Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Is There a Place For Creativity, Fun and Games in Market Research?

When you think of creativity, fun and games, I'm willing to bet that "market research" isn't the first phrase that comes to mind.  But not if you're Betty Adamou, the editor of  Survey Analytics newest blog, GameAccess.

Betty is the CEO of Research Through Gaming.  When she's not speaking or writing on the topic of gamification, she's developing game mechanics that help respondents have a better experience taking surveys.

I don't know much about Gamification besides what I'd read in the book Reality is Broken, so I was eager to see what I could learn from Betty on the topic.  I'd read some of her posts and found them really interesting and informative and I wanted to see what else I could learn from her.

Gamification was new to Betty too.  Well, it's new to most people, but after Betty did some research on the topic for a research paper that she later presented at the CASRO conference, she knew that she had found a deep connection between two disparate interests in her life; artistic design and research.

In what ways do you see gameification or research games for industrial applications of research?

50% of CEOs play games on their devices – CEOs take time to stop and play a game and games are a top genre from the app store – it’s 30% of all downloads are games.  They like having little breaks to engage in something else.  If you put those two together you should have a winning formula.

What do you see as the future of gamification?

It (gamification) will supercede TV advertising – it’s two way.  No one is making you play these games, and that it’s free and you have to pay for it – it’s all voluntary.  It shows that your consumers are engaged with you.  And you don’t have to target demographics, they are doing all this for you. 

Consumers want to talk and have interactions – brands that don’t take on gameification, their businesses are going to suffer.  The smaller your business is, the more you have to do this stuff.  If you’re small business, you’re competing with the big guys and if they have all the money sitting there and they aren’t doing it – the companies that are doing it will look like they understand their business more.

So, if you talk to Betty, you'll see that there is definitely a place for fun and games in the world of market research.  In fact, there is not only room for it, but a requirement to engage respondents on their own terms.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

MicroPanel - Points are now configurable

We've added in some more configuration options in MicroPanel to give administrators more power to configure their communities :

Rewards & Points Configurable:

This requirement is especially valid in cases where public policy and gov. folks are running panels for research. Typically most regulatory environments like state and federal government rules prevent agencies from "compensating" respondents for their opinions. Of course this is subject to interpretation, but none-the-less this poses a challenge in some cases when you don't want to issue points for surveys. With MicroPanel, we added in an option to disable (or enable) points for your panel:

Monday, August 29, 2011

REI - Using QR Codes for Surveys

Spotted in Seattle - Well the home of REI. QR Code based feedback gathering:

A Crowdsourcing InfoGraphic

We've been talking about crowd sourcing here for quite a while -- and if you're not using IdeaScale, Survey Analytics crowd sourcing tool, then seeing this infographic may just inspire you.



This conversation has been going on for a while - here are just a few articles that we've written in the past:

Crowdsourcing isn't just for market research, it's good PR


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Recording & Slides Now Available: How To Set Up A Panel ManagementSolution in 30 Minutes

Use These Market Research Tools and Tips to Build Loyalty and Love With Customers

In a recent article, one of my favorite marketing minds, Drew McLellan talks about having a Love Relationship with your customer.  This philosophy goes along with Tim Sanders' classic Love is the Killer App and a myriad other articles extolling the virtues of loving your customer.

Quite frankly, it's easy to talk about loving your customer -- I've done it myself on numerous occasions.  What isn't quite as easy is setting up a system to make them feel loved and to build that loyal profitable relationship.  Loving people in your personal life is one thing and creating a systemic way to generate a loving relationship with hundreds or even thousands of customers requires a little something more.

As anyone who has ever been in a love relationship that has lasted more than thirty days can tell you -- it takes some dedication and work to make love happen.  Long lasting and fulfilling love (whether it's with your soul mate or thousands of customers) doesn't just drop in your lap, it takes ---

Being a good listener.  Listening to the person you care about means that you are 100% focused on what they are talking about, what it means and then actually having a conversation around that topic.  Listening implies a two-way conversation where both parties feel heard and acknowledged.

If crowd sourcing isn't a part of your market research mix, you need to make it a significant part.  Crowd sourcing tools like IdeaScale are an ideal step in engaging your customers inside your product or service conversation.  Start with a single community -- it's FREE.  Then drive your customers there.  It will take concerted time and effort to teach them that this is a place where they can engage with you and your team to discuss new ideas.

Doing those nice little things.  Nothing says you care so much as when you surprise your loved one with something that says "I heard you" .  If you've had a significant conversation and your customer has told you something - when you implement it and provide feedback to them that says that they've been heard and listened to, their loyalty to you will increase.  The IdeaScale app gives you the power to TELL your community what you are doing with their ideas and how you will implement them.  If you won't be implementing the idea as is, but are using some component of the idea, then share that as well.  While this isn't a gift per se -- it's the gift of being heard that counts.

