Businesses and leaders who put off client and customer research are leaving money on the table and limiting impact potential.
You know the importance of being strategic, but research can be a confusing time-waster if teams aren’t using it properly. Plus, a lot of people put this off, feeling like budgets and bandwidth are too stretched to add anything else to their plate.
But, impact-focused brands need research more than any other kind of brand. That’s because it’s tricky to develop a successful social entrepreneurship or enterprise marketing strategy that is aligned with organization and audience values. Your target audience cares about different things than consumers in other industries.
Prioritizing audience and customer research is going to bring you far more results than some of the other things you think are priorities.
In fact, here are some interesting stats for you to think about:
- 64% of consumers say shared values are the #1 reason for brand loyalty. (You find out the values of your target audience segments with research.)
- 48% of consumers expect brands to know them and solve their problems with relevant products. (How do you do that? Audience research!)
- 72% of consumers will only interact with brands who have messages personalized to them. (You have to know them to personalize content.)
- Personalizing content is a challenge for 50% of marketers.
- Only 59% of marketers have a strategic marketing plan relevant to their audience. (Because many don’t spend time on audience and customer research and insights.)
Knowing these numbers, it’s easy to see how making research a priority can pay off for your brand.
Why You Should Be Using Surveys For Your Business
Brands who focus only on their own business development and don’t continually integrate audience and market insights are limiting growth.
To rise above the noise and earn attention for purpose-led business, you have to be dialed in to what your clients and customers care about and want.
Until you do the research and strategy that focuses on your clients and customers, you’re swimming upstream –
- constantly throwing spaghetti at the wall, looking for that one thing that works
- using one-dimensional marketing that comes off as a bit self-absorbed
- getting ignored, or even worse – annoying and irritating your audience
- continually searching for the right message that will finally get people to perk up their ears and realize you can solve their problems
Surveys can give you insights you need to prevent or stop those things from happening.
What Surveys Can Do For Your Business
Surveys are such an incredible tool. They can give you the information you need to solve some of your most challenging business problems.
This is why Brandividuation clients work with us – we’re not your average brand and marketing studio. We do the work and put the pieces together. Here are some ways surveys have helped our clients (and our own brand) –
- Given them the ability to communicate the impact they make to funders by capturing the language clients make in regards to the transformation they got
- Allowed them to gain tools and platforms to build entire communities of their best clients ever by attracting them with intelligence gathered through market research
- Given them inspiring and attractive brand messaging that captivated a global audience with survey-gathered voice-of-customer data
- Gotten email sequences and social media that’s been adored by their audiences, increasing revenues and audience sizes using exact phrases and cues from client and consumer feedback
There’s an endless list of ways using research is going to bring you better results. The more you integrate research, the more you’ll see a return on investment. (Whether that be time, energy, or money.)
You’re going to have:
- A better understanding of your people, which will inform everything you do from services to interactions to conversations
- Better marketing that speaks to the hearts and minds, struggles and desires, of your perfect-fit clients and customers, attracting them to your magnetizing brand
- Better relationships with those dreamy clients and customers (which means more repeat buyers and referrers)
- A big ol’ bucket of voice-of-customer research that you can pull from for endless content ideas and copy
The Types Of Surveys You Should Use For Your Business
The type of surveys you’ll use for your business will depend on your business type, goals, and insights needed. Some examples of great surveys commonly used are:
- Brand awareness surveys
- Market research surveys
- Consumer surveys (B2C)
- Client surveys (B2B)
- Membership entry surveys
- Pre- and post- event surveys
- Community development surveys
What is a brand awareness survey?
Brand awareness is how familiar people are with your brand. Do people know your brand name and recognize your brand’s visuals? Do they think of your product or service when they need help? Do they know how you solve their problems? It’s important to know your audience’s level of awareness for your brand so you can accurately identify customer journeys and decision processes, plus know where to focus in your marketing.
To find this out, there are multiple measures you can take. One of them is conducting a brand awareness survey. In this type of survey, you’d find out how people heard of your brand or how familiar people are with your brand. This can be done on your website, in a chat bot, via email, or even by phone.
These types of surveys can be very useful in learning insights about your brand’s perception, reach, positioning, and messaging strength.
Survey Monkey and Typeform both have good articles to further explain the value of brand awareness surveys.
What is a market research survey?
Market research helps you learn demographics, psychographics, and other important insights about your target audience segments. It helps you find out what they’re looking for, what they like about brands they love,where they look for answers, and more. Market research surveys are a tool for finding this information.
