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How market research helps a digital agency build client confidence and elevate brands

How market research helps a digital agency build client confidence and elevate brands

Branding is part art and part science. The art part is the tricky bit, often shaped by individual aesthetics, preferences, and gut instincts. “Our goal is to take the subjectivity out of the creative process to get to a brand customers will love,” said Laurel Mintz, founder and CEO of Elevate My Brand. “That’s why working with a platform like SurveyMonkey is so valuable for us.”

Elevate My Brand is a woman-led, award-winning digital and experiential marketing agency based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 12 years, Mintz and her team have worked with more than 250 brands, including Facebook, Verizon Digital Media Services, PAW Patrol and Zendesk.

Mintz typically works with two categories of brand clients. “One is super early-stage businesses," she explained. "They need to create their entire brand, their logo, look and feel, packaging, website, you name it, whether for a CPG retail product, or a service-based business.” Then there are the clients who are in high-growth mode and want to reposition, rebrand, or launch on a new platform or to a new market. 

Elevate My Brand uses SurveyMonkey with both. “In our initial conversations with clients, we tell them that we’ll go directly to their potential audience to get insights for any kind of messaging or design work,” said Mintz.

Laurel Mintz

Laurel Mintz, CEO of Elevate My Brand

Every client is unique and, according to Mintz, comes with their own requirements, questions and opinions. “But when we add the target audience’s feedback into the mix, we get to a viable direction much faster, typically in about one-tenth the time previously required,” Mintz said. These audience insights can reveal game-changing information that paves the way for new ideas and opportunities.

One example of this was a recent project with a UK brand that was launching a new social media platform for the Gen Z audience. The company had a very strong opinion about how their branding and messaging needed to look. Mintz’s team ran a survey and both client and agency were surprised by the insights.

“Essentially the audience told us they care more about the brand following up on their promises than they care about the brand’s look and feel,” Mintz said. With this information in hand, the client pivoted. “We saved them the cost of a full-blown rebrand by using SurveyMonkey to go directly to their audience for input.”

With the insights they gain through SurveyMonkey, Mintz and her team have become confident about letting a brand’s customers guide their work. Typically, they start with a broad, quantitative survey for directional guidance. “Rather than tapping small focus groups, we encourage our clients to reach out initially to a larger audience to get a broad sense of what the right approach might be,” said Mintz. “The quantitative data needs to come first, and then we can get into the qualitative side with one-to-one conversations.”

Mintz’s team is very transparent as they build out market surveys. “We collaborate with our clients on the development of these surveys to make sure we’re asking the right questions. If we’re not aligned on that up front, then the research itself comes into question.” 

When the responses come in, Mintz’s team pulls the SurveyMonkey data into a custom proprietary dashboard. That way, clients can see everything in one place, from questions to results, and get access to visual and easy-to-read SurveyMonkey data. “Clients say great! That’s what the data says. I trust data. Let’s move on from here,” said Mintz.

Elevate My Brand has been using SurveyMonkey for about 10 years and Mintz believes the investment is well worth it. She credits the platform and the process it enables for saving her company time while increasing client satisfaction and overall profitability.

“Historically, it might have taken a hundred hours to work through a client’s requirements, questions, and opinions to get to a clear direction,” Mintz said. By using data to drive decisions, Elevate My Brand accelerated that process by almost 90%.

And the process itself is more satisfying for the agency too. As Mintz said, “I think if we had started using data in this way earlier on, we would have eliminated a lot of the friction between client and agency caused by opinions. The data-driven conversations that SurveyMonkey allows us to have solves all of those problems. It takes subjectivity out of it, which is so critical in marketing.”