5 ways you can use surveys to make smarter business decisions

All companies can agree that customer satisfaction is critical to success. But keeping people coming back is tough. That often leaves businesses asking one vital question: How do we know what people want?

A lot of time is spent trying to predict consumer behavior and evaluate market trends. But given that customers are your best resource, why not ask them?

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Today’s leading marketers know that data-driven insights are marketing gold. That said, fewer than 40% of marketers are using consumer research to drive decisions.1

In the past, conducting consumer research was often costly and time consuming. The process of finding a few simple answers with traditional research methods could delay your team’s progress for months.

That’s not the case anymore. With online surveying tools like Google Surveys, high-quality market research can be easy and cost effective, and provide the answers you need in just a couple of days. And most importantly, surveys help alleviate guesswork. Here are five ways you can use surveys to inform your next business decision.

1. Test creative before launching a campaign

Developing a marketing campaign can be a huge (and expensive) undertaking. Help your creative team feel more confident that they’re heading in the right direction — and even let them take more risks with content — by first creating a survey to try out different versions of creative and gauge the reaction of your audience.

2. Spot trends early

The digital world moves fast. Will the latest craze be a passing trend, or is it here to stay? It’s likely your digital team has thoughts about the latest trends. Let your team test their hunches and put data behind their ideas, while also uncovering early insights about where your industry is heading. For instance, the travel industry is constantly evaluating trends. As such, the consumer insights team at Orbitz uses surveys to understand how their customers think and feel in near real time. “We’re able to come up with a question, and within 24 hours, have an answer,” said Stacey Symonds, senior director for consumer insights at Orbitz.

3. Understand different customer groups

Knowing your audience is key to making marketing magic happen. You need to know who your customers are and what they like to create messages relevant to them. Survey data gives you the ability to uncover insights about specific groups of customers, such as people in a certain age group or who live in a particular geographic area. Or, if you don’t know who your ideal audience is just yet, surveys can help you with that too.

4. See what people think of your competition

Consumer research can mean more than just asking questions about your brand or product. It can also help you gain a deeper understanding of other businesses in your area and of the market you’re operating in. You can even learn more about your industry in general.

5. Get feedback on new product ideas

Developing a new product line or thinking about branching out with a new concept for your brand? No great business move comes without some amount of risk. Minimize those risks by testing the waters first with a survey of your customers.

Whether you’re looking for direction on a new product line or wondering about behavior trends in your industry, surveys provide the ability to uncover consumer insights and make informed, data-driven business decisions using information that’s directly from the people that matter most — your customers.

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