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Ten Reasons Why Online Surveys Are The Future of Marketing

Customers are tough cookies. They're extremely media awareand increasingly cynical - it's a clever marketeer who canget under their skin. Online surveys reinvent thetraditional 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 bulletmarketeers' need, complete with examples supplied by MartinDay, managing director of Survey Galaxy - one of a newbreed of websites making online surveys quicker and cheaper

1. It's cheap as buttons

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

2. It's easy peasy

Anyone can develop an online survey. Survey sites allowpeople who are interested in the benefits of surveys, ratherthan technicalities, to side-step the required programmingskills and create relevant up-to-the-minute surveys,instantly - surveys that are even easier to complete thanthey 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 linkfrom a website or referenced by other forms of advertising.Anyone who has the link can be connected instantly to thesurvey, 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 asan empowering opportunity to make their voice heard and achance to have an impact on a brand. They can beparticularly good for broaching sensitive subjects withconcerned employees; a survey asking a workforce on theiropinion of change allows the key issues to be raised in apositive way and encourages employee participation. Onlinesurveys allow the message to reach each individual andinvite feedback in a manageable form.

5. Get inside their heads

You can lead a customer to an advertisement but you can'tmake 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 youhave their attention and are in the mood you can ask ifthey want to sign up for more information or a regularnewsletter - making the most of the window when you havetheir interest.

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

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

8. Subtly does it

Surveys can be used to associate a product with positiveattributes. By listing the many features of a product andasking the respondent how important they are, regardlessof their response, the product will be associated withthe features; if they are rated as important the positiveimpact is endorsed by the customer.

9. It's not just about selling

A survey is an effective, quick and easy method topromote and gain acceptance for a difficult proposal;maybe a public body trying to gain acceptance and supportfor a particular scheme. Take the example of a citytrying to gain support from the general public for theirbid to host a future Olympic Games. A survey can explaineach benefit putting the respondent in a much betterposition to appreciate what the real advantages are thatmight just combat any negative headlines. As well aspromoting the cause, useful feedback is gained that canbe used to fine tune the overall marketing strategy.

10. Fresh topics engage interest

Thinking laterally a lively and imaginative approach tosurveys can provide the 'hook' to engage respondents. Thesurvey subject can be focused towards a particular groupon a subject close to theirs hearts. The survey'smarketing message can take the form of a simple brandawareness message by stating that 'this survey wassponsored by brand name', or by finding a link from thesubject matter to the product - something that issurprisingly easy and highly effective. Discover thebenefits of including in your website a Public Surveysection as many people who enjoy completing crosswords anddoing word puzzles enjoy completing surveys. Having apublic survey notice board as part of a website is a lowcost and automated method that helps to increase trafficand establish a loyal and returning following. Unlikediscussion boards there is no opportunity for people todisrupt the site by inappropriate remarks as the surveyresults are displayed in summary form enabling them todispense with moderators free and maintenance.

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

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

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