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Survey Says...

You've probably had many discussions with your business partners, co workers or even with yourself in which you try to answer questions you should really be asking your target market. Questions such as, “what design or logo looks best?” “If I extend my business hours, will people show up?” “Which word should I place in my business name, do people connect more to the term, “alternative” or “Eastern?” Often times you are too close to your business or brand to be able to provide a sufficient answer to these questions. It's important to know when it's time ask your audience because the ways in which your branding is perceived by others could play a vital role to the success of your business.

Surveys are a great way to gain insight into what your target market thinks about your brand, how much knowledge they have about your industry, how and when they use your product or service and much more. The answers will provide you a clear direction and could save you money. For example, perhaps your target doesn't understand what services an “Integrated Health Professional” has to offer, survey them to find out before you place this tag line or company name all over branded goods, marketing collateral and business cards.

Here is some additional advice and tips to keep in mind when you are creating a survey.

Keep it short, no one has time to answer multiple or lengthy questions, ten or less is a good number.

Keep it simple. Set up easy to respond to questions rather than, ranking or matrices or “place in order of.”

Leave room for questions which capture demographic information and place them at the end of the survey – Male/Female, Age Range and possibly an e-mail address. While all the other questions of your survey should be required to respond, these questions should be optional.

Keep the survey about your audience and make it personal. Rephrase, “Tell us about your greatest nutritional concern” to “My greatest concern about nutrition is:”

Keep your expectations realistic, 15 – 25% is an average response rate for surveys which don't offer an incentive, want a higher rate? Offer an incentive for completion such as a gift card.

Create a cover page. First thing first is to tell your audience the purpose of the survey, ensure that their answers will be kept confidential, estimate how long it will take them to complete and thank them for their time.

Keep your answers quantifiable. If you only ask one question such as “On a scale of one to ten (one being not at all and ten being excellent) I like my new eyeglasses ___” answers like six, seven and eight don't tell you much. Also, like what? How they fit, how they feel, how they look? Be specific.

Constant Contact, Survey Monkey, Survey Gizmo, and Facebook all offer some type of user friendly surveys.

Create a sense of urgency, keep your survey open for a week max to get your audience to complete the survey on time, this way you'll want to be able to collect and analyze your data and move on.

If you're creating a survey to measure the success of a product or service you provide ask for a review or testimonial which you can post on your website, in your marketing brochures or direct your audience to online review forums such as: Google Reviews, Yelp or Angie's List so they can easily rave about you to the public.

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