Marketing Tips: Using surveys for research

Guest post by Tamsin Fox-Davies, Enthuse marketing.

When creating new products and services in my business, I don’t want to go just on anecdotal evidence. I want to put together some real stats from genuine entrepreneurs to know that there is a need and a market for what I would like to offer..So that’s why I use online surveys to gather feedback and avoid costly mistakes.

I’ll show you how you can put surveys of your own together below.You can use surveys for all sorts of things:
·    Post project/order feedback
·    ‘Taking the temperature’ of your market
·    Defining your pricing
·    Staff satisfaction
·    Getting information on your market for articles and press releases
·    Finding out what your customers are specifically looking for in terms of features or services
·    …And lots more.

There are different ways to do a survey. You can call people on the phone, have paper feedback forms sent out with your product or invoices, or you can create an online survey and email the link to potential respondents. This last option is one of the quickest, easiest and cheapest. To get started, sign up for the account of your choice and watch the tutorial or quick start guide. This will save you many headaches later. Figure out what you want your questions to be before you start with the software though! This is actually the hardest bit. You need to keep the questions clear and concise. Give example answers where necessary and use multiple choices where you can (easier for people to complete and for the results to be analysed).

When you have completed your questionnaire, get someone to test it, to make sure it’s not too difficult or time consuming to complete. Then you have to invite people to complete it. You may have to ask more than once, but that’s okay as long as you don’t pester people every 5 minutes.The best way to ask people to complete your survey is to:
1.    Tell them what it is (e.g. customer satisfaction survey, article research)
2.    Tell them what it’s for (e.g. to help you develop better products, create a report)
3.    Tell them how long it’s going to take them to complete (e.g. 5 questions, 15 minutes)
4.    Give an incentive for taking part (e.g. free copy of the results, prize draw entry)

Guest post by Tamsin Fox-Davies, my fellow Athena member and Small Business Marketing Mentor. She offers free weekly marketing tips delivered to your Inbox. You can find out more about Tamsin on her website, or follow her on Twitter.

  • I’ve tried taking surveys before to make some cash on-line (my first on-line venture), but I failed miserably. Not that I failed to do them correctly, but the site I used was a scam. Lesson learned.