Marketers are understandably focused on growth and the future. Where do we want to be in two years' time? How many email subscribers will we have in six months from now? How long until we are number one in our industry?
To plan for the future one must figure out exactly where you are right now. And who could be better to give you an honest appraisal of your current position than your existing audience?
Many businesses are acutely aware they are in need of a brand new marketing strategy. Perhaps Business X has been focused primarily on manufacturing for a number of years and they now want to switch to a more consumer-facing model. Rather than plucking a new strategy out of thin air there is probably a great deal they could learn from their existing audience.
A simple way to gather this information is a customer survey. A survey allows marketers to ask key questions that will directly inform marketing strategy. Some tips:
1. Offer a Good Incentive
The whole point of conducting a survey is to get a decent response rate. By not offering anything of real value you run the risk of getting few responses, meaning the whole effort will be a colossal waste of time.
When considering what type of incentive to employ use your common sense and think about what's attractive to your customer, not what's attractive to you (i.e. an actual prize rather than a mere discount code). Real data is invaluable so be sure to make the investment.
2. Keep It Simple
Don't try and cover too many areas with your survey. You want to use the data to help you make a couple of key decisions. If there are several areas of your business that require revamping perhaps plan several surveys over the course of a few months rather than trying to cover off everything in a single questionnaire.
3) Ask the Right Questions
Put together your proposed questions and let a few other people take a look at them. Ensure your questions are clear and that they only ask one thing at at time. If they are vague and ambiguous this will only result in confusion and scattered data.
4) Follow Up
With every survey you are bound to get a few amazing responses (particularly to open-ended questions) that will illuminate things in a brand new light. If a respondent has a very unique take on a problem that's been nagging you there's no reason why you shouldn't follow up with them with a direct email. If this person has taken the time to fill out your survey there's no reason why they wouldn't want to help you further.
Are you interested in conducting a customer survey but have no idea where to begin? Feel free to get in touch with me directly and I'll be happy to discuss how Bobsled Marketing can help you better understand your audience.