In the beginning
The SMP online surveying system was born out of frustration. As two professional market researchers, we began looking for an affordable and effective online surveying system some time ago that could service our companies.
We found only systems that were either – overpriced, or underpowered – either cheap and lacking the rigour required for serious market research, or so expensive they were unapproachable.
So we asked ourselves –
“How is it that with all the computing power available today through the internet and the personal computer that online survey systems are so expensive and boring – lacking innovation?”
“Why is it that most online surveying systems simply duplicate what used to be paper, on the screen?”
Computers are a visual device – so where are all the images. Surely we can do better.
We thought so too but in looking for an affordable system that had the sophistication we required we found the market wanting. Either the systems were too weak and produced ordinary-looking surveys, were far too expensive or were just far too hard to use. With little choice to us, we were forced to create our own. So we did.
What followed was surprising. A number of market research colleagues that we had shared our frustrations with were using the system through us (we were scripting for them) began asking for a retail version.
Not quite knowing what this meant we struck a formal business structure in 2008 with three owners, Dr Phil Emerson, John Hughes and Wenyang Yu and called it SMP Surveys Pty Ltd. The task before us was to design and implement a front end that could drive the system, from scripting to launch and data extraction. We then outlined some simple mission objectives:
– or so we thought.
- To provide a powerful but easy to use system that non-programmers could use.
- To allow for the addition of marketing information such as images, video, or audio without fuss and expense.
- To allow questionnaire designers to make their surveys look attractive.
- To make scripting a powerful internet survey so easy that it will save you time and money.
We invite you to spend some time looking at our product through this website, apply for a trial account, and help us build the next generation of online surveying tools for people who are serious about genuine insight.
Your suggestions to us are paramount
A lot of what you will see in SMP is the result of clients and friends of ours gently nudging us forward with ideas and suggestions for improvements. Many of the question types that we have incorporated like Tachistoscope was the result of an idea we were challenged to solve online by one of our clients. If you have any ideas like this we dare you to challenge us. We will then challenge our team of talented programmers – throw them a couple of pizzas to keep them going through the night – and hey presto, your idea will become a reality on the screen. We rarely fail to impress, so challenge us – we dare you.
SMP is designed to deliver a highly visual experience to the survey respondent in a cost-effective and easy to program manner. It is a fully SAAS on-demand programming environment and has a great many features – not all of which will be applicable to you.
The system has been arranged such that you can buy the model that suits your needs now with the functionality that you most require, and move between models with an easy process that allows you to always have the system that you need at the price that is appropriate.
But development has not stopped – in fact, it has sped up significantly.
Since launching we have discovered that market research is a broad church with a diverse set of surveying needs. As a consequence, the amount of development we have done and are still doing in the past two years has been extensive – including re-writing the base platform.
All of our development directions come from our clients. We are constantly developing what we hope is exactly what the market needs.