Google recently made a great case for the claim that a strong media plan and a solid creative campaign aren’t enough for online marketing anymore. In the Think With Google article “Why Brand Marketing Needs a New Formula,” Google advocates for the use of data to make brand marketing campaigns connect with the target audience.
Think With Google uses the example of Android Wear to discuss how leveraging data helped marketers enhance user experience with the app. The branding team incorporated data about local landmarks, weather, and restaurants to make the new brand pop with consumers.
Other Think With Google examples include Nest testing TV spots to learn where to run ads promoting second-screen, TV-to-digital behaviors, and TrueView data-based campaigns aimed at reaching YouTube subscribers. Clearly, using data can make your marketing campaign impact your targeted audience in a new and very specific way.
That sounds great, right? But where do you actually find the data you need?
Using Surveys to Access Marketing Data
To find market research data that helps you connect with your end users, you need to go to those end users. One of the best ways to do that is by using customer surveys. Surveys can help you measure brand awareness and customer satisfaction.
The goal of your surveys is to collect valuable data regarding your customers’ attitudes and expectations, including their attitudes about the products or services you’re selling. They will help you learn how your core customers are using your products to help you extend the need for what you provide, and they can show you how you measure up to your competitors.
Let’s take a closer look at how you can use surveys to find the data you need.
Start by identifying the target audience for your branding or marketing campaign.
Do you want to know more about the audience you’re already serving? Or are you looking to expand your brand’s reach to an untapped pool of customers?
The way you will approach these audiences is different. We’ll talk about reaching your existing customers first.
Contact Your Existing Customers Via Email
If you want to find data from your existing audience, your task is, not surprisingly, a little more straightforward. Start with the customer email list you already have, and narrow down your objectives before you design or send out any surveys. For example, do you want to learn how your products are being received in a specific geographic region? Then narrow down your survey outreach to that location.
Surveys using your customer email list are also a great choice when you want to assess customer response to a new product. This type of survey can reveal a lot about whether your customers think your products meet or exceed their expectations and whether they’re performing as they should.
Especially with high-end products, you want to know right away if the product you’re marketing isn’t what your customers expected to receive, so you can make any mid-course corrections in either production or your marketing campaign.
Use Social Media to Reach Your Current Customers
It can take multiple outreach attempts to get a response from customers via email, so don’t stop there. Your customers are also waiting for you, ready with data that can help you, all over social media.
Work across all the major social media networks to reach the broadest range of customers. Facebook is the most ubiquitous social media network, so it’s a must-have for any brand marketing survey campaign. But don’t neglect the other giants in the social media world: Twitter and LinkedIn. Twitter skews a bit younger, and LinkedIn is more appropriate for business-related marketing, so choose accordingly.
Look also for the niche social networks that apply to your specific business and campaign. Catster and Dogster are the places to go if you’re marketing pet supplies or services, and DeviantArt attracts tens of millions of artists each month. If you’re in the world of real estate or local resources, you should check out NextDoor, and if beer is your company’s thing, Untappd is a priceless social media resource. No matter what your product, you can probably find a niche social network where your marketing efforts belong.
Just posting your survey on a social media network and sitting back with an attitude if “If you build it, they will come,” isn’t enough however. Repost your survey regularly, since the algorithms used by different social networks may keep your target audience from seeing it right away. Consider paying to promote your survey, or offer an incentive for taking the survey.
How to Collect Data From People Who Aren’t Yet Your Customers
If you’re not reaching the new target audience you want via social media, consider bringing a panel company into your data acquisition campaign. Panel companies tend to specialize by industry or geographic area, so look for one that’s well-positioned to collect the data you need.
Panel companies conduct surveys on your behalf by recruiting targeted respondents who are willing to share a great deal of demographic information. This information in turn lets you filter the available pool of respondents to make sure you’re reaching the right audience with your survey.
Using a panel company is a convenient way to get your data-collecting survey out there, especially if you don’t have the resources to wrangle the outreach efforts in-house. Typically, because these companies know their stuff, you get a high response rate quickly, so you can move on to analyzing the data right away. This is also a great solution if you want longitudinal data, since panel respondents can agree in advance to do follow-up surveys.
Market Research and Data Collection for Brand Marketing
Large-scale marketing data can make a huge difference when you’re launching a branding campaign. Now that you know how surveys can help you find the data you need, the next step is deciding what kind of survey to create. It’s not as difficult as it sounds.
Check out the 6 types of market research surveys that smart marketers use.
These words of wisdom from SurveyGizmo will help you track brand awareness and usage, your target audience’s attitudes and expectations, and potential customers’ intent to purchase, which in turn helps you make smart decisions about your current and future marketing campaigns.