How to conduct market research online
Whether you’re a Fortune 500 or small startup, market research surveys give you a quick, affordable way to perform market segmentation analysis. Find out key demographic information on consumers in your market. Then use surveys to do just about anything, from measuring customer satisfaction to developing new products. There are lots of ways SurveyMonkey can help. Get a jumpstart by trying an expert market research survey template, vetted by our survey research scientists.
Free Customer Satisfaction Guide
Your customers know the secret to your success—all you have to do is ask! Find expert tips and examples on the best ways to get feedback.
Get the Guide →
The only way to keep your customers, or gain new business, is to know exactly what consumers want. Guesswork and gut instinct won't cut it when it comes to launching successful products and crafting the right marketing messages.
How marketing pros use online surveys
Reach a specific audience
Surveys offer a great opportunity to get input from your target market – provided you have good market sample to send surveys to. Maybe you have a customer list or a big group of social followers to work from. If you don’t, SurveyMonkey Audience gives you access to millions of respondents who are ready to provide the answers you need. By sending a survey to members of your target market, you can make sure your efforts will be as effective and reliable as possible.
Update product offerings or pricing
Sending an online product feedback survey to customers will help you gain insights that drive product improvements, customer satisfaction, and ultimately, sales. To get product feedback, you will ask questions like: what changes would most improve our new product? Or, what do you like most about competing products currently available from other companies?
Build social media strategies and campaigns
With the increasing importance of social media in many companies’ marketing mix, online social media surveys are a great way to figure out which social media channels they need to pay attention to. Likes and retweets only tell you so much. Surveys help you understand the “why” and give you ideas for how to serve your market. Post marketing surveys on Facebook or Twitter to gauge interest in new product categories or features. And should you send out company updates via a blog, LinkedIn, or Facebook? Use an online survey to find the answers you need.
Research and analyze a target market
Your marketing budget is probably one of your business's largest expenses. Before you earmark funds for any marketing plans or initiatives, you need to be confident that the strategies you’re considering will drive your success. A market research survey can help you analyze the potential market size, find a prime location for your retail store, or the optimal price for your products. The effort you expend on a market study will be rewarded with go-to-market strategies that have a higher chance of success.
Gain insights into customer demographics
Need to identify potential customer demographics in a new service area? Ask potential customers about their gender, age, location, income, where they shop, what they do for fun, how many children they have, and more. You can then target your messaging and campaigns to really speak to your customers. You'll also be able to concentrate time and resources on where they'll matter most.
Segmenting your customers, that is, honing in on smaller groups that shares common attributes (such as demographics, geography, lifestyle, product usage, brand affinity etc.) might just help to tip the scale in your favor. To gain this competitive advantage, many marketers send online surveys.
A health club owner could segment based on facility or service usage (spa, cardio equipment, daycare, nutrition classes), while a consumer packaged goods company might segment based on lifestyle (health-conscious, low-cal, vegetarian diet) to develop finely-tuned marketing programs that target the needs of one or more of the segments in order to increase membership sign-ups. When you do market research, it’s easier to identify different segments and know what they want.
Decide which campaign creative to launch
Would your customer base be more likely to respond to an online banner ad or a billboard on the freeway close to home? Which email subject line would make you click through to the product detail page? Do you need to test a new ad format? Helping to prioritize ad spend and resources, online marketing surveys should be an essential tool in your strategy toolkit.
Measure brand awareness
Brand awareness is at the top of the marketing funnel. Does your market even know you exist? Do they consider you a viable option, or do they prefer your competitors. And most importantly, why? Get the lowdown on how you’re perceived and what you need to improve. Use branding and brand identity surveys to diagnose your brand image and build your brand.
Test branding, positioning, and naming
Just do it. Think different. Why do some companies get all the love? Why do loyal customers refuse to be wooed by lower price tags, and choose to stick by their favorite brands? The most revered brands listen to their customers, and tailor their marketing strategies to their target audience. Surveying your customers to test branding and naming concepts will help you understand the attitudes motivations, and preferences of your customers, especially in relation to your competitors.