As of 2021, the cost of the global data collection and analytics market reaches $215.7 billion. There are a large number of tools for carrying out these operations. They all work and are designed for specific purposes. In order to determine which tools will work best, it’s important to distinguish between formal and creative ways. With the help of the former, most often dry data is collected, and the latter opens up more opportunities for identifying points of view, sensations, and feelings.

Interactive tools are used for creative methods. For example, pictures, videos, diaries, etc. They can be combined with each other and come up with more perfect methods. Through their use, you can collect the thoughts and feelings of customers, as well as analyze their data.

Let’s take a look at 10 creative survey data collection methods.

Why do you use creative surveys for data collection methods?

Using creative methods combined with survey software to collect data allows you to get closer to your customers. Many of them dislike the annoying dry polls that pop up every time they interact with the site. Some are simply immersed in their work or home tasks and do not want to devote time to collecting data, because they are not interested in this. Informal communication helps strengthen relationships and reassure the client. In addition, creative methods have several benefits:

  • provide a fun way to complete the survey;
  • spend less time on the client;
  • help to better understand the feelings of users;
  • allow you to interview even unsure customers;
  • help to evaluate the experience from different angles;
  • attractive to teens and children.

But there are also disadvantages. The use of creative polls is impossible for a large audience, and due to the manual selection of the interviewed persons, the results may be distorted.

10 Creative Survey Data Collection Methods

Moving on to explore the most interesting and creative survey data collection techniques that your audience will love.

No. 1. Visual analog scale (VAS)

The VAS has been used to assess pain in patients, but over time it has been used in other areas as well. For example, in marketing, the visual analog scale has found a place in the creation of surveys. A horizontal or vertical line made with a gradient from green to red or decorated with an emoticon from sad to funny will make it easy to get an answer to at least the emotional feelings of the client.

If you add animation to the bar, you can increase customer engagement in the survey.

№2. Image Chooser

Polls using pictures instead of text messages are more attractive to customers. Images bring data collection to life and help drive response rates. These can be pictures on the topic, selected on the Internet, or created for the style of the company.

№3. Body map

Create a body map using paper copy or online service (Google Docs, Jamboard or Mural). Invite customers to share their concerns in the survey. For example, ask them the question “What worries you the most?” or “What do you hope for the most?” Participants in the survey will draw and write their thoughts directly on or next to the outline of the map. This is an interesting experience of obtaining information and analyzing the results.

No. 4. Word cloud

Dynamic and floating words collected in the cloud are a great way to interact with customers. You can create them together as they update in real-time. It also changes the size of the letters in the words and introduces other accents that apply to all the same entries. Your audience will definitely appreciate this kind of interaction and want to create a word cloud with you. Dynamic and floating words collected in the cloud are a great way to interact with customers. You can create them together as they update in real-time. It also changes the size of the letters in the words and introduces other accents that apply to all the same entries.

10 Creative Survey Data Collection Methods

№5. Graffiti wall

Use an interactive whiteboard, Google Docs, Jamboard, or Mural, and write down the main questions you want answers to. Make it bright and memorable, and graphically designed in a way that’s user-friendly. Send it to the user and get high-quality feedback in return. It can also be arranged for offline meetings. To do this, use a simple sheet of paper or a poster on which the questions are printed in a stylized format.

№6. You talk like a pirate

If you are organizing a face-to-face or online meeting for a group of people, the Speak Like a Pirate method will help you. This is a great alternative to collecting emotions from the interaction. Unfortunately, not everyone is ready to speak to the public, even when it comes to commenting on their experience with the company. The playful form of the method implies simple three sounds that the client must utter depending on the experienced emotions. For example, if he really liked it, he should say “Oooooo”, if he didn’t like “Aarch”, and if there were incomprehensible feelings, “Ohhhharghhh”.

No. 7. Mobile polls

Conducting mobile surveys is a convenient way of collecting data for customers, but more time-consuming for a company. It requires optimal software or a website that needs to be tested on multiple devices. You can create it using the one-page website builder and send each member a link to it or pick up a separate software option, you can design the survey in any way, for example, in the style of the company. You can also add interactivity or animation to it.

No. 8. Short polls

The easiest way to collect data quickly is to run quick polls. Use them for online conferences or offline meetings. The answer could be a raise of your hand, a reply in the comments, or a click on a pop-up window. Plan questions about the topic before the meeting and you will receive a large amount of optimal data for analysis.

№9. Vox pop

The little videos people use to share their opinions are called Vox pops. With their help, clients can not only give a clear answer “yes” or “no”, but tell a whole story. Invite them to choose a convenient format, think over the key questions, provide them with the necessary programs/equipment and offer to write down an entire diary. Thanks to this method, you will receive a large amount of information for analysis and will be able to track the dynamics of its changes.

No. 10. Mobile ethnography

The use of mobile ethnography will allow obtaining holistic opinions of several participants at once. It is a diary in which the client accumulates his experience of interaction with the help of notes, photos, or videos. The period of its conduct can be as long as you like. The main requirements are that the user is sure of its value, and the format of the conduct does not overwhelm the client himself. The method of mobile ethnography will also require software that needs to be checked for operability in a timely manner.

Creative tips

Even creative methods can fail if used incorrectly. Here are some tips for using them correctly:

  • think about how appropriate the use of creativity in your business;
  • define the purpose of creating surveys, wishes for the result, value for you and the client;
  • estimate how much time you need for the campaign;
  • determine the method that is right for your business;
  • Engage users to take surveys.

Remember cultural values. Perhaps your idea could offend a specific community. Also think about who you are writing or designing for, who will see you, and who might not be interested. Resolve these questions before releasing the survey.


About 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are generated every day, and businesses continue to need constant analysis of customer experience data. We’ve explored the top 10 creative data collection techniques, learned why to embed creatives, and covered tips for implementing them. Use all the information to create the best survey for your customers. Find one that works best for you and integrate it into your marketing campaign. Analyze the received data and do not be afraid to try a new method if the previous one does not work.


  1. Why do you use creative surveys for data collection methods?

Creative survey data collection methods allow you to get closer to the client and get more reliable information.

2.  What Creative survey data collection methods are there?

  • Visual analog scale (VAS)
  • Image Chooser
  • Body map
  • Word cloud
  • Graffiti wall, etc.


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