Having conversations.  Conversations with people we love don't take place face-to-face as frequently as they used to.  In fact, many of us probably keep in touch with our friends and family be exchanging texts and pictures via mobile device or Facebook.

Conversations with your customers are much the same way.  With half the planet on Facebook, you can choose to have conversations with your customers via Facebook fan page.  If your customers aren't on Facebook because your product is more industrial or technical, then consider creating a customer community via MicroPoll, Survey Analytics panel management application.

When you create a customer community or panel, you'll find that the quality of your conversations will improve exponentially.  You'll be able to ask questions via mobile device using the SurveySwipe App and tour customer will give you answers.  These answers won't just be anecdotal, they will come to you as data - yeah charts, graphs, etc.  Your customers' voices will be heard in a clearer more quantitative way.  This gives you the freedom to improve your conversation and get more specific or dig deeper inside issues that your customers care about when it comes to choosing your product or service.
Keeping it all together.  It's important to keep your customer data together as much as possible.  As a DIY Marketer, I understand the appeal of low-cost applications and am willing to sacrifice in convenience to save money.  But when it comes to customer communications -- you want to make sure that these conversations are integrated, otherwise,  if you ask your customer one thing via survey, and then communicate something else via email, it's almost like cheating.

Create a customer relationship strategy that is cohesive and works easily together.  Try to keep your strategy under one application umbrella such as Survey Analytics.  Integrating your customer feedback strategy will ease your mind and build efficiencies into your feedback process.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Food for Thought: This Week's Hot Market Research Discussions and Trends

To get your week humming and excite the coffee break conversation, here are some of the hottest trends and topics being discussed in market research.

Panel are HOT.  Panel management is becoming increasingly important AND a lot easier to do.  Join the Survey Analytics team and learn how to set up a research panel in 30 minutes or less.  REGISTER HERE

Data and privacy.  Look for more conversations about data and privacy in the months to come.  To whet your appetite, Brian Terran from Research gets the ball rolling with a terrific intro and summary to data privacy conversations that will be held Monday, August 22, 2011.  Head over to the Greenbook Blog to register.

Zuberance, the new software that allows companies to manage their customer advocates.   introduces Zuberance as a way for companies to enhance their customer satisfaction and customer engagement.  If you or your organization have been looking for ways to light a fire under those customers who are your biggest fants, this is an article worth checking out.

Gamification.  You're going to see this word more and more.  It isn't a fad, it's the future of market research and customer engagement.  Betty Amadou from Game Access does a fantastic job of introducing you to a new word in this new territory -- gamotion.  It's the combination of games and promotions and she's reviewing several apps that will introduce you to this latest trend.

The bond between research and technology.  It seems that there is an interesting relationship between people on the research side of the table and the people on the technology side of the table.  As a marketing strategist, I'm not as involved in that conversation, but I understand it can get rather HAIRY.  For some guidelines on how research and technology can get along, check out this interesting article by Greg Heist from Go Innovate called "Why Can't We Be Friends" where he outlines what each group can learn from the other.

Blogs you should be reading.  New Market Research has a list out of the top Market Research Blogs -- and Research Access and QuestionPro blog are listed.  If you want to know what you should be reading - follow this list.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

5 Steps to Making Market Research Part of Your Product Offering

I recently ran into a terrific article by Christine Brown from Branding Marketing about Marketing your Market Research.  Her main observation is that companies cut market research budgets because they see it as a luxury.  But if they were able to use that research in a variety of ways --  call it recycling or re-purposing -- they might be able to justify those projects.

She goes on to give several examples that inlcude:

 Other Ways to Use Market Research as Part of Your Offering

Christine's article got me thinking that many businesses see market research as an expense rather than a revenue generator,  There is an opportunity to "spin" your research projects or design them in such a way that they provide industry insights and information that your customers may want to gain access to.

If you participate in industrial markets that include highly engineered technical products or instruments, you will find profound gaps in information about what customers value.



  1. Create a separate brand and URL for the information and research service that you will provide -- literally treat it as a separate product line.

  2. Start a subscription section of your web site.  You can use Wordpress  and their Wishlist membership plugin to create a subscription function that allows you to take payments and distribute information based on membership or subscription level.

  3. Run YOUR research and use some of your data for your own decision making and the other data for re-sale to the industry.

  4. Offer to run surveys for customers or competitors in your industry. This might freak out your management, but it's simply called "contract manufacturing"  it happens in manufacturing all the time -- companies who have tools and capabilities built into their infrastructure will make another company's product just to keep the equipment running -- it's selling unused time and space.

