Market Surveys – Are They Really Important?

“The important thing is not to stop questioning.” – Albert Einstein

Many companies have tried to understand their customer’s behavior through various forms of surveys. They use survey to gather, record and analyze the utility and marketability of their product/service. Also, to know what the customers need and want, the nature of demand, competition, and other aspect of movement of products. From the stage of production to the point they get consumed.

If you look at the success rate of big companies today, many of them have conducted several types of market studies to survive the bitter looking market that has swallowed many big and small companies. Some of them were:

Focus Groups. A focus group is a form of qualitative research that they used in which a group of people are asked of their perceptions, opinions, beliefs and attitudes toward a product, service, concept, advertisement, idea, or packaging. Questions are asked in an interactive group setting where participants are free to talk with other group members.

Mail-In Survey. When they think of surveys, they usually think of the mail survey. They have utilized this for the following reasons: One, it is relatively inexpensive to administer. Two, they can send one exact information to large number of people. Three, they can reach customers faster and easier.

One-on-One Survey. They have often used this for initial tests to iron out problems before the product goes national. This is also another qualitative market-survey technique to introduce new products. For example, a company may observe a customer using a new type of software. The interviewer would then ask how they like it and whether or not they would purchase it.

Customer Satisfaction Survey through Telemarketing. This is also one of the most popular methods that they have employed for it rakes in better response to open-ended questions than self-administered surveys. Interviewers can have a more control over the order of question presentation. They can keep questions from being missed and skipped and they are even less reluctant on sensitive topics than face-to-face-interviews.

On-line Survey. Online survey often appears on company websites in the form of a pop-up. They have used this market-survey technique for it can be activated at any time to start collecting demographic information or virtually any information for which their company is searching.

Market surveys however are not much valued as a reliable service at times. This is very sad to think really. Product/service needs a target demographic to ensure its maximum marketability. Most firms today contract to third parties like outbound call centers to do the market surveys for them. These providers have professional telemarketers who can handle surveys effectively and efficiently.

Lastly, Harvey Mackay, author of ‘Swim with the Sharks’ once said that the key to serving customers better and be one up on the competition is to learn as much as possible about them. Surveys are the most practical device to use in order to learn a prospect or a customers’ behavior. Aside from being inexpensive, they are also adaptable to any situation. Also, conducting a survey shows your customers that you care about their opinions/satisfaction and you are looking for ways to serve them the best possible way.