When is the last time you received a survey and actually filled it out? Do you know why that survey was so important?
Every day, companies around the world send out surveys to customers to gain a deeper understanding of how key audiences perceive of their brand and products. Through qualitative and quantitative research, companies are able to take the direct feedback they receive and evolve their messaging or product to meet the needs of their target audience.
At MindFire, research is the foundation of who we are and what we do. It’s literally in our name: ‘Mind’ is the research and evidence-based approach that provides sound strategy and measurability for our clients.
Surveys can be an incredibly beneficial research tool for a variety of reasons. Here are some things to keep in mind as you consider your research strategy:
If you don’t have the end objective in mind, research can be a waste of time. To prevent that from happening, you need to determine the why behind your research. Are you creating audience personas, developing a brand foundation, rebranding your company or seeking to identify what sets your company apart from the competition?
Once you have discovered that piece of the puzzle, you can determine what you need to measure and how to get the results your company is looking for.
There are two types of overarching research that companies tend to do: brand and market research.
Brand research collects data from those closest to your brand. This would include your existing customers and key stakeholders.
Market research collects data about your brand’s target market. They might not be familiar with your brand, but they could be familiar with a competitor of yours or have an interest in the products and services you offer.
Once you have determined the route you want to take with research, the next step is to develop your survey and identify how you are going to collect the data.
A survey should ask a variety of questions to help you answer your overall objective. According to SurveyMonkey, survey abandonment increases when a survey takes more than seven to eight minutes which is why we recommend a survey should take no longer than five or six minutes to complete. Surveys can be done online or on paper and you can send them out via email, print mailers, social ads, digital ads, etc. Consider the medium that best reaches your target audience when deploying a survey.
Once the data is collected, all the data will be analyzed to provide valuable insight. Now, I won’t bore you with the nitty-gritty, but this is the best part!
In analysis, you can see where the disconnection or alignment is happening between the company and the consumer. You take what the data is telling you, connect it to marketing strategies and provide recommendations on the best ways for your brand to move forward with messaging, brand voice, content strategy, etc.
Once you have the recommendations on how to move forward, you will want to develop a plan of action. Take what you have learned and implement the results back into your company or adjust how you are talking to the ideal audience. This can be done through creating a list of marketing tactics that help you accomplish an overall objective.
Based on the data received from the survey, you will want to set goals and a data baseline. This allows you to measure the success of the changes you are making and tie them back to the original objective.
Research isn’t something that should be done once and never again. It’s important to complete on a regular basis. If you continue to do the same survey, with minor updates, year after year, you can ensure consistent messaging across your brand. It also allows you to compare data and see where you trend against a single objective. If your overall objective changes, then you will have to develop a new survey tool, but you are usually able to keep in a few questions that allow you to see the data trends.
If you want to learn more about how research can benefit your company, drop us a line!