How end of year surveys can help you create groundbreaking marketing campaigns Article added by Darren Wiseman on December 13, 2011
Henry Glass

Darren Wiseman

Scottsdale, AZ

Joined: November 01, 2011

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Insight to buyer behavior or psychographic information unique to different client groups can be vital to creating groundbreaking marketing campaigns. On that note, here are some tips for building your own end of year surveys.

The year is drawing to a close, and it’s time to gather some marketing data from your clients to make for an even better year in 2012. As a personal proponent of marketing statistics, I can hardly wait to build another survey for advisors or clients. It is often very surprising to see how your clients or advisors really think or actually behave.

Insight to buyer behavior or psychographic information unique to different client groups can be vital to creating groundbreaking marketing campaigns. On that note, here are some tips for building your own end of year surveys.

Use Google Docs

It’s free and easy to setup. All you need is a Gmail account (also free) and you can create online forms that collect data anonymously from your clients or advisors. The best part is you can pull that data at anytime, and it will automatically export it to a .csv so you can make statistical inferences in Excel without having to input data by hand.

Think quantitative

You may be familiar with Rensis Likert; he is the psychologist that invented the Likert scale. What the Likert scale does is translate qualitative data into quantitative data. For example:

When I need the latest news on financial planning, I visit ProducersWEB.
    1. Strongly agree

    2. Agree

    3. Neutral

    4. Disagree

    5. Strongly disagree
You’ve probably seen this format before in a survey, as the Likert scale is fairly commonplace. This type of question could help ProducersWEB gauge its buyer behavior and gain insight to how clients view their brand as a source for financial planning news. If you’d like some insight into some qualitative data regarding your practice, this is a great way to form your questions.

Limit the number of questions

Nobody wants to fill out a lengthy survey. I would say that about 10 questions or fewer is an acceptable amount to ask for without any type of incentive.

Make each question count

It’s not easy to write an all-encompassing survey in one draft, much less 10 questions. Everyone has a different practice with a different local market. Unfortunately, a 10-question survey that works well for everyone doesn’t exist. This means taking a look at your own practice and asking yourself, what would I like to know about my clients, their buying behaviors and thoughts about my practice?
Try to avoid one-word responses

These don’t help you build a better practice or give any insight into forming a better marketing plan.

Use one approach and stick with it

If you are planning on having an open-ended response to one question, do it for all of them. Unless you’re planning on waiting an entire year to run a comparison survey, avoid direct qualitative questions regarding your service. This is because you won’t have anything to compare that qualitative data to until the following year.

Multiple choice questions

Multiple choice questions can be used to isolate points of difference or parity between you and your competition that are of particular importance when making buyer decisions. This will help you gauge where your brand stands compared to your competition and what types of buying decisions your clients made prior to the sale. You can then utilize this information to better highlight key aspects of your brand for better marketing campaigns.

Be specific

This means isolating a particular aspect of your service, not just services in general. This also means adding the "other____________ " choice to all your multiple choice questions in case their best answer isn’t on your list. Keep in mind that the process of elimination is very important. Knowing when something is not so can be just as valuable as knowing when something is so.

Test your survey

Before you email your survey to hundreds of clients, make sure you have a few different people take it and give you feedback. This will ensure that everything makes sense from multiple perspectives and that there aren’t ambiguous questions that could lead to illegitimate responses.
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