Remember the days when you used to get paper surveys in the mail seeking your input on a company’s product or service?
Yeah, me neither.
In all seriousness, traditional paper surveys are on the decline as online surveys surge forward to take their place. In the past, marketers were forced to use print or telephone surveys to get the data they needed. Now, we have the internet. Think about how much easier it is to collect data when all you need to do is distribute a link. That’s a heck of a lot simpler than printing hundreds of surveys, tracking down the addresses of your respondents, mailing them, and then hoping that your recipients actually have the motivation to send them back.
So what are the benefits of these newfangled online surveys, and what do b2b companies stand to gain by doing them?
Collect Data…In Real-Time
The purpose of doing an online survey is to collect data, as with any traditional survey. If you stumble across a topic that you want to do research on — whether it’s market research for your product or survey, or research into industry trends — you’ve found an opportunity to conduct a survey. The great thing about online surveys is that you can roll them out in almost no time at all. And once those results start flooding in, you can see real-time answers to your questions the second respondents hit the submit button.
Learn from Your Results
Surveys are great for collecting customer input about your product or service. Send one out every few months to gauge customer satisfaction, inquire into new feature ideas, learn how customers are using your product or service, and record any general feedback. The key is to take what you learn and put it into practice. Customers will be happy to see their input being put to good use.
Become a Thought Leader
If you conduct a survey about industry trends, you’ll find yourself holding a lot of valuable data in your hands. Chances are, other people in your industry are going to find it valuable too. Publishing your data with a thorough analysis of its implications will position you as a thought leader on that topic. For example, the CMO Council conducted a survey about mobile marketing strategies, which was then published on BtoB so that other marketers could benefit from their findings.
Turn Data into Lots (& Lots) of Content
If you do choose to publish your survey results, get creative with the kinds of content you can produce! Not only can you publish your data in a press release, but you can also turn it into a blog post (or perhaps a series of posts, depending on how much data you have). People love visuals, so consider creating graphs, charts, or infographics like the one here: “The Changing Role of Email Marketing.”
As you can see, you can gain a lot from a simple survey — without any significant investments in time or money. What is your experience conducting online surveys? Let us know in the comments!
If you have a few spare minutes, check out the survey that we’re currently running on content marketing.