  5. Run regular tracking surveys and sell the reports and data.  Simply include general market and industry question in your surveys and run them regularly and then sell the results.  One area of research that is always difficult to get for specific industrial segments is market share information.  By simply asking a few questions, you can generate this valuable data and sell it.


Don't let budget cuts eat away at the information that your company and industry need.  Try these ways of engaging your management team in the research and creating products and services around research to get it to pay for itself.


Sunday, August 14, 2011

How the iPad Helps Market Researchers’ Efficiency and the Environment

Being someone who loves taking advantage of technology and also caring about the environment, I was pleased when Apple released the iPad Environmental Report. I always wonder what the environmental impact of my gadgets have. Are they better or worse on the environment? Can we recycle more parts of electronics or is it better to use pen, pencils, paper, ...? To summarize what iPad's carbon emissions is in comparison to paper books, the equation breaks down to:

  • 1 iPad = 17.4 physical paper books

  • 1 iPad = infinite paper, pens, pencils, ...


In market research, by using an iPad to administer surveys, there is an obvious reduction of resources. An important purpose the majority of companies share, is to show the necessity of environmental protection. We're seeing many companies making use of mobile device applications and saving the resources that were once used by these companies.

The iPad is free of BFRs, BFR, arsenic, and mercury, which basically means brominated flame retardants -> *“have known toxic properties, are highly resistant to degradation in the environment and are able to bioaccumulate (build up in animals and humans).” In addition, the iPad is *“highly recyclable,” and has a PVC-free system, and this just means it's free of polyvinyl chloride, a chlorinated plastic that *“presents environmental problems and human health concerns throughout its lifecycle,”.

Hopefully, this will help you appreciate that Apple has done its part  to make the iPad environmentally friendly.

*Greenpeace

Market Research Around the Web

There have been a number of exciting developments around the web that I thought I'd share with you this week:

Market Research University Recordings are Available

Over at Research Access, they held an all day program called  Market Research University – an all-day, online market research training session run by Kathryn Korostoff of Research Rockstar. The event took place entirely on Twitter; you may have followed along with the hashtag #MRXU.

In case you weren’t able to attend, though, Kathryn and the participating “professors” were gracious enough to have posted some additional resources from the training session:

  • Diane Hagglund, of Dimensional Research, has shared fantastic B2B project management insights here: LINK.

  • Michaela Mora, of Relevant Insights, has shared a generous post on her market research project management tips: LINK

  • Greg Timpany has provided a script of his tweets, here: LINK.


Be sure to avail yourselves of their expertise! This is terrific material, and could be of use to any market research professional.

While you’re at it, you may also want to take a look at another recent post from MRXU contributor Michaela Mora, entitled, “Survey Tools Race to Improve User Experience.” It offers a great look at how online research tools are making major enhancements to leverage developments in new technology (including text selection, heat maps, etc.).

GameAccess.com Gamification Blog Launched

There is a new blog in town that is part of the Survey Analytics family called "Game Access" edited by Betty Adamou.

If you've heard the word "Gameification" and wondered what it's all about, then you'll want to become a regular reader.  The idea is that people are enthralled and engaged by video games primarily because they challenge us, provide immediate feedback and are something WE CHOOSE rather than some task that is thrust upon us.

There is a trend and a movement toward incorporating elements of game play into our real lives that both engage us and make us more productive.

In the latest article, Andrew Jeavons , the executive VP of Survey Analytics discusses the power of game play.

How the iPad Helps Market Researchers’ Efficiency and the Environment

Being someone who loves taking advantage of technology and also caring about the environment, I was pleased when Apple released the iPad Environmental Report. I always wonder what the environmental impact of my gadgets have. Are they better or worse on the environment? Can we recycle more parts of electronics or is it better to use pen, pencils, paper, ...? To summarize what iPad's carbon emissions is in comparison to paper books, the equation breaks down to:

  • 1 iPad = 17.4 physical paper books

  • 1 iPad = infinite paper, pens, pencils, ...


In market research, by using an iPad to administer surveys, there is an obvious reduction of resources. An important purpose the majority of companies share, is to show the necessity of environmental protection. We're seeing many companies making use of mobile device applications and saving the resources that were once used by these companies.

The iPad is free of BFRs, BFR, arsenic, and mercury, which basically means brominated flame retardants -> *“have known toxic properties, are highly resistant to degradation in the environment and are able to bioaccumulate (build up in animals and humans).” In addition, the iPad is *“highly recyclable,” and has a PVC-free system, and this just means it's free of polyvinyl chloride, a chlorinated plastic that *“presents environmental problems and human health concerns throughout its lifecycle,”.

Hopefully, this will help you appreciate that Apple has done its part  to make the iPad environmentally friendly.

