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Market Surveys - An Under Used Marketing Tactic?

Jun 6, 2008
Since the days of running my own PR and Marketing Consultancy, I have valued market surveys as a superb marketing tactic. Market surveys, if they are properly set up, can provide a wealth of information for your firm. A survey can also actually generate sales leads, improve your brand awareness, help you gain knowledge about the competition, the market and their buying criteria.

Surveys continue to be an underused but powerful tactic in marketing from my perspective.

How To Set Up A Market Survey

A market survey has to be thoroughly thought through to be truly effective. It can't be too long and yet it needs to ask the right questions. Often, those dong a market survey miss out on the chance to truly add value by not asking the right questions or perhaps by framing the questions wrongly i.e. they are open to interpretation on the part of the respondent.

The first question to ask yourself is what information do you really require from the survey? You then have to construct a profile of the respondents that you are seeking to survey and frame the questions in a way that is not open to interpretation and yet provide the data that you are looking for.

Try to keep the questions structured and logical in order and ensure that the questions are concise, clear and not open to misinterpretation. In fact, run the questions through with potential respondents a few times and gain feedback from them on how it went and how it could be improved. It always pays to try to structure questions such that the answer is definitive as opposed to open ended. In other words ask yes or no questions or use a list of responses that can be ranked. This makes it easier for the respondent and ensures that you get the answers you are looking for.

Gaining Additional Information

What many forget when setting up a survey is that this is the chance to extract some real intelligence and data from the market. You need to make the most of it. Adding questions regarding the respondents buying criteria and buying habits can provide data that can be used to set up your future marketing campaigns with more effectiveness, decide where and how to advertise and, what to emphasize in your marketing collateral.

As stated above, surveys also generate leads. Talk to 50 companies and you will generate at least 1-2 real leads as well as arm yourself with 50 real names, phone numbers and email addresses to pass to your telesales folks.
Additionally, the survey will equip you with some real competitive intelligence such as how active are your competitors from a sales activity standpoint, where are they installed/used, what do their users/buyers actually think of them and more besides.

Once the survey is set up it can be managed as either a telephone survey or you can use one of the many tools available to set it up as an internet-based survey. You will need, of course, to identify in both cases potential respondents that meet your criteria and have some way to reach them.

Summary

Market surveys are an underutilized marketing tool that can offer much more than simple market data if planned and executed properly. They can generate leads, help develop your brand, provide competitive and market intelligence and help you to hone your positioning. In fact, surveys are a cheap but sure fire way to gain the upper hand on your market and competition.
About the Author
BlogsPayu is a blog site written by marketer GM Vasey and tries to tell the truth about making money from blogging. Visit the site for more articles like this one at his site
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