How to Develop a Killer Online Marketing Survey

For a small business, internet marketing surveys can lead to insights that drastically improve your brand’s offerings. A marketing survey is one of the most important and helpful tools you use do for your business. Surveys can be used for anything from determining pricing for a new service launch, testing new product names, determining your business’s place in the competitive landscape, or changing your brand’s logo or color scheme. Marketing consultants charge big bucks to create surveys but if your budget is tight, here’s how to do it yourself.

Develop the right questions.
Focus on your business’s main priorities and draft questions regarding specific initiatives. Are you launching an upcoming new product or service? Are you wondering if you can charge more for your services? Are you deciding whether to shorten or change your company name? Are certain services you offer not getting enough attention and you want to know why? Specific, pointed questions will yield useful answers for your business. General or vague questions will get you nowhere.

Phrase your questions in a conversational tone.
Keep your writing informal but to the point. A survey is more fun for the responder if its language has some character and personality. A marketing survey written in an elevated tone can inhibit its effectiveness. Ask straightforward questions and you will get straightforward answers.

Keep it short.
Responders are willing to help you by taking your marketing survey but competition for their time and attention is at a premium. Isolate the most important questions on your brainstorm list that will generate helpful insights for your business right now and shelve the rest.

Make it easy to complete.
Online survey software like SurveyMonkey and FluidSurveys offer easy tools to assist your survey-takers. Use check boxes, radio buttons, or sliders as interactive features. Use a progress bar to show survey-takers how close they are to completion. Ask one question at a time and avoid questions that can have multiple or contradictory answers (Ex. “Do you like our price and our logo?”)

Leave room for comments.
Some responders will use the comments box; some will leave it blank. Once you have greased the wheels by asking the most important questions, some responders will be inspired to give their opinions on additional topics you might not have considered. This can be valuable information for now or in the future.

Offer incentives.
This is an old trick that all big marketing consultants use because they know it works. Setting aside a budget for responder incentives will ensure that your potential clients will actually read your marketing survey. Small incentives like a $5 gift card to a local coffee shop are great options. Or, offer to automatically enter all survey participants into a raffle for a bigger prize like a tablet reader, a bottle of fine champagne, or a free dinner at an upscale restaurant.

Don’t forget demographics.
Basic demographic information will help you contextualize your survey responses. At the very least, ask participants to submit their gender and age. Other useful information includes:

  • Responder’s industry
  • Responder’s occupation/role at the company
  • Number of employees at the company
  • Number of years responder has worked at their company

This will help you identify trends and focus your directives toward the type of clients you specifically want to target.

Too few businesses use online marketing surveys when determining new strategies. By developing a survey with the right questions, you can save your company from implementing new initiatives that don’t resonate with your customers. By following the suggestions listed above, you’ll narrow down your focus and get a sense if you’re on the right track before you get too far down the wrong path.


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