Today’s B2B marketers are in dire need of feedback – whether it’s from customers, salespeople or a sampling from a general target market. Surveys can be a great way to tap into a wide range of insights, and if you’re not using them in the marketing mix, get that survey monkey off your back and get going! They’re an easy, fast and proven way to generate data that can be leveraged to power future marketing decisions.
Survey 101 – Customer Satisfaction
Marketers have used customer satisfaction surveys for decades. However, in 2011, the blockbuster business bestseller The Ultimate Question 2.0: How Net Promoter Companies Thrive in a Customer-Driven World, rewrote the ‘book’ on tapping customer feedback. Written by loyalty experts Fred Reichheld and Rob Markey, the book outlined how the Net Promoter System® could be used to revolutionize the customer experience. Five years later, marketers around the globe are still turning to Net Promoter scores for insight.
Using surveys to measure customer satisfaction is certainly a ‘biggie’ – but there are many other ways marketers can use them. In recent months, Outlook Marketing has worked with our clients to use surveys in several innovative ways. Here are a couple of examples
- One retail client teamed with leading publication Innovative Retail Technologies (IRT) and research organization Retail Systems Research (RSR) on a survey designed to explore specific investments planned for point-of-sale (POS) hardware. The survey was a follow-on to research IRT conducted in late 2015, which identified printing hardware as a top priority in the coming year and queried a general sample of retail buyers (non-customers).
- The results are now being integrated into a full package of communications programs including an infographic, email campaigns and long-form content encompassing a research report, as well as short-form content such as Q&As, briefs and blogs. A news engine reporting the news and subsequent retail trending releases using the data are also planned.
- A transportation client involved in the shipping of hazardous goods conducted a survey of existing customers for their perspectives. Billed as an “Industry Confidence Survey,” the survey database targeted current users who could reply anonymously or provide contact info if they wanted to receive a final survey report.
- The questions were grouped in areas related to hazardous materials shipping processes, compliance-readiness and technology adoption. Respondents could rate their organizations as ‘forward thinking,’ ‘aligned with today’s requirements’ or ‘behind.’ Similar to the retail survey, Outlook worked with the client on a communications program to share the results.
- In the technology sector, during a strategic planning session with one of the world’s largest hardware providers, we recently discussed using surveys to gain insight from customers as part of a ‘Seed Unit’ program. The program allows the sales organization to give demo units to customers/prospects at no charge, in exchange for their review/feedback. The survey was explored as a great method to gain the customers’ perspective of the units, and ultimately, to help pave the way for new incremental sales.
Tips on Doing it Right
A recent SalesForce Pardot blog concurred with several of the use cases outlined above and suggested a few more. Some best practice tips were also included such as: 1) the importance of telling the audience why they’re taking the survey, 2) the length and 3) the offer or incentive.
So marketers, whether you are planning to go-to, grow or exit a market, don’t forget to consider surveys for valuable data that can help you justify your programs. Surveys not only deliver data, but in addition, the key takeaways from the data provide news you can use!
Author: Suzette Sexton, Senior Vice President, Outlook Marketing Services
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