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Planning a Consumer Survey

Author: Damon Za
by Damon Za
Posted: May 18, 2017

Consumer surveys can be a valuable tool in measuring your company's successes—and in identifying opportunities for you company to improve or reach new demographics. After all, there's nothing like the honest, anonymous opinion of a customer to paint a clear picture of exactly how you're doing.

Though a lot of brands and businesses turn to consumer surveys to gauge public opinion or seek feedback from customers, it's important to keep a few things in mind before you embark on a survey. Though a well-designed consumer survey can be a trove of highly valuable information, one that isn't very well thought through can turn up little to no valuable information; or worse, it can provide you with misleading information that can send you in the wrong direction. Here are a few things to keep in mind when designing a consumer survey.

What Are You Looking For?

You should have some goals in mind when designing the questions on your consumer survey. In other words, you should have an idea of the type of information you're looking for. Start by asking yourself what you're currently missing—are there assumptions that you've been making? Are you uncertain as to why a certain product or service has been successful or unsuccessful? Are you looking to test the waters with a new product? Don't waste your time asking questions that you don't need the answers to. Only seek information you are interested in or are lacking.

It's important to always consider how you are going to use the information. If customers are providing you with feedback, the expectation is that you'll act on it. And that's a good rule of thumb—if you aren't planning on using the information you receive through your consumer survey to change some part of your business, you don't need that information, so choose your questions carefully.

Who Is the Survey Going to?

There are a number of ways to distribute a consumer survey. You can direct your customers to a survey through a link on their receipt or in their inbox. You can advertise your survey to the general public. You can also hire a marketing firm to distribute a consumer survey to demographics that you want to hear from. Before making the decision of how to get your survey out there, ask yourself who you want to hear from and why. Don't collect information for the sake of it if you don't think you'll use it. Your best bet is to channel your resources into getting the audience you want to complete the survey instead of sending it out broadly. In other words, instead of paying for social media ads to advertise your survey to absolutely everyone, spend that money on narrow targeting and providing incentives to attract more of the right people.

Are the Questions Clear?

One of the biggest mistakes companies make in designing their consumer survey is writing sloppy questions. Make sure that the questions are very clear, don't ask more than one thing, and don't nudge the respondent in any one direction. Ask questions thoughtfully to avoid a bunch of down-the-middle responses.

Consumer surveys can be a valuable tool in bettering your business. The more thought you put into survey design, the better the results will be.

Kelton, a market research firm in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and London provides actionable strategic plans with a range of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies like brand tracking, customer journey mapping, market segmentation, concept testing, consumer surveys and many more. Visit KeltonGlobal for more info.

About the Author

iti Direct Mail offers direct mail marketing services to businesses and non-profits.

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Author: Damon Za

Damon Za

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United States

Member since: Dec 05, 2014
Total live articles: 15

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