How to Use Surveys in Marketing

Surveys are a marketer’s best friend, when they are used properly. Many of today’s marketers see surveys as a tool for “market research”, which exists outside the general realm of their jobs as marketers. But it is important to realize just how useful a good survey can be.

Today, let’s review three great uses of surveys in marketing:

1.       Surveying past customers

When someone purchases a product or service from your company, you should be collecting information from them that you can use to follow up. Part of that follow up should be in the form of a survey. When you survey past customers, you want to learn a couple of different things.

First, you want to know more about who they are (age, gender, income, interests) so that you can use their data to help find more people like them. Second, you want to know why and how they came to you (what did they need, what were they looking for, how did they find you). The answers to these questions can help you shape your marketing message and where you advertise. Finally, you want to know how satisfied they are (what could be improved, would they recommend you to a friend, do they plan to purchase from you again). This information can help you create better products and services that better serve the market you are in.

2.       Surveying non-customers

This is a little more difficult, but no less important. If you collect information from people before they buy from you, either with a lead form on your site or some kind of membership/account creation, then you have a list of people to survey. Otherwise, you can work with a market research group with access to the general public.

Surveying non-customers help you learn more about what the general needs of the market are. You want to ask people about your industry, who do they buy from, what do they like or not like about their experiences, how they make purchasing decisions, etc. This information can help you determine how to develop your competitive advantage and where to advertise to find more prospective customers.

Sometimes knowing why someone does not shop with you is as important as knowing why someone else does.

3.       Surveying website visitors

Not all website visitors are created equal. And when we are designing our sites, we need to think about what people are looking for and how they expect to find it. What better way to do that than asking them.

Create a short list of questions that you want to ask your visitors, such as “Did you find what you were looking for?” or “Do you find this page helpful?” and use a simple polling tool to add these questions to your site. Not everyone will answer them, but those that do will provide quality feedback that you can use to improve the user experience of your site.

Get started using surveys today. QuestionPro is a great survey tool that costs very little.