“45% of marketing leaders are using their unique knowledge and understanding of customers to lead customer experience initiatives across the business.” (Source: Salesforce)

“87 percent of survey-takers want to have a say in a company’s future products and services.” (Source: Vision Critical)

“Response rates can soar past 85% when the respondent population is motivated and the survey is well-executed.”

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What Is a Marketing Survey?

A marketing survey is a type of survey that researches and analyzes the specific market of a product or service. This includes the study of consumer behavior and buying potential, as well as the strategies that marketers could incorporate into their campaigns to get the best response from their audience. But understanding customers, companies, and competitors can be tough without sufficient data to draw a conclusion. Apart from asking the right set of questions, you also need to design a survey that produces higher completion rates and reliable survey results.

50+ Marketing Survey Examples, Format, Templates in PDF, Word

Types of Marketing Surveys

A company’s excellent ability to understand and react to the needs of their customers is usually a product of extensive research. Marketers are not mind readers; they can’t determine the root cause of a problem by studying the sales volume alone. An in-depth analysis of what a company can and is expected to offer its customers may unravel the implications of these facts and figures. Current methods of surveying customers have made it possible for marketers to achieve this goal, which typically involves choosing the right type of marketing survey for your business needs.

Market Investigation Surveys: See where you currently stand in the marketplace. How are you doing against leading competitors? Has your market grown since you first started? An investigation survey enables you to discover relevant information in regards to the size and market share of the current market. Good survey results should provide an overview of the situation at hand for you to develop better marketing strategies as you move forward.Market and Customer Profiling Surveys: Mere assumptions won’t get you far in your journey. To aim your efforts to the right audience, a profiling survey must be designed to gather key demographic information about a particular group. Marketers often use this survey to identify the best customers for their business, as well as their shared interests and demographic details. Based on this profile, you can easily decide on strategies and tactics that satisfy the needs of the specified consumer group. Purchasing Tracking Surveys: Customers go through various stages of the purchasing process. From being introduced to a product to actually buying it from the store, this survey gives you a better outlook on customer opinions and experiences that may affect their repurchasing decision. Customers that have their doubts about your product and find themselves sitting on the fence with their decision still have the chance of becoming a repeat customer. The survey findings should help you decide on the right approach to the said scenario. Customer Motivation Surveys: What makes a person go from hearing about your business to being interested in what you have to offer? Guiding prospects down the sales pipeline is one of the biggest challenges of marketing. Uncovering the factors that affect customer motivations is essential to understanding the key principles of buying behavior and customer loyalty.Customer Expectations and Attitudes Surveys: The purpose of this marketing survey is to measure the inevitable changes in consumer attitudes and expectations. These changes occur due to several factors that are often beyond a marketer’s control. Here, open-ended questions are used to dig deeper into the matter and probe underlying reasons that marketers may not be aware of. A survey of consumer attitudes and behavior also makes it easier to assess the sudden shifts in the market and to forecast these changes before they lead to a drastic fall in market sales. Customer Retention Surveys: If a customer has a positive experience with your business, they might want to buy your products or services again. But just because someone thinks positively about your business doesn’t mean you have them wrapped around your finger. To establish customer loyalty, retention efforts are conducted throughout the buyer-seller relationship. Gathering important data through a survey will help you identify areas of dissatisfaction among customers and develop a plan to keep them. New Product Demand Surveys: How many times have you tried responding to a survey involving a consumer questionnaire for a new product or service? Companies only invest in new business ventures as long as the market demand for it is significant. If the marketing survey results indicate an outstanding demand for a particular product or service, company leaders will take this information into account as they finalize their investment.

How to Administer a Successful Marketing Survey

Marketing surveys are done to help identify the strengths and weaknesses of your campaign decisions, strategies, product releases, and customer service efforts. They collect useful insights on the feelings, attitudes, and preferences of your target market to test and launch new strategies that will solidify your brand position and customer satisfaction. All these can be achieved by conducting a marketing survey that works.

Step 1: Set a Goal

When starting your marketing research and survey, you need to set a clear objective. Define your reason for doing the survey as well as the information you want to uncover. The only way for you to move forward with your marketing plan is if you can design a survey that is goal-oriented. This will keep you focused on a certain outcome as you seek answers from your respondents.

Step 2: Determine Which Market to Survey

In business, all your efforts are geared toward capturing a customer’s attention, driving engagement, and making a sale. But it’s important to identify a distinct group of people to target, as not everyone may benefit from or be interested in what you have to offer. Potential customers are generally narrowed down based on their age, gender, income level, and other demographics that make them unique. A research survey that contains a hyper-targeted account is bound to generate precise information for your study.

Step 3: Know What You Need to Investigate

This will depend on what you want to attain by the end of the day. One marketing survey example would be a product development survey. If you want to find out how you can get ahead of the competition, the survey that you administer may produce important data to help refine your current offers and meet the exact needs of a buyer. Keep in mind that quality data can only be obtained if you can manage to squeeze the right answers out from your respondents. Who knows, it might even reveal some precious insights on areas of your business which you’ve never looked into before.

Step 4: Consider an Efficient Way to Obtain Answers

Thanks to advancements in technology, surveys are no longer exclusive to telephone interviews and print forms. The rise of the Internet has allowed surveys to be carried out through online research questionnaires and one-on-one interviews. The latter is often done with the help of a mobile app to help hasten the process. It’s always best to consider the most effective way to get your answers in regards to the right method and platform for data collection.