*Greenpeace

How the iPad Helps Market Researchers' Efficiency and the Environment

Being someone who loves taking advantage of technology and also caring about the environment, I was pleased when Apple released the iPad Environmental Report. I always wonder what the environmental impact of my gadgets have. Are they better or worse on the environment? Can we recycle more parts of electronics or is it better to use pen, pencils, paper, ...? To summarize what iPad's carbon emissions is in comparison to paper books, the equation breaks down to:

  • 1 iPad = 17.4 physical paper books

  • 1 iPad = infinite paper, pens, pencils, ...


In market research, by using an iPad to administer surveys, there is an obvious reduction of resources. An important purpose the majority of companies share, is to show the necessity of environmental protection. We're seeing many companies making use of mobile device applications and saving the resources that were once used by these companies.

The iPad is free of BFRs, BFR, arsenic, and mercury, which basically means brominated flame retardants -> *“have known toxic properties, are highly resistant to degradation in the environment and are able to bioaccumulate (build up in animals and humans).” In addition, the iPad is *“highly recyclable,” and has a PVC-free system, and this just means it's free of polyvinyl chloride, a chlorinated plastic that *“presents environmental problems and human health concerns throughout its lifecycle,”.

Hopefully, this will help you appreciate that Apple has done its part  to make the iPad environmentally friendly.

*Greenpeace

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Free Webinar Wed 8/24/11 @ 8AM PST: How To Create Your Own Panel Management Solution in 30 Minutes

Wednesday August 24th, 2011

8:00 AM PST

Click here to sign up now

Panel management solutions are popping up everywhere for companies to explore. The main objectives to getting started is that it's too difficult to learn, It's too time consuming, or it requires to much dependent on the software company and slowing down the panel debut. With SurveyAnalytics solution, MicroPanel,  implementing your own panel management solution doesn't have to be difficult and require 2-3 months of set-up time to get started. The webinar "How To Set Up a Panel Management Solution in 30 Minutes" will help familiarize you with the following:

-Trends & Advantages of creating and managing your own panel solution

-How to get started : 5-point focus to kick off your panel solution

- Customized site behavior: Get Your panel & Panel Portal the way you want it to

- Profiling Surveys: Capturing panel info while you ask questions in your survey

-What Are Knowledge Bank Questions: How to Implement them and connect them to your Panel profiles

- Sampling Portal: Pulling specific data for your surveys

A Question and Answer session will follow prior to the conclusion of the webinar.

A recording and webinar slides will be posted on this blog in the afternoon. Make sure to check back and download your copy to view.

To learn more about http://www.micropanel.com

Click here to sign up now

Free Webinar Wed 8/24/11 @ 8AM PST: How To Create Your Own Panel Management Solution in 30 Minutes

Wednesday August 24th, 2011

8:00 AM PST

Click here to sign up now

Panel management solutions are popping up everywhere for companies to explore. The main objectives to getting started is that it's too difficult to learn, It's too time consuming, or it requires to much dependent on the software company and slowing down the panel debut. With SurveyAnalytics solution, MicroPanel, implementing your own panel management solution doesn't have to be difficult and require 2-3 months of set-up time to get started. The webinar "How To Set Up a Panel Management Solution in 30 Minutes" will help familiarize you with the following:

-Trends & Advantages of creating and managing your own panel solution

-How to get started : 5-point focus to kick off your panel solution

- Customized site behavior: Get Your panel & Panel Portal the way you want it to

- Profiling Surveys: Capturing panel info while you ask questions in your survey

-What Are Knowledge Bank Questions: How to Implement them and connect them to your Panel profiles

- Sampling Portal: Pulling specific data for your surveys

A Question and Answer session will follow prior to the conclusion of the webinar.

A recording and webinar slides will be posted on this blog in the afternoon. Make sure to check back and download your copy to view.

To learn more about http://www.micropanel.com

Click here to sign up now
Enhanced by Zemanta

Free Webinar Wed 8/24/11 @ 8AM PST: How To Create Your Own Panel Management Solution in 30 Minutes

Wednesday August 24th, 2011

8:00 AM PST

Click here to sign up now

Panel management solutions are popping up everywhere for companies to explore. The main objectives to getting started is that it's too difficult to learn, It's too time consuming, or it requires to much dependent on the software company and slowing down the panel debut. With SurveyAnalytics solution, MicroPanel, implementing your own panel management solution doesn't have to be difficult and require 2-3 months of set-up time to get started. The webinar "How To Set Up a Panel Management Solution in 30 Minutes" will help familiarize you with the following:

-Trends & Advantages of creating and managing your own panel solution

-How to get started : 5-point focus to kick off your panel solution

- Customized site behavior: Get Your panel & Panel Portal the way you want it to

- Profiling Surveys: Capturing panel info while you ask questions in your survey

-What Are Knowledge Bank Questions: How to Implement them and connect them to your Panel profiles

- Sampling Portal: Pulling specific data for your surveys

A Question and Answer session will follow prior to the conclusion of the webinar.

