Monday, October 23, 2006

Ten Reasons Why Online Surveys Are The Future of Marketing - Ecommerce

Customers are tough cookies. They're extremely media aware
and increasingly cynical - it's a clever marketeer who can
get under their skin. Online surveys reinvent the
traditional format and offer a unique way of interaction -
all the benefits of the internet without the programming.

Here are ten reasons why they may be the silver bullet
marketeers' need, complete with examples supplied by Martin
Day, managing director of Survey Galaxy - one of a new
breed of websites making online surveys quicker and cheaper

1. It's cheap as buttons

Select the right survey website and creating surveys can be
free of any charge and the cost to publish is minimal.
Useful information harvested from surveys can be reused and
repackaged in other marketing and PR for use in press
outlets making it a very efficient form of information

2. It's easy peasy

Anyone can develop an online survey. Survey sites allow
people who are interested in the benefits of surveys, rather
than technicalities, to side-step the required programming
skills and create relevant up-to-the-minute surveys,
instantly - surveys that are even easier to complete than
they are to make.

3. Anyone can play

Once the survey is online it's a simple step to promote it,
either through email (with a link enclosed), via a link
from a website or referenced by other forms of advertising.
Anyone who has the link can be connected instantly to the
survey, at a time that's convenient to them, 24x7.

4. We've all got an opinion - and we like to give it

Customers like surveys - they're not seen as spam, but as
an empowering opportunity to make their voice heard and a
chance to have an impact on a brand. They can be
particularly good for broaching sensitive subjects with
concerned employees; a survey asking a workforce on their
opinion of change allows the key issues to be raised in a
positive way and encourages employee participation. Online
surveys allow the message to reach each individual and
invite feedback in a manageable form.

5. Get inside their heads

You can lead a customer to an advertisement but you can't
make them think. Surveys actively engage the respondents,
who think about the question before giving their response.

6. Beautiful relationships start here

It needn't all end at the end of the survey - while you
have their attention and are in the mood you can ask if
they want to sign up for more information or a regular
newsletter - making the most of the window when you have
their interest.

7. If you like this, you'll love?

Perhaps one of the strongest elements in a survey is the
ability to make inspired or useful connections instantly
to other areas. By including links within the survey to
websites that offer detailed information you are able to
reinforce the marketing message.

8. Subtly does it

Surveys can be used to associate a product with positive
attributes. By listing the many features of a product and
asking the respondent how important they are, regardless
of their response, the product will be associated with
the features; if they are rated as important the positive
impact is endorsed by the customer.

9. It's not just about selling

A survey is an effective, quick and easy method to
promote and gain acceptance for a difficult proposal;
maybe a public body trying to gain acceptance and support
for a particular scheme. Take the example of a city
trying to gain support from the general public for their
bid to host a future Olympic Games. A survey can explain
each benefit putting the respondent in a much better
position to appreciate what the real advantages are that
might just combat any negative headlines. As well as
promoting the cause, useful feedback is gained that can
be used to fine tune the overall marketing strategy.

10. Fresh topics engage interest

Thinking laterally a lively and imaginative approach to
surveys can provide the 'hook' to engage respondents. The
survey subject can be focused towards a particular group
on a subject close to theirs hearts. The survey's
marketing message can take the form of a simple brand
awareness message by stating that 'this survey was
sponsored by brand name', or by finding a link from the
subject matter to the product - something that is
surprisingly easy and highly effective. Discover the
benefits of including in your website a Public Survey
section as many people who enjoy completing crosswords and
doing word puzzles enjoy completing surveys. Having a
public survey notice board as part of a website is a low
cost and automated method that helps to increase traffic
and establish a loyal and returning following. Unlike
discussion boards there is no opportunity for people to
disrupt the site by inappropriate remarks as the survey
results are displayed in summary form enabling them to
dispense with moderators free and maintenance.

Many of the techniques and a few more to boot are
contained in the following sample survey:-

About Author: Martin Day is owner of Survey Galaxy Ltd.

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