clearly – how these impact on your corporate operations. It can provide valuable feedback to help you solve problems and to deepen your knowledge about your customer’s profiles and needs.

By unlocking the emotions of your customers and accessing fast and accurate analysis, you can find out what your customers REALLY think about your business, its products and services.

Emolytics is available for use on both websites and in emails to capture in-the-moment feedback and real time investigations. It can also be incorporated into events and other outlets, such as ad tracking, which also benefits from ‘in-the-moment’ research.

The Emolytics approach can directly and positively affect response rates. Here is an interesting case study. For the same sample of people exposed to a survey, the Emolytics method yielded more than 30,000 responses, compared with only 1000 for traditional long-form surveys.

The same approach can be applied in-house, with the short survey tailored to analyze employee satisfaction to help boost workplace engagement and harmony.

It’s a one-stop tool for identifying problems and inspiring change.

5 reasons to choose Emolytics

  1. Emolytics is not cognitively based – it’s based on emotion and arousal. It’s both pragmatic and methodical. It uses the latest technology to integrate internationally recognized KPIs and survey tools.
  2. The Emoscore from Emolytics assesses the emotional value that respondents place on your brand and services. This KPI integrates with all other variables and related issues to provide the emotional value of each need.
  3. Emolytics simplifies life for users – both responders and marketers. It has empathy for end user but also for the customers in that it is both time- and cost-effective.
  4. Emolytics focuses on the real needs of the company by pinpointing the customer’s feelings. In developing our system, we questioned what sparked emotions and asked why – we went beyond the simple question of satisfaction. Moreover, if the user wants to express themselves in another way, this feedback can also utilized.
  5. This tool provides businesses of all sizes with clear guidance on changes that could lead to quick wins across the business.

Don’t be a dinosaur…

Using the latest methodology and technology to get the best out of your market research makes good business sense.

A short survey – or a series of short surveys – well timed and worded effectively can pay dividends.

You can make your surveys painless for you AND your customers by moving your surveys on-line in an efficient, cost effective way. Exploiting the impact of emotions and incorporating this data into your research can get the results you need in a way that saves time and boosts your bottom line.

Why not find out how you can start using Emolytics for your research? Get in touch for a free consultation with our digital experts today.

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