Step 5: Understand How to Conduct the Survey Effectively

A strategically constructed survey will be nothing if it isn’t administered properly. You know what you seek for, who to reach out to, and how to gather this survey data. All that there is left to do is to find the best way to maximize your sample size. This means reaching out to people at the right time and place to make sure that your survey does what it’s supposed to do. Learn more about the platform you are using, the behavior of respondents, and the best time to conduct your survey by doing your homework beforehand.

Marketing Survey vs. Marketing Questionnaire

If you’ve mistakenly used these two terms interchangeably before, you’re not alone. The difference between a marketing survey and a marketing questionnaire lies in their exact functions. For one, a questionnaire is a tool used in qualitative and quantitative research to gather information from a participant through a series of pre-determined questions. Although questionnaires are considered to be an integral part of a survey, surveys aren’t always the main intention behind a questionnaire. Surveys, on the other hand, refer to the process of collecting data for statistical analysis. It is a customary form of research due to how questions are typically close-ended than in free form.

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The Dos and Don’ts of Marketing Surveys

You’re on a mission to find, track, and utilize the right data to improve your business. Market research surveys can be a challenge to do due to how targeted they are to a specific purpose and audience. Fortunately, well-planned surveys have great potential to expand your business and widen your reach. Knowing the steps on how to create a marketing survey won’t be enough to generate the desired results, as you also need to educate yourself on how to prepare, conduct, and review a great marketing survey.

What to Do

1. Do share your motives.

Be frank with your respondents. When people make it to your survey, they’ll want to know what it is for and how they could be of help. You can indicate that the survey was created to gather consumer insights for product improvement or that the survey was simply designed to crowdsource client demands. They’ll surely appreciate it if you’re honest with your intentions.

2. Do consider timing. 

If you approach someone who is in the middle of doing something, they’ll likely decline your request to participate in the survey. Those who do agree might even feel the need to respond to your survey out of courtesy, providing you with honest but hurried answers. Timing is everything when you want to collect valuable data from respondents. For B2C surveys distributed via email, studies have found that email surveys sent between 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM get higher response rates.

3. Do make it quick and simple. 

Don’t risk losing a person’s attention by writing wordy questions. Nobody wants to waste 15-minutes on a survey when they could have done something more productive with their time. You can try using close-ended questions such as multiple choice and rating scales instead. Although open-ended questions are suitable for acquiring feedback, you’d want to limit this type of questions as they can be time-consuming to complete and do require a manual interpretation.

4. Do speak the language of your audience.

To communicate effectively with respondents, you need to show that you understand them and value their input. You need to make it seem like you relate to your audience, their sentiments, and their suggestions. Avoid using acronyms or technical jargon that the average person may not be familiar with. The secret is to convince them to answer the survey with dedication and honesty to ensure that their responses can make a positive impact on your study.

5. Do ask the right questions.

Ironically, knowing what to ask is often the trickiest part. Think about how customers may help you improve your products, services, or marketing strategies. Every customer has an opinion that could change the course of your operations for the better, so you need to make sure your questions are targeted toward that goal. Also, you don’t end up asking the wrong thing. Some questions may be construed as offensive, even if you aren’t using derogatory language to convey your message. Thus, questions must be worded properly for better communication.

What Not to Do

1. Don’t be afraid to go offline. 

A digital marketing survey done online might be a convenient option for obvious reasons, but that doesn’t mean you should restrict yourself to what’s efficient. Sometimes the most conventional methods are also the most rewarding. Engaging with respondents face-to-face or over the phone allows you to connect with your audience on a personal level. While this may affect the way you collate and analyze information, you’re likely to get more in-depth data on the subject at hand.

2. Don’t get familiar.

Your attempts to sound relatable is not an excuse to get too friendly with respondents. It’s important to treat these people with respect through your tone and choice of words. Clients are clients — not friends. There’s a fine line between being courteous when you communicate and being too forward as you approach participants.

3. Don’t be inconsistent. 

Consistency in language and design can greatly improve response rates and minimize the number of drop-outs in your survey. The way you structure your survey will help guide participants through the different stages of the process without trouble. This will also make it easier for respondents to move through questions at a faster time.

4. Don’t be afraid of criticisms and feedback. 

You never know when a participant will have more to say than what’s already provided in your options. Giving people the opportunity to respond freely to your questions allows them to expand their answers with insightful ideas. Feedback and constructive criticisms are essential for you to grow. If the majority of your survey respondents are unsatisfied with your latest product offer, the data from the questionnaire will help you decide whether to revamp your entire strategy or pull out the product before further losses are incurred. Additional comments can often be an advantage in a survey despite requiring more time and effort to analyze.

5. Don’t do something that’s already been done. 

Why would you want to get answers to a question that has already been asked many times before? The great thing about living in the digital age is that you can find the answer to just about anything online. The Internet probably stores enough data to create a series of encyclopedias for the next thousand years. That means starting from scratch isn’t a practical move unless you’re seeking for an updated version of these studies. You can also make your marketing survey questions more specific to your objective by studying similar discoveries and adapting these questions to your survey.

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After you’ve decided on the type of information you want to dig up, you can then begin structuring your marketing survey. Save time by downloading a marketing survey template and personalizing its contents to satisfy your objectives. Through the survey template and the guidelines provided, you can get started with your investigation on the right foot.