Ten reasons why online surveys are the future of marketing

by Martin Day - Date: 2006-11-13 - Word Count: 831 Share This!

Customers are tough cookies. They're extremely media aware and increasingly cynical – it's a clever marketeer who can get under their skin. Online surveys reinvent the traditional format and offer a unique way of interaction – all the benefits of the internet without the programming. Here are ten reasons why they may be the silver bullet marketeers' need, complete with examples supplied by Martin Day, managing director of Survey Galaxy - one of a new breed of websites making online surveys quicker and cheaper

1. It's cheap as buttons
Select the right survey website and creating surveys can be free of any charge and the cost to publish is minimal.
Useful information harvested from surveys can be reused and repackaged in other marketing and PR for use in press outlets making it a very efficient form of information gathering.

2. It's easy peasy
Anyone can develop an online survey. Survey sites allow people who are interested in the benefits of surveys, rather than technicalities, to side-step the required programming skills and create relevant up-to-the-minute surveys, instantly – surveys that are even easier to complete than they are to make.

3. Anyone can play
Once the survey is online it's a simple step to promote it, either through email (with a link enclosed), via a link from a website or referenced by other forms of advertising. Anyone who has the link can be connected instantly to the survey, at a time that's convenient to them, 24x7.

4. We've all got an opinion – and we like to give it
Customers like surveys – they're not seen as spam, but as an empowering opportunity to make their voice heard and a chance to have an impact on a brand. They can be particularly good for broaching sensitive subjects with concerned employees; a survey asking a workforce on their opinion of change allows the key issues to be raised in a positive manner and encourages employee participation. Online surveys allow the message to reach each individual and invite feedback in a manageable form.

5. Get inside their heads
You can lead a customer to an advertisement but you can't make them think. Surveys actively engage the respondent, who think about the question before giving their response.

6. Beautiful relationships start here
It needn't all end at the end of the survey – while you have their attention and are in the mood you can ask if they want to sign up for more information or a regular newsletter – making the most of the window when you have their interest.

7. If you like this, you'll love…
Perhaps one of the strongest elements in a survey is the ability to make inspired or useful connections instantly to other areas. By including links within the survey to websites that offer detailed information you are able to reinforce the marketing message.

8. Subtly does it
Surveys can be used to associate a product with positive attributes. By listing the many features of a product and asking the respondent how important they are, regardless of their response, the product will be associated with the features; if they are rated as important the positive impact is endorsed by the customer.

9. It's not just about selling
A survey is an effective, quick and easy method to promote and gain acceptance for a difficult proposal; maybe a public body trying to gain acceptance and support for a particular scheme.
Take the example of a city trying to gain support from the general public for their bid to host a future Olympic Games. A survey can explain each benefit putting the respondent in a much better position to appreciate what the real advantages are that might just combat any negative headlines. As well as promoting the cause, useful feedback is gained that can be used to fine tune the overall marketing strategy.

10. Fresh topics engage interest
Thinking laterally a lively and imaginative approach to surveys can provide the 'hook' to engage respondents. The survey subject can be focused towards a particular group on a subject close to theirs hearts. The survey's marketing message can take the form of a simple brand awareness message by stating that 'this survey was sponsored by brand name', or by finding a link from the subject matter to the product – something that is surprisingly easy and highly effective.

Discover the benefits of including in your website a Public Survey section as many people who enjoy completing crosswords and doing word puzzles enjoy completing surveys. Having a public survey notice board as part of a website is a low cost and automated method that helps to increase traffic and establish a loyal and returning following. Unlike discussion boards there is no opportunity for people to disrupt the site by inappropriate remarks as the survey results are displayed in summary form enabling them to dispense with moderators and maintenance.

Many of the techniques and a few more are contained in the following sample survey.

Sample Survey

Martin Day is a Director of Survey Galaxy Ltd a web site that allows anyone to create, design and publish online surveys. For more information please visit http://www.surveygalaxy.com

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