Women completing online survey on laptop

Surveys are a classic way to gain customer insight. As a human-first marketing agency, we always advocate their use as part of our initial research to better understand target audiences. 

They are a flexible and invaluable tool within your research strategy, especially as they are one of the most cost-effective methods available. They are also very good at capturing feelings and describing characteristics of groups of people – when offering anonymity, they can pick up candid responses that would otherwise be very difficult to obtain.

Before taking the plunge with new branding, a website, or an advertising campaign, surveys can give you focused research data from your target audiences that is invaluable in helping you to draw conclusions and make informed decisions.

Man using iPad

Qualitative and quantitative.

There are two main approaches to research: qualitative and quantitative.

Qualitative research is exploratory research – this is used to gain insight into underlying reasons, opinion and motivations. This might be user interviews, group testing and workshops. This can include surveys.

Quantitative research quantifies it – this is the use of numerical data to statistically support attitudes, opinions and behaviours. This might be through data such as Google Analytics or reporting from your CRM system. This kind of research can include survey data too. 

Our process uses a combination of the two approaches to ensure we have collected robust data during the research stage to underpin our creative work. 

Surveys can actually fall into the qualitative or qualitative research category depending on the way you structure your survey. (To gain reliable quantitative data you need a healthy qualified sample list.)

However, we would recommend including some open-ended questions – a purely quantitative survey may feel emotionless and it is valuable to back up your data points with a real human response.

People with hands raised in the air

Ask the right questions.

If you wanted to qualify ideas, thoughts or a hypothesis you may already have, you’ll need to ask people questions with a scale structure such as: 

Q. How often have you visited one of our physical shop locations in the past year?

0 times

1–2 times

3–4 times

4+ times

If you wanted your survey to have a more qualitative angle, you would ask more open-ended questions or prompt people to give an emotional response. Such as:

Q. If you can, please describe your last in-store experience with us:

You’ll need a little more time on the analysis of a survey of this kind to read through all of the open-ended answers you’ll collect.

When you use these differing types of survey questions will depend on your goals and what information you need to learn from your survey. 

We’ll use the quantitative data we collect to gain broader insights and to accompany other quantitative research methods we’ll be using. We’ll use qualitative data when we’re trying to pin down audience nuances, when we’re creating personas, or if we’re researching a topic of sensitivity. 

Donut pie chart

Use surveys in your marketing.

If you’re looking to use surveys so your business can obtain quality insight into your target audiences, we can help you get started. Working together, we can help you structure a survey in order to ensure you gather relevant data so you can make informed decisions on your marketing – with the end result being better engagement with your customers.

To find out more about how surveys can help add depth to your marketing, and to get a free 30-minute consultation, call 01603 622766, email hello@creativesponge.co.uk, or start an instant chat via the icon in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen.