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Is Conducting a Survey Worth The Effort?

We all know that marketing is a huge part of running a successful business. One way to stay up-to-date with your customers/clients and prospects is by conducting surveys. Although surveys can be a great way to learn what others want and are thinking, are they really worth the time and effort to prepare and conduct?


Here are my thoughts regarding surveys:

1. A survey must be for a specific reason and for a specific audience.

2. A survey should be a win-win for the person conducting the survey and the person answering the questions.
3. A survey should be short sweet and to the point.

4. A survey should be well written and thought provoking.

5. Surveys shouldn’t be conducted too often.

As an example: Here’s a survey I conducted recently using Survey Monkey called If You Worked with a Coach. If you have time now, please take a few minutes to answer my questions. I thank you in advance.

Let’s discuss each of the above five points and you make the decision whether surveys are worth the time and effort.

1. As a business person, what do you want to gain by conducting a survey? A survey is an effective marketing tool only if it is used effectively. As the author of a survey you must have a clear picture of what you want to learn from the questions you’re asking.

Don’t waste your audience’s time if you’re not clear about why you are conducting the survey.

2. Why should someone answer your survey questions – what’s it in for them? I’m not saying you have to give something away to get someone to take your survey. I am saying that most people will participate if there is an incentive. Something as simple as asking, would you help me could be incentive enough. The question you need to answer when writing and posting a survey is: Why should someone take the time to answer my questions?

3. Would you want to take a survey with pages and pages of questions? Probably not. Well, your audience wouldn’t either. Too many questions is like taking an exam and we all remember how we felt about taking exams. Don’t make it difficult to participate in your survey. It is up to you how many questions to ask, but too many questions may limit the number of participants.

4. Would you agree that a thoughtful question most likely will produce a thoughtful answer? Take time to write questions that are well thought out, clear and to the point. Stay focused on what you’re looking to learn by conducting the survey. Write your questions as if you were speaking to a friend. Keep your questions simple and easy to understand.

5. How often should you conduct a survey? That’s a good question. I’d say use this marketing tool wisely. Use it for feedback after an event. Use it to gain information about what’s happening in your industry. Use it to help develop new and timely materials. Use it for information gathering about the wants and needs of your current and future customers/clients.

Surveys can be used in many ways. If you use them too often, they lose their importance and appeal.

An important thing to remember is once you’ve conducted your survey, make quality time to analyze the results.
1. Did your survey provide the results you were looking for?
2. Will the results help you conduct business more effectively?
3. Do you better understand your current and future market?
4. Was conducting this survey worth your time and effort?
5. How will you use this information to grow your business?

Only you can decide if conducting a survey is a viable marketing tool for your business. Yes, it does take time and effort, but it can prove to be a valuable way to better understand and serve your prospects and customers/clients.
Please, share your thoughts and comments with us. We’d love to hear from you.

Sharon Michaels
Author – Blogger – Coach to Women Entrepreneurs
Owner of WomenWhoWantToSuccessfullyWorkForThemselves.com
P. S. If you’d like to coach one-on-one, join a MasterMind group or become a guest blogger on this blog, please email me at – coaching@sharonmichaels.com or use the Contact Sharon form on this site.
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