When it comes to market research, a survey is a great place to start. You can gain insights about your brand reputation, your target market, and so much more. And the same survey can also drive your product roadmap, provide you with marketing content to generate leads, and inform your sales messaging.
Take it away, Nis!
At Alpha UX, a user insight platform for enterprise product managers, we help product managers better understand how their users interact with digital products. We’re always exploring new strategies for helping our customers understand their users even better.
But we’re not just trying to find out where to prioritize changes to our own product. We also spend a lot of time marketing and selling to massive corporations, mostly by showing them that it’s important to value the customer experience—particularly before developing and launching a product.
Recently, we found a great way to not only develop our own product, but also to hone our marketing messaging and create sales collateral: with a market research survey. Done effectively, market research surveys can be one of your highest-performing business tactics in terms of ROI.
Using SurveyMonkey, we launched a survey aiming to find out more about product managers’ everyday triumphs and struggles, as well as to find out which experiments product managers are currently attempting to run on their own. What we found out is already yielding great insights regarding our product roadmap, sales messaging—and is helping us generate great content and gather leads.
A cost-effective way to talk to our demographic
To get product managers to take our survey, we ran an ad on LinkedIn promoting a raffle for a $200 charitable donation for their participation. In addition, we promised every respondent the resulting report after we compiled and illustrated the findings.
We targeted product managers in a wide variety of industries and company sizes. The average cost-per-click (CPC) of the ad variants was $3.02 and about ⅓ of the clicks converted into completed surveys. In all, the 106 responses we aggregated cost just over $1,200 including the $200 raffle winnings.
Now let’s see how far that investment went! (Keep in mind, it’s been less than three weeks since we released the report.)
Building a better product roadmap
Our product team is constantly working to optimize our roadmap and prioritize features to work on and release
Our target market consists of product managers at organizations with more than $1B in revenue, but we were able to filter out those who don’t match that criteria with ease. (You’ll see later why we even surveyed product managers outside our market.)
Here’s what we found.
By a pretty significant margin, product managers are most commonly running in-person interviews and focus groups. This information is helpful because while we don’t offer the ability to run focus groups, we can run in-person interviews at scale.
In planning our next release, we’ll focus on in-person interview capabilities. Not only in the product, but in our sales and marketing efforts as well.
There are a number of ways in which a market research survey helps our sales team. Here are just two.
Our sales team tests different messaging and value propositions to see what sticks and what doesn’t. We have long hypothesized that the reason product managers use our platform is because their Research and Development (R&D) teams are difficult to coordinate with or lack the capability to rapidly experiment with product concepts.
After analyzing and categorizing open-ended answers from our survey, it turns out that while R&D limitations constitute a major obstacle for enterprise product managers, it is far from their biggest challenge:
By far, internal processes, also known as bureaucracy, is the biggest challenge for enterprise product managers. That’s key to know because our platform offers complete autonomy. But now we know that we should tailor our messaging to emphasize autonomy. So far, according to our sales team, the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.
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Second, remember how we promised to send our survey respondents a report on our findings? When we sent the final report (including a one-pager on our company) to the respondents, more than half a dozen requested product demos. It’s too early to say what the return on those requests alone will be, but if just one converts to a user for a single month, it will pay for the entire report twice over.
The ultimate content marketing tactic
Earlier I mentioned that we surveyed product managers slightly out of our target market. That’s because even though they may not be immediately useful for product and sales decisions, the data from their responses may be important to other product managers. Often, tactics in product management begin with startups and move upward, and vice versa.
We compiled the data from the research and packaged it into a blog post, whitepaper behind a landing page, and infographic. Again, it’s been less than 3 weeks since we publicly released our whitepaper, but here’s the latest count on lead generation efforts:
Mind you, that is, as of yet, from entirely unpaid promotion and referrals. (It’s received almost no organic traffic yet.) Furthermore, nearly 30% of those leads were in our target market, meaning more than 150 qualifiable enterprise product managers downloaded the report. It’s too early to begin calculating an exact ROI, but most content marketers would be pretty happy with those initial results.
I hope I’ve illustrated just how valuable a single market research survey can be for your organization. If done correctly, market research surveys aren’t just helpful for C-suite to set the direction of a company. In addition to that, they can fuel and enlighten your product, sales, and marketing teams as well. I’ll make sure to update our results and calculate a final ROI in the comments section in the coming weeks and months.
Want to tell us your survey success story? Get in touch with us here. And make sure to revist this post to see how Alpha UX continues to grow.