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Researching your marketplace is not a new concept but it is still a very important one.

Many businesses, including small businesses, may not have the financial resources to engage a professional market research company. But armed with a targeted survey concept and an online survey strategy any business of any size can gain valuable information to help develop a penetrating marketing message.

  1. What do you ask
    Design a survey around what is of value and importance to customers. Ask questions  like “How valuable to your business is ABC?” and “How important is it to you?
  2. What not to ask
    Do not ask questions directly about your own business. You won’t get honest answers.
  3. How many questions do you ask?
    Only ask 8 – 10 questions, and never more than 12.
  4. Check the questions
    What do you REALLY want to find out? It is important not to waste any question. You only have 8 to 10 questions. Is is important to know the persons gender and age?
  5. Target both current customers and new customers
    Ask both customers and potential customers who fit your ideal client profile. This is your target audience.
  6. Be personal
    Talk to the person. Write the questions in a friendly and personal way. This will help engage them.
  7. Look for threads or consistencies in the responses
    Annalise and review the responses. There should be 4 to 6 ‘key attributes’ revealed. These should reflect what you really wanted to find out in the survey.
  8. Marketing messages
    These findings will help you form the basis for your new marketing messages. Remember don’t try to develop one marketing message that encompasses every person develop messages for your different markets and target them.
  9. Marketing mix
    There are many different avenues you can use to market to people. Use a variety of these to send your marketing messages but ensure brand consistency.
  10. One size doesn’t fit all
    Depending on your business and the number of customers you have, you can develop surveys with different purposes. Each survey can have a specific purpose and desired outcome.

With the the cost of an online survey being considerably less than a mail survey you can really get to understand your customers and engage with them.