We sometimes use market research for Brandividuation clients to find out more about the clients and consumers they serve or aim to serve. While market research is useful for businesses at any stage in their journey, it’s an especially useful tool for newer and growing businesses that don’t yet have an audience of their own big enough to survey. It’s also great for understanding insights about audience members in the problem-aware stage of decision making.
Survey Monkey has a great article on this as well as survey templates. Hotjar also has great ideas on how you can gather market research simply. And Typeform has ideas on different types of market research surveys you can use, depending on what you’re trying to uncover.
What is a consumer survey?
While brand awareness surveys focus on familiarity with your overall brand, consumer surveys focus on awareness of your products or services. This type of survey is useful when thinking about where your product or service stands in the minds of your target audience in comparison to other products and services that offer a similar solution.
Other types of surveys
There are so many ways you can use surveys to inform your messaging and marketing. When I teach people how to gather and use surveys for messaging and marketing strategy, the top forms I recommend (and give free templates for) are:
- Market research
- Client surveys (B2B)
- Membership entry surveys
- Pre- and post- event surveys
- Community development surveys
You can get immediate access to this training here.
How To Conduct A Market Research Survey
The first step in conducting a market research campaign is to clarify the goals and desired results. The questions you ask will depend on what you need in terms of answers. Your team should meet to define the purpose for the campaign and intended outcome.
Next, you’ll want to think about what is most important to your team when it comes to what you need to find out. You won’t want to overwhelm your audience or make your survey feel like work because if you do, you’ll get a poor response. Keep it short and simple to fill out.
Then, you’ll need to identify your distribution method. Will you send a link to a Google form or Typeform in an email? Will you use a chat bot? Will you have a feedback form at checkout?
You’ll also want to assign a point person – someone who is in charge of monitoring the response and analyzing the data.
Finally, you’ll want to make sure you have a method for utilization of the data in strategy and implementation of your new messaging, marketing, or product development project.
What Questions Should I Ask?
The questions you ask will largely depend on your goals and intended outcomes of your survey campaign, as stated above. Here are some common questions for market research surveys:
- What age range do you fit into
- What industry are you in
- What is your annual income
- What are your top 3 favorite brands
- What is important to you in terms of products and services
- What is one of your biggest challenges
- What are some solutions to your biggest challenge you’ve explored
If you want a detailed list of the questions you should have on each type of commonly used surveys with templates for each, register for The Client Intelligence Code training.
Who Should I Ask To Participate In The Market Research Survey?
Invited participants should be those who are most likely to give you the insights you need for your biggest current business challenge or initiative. If you’re hosting an event, you may want to send a survey to attendees of previous events. If you’re creating new messaging or marketing strategy, you may want to conduct a market research study or send feedback surveys to past clients or consumers. If you’re working on developing a better brand culture or employee incentive package, you will want to send a survey to internal team members.
Think about who you are going to serve with the insights you gather and figure out who the best participants would be.
What To Do With The Survey Responses
Once you get all the responses to your surveys or reach a set cutoff date, you’ll want to analyze gathered survey responses.
Analyze the qualitative and quantitative data
Many survey tools have built in data measuring with visual elements for quantitative data.
For qualitative data, I use something I call the Magic Messaging system. Originally developed for client feedback surveys to identify key messages, I’ve applied the same system to other forms of surveys.
In short, you would gather the data sets into spreadsheets. Then, create “buckets” of data types you are looking for (For example, pain points, benefits, motivations, etc.) and assign a color for each. A team member, like an assistant or strategist, can then go in and highlight key bucket data.
You can identify repeating insights that are important to your audience and use them for your next initiative.
You can get a review of how I do this with real examples and a sample spreadsheet in The Client Intelligence Code training.
Read between the lines, connect the dots, and gather insights
Aside from the obvious statements in your “buckets,” you’ll also want to review the language carefully in your quantitative data. What are your respondents really saying? What could be driving their answers? What is the context around some of their statements and how can you use it to inform your insight gathering?
Find messaging from your respondents
One of the core methods for developing key messaging and copy for brands is to use the language your target audience uses. You’ll be able to use survey responses, in most cases, to inform your brand language. Even if this isn’t the goal of your survey campaign, you should take advantage of the data you have and use it effectively in many ways.
After identifying key language using the Magic Messaging system, you’ll want to develop messaging and organize it into types of language in a master document.
Share this document with your team, especially those responsible for marketing, content, copy, and advertising work. You’ll also want to save your original survey as you may want to use it again at some point in the future.