A recording and webinar slides will be posted on this blog in the afternoon. Make sure to check back and download your copy to view.

To learn more about http://www.micropanel.com

Click here to sign up now
Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, August 8, 2011

How to Become an Authority in Your Industry

It's more important than ever to become an authority in your industry.  You may think that the market is overcrowded, but don't be fooled.  Most people assume that you have to be an author, self-employed or a CEO to be seen as an authority.

Nothing could be further from the truth.  In fact, with the job market being what it is -- your chances of landing that dream position may hinge on how you are perceived in the industry.  Any company would be happy to build its own credibility by having the industry authority as part if their team.

In a recent article on the AMEX Open Forum, I discuss fourteen ways that you can build your authority and become an influencer in your industry -- pay special attention to item #12 and see how research plays an important role:

You may already be an influencer and not even know it – in which case, the steps I’m going to describe here will catapult you into stardom (maybe not, but they will help).  And if you’re not an influencer, but would like to be, you’ll find this roadmap a helpful start on your strategic plan toward dominating your target market.

  1. Focus on a very specific topic area (niche).  If you haven’t quite figured this one out, you’re going to be in for an emotional ride.  You MUST find a targeted, focused niche in which to specialize. You will not limit your audience, instead you will attract a very interested audience.  Start by brainstorming. Then do some keyword analysis; use Google Keywords and check out SEO Book to start.  You can also go into your own accounts and target the most profitable and fun ones.

  2. 10,000 hours of working in your area.  In his book Outliers Malcolm Gladwell says that you need 10,000 hours to get good at anything.  This is another way to look at where you may have influence.  What subject or work has engrossed you over the last decade to the point that you’ve invested 10,000 hours in becoming better?  The answer may surprise you because it may NOT be in your existing business.  But this says something about where your talents and passions lie.

  3. Own the keywords in your area of expertise.  You will need to have done the Google Keyword exercise above to do this step.  Pick a handful of keywords that you will own.  This means that when people type in this combination of words, your goal is to be at the top of the list.  This doesn’t just apply for Google searches – this applies for mind-share.

  4. Blog.  You must blog if you want to be an authority or influence people.  You don’t have to blog daily, but you must provide valuable content that is congruent with your keywords and your area of expertise.  Blogging is a full page advertisement for who you are and what you promise.  Use it well.

  5. Write guest articles for high traffic blogs.  If your blog content is good, then your guest posts should be better.  Target popular high-traffic blogs in your area of interest and send the editor a killer article. Make sure that it will bring traffic to them as well as yourself.  Educate their audience, inform them, make it easy for them to take action and learn something.  The editor will appreciate the content and you will both appreciate the traffic.

  6. Write a book or eBook.  Self-publishing is not a bad word and publishing eBooks and Kindle books can be down-right profitable.  Just read about John Locke, the Kindle Single sensation (he’s an entrepreneur who writes short novels). He’s figured out how to become a best selling eBook author as well as an influencer and motivator of self-published authors.

  7. Schedule speaking engagements.  Hit the speaker circuit. This will be a high investment in time, money and energy, but the payoff may be worth it depending on your presentation skills and your subject matter.  Don’t think that your niche is too small, rather focus on the value that you bring to the audience.

  8. Create and run seminars and/or webinars.  This is similar to live speaking, and yet it’s very different.  Running a seminar or a webinar involves your putting in some serious marketing and promoting energy.  The upside is that you can charge for seminars and webinars, so they are a way to promote as well as sell.  In addition to this, you can record them more readily and use them over and over.  Check out Stealth Seminar (I can’t believe I’m sharing this)  it will allow you to record a seminar and run it over and over as if it’s live.

  9. Send Press Releases.  Social media is a great public relations tool, but don’t forget about press releases.  They are still very powerful.  Remember, that when you’ve targeted a specific industry, you’ve narrowed your distribution list AND also increased your chances of visibility.  Post them on your blog, use PRWeb or other release distribution service.  One last hint about releases – write them as a ready-to-print article so that the people who pick them up don’t have to do too much editing.

  10. Do a radio show or internet radio show.  BlogTalk Radio is a great resource.  You can set up an internet radio show in less than 30 minutes.  Your content will be syndicated and distributed (based on those keywords again). And your content is immediately available.  Do a show that features other experts in your area.  This creates a win-win promotional opportunity for both parties.

  11. Help others succeed.  This is more of a general tip that goes with every strategy that you take on.  For each action you take look for ways to partner and co-brand with other experts.  When you cross promote with other experts, you get the benefit of being referred to their list and they get referred to your list.

