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5 Ways to Use Surveys in Your B2B Marketing

As you may know, we recently announced that SurveyMonkey for Salesforce now integrates with Pardot. Since the announcement, we’ve understandably had surveys on the brain. That got us thinking: B2C companies are great at using surveys—perhaps most notably by asking for customer feedback on the bottom of every receipt. But how can B2B companies with longer sales cycles use similar tactics to their advantage?

If you’re considering using surveys in your B2B marketing strategy but aren’t sure where to start, have no fear! We’ve put together the following list of five tried-and-true survey types and how they can benefit your business.

1. Customer Satisfaction

Conducting quarterly or annual customer satisfaction surveys is a simple but effective way to show your clients you care. Of course, just hearing what they have to say isn’t enough. Make sure you take what you learn from the survey and put it into practice. Show them their input is being heard by keeping them in the loop when you make changes based on the surveys’ results.

Tip: Make sure your customers have an outlet to voice their feedback and ideas all year round, not just during a once-a-year survey. At Pardot, we created an Idea Exchange for our clients to share their ideas for product updates, and we keep them updated when a suggested feature is in progress.

2. Industry Research

An online study is more involved and costly than other types of surveys, but it can provide a wealth of benefits. Independent research can help position your company as a thought leader in your industry. Not only that, but the results of your survey will provide you with a ton of statistics and insights that you can use to create a variety of content, from white papers to infographics to videos. Finally, you can create a marketing campaign around your survey and see how many leads it generates and the eventual ROI of your survey efforts.

The best part? In the B2B world, there’s a market for virtually every topic you can imagine. Just do a quick Google News search for “industry reports” and you’ll find research on everything from the aerosal can industry to the growing SaaS market.

3. Content Feedback

Quantitative data like the number of views or downloads a piece of content has can only tell you so much about how people are responding to it. Consider surveying people who download your content to see where you can improve.

Be sure to give them time to read or watch the content before you follow up. One way to do this is to build the logic directly into your drip programs by pausing for a specified period of time after someone downloads your content, and then sending a follow-up survey. When it comes to webinars, some platforms ask viewers to fill out a brief survey immediately after the broadcast. You can take a similar approach with written content by including a “Give Feedback” call-to-action at the end.

Whichever route you take, be sure not to inundate your prospects and clients with feedback requests. Remember, their time is valuable; no one wants to spend ten minutes filling out a survey about every white paper they read.

4. Habits and Uses

Sometimes, the way people use your product doesn’t completely align with its intended use. By conducting a habits and uses survey, you can learn a couple valuable things:

  • How you can update your training resources so people better understand how to use your product as intended
  • The unusual ways people are “hacking” your product, and how to leverage these creative use cases in sales conversations and marketing materials

Tip: Not sure what kind of questions to ask in your habits and uses survey? This sample survey from QuestionPro can provide some guidance and inspiration.

5. Employee Feedback

As always, your coworkers are some of your best resources. Ask employees in other departments of your company to complete a short, anonymous survey to give their feedback on your team’s marketing efforts. They may have suggestions or concerns that your team has overlooked, but they may not know who to share those concerns with. This type of survey can be especially useful when it comes to better aligning with your sales team and improving sales enablement.

A Few More Tips

When you send out your survey (following CAN-SPAM requirements, of course), be sure to briefly explain why people should take it, how long it will take, and whether there’s an incentive for completing it. I don’t know about you, but I’m much more likely to take a survey if I know my name will be entered into a drawing to win a gift card or a new iPad. Finally, depending on the nature of the survey, you may want to ask respondents whether they’d like to receive the final results so they know their response will make a difference.

How do you use surveys in your B2B marketing strategy? We’re always looking for fresh ideas, so we’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments.

20 Tips for the Customer-Centric Marketer