Here’s an insight – when I’m asked about methods of research to gauge community views about something, I mention an omnibus survey. Most people give me a look of bewilderment and respond with “what’s an omnibus survey?”.
Well, our website provides a technical definition:
An omnibus survey is a quantitative market research method where data is collected on a wide variety of subjects in a single questionnaire. Usually, multiple clients will include questions on the survey (paying to 'get on the omnibus'), while sharing the common demographic data collected from each participant.
But my response is more pragmatic – it’s a fast and cost-effective way to get a snapshot of people’s attitudes, opinions and behaviours on any topic.
Our survey samples 1,000 Australians and is completed in less than a week. If you submit your questions by Wednesday, you’ll have the answers by Tuesday the week after. It’s a pretty fast way to canvass the views of a sizeable sample of Australians.
You can ask about almost anything. The topics I’ve covered are far ranging. From how stressed people get at Christmas time, to what people think of market research*.
Sometimes you come across some amusing responses. Take this one for example:
Yo what up, I'd just like to give a big shoutout to Di Marzio Research*, you guys are on the cutting edge of that market research, taking them surveys and processing that data to make the choices for the future more predictable and I commend you for that, word. Later yo.
While it's easy to laugh at this, it actually provides a good summary. It also highlights an important aspect of omnibus surveys: they can reveal unexpected insights that might not have come to light using a chatbot. By casting a wide net and asking a variety of questions, we can uncover insights from people’s comments (humorous or not) that might have otherwise been missed.
Of course, most questions in omnibus surveys focus on more serious topics. We’ve recently used an Omnibus survey to canvass community attitudes, opinions and behaviours towards COVID-19. The results helped inform a communications strategy with tight timeframes and budgetary constraints.
Next time you need answers to some burning questions, consider an omnibus survey. It’s a great way to quickly gather insights from people - not a chatbot, although that is a different story you can read about here.
*Note: Comments referring to Di Marzio Research and results presented on the Di Marzio Research website which is the previous company operating prior to being acquired by SenateSHJ in 2022. The website will remain live until the end of 2023.