  12. Do research in your area and own the data.  Another strategy that many experts forget about is doing research or surveys with their audience.  With so many free survey tools available it’s a huge waste of opportunity not to start gathering data about your industry and audience.  You can use any number of free online survey tools, but also consider learning about mobile research panels.  This way you will be able to run shorter surveys and have a conversation with your respondents.  It’s the latest trend.

  13. Create information products based on your expertise.  There are already several information products that I’ve mentioned in this list; seminar, radio broadcasts, webinars, books and ebooks.  Don’t let any bit of your knowledge go to waste, turn it into articles.  Then combine the articles into a book.  Take the book and rework it to become a seminar or webinar.  Focus on one area and do a speech on that.  If you’re currently consulting, start a diary or blog post a review of your day.  Convert the advice you gave into something educational for a broader audience.

  14. Participate in Influencer projects.  Last year Fast Company did an experiment called “The Influencer Project” regardless of whether you feel that it was a valid or invalid measure of who an influencer is, it is evidence of a trend that includes creating communities of trusted experts.  If you see events or projects like this; nominate yourself and your clients.  Work to promote their progress in the project.  Each of these projects creates a living database or list of people that others have felt are influential enough to describe in a nomination form.  Take a look at the SMBInfluencer Awards as an example.  People nominated individuals, companies and media organizations they felt influenced small business.  This is a living list and a promotional opportunity.


Becoming an authority, expert or influencer is all within your control.  Focus on where you spend the most time, money, effort and skill and share it consistently and persistently.  And remember, to decide on whether you’re in it to make money or be famous, because the two don’t always go together.  Focus on your business goals and then use these tips to build your influence to achieve them.

Friday, August 5, 2011

How to Use Surveys to Generate Leads and Customers at Trade Shows

So, you're going to a trade show.  That usually involves sitting down and brainstorming ways to bring qualified leads to your booth and converting them into profitable customers.

Here is a quick check list that you can use to make sure that you're covering all your bases to get the most customer conversations out of your trade show events.

One of the most obvious materials you will need for everything on this list is the trade show web site and list of attendees.  You'll also want to be sure that you can get either a mailing list of the attendees or that you will be able to reach the attendees via email - either the show gives you this list or you give them the information that you'd like to send.

Focus on your sales and marketing goals.  The very first thing is to define what goals you're after.  It doesn't always have to be about gathering leads.   Here are a few sample objectives:

  • Get face to face time with the following clients that we only know via email.  You will need that attendee list or list of companies so that you can see if any of your customers will be there.  If you're not sure, reach out to the ones that you know from the list.

  • Generate "x" number of qualified leads per day.  For this objective, you will need a clearly defined list of what a qualified customer is. Use your Survey Analytics platform to create a qualifying or profiling survey.  You can also use SurveySwipe to do this and funnel all your visitors into a research panel.

  • Schedule or deliver "x" number of demonstrations.

  • Find out what our biggest competitor will launch next year


Set a theme for the year.  One of my favorite strategies is to set a theme for a series of trade shows.  Find a theme that features what you are selling and combines it with something that's important to your customers.  If you make your theme unexpected or extreme, people will stop to your booth just to SEE what's going in.  One company that was in the medical industry chose a 100-yard dash as a theme.  Their trade show booth features HUGE pictures of runners crossing a finish line, their promotional items were running hats and water bottles and their sales message was around a new product that allowed doctors to cross the finish line and meet a medical records deadline for converting to software.  It was a HUGE hit because they were the only exhibitor that didn't feature pictures of doctors and nurses and hospitals.

Reach out to as many customers before the show.  If you have the time, definitely send out a direct mail piece or invitation to customers or prospects that you want to meet.  Instead of sending thousands of mailings - target just those companies that will help you achieve your marketing goals.

This is a great opportunity to use a survey!  You can create a qualifying survey that gets attendees engaged by asking them qualifying questions that focus on the 5-7 key frustrations that they may have that your product or service can solve.  Think about working the survey questions like a quiz -- people LOVE that.

Then, when they answer the last question of the survey and click "Finish" or "Submit" you send them to a customized landing page for the trade show that provides a mini report based on the responses that they might have given to the survey.  This would look like the Quiz answer page in a magazine and say things like "If you answered "c" to question #1 that means that you have the most common issue, be sure to stop at booth #123 and try our wonderful product created just for that problem.

Use Survey Analytics to deliver the survey.  When they complete the survey, use the "Finish Options" to send them to a landing page that goes directly to a special page that you created for that show.

Another idea is to have them PRINT the landing page and bring it to your booth for a prize.

