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Kristen Burton

Published on

September 15, 2023


market research, research

What are omnibus surveys?

Omnibus surveys are a type of market research methodology that allow you to gather original data quickly and in a cost-effective manner. Companies participating in omnibus surveys get “one piece of the pie,” making them a very affordable primary research option. Instead of an organization commissioning a 35-question survey on their own, for example, they might include 5 questions in an omnibus survey. The organizations participating in the omnibus survey share the costs associated with the research agency’s time to develop the survey and the costs of the survey sample.

Due to this shared-cost model, omnibus surveys typically cover a wide range of topics. Respondents enjoy taking omnibus surveys over surveys that just focus on one topic; the variation in topics makes for a fun and engaging experience throughout the survey.

Some topics our clients have covered in consumer omnibus surveys in the past include smart home technology usage, perceptions of fitness technology, thoughts on hosting events, and trust in banking institutions.


Why should I participate in an omnibus survey?

1. You can gather original research for PR and marketing efforts

On the PR front, if you have a gap in announcements coming up, thought leadership research is a great way to garner coverage in the meantime. Having original research to pitch to media outlets and reporters will not only set your organization apart from others but will also establish your organization’s position as a thought leader in your industry.

You can also use omnibus surveys for more strategic marketing efforts. Want to know what your target audience thinks about a hot topic issue in your industry? What they think about a potential advertisement you’re developing? Or if they’ve heard of your organization before? If you have a singular question that you need answers to quickly, using an omnibus survey to get to those answers is a great strategy. That said, a few standard questions in an omnibus survey won’t replace a more traditional brand awareness study, which gives you many more specific questions to dive in deeply and accurately measure brand equity.

2. Date collection made easy

With an omnibus survey, you can typically receive results back within a few days. Omnibus surveys often reach a consumer or general population audience, and responses from that audience typically come in very fast. Your research team will be able to gather high-quality responses quickly, distill the findings down to the most interesting or newsworthy, and get the results back to you in a matter of days. This quick turnaround is particularly useful for commenting on breaking news in rapid response PR efforts. 

3. They are a cost-effective option

If you want to make use of original stats for PR efforts or want to answer a strategic marketing question but don’t have the budget for a full thought leadership survey or brand awareness study, then omnibus surveys are a good alternative. Although you won’t have as many questions to work with as you would if your organization commissioned its own survey, you can still do a lot with a few survey questions! For example, we develop infographics and social cards using a few questions in our quarterly TEAM LEWIS omnibus survey.

How do omnibus surveys at TEAM LEWIS work?

1. Identify the goal

At TEAM LEWIS, we’ll work with you to identify the goal for your omnibus survey questions. Whether you want to tell a particular story, drive a certain headline, or answer a more strategic question about your target audience, we’ll collaborate and brainstorm with you on the best way to frame your survey questions.

2. Write questions

Once we’ve identified the goals and purpose driving the omnibus questions, we’ll draft survey questions accordingly. We always write specific questions with best practices in mind including avoiding leading questions, avoiding double-barreled questions, and using appropriate scales for answer options.

3. Launch survey

After the questions are finalized, we’ll program the survey and prepare it for launch. Responses will then start rolling in! We typically aim for 1,000 responses from the US general public.

4. Deliver results

It typically takes a few days for all the responses we need to come in. Once we have all the responses, we’ll analyze the data and highlight interesting insights in a summary report. We’ll also share the responses to your omnibus questions segmented by various demographic variables including age, gender, and employment status. We’ll help you find the story in your data and create a plan for how to best put it to use! 

Want to learn more about our marketing research and omnibus offering? Let’s chat! 

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