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5 examples of how to grow your company faster with DIY market research

How to do market research online for DIY business growth.

How can I grow my company’s sales faster? How can I know more about my market and the competition? Where can I find more potential customers?

Many growing companies and small businesses face these dilemmas every day, not knowing that the solution is within their reach.

Companies can answer all of those questions conducting their own market research—something that in the past only experts did. And here I bring you 5 examples to prove it.

If you are a small business owner, entrepreneur, or even a team member in a growing company, you may have thought for a long time that market research was something only big corporations did. After all, who has the budget, the expertise, and the time to conduct market research? And honestly, how to do market research has long been a mystery to many.

Here's the funny thing, though.

These days, pretty much anyone can create, launch, and analyze market research surveys with a little bit of online help and a survey panel solution like our own SurveyMonkey Audience, which enables you to reach your ideal survey respondents.

Our 5 examples show that, when in the hands of small- and medium-sized companies, go-getting entrepreneurs, and any other ambitious team or organization, online market research can be an amazing tool for accelerated growth.

It’s the type of resource you might want to read and keep handy so that anyone in your team can conduct market research like the pros. (Go take a peek now!)

Now, let’s check out the stories of 5 companies that learned how to do market research online, how to buy survey responses through a market research panel, and how to use the consumer data they obtained to accelerate their growth.

We made a comprehensive step-by-step guide so you can conduct your own studies.

A startup used market sizing surveys to validate its business opportunity quickly

1. A fintech startup uses market sizing surveys to validate its business opportunity

BridgeCare Finance, an innovative Seattle-born company helping parents pay for childcare, pretty much owes its existence to market research surveys.

Founder Jamee Herbert won $3,000 at a business school competition and used the funds to launch a nationwide market sizing survey through SurveyMonkey Audience, our market research solution. The responses from parents across the country validated Herbert’s insight that a market existed for a fintech solution to rising childcare costs.

Herbert used that unique market data to wow investors, raise $500,000 in capital, and earn a spot at the coveted business accelerator Techstars. Soon, BridgeCare began expanding to more markets nationally.

“We wouldn’t be where we are today," Herbert says, "without that first survey.”

Successful products with concept testing surveys.

2. An e-commerce company launches successful products with concept testing surveys

Looking to stand out in the crowded market of online mattress sales, New York-based Helix Sleep adopted a strategy based on personalized products. After all, sleep is a very subjective thing: The mattress that you love, your partner might hate.

When launching a line of pillows to grow the company’s market footprint and increase sales, the small Helix Sleep team turned to agile market research through SurveyMonkey Audience. They used a product testing survey to find out what consumers really wanted. And the final product turned out to be way different than what they had planned.

Through survey data, Helix Sleep cut their product development cycle in half, received great press from a cooling pillow cover designed by customer demand, created a precise sales forecast for their manufacturer, and found the right price point for the new product.

SurveyMonkey Audience essentially allowed us to launch the best product that we could,” CEO and founder Jerry Lin says. “And in fact we sold out in the first month of our launch.”

A small company created brand awareness with clever content marketing.

3. A small company sets brand awareness on fire through clever content marketing

Who doesn’t love an underdog story? Australian craft beer subscription service Beer Cartel won an industry award for Best Online Marketing thanks to DIY market research.

According to Aussie publication SmartCompany, founders Richard Kelsey and Geoff Huens wanted to help the craft beer industry grow while boosting brand awareness for Beer Cartel. So they launched the Australian Craft Beer Survey to get exclusive data on what consumers liked and didn’t like.

Tens of thousands participated in the survey and many new customers learned about Beer Cartel from its clever content marketing campaign.

“Any business can do market research,” Kelsey told SmartCompany. “It’s relatively simple through SurveyMonkey, and it's easily shared through social too.”

Ready for the Aussie cliche?

How a rapidly-scaling software company measured growth with brand tracking surveys.

4. A rapidly-scaling software company measures growth with brand tracking surveys

Founded in 2013, workplace collaboration company Slack is quite well-known after becoming one of the fastest growing companies in Silicon Valley in the last decade. By early 2019, it reported 10 million daily active users across industries like media, finance, retail, and more.

When Slack was growing from a wee team of a few dozen employees to a several hundred-strong organization, its Marketing Operations and Advertising team faced a challenge: Understanding how their brand was doing out in the world amidst that unbelievable growth spurt.

“Do people know about Slack?,” they wondered. “Do they understand how it works?”

Back then Slack didn’t have a big research operation nor a huge budget for market research, so Brad Morris, then-Director of Marketing Ops, chose SurveyMonkey Audience for his brand tracking studies. He was able to easily track Slack's brand awareness as the company grew.

“I can run projects on my own and get data back really fast,” Morris told us.

“Just looking at the open-ended responses, I could tell the data were much higher quality than other products I’ve used.”

A digital agency transforms businesses through a data-driven approach

5. A digital agency transforms businesses through a data-driven approach

Out of its headquarters in Johnson City, Tennessee, digital agency Ntara helps companies transform their existing businesses into successful digital experiences through websites, marketing campaigns, e-commerce ecosystems, and data-driven strategies.

Conducting market research is a huge part of what Ntara does for its clients. The agency uses SurveyMonkey Audience to reach consumers outside of its clients’ databases so market data can be quickly validated through objective methods.

“I always ask my clients—is your customer list really representative of the population at large?” executive vice president Neil Owen says. “We want to make sure there’s a high confidence level in everything we do. Otherwise, the research isn’t worth anything, right?”

With more than 50 million respondents around the world, Audience enables panel research at high speed and with high quality responses.

“Our websites and marketing campaigns perform better because we’re not making assumptions,” Samara Bolling, Ntara’s vice president of strategic services, says. “We're asking audiences what they care about.”

Grow your business with market research today. Preview your target market on SurveyMonkey Audience and get a cost estimate now.