Use the same survey at the booth and profile people who stop in.  After they complete the survey, give them one of your promotional items.  Keep those promotional items hidden and only give them to people who complete your survey.

Use the survey to drive your selling process.  This is ideal for companies who have new or inexperienced people working the booth.  All they have to do is follow the survey and use the survey results as talking points to guide the customer to the call to action -- either sale or sale appointment.

Follow up with survey results from the show.  Take the results from the survey and write them up into a report and then share that report with everyone who came to your booth.

Make sure to write that report in a way that takes that prospect or customer through the areas that are important and how your product or service solves the problems that people in the survey had.

Bet you've never looked at surveys as a lead generation tool?!  But they really are so effective, so subtle and focused purely on what the customer needs.  Not only that, but the very act of taking customers through surveys at a trade show gives you the opportunity to engage them and gather important data that you can use later.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

We Don't Have To Forget How To Do Research With Surveys, Just Merge and Evolve the Process A Little

Do you remember back in the day when Pee-Wee Herman would get a "secret word" from Conky? In the 80's, Conky was a masterpiece of technology and Pee-Wee was a tech-savvy guy, surrounded by cool gadgets and gizmos. Turns out, Pee-Wee's still showing off his love of technology, and he still hangs with his old crew. These days, Conky still gives a "secret word" each day, but now he's sending it to Pee-Wee's iPad! **SCREAM**

The way that we've come to know how surveys are created, administered, and reporting can be broken down into a few very basic steps. Let's break these steps down and compare this OLD process to a TECHNOLOGICALLY ADVANCED process:

1) Create A Survey For A Research Purpose

SCENARIO: Let's say a company wants to do research. Well, first thing that needs to be done is figuring out the questions. All right, questions figured out.

OLD: Ok, so we know the questions we want to ask. Now we'll go ahead and enter each question into a document. That's easy enough.

NEW: Hey, what's this? Survey Analytics is survey software that let's me create surveys online? Nice! I could take the opportunity to share all of the rockin' abilities Survey Analytics gives us, but if you don't know, then get on it & check out the website!

2) Field Researchers Collect Survey Data

SCENARIO: Researchers are set up and sent off to collect survey data.

OLD: Equipped with a clipboard, a short pencil, and a stack of paper, the researcher is set to go. Respondent #1 is approached and the survey begins. Each answer is written down as fast as a person can write. Oh, look - people are passing by while the surveyor is writing down the answers. Goodbye potential respondents, hello cramping hands.

NEW: Oh, SurveyPocket, how I love thee! Since surveys were created online using Survey Analytics, I can synchronize SurveyPocket on my iPad with my Survey Analytics account and my surveys magically appear on my iPad! On SurveyPocket, just hop on an internet connection, press "Synchronize", and voila! All of my surveys are now on my iPad. Worried about no internet connection? Well, that's where SurveyPocket has leapt ahead in innovation. After synchronizing with your online account when connected to the internet,  SurveyPocket can be taken fully offline and surveys can be administered.

3) These Recorded Answers Are Then Manually Transposed, 1-by-1, To Create A Report

SCENARIO: It's time to enter data into the main system so that we can get reports generated.

OLD: Survey #1: question 1 transposed, question 2 transposed, ... now to Survey #2... Wait - I have 3500 surveys to transpose?! Hope I don't *lose* some data along the way!

NEW: Internet + The "Synchronize" button on SurveyPocket. All data uploaded to your SurveyAnalytics account. Phew... that was hard work!

4) Reports Complete

SCENARIO: All of the data has made it's way to being analyzed for reporting.

OLD: Now to go through all of the data and find some patterns, calculate some percentages, and whatever else needs to be done.

NEW: One sec... looking at the reporting section on Survey Analytics to see the results and report.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

We Don't Have To Forget How To Do Research With Surveys, Just Merge and Evolve the Process A Little

Do you remember back in the day when Pee-Wee Herman would get a "secret word" from Conky? In the 80's, Conky was a masterpiece of technology and Pee-Wee was a tech-savvy guy, surrounded by cool gadgets and gizmos. Turns out, Pee-Wee's still showing off his love of technology, and he still hangs with his old crew. These days, Conky still gives a "secret word" each day, but now he's sending it to Pee-Wee's iPad! **SCREAM**

The way that we've come to know how surveys are created, administered, and reporting can be broken down into a few very basic steps. Let's break these steps down and compare this OLD process to a TECHNOLOGICALLY ADVANCED process:

1) Create A Survey For A Research Purpose

SCENARIO: Let's say a company wants to do research. Well, first thing that needs to be done is figuring out the questions. All right, questions figured out.

OLD: Ok, so we know the questions we want to ask. Now we'll go ahead and enter each question into a document. That's easy enough.

