What is an omnibus survey?

We all know that the findings from research allow us to make better decisions. Knowing more about the potential consequences of our choices reduces the risks involved, and makes us more likely to make better decisions, in order to create the most effective strategies, because they are based upon intelligence and insight.
The problem is that research takes time and costs money. For those working with tight budgets and limited resources, a significant investment isn’t always a feasible option, and yet the fact remains that research is still hugely beneficial. In this scenario, an omnibus survey is perhaps the perfect solution, as it provides a low-cost alternative to commissioning a bespoke survey.

Omnibus survey

An omnibus survey involves a research agency conducting a number of interviews with a specific target group on a regular basis. The survey is conducted on behalf of a number of different organisations, who each pay to join the survey, and add their own questions. This enables all of the participating organisations to share the cost of research overheads.
There are a number of different omnibus survey categories, each targeting different groups, so it is important you consider the audience involved before signing up. One of the most widely used omnibus surveys is a business omnibus. This surveys businesses and business owners, and is the perfect tool for anyone looking to gain a competitive advantage in the B2B space.

Business omnibus

There are many research agencies which provide different types of business omnibus, so you need to make sure you are choosing the right one to suit your needs. For instance, is it going to be a telephone survey that is more likely to deliver better quality results, or just an online panel that is less likely to do so? Can the research company provide details on sample design and quality? What support will you receive? Do they have a rate card?

>We have an FAQ document, which answers all of the most commonly asked questions we receive<

Once you have chosen a reputable research agency, you will need to look at the questions you want to ask your audience. Your research agency should help you with advice on how to structure your questions. The companies who see a real benefit from conducting research are those which ask the right questions in the right way, finding out real insights into what their customers need, so that they are then better informed about how to provide adequate solutions to meet these needs.

Competitive advantage

Here are a few suggestions about how you can use a business omnibus survey to support your decision-making process in order to gain a competitive advantage:

  • Business decision-making: Is uncertainty over Brexit going to affect business spending? Are businesses likely to spend less on marketing services over the next 6-12 months? How high is their confidence in the economic future and political stability? Are there any emerging areas of growth or interest?
  • New service: If you are a B2B service provider, you may want to ask businesses if they are happy with their current contractor. Is this service important to them? How much do they spend on a service like this? What would make them change provider? And when are they able to do so?
  • New product: If you are developing a B2B product, you may wish to find out what features and benefits are most important to your audience? Do they have the budget to invest in such a product? How much would they be willing to spend? What would make them more receptive to finding out more?
  • Marketing/PR: You may wish to measure awareness to a recent campaign. Or find out the response to key messages you are considering for future campaigns. Or be looking for ideas and angles to create interesting stories to share with the media.
  • Legislation/regulations: A government agency, membership body or association may wish to find out if businesses are aware of changes to legislation or regulations relating to the industry that they operate within, and what levels of support they have in terms of dealing with such changes. What support or additional information do they need to be able to comply?

Business Spotlight

Every month, IFF’s Business Spotlight surveys 500 business owners across the UK by telephone. You can find out more by watching our video here.

For our schedule, rate card and FAQs, please visit our Business Spotlight page here.

To find out more about, please contact Alice:








Alice Large
Associate Director