How to Conduct a Market Survey that Works

Last year, Unilever brand, Knorr conducted a market survey among 12,000 millennials in 12 countries, discovering that 78% are more likely to be attracted to someone who enjoys the same flavors.

This insight spawned the ‘Love at First Taste’ campaign which prompted a 15 ppt rise in purchase intent among millennials across key markets.

But market surveys don’t just help you improve your targeting and create a campaign that has impact. They provide valuable insight into the feelings, attitudes and preferences of your audience – guiding everything from the launch of a new product to the solidification of your brand positioning and customer satisfaction. But what does it really take to conduct a market survey that works?

7 Steps to a Successful Market Survey

1. Set a clear goal.

Start by setting a clear objective when starting your market research and survey. Why are you doing the survey? What do you want to find out? Is it for product improvements with an existing audience? Are you looking to launch a new product into the marketplace and therefore need to know if there’s sufficient demand, or what people are prepared to pay for it? Be precise about the outcome you’re seeking in order to get the answers you need for your marketing plans moving forward.

2. Know what target market to survey.

Know which market you’re targeting. Identify parameters for potential customers such as people living or working in a certain geographic region, market size, or those that fit a particular demographic.

Be precise about the target audience whose data you need, and narrow it down to support your ultimate goal.

If you want to build on your customer offering by introducing a priority service, for example, you may just want to gather information from people earning over a certain amount or living in a certain area.

3. Know what you want to investigate.

This will be informed by your marketing goals. If you’re launching a new product, for example, you may want to investigate what the demand is, how aware people are of it, if they currently buy from a competitor, and how frequently they buy.

Knowing what you want to investigate will help you identify what sort of information you need. Think about whether a qualitative or quantitative approach works best.

Whichever you choose, the aim is the same: to quantify consumer perceptions, behaviors and attitudes in the most informative way possible.

Uncovering consumer attitudes towards a brand, for example, or current frustrations with existing products, could reveal some invaluable insights that will guide your strategy from end to end.

4. Get help from the people who know surveys.

This means getting access to an established panel. By turning to the experts in survey data, you can ensure you ask the right questions to the right people, and get a sample size that gives you the most accurate insights.

The GlobalWebIndex panel, for example, stretches across 44 countries, representing over 2 billion internet users, making this the world’s leading market survey on the digital consumer. By leveraging this panel with the help of in-house experts, you can be sure you gain insights you need within the right timeframe.

5. Consider the best way to get your answers.

No longer exclusive to phone surveys and focus groups, surveys can now be carried out either via an interviewee or an online questionnaire. Surveys can also be carried out in groups or on an individual basis. Once again, the optimum approach for your brand will depend on your goals and the information you’re trying to capture, as well as your target audience, market potential and their overall preferences.

If you want to gather in depth information from mums of toddlers in a particular town, for example, face-to-face interviews in the vicinity of a play area might work well, allowing the interviewee to do the hard work and ask follow up questions that dig a little deeper.

Using quantitative panel data to back this up, market researchers can come away with powerful insights and market analysis you know you can trust.

6. Administer the survey effectively.

Once you’re clear about your goals, the data you need, the people you need to talk to and the best way to gather this survey data, it’s important to maximize the sample size.  This means reaching people at the right time, setting a realistic timeframe for them to share their thoughts, and identifying where they’re likely to be.

Once again, think about your target audience. If you’re physically interacting with people, think about the places they’re likely to visit and at what times. If it’s an online survey, understand which social media platforms or websites they are likely to hang out on, and at what times they tend to be online. Data analysis ahead of the survey can help make the survey easier to reach the right audiences with.

7. Conduct a thorough survey analysis.

Once you’ve gathered the survey responses, these need to be analyzed thoroughly to pull out key trends and findings and to allow you to draw actionable insights from the data.

  • Examine qualitative answers for telling quotes and detailed feedback about attitudes and behaviors.
  • Interrogate quantitative answers to calculate averages as well as over and under indexes.
  • Compile these findings in a report using simple, visually-appealing ways to present this information to colleagues.

By choosing to run a custom survey, you can benefit from having a team of experts at your disposal to analyze and interpret the data for you, and produce your report for immediate use.

Market surveys are pivotal to success

Market surveys can be used in a variety of ways to help a brand focus more on its target audience and take a more people-based approach.

From getting a better understanding of the perceptions around your brand to testing the appetite for a new product; from finding customer demographics and purchasing power, to getting under the skin of a new audience to knowing how to accurately pitch a marketing campaign…

Data holds the answers you need to achieve almost every business goal.

A skillfully planned market survey that catches customer feedback and experience will deliver findings that could mean the difference between success and failure in a marketing strategy.