NEW: Hey, what's this? Survey Analytics is survey software that let's me create surveys online? Nice! I could take the opportunity to share all of the rockin' abilities Survey Analytics gives us, but if you don't know, then get on it & check out the website!

2) Field Researchers Collect Survey Data

SCENARIO: Researchers are set up and sent off to collect survey data.

OLD: Equipped with a clipboard, a short pencil, and a stack of paper, the researcher is set to go. Respondent #1 is approached and the survey begins. Each answer is written down as fast as a person can write. Oh, look - people are passing by while the surveyor is writing down the answers. Goodbye potential respondents, hello cramping hands.

NEW: Oh, SurveyPocket, how I love thee! Since surveys were created online using Survey Analytics, I can synchronize SurveyPocket on my iPad with my Survey Analytics account and my surveys magically appear on my iPad! On SurveyPocket, just hop on an internet connection, press "Synchronize", and voila! All of my surveys are now on my iPad. Worried about no internet connection? Well, that's where SurveyPocket has leapt ahead in innovation. After synchronizing with your online account when connected to the internet,  SurveyPocket can be taken fully offline and surveys can be administered.

3) These Recorded Answers Are Then Manually Transposed, 1-by-1, To Create A Report

SCENARIO: It's time to enter data into the main system so that we can get reports generated.

OLD: Survey #1: question 1 transposed, question 2 transposed, ... now to Survey #2... Wait - I have 3500 surveys to transpose?! Hope I don't *lose* some data along the way!

NEW: Internet + The "Synchronize" button on SurveyPocket. All data uploaded to your SurveyAnalytics account. Phew... that was hard work!

4) Reports Complete

SCENARIO: All of the data has made it's way to being analyzed for reporting.

OLD: Now to go through all of the data and find some patterns, calculate some percentages, and whatever else needs to be done.

NEW: One sec... looking at the reporting section on Survey Analytics to see the results and report.

We Don't Have To Forget How To Do Research With Surveys, Just Merge and Evolve the Process A Little

Do you remember back in the day when Pee-Wee Herman would get a "secret word" from Conky? In the 80's, Conky was a masterpiece of technology and Pee-Wee was a tech-savvy guy, surrounded by cool gadgets and gizmos. Turns out, Pee-Wee's still showing off his love of technology, and he still hangs with his old crew. These days, Conky still gives a "secret word" each day, but now he's sending it to Pee-Wee's iPad! **SCREAM**

The way that we've come to know how surveys are created, administered, and reporting can be broken down into a few very basic steps. Let's break these steps down and compare this OLD process to a TECHNOLOGICALLY ADVANCED process:

1) Create A Survey For A Research Purpose

SCENARIO: Let's say a company wants to do research. Well, first thing that needs to be done is figuring out the questions. All right, questions figured out.

OLD: Ok, so we know the questions we want to ask. Now we'll go ahead and enter each question into a document. That's easy enough.

NEW: Hey, what's this? Survey Analytics is survey software that let's me create surveys online? Nice! I could take the opportunity to share all of the rockin' abilities Survey Analytics gives us, but if you don't know, then get on it & check out the website!

2) Field Researchers Collect Survey Data

SCENARIO: Researchers are set up and sent off to collect survey data.

OLD: Equipped with a clipboard, a short pencil, and a stack of paper, the researcher is set to go. Respondent #1 is approached and the survey begins. Each answer is written down as fast as a person can write. Oh, look - people are passing by while the surveyor is writing down the answers. Goodbye potential respondents, hello cramping hands.

NEW: Oh, SurveyPocket, how I love thee! Since surveys were created online using Survey Analytics, I can synchronize SurveyPocket on my iPad with my Survey Analytics account and my surveys magically appear on my iPad! On SurveyPocket, just hop on an internet connection, press "Synchronize", and voila! All of my surveys are now on my iPad. Worried about no internet connection? Well, that's where SurveyPocket has leapt ahead in innovation. After synchronizing with your online account when connected to the internet,  SurveyPocket can be taken fully offline and surveys can be administered.

3) These Recorded Answers Are Then Manually Transposed, 1-by-1, To Create A Report

SCENARIO: It's time to enter data into the main system so that we can get reports generated.

OLD: Survey #1: question 1 transposed, question 2 transposed, ... now to Survey #2... Wait - I have 3500 surveys to transpose?! Hope I don't *lose* some data along the way!

NEW: Internet + The "Synchronize" button on SurveyPocket. All data uploaded to your SurveyAnalytics account. Phew... that was hard work!

4) Reports Complete

SCENARIO: All of the data has made it's way to being analyzed for reporting.

OLD: Now to go through all of the data and find some patterns, calculate some percentages, and whatever else needs to be done.

NEW: One sec... looking at the reporting section on Survey Analytics to see the results and report.
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