Before running any type of experiment, you need to define a few things in advance. When conducting an experiment using surveys (for example, when testing a product concept or ad campaign), these things include your sample, what you’re testing, and how you’re running your test.
As a survey creator, both the sample and the items you’re testing come top of mind; however, the design of your survey is equally as important. It determines how recipients interact with your survey and can ultimately influence their answers to your questions.
To help you effectively run your next survey, we’ll introduce 2 invaluable survey designs—monadic and sequential monadic. We’ll define each design, explore their relative strengths and weaknesses, and review the criteria for using one over the other.
A monadic survey design takes your entire target audience or a subset sample and introduces them to a single concept. You’d then follow-up with questions that ask the respondent to evaluate the concept (metrics questions).
Once you collect all of your responses, you’d compare the results of each concept to find the winner. It’s worth noting that you can make comparisons across concepts if respondents represent the same target population.
Say you’re a marketer at a pet food company. You’re trying to sell a new line of dog food but need to land on the right ad before taking it to market. Here’s an example of what a potential monadic survey design looks like.
Meanwhile, a sequential monadic survey design shows your entire target audience or a subset sample either all of your concepts or a fraction of them—with at least 2 concepts being shown at random. Each concept receives the same set of follow-up questions. To find the winning concept, you’d also compare each of their results.
Check out our sequential monadic survey example.
To summarize each design:
Deciding whether or not to use a monadic survey design involves understanding its pros and cons. Here the top ones to keep in mind:
For example, let’s say you’re testing 2 concepts and want a sample of 200 respondents per concept. You’ll need a total sample of 2 * 200 = 400 respondents. Now, let’s say you have 4 concepts but need the same sample of 200 respondents per concept. Your total sample grows to 4 * 200 = 800 respondents.
The SurveyMonkey Audience panel has millions of people all over the world ready to take your survey.
Use a monadic survey design if you can check off the following items:
There are only a few concepts you want to test
You have several metrics per concept
Retrieving a large sample is feasible
You’re less constrained by time
Each concept is time consuming to interpret (videos, text heavy, etc.)
Pro-tip – Create a monadic survey design on the SurveyMonkey platform through either one of the following scenarios:
|Scenario||How to create a monadic design|
|Each concept only has 1 page of questions.||Use a combination of page randomization + page skip logic.|
|Each concept has 2+ pages of questions.||Use “block randomization” and limit “number of blocks to display” to 1.|
A sequential monadic survey design’s pros and cons are often inverse to the monadic survey design’s. Here are a few worth noting:
Pro-tip – To prevent your survey from becoming too lengthy, use the following formula:
concepts * metrics < 30 questions
Learn more about ways to limit order bias by reading this blog post.
So when should you use a sequential monadic survey design? If the following points resonate with you:
There are several concepts to test
Each concept has a limited number of metrics questions
Your project has a limited budget
You’re constrained by time
Each concept is straightforward and easy to interpret
Pro-tip – Create a sequential monadic survey design on the SurveyMonkey platform in either one of the following ways:
|Scenario||How to create a sequential monadic design|
|Each concept only has 1 page of questions.||Use page randomization.|
|Each concept has 2+ pages of questions.||Use “block randomization” and edit “number of blocks to display” to 2+ blocks.|
Concepts need to be tried and tested before they’re fully released to your target audience. Deciding on how you’ll test the concepts however, depends on the nature of the test itself.
To help you choose a monadic design or a sequential monadic design at the right time, consider the following questions:
After answering these questions, cross-reference them with our checkboxes for each design. The checkbox that aligns with your answers the most tells you which design to use.
Now that you know both how and when to use each survey design, use your new and improved survey design skills to reach your target market with our SurveyMonkey Audience panel.
Here are some ideas to ensure that respondents will answer your surveys.
If your survey is short and sweet, there's a greater chance that more respondents will complete it.
Little incentives like small discount or an entry into a drawing can help ensure respondents complete your survey.
With SurveyMonkey Audience, you can purchase access to an audience who meets specific demographic criteria for your survey. It's a great way to get targeted responses from a specific group.