Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Webinar: Mobile Field Data Collection on iPads and Tablets Using SurveyPocket

It’s no secret that iPads and other tablet computers are changing the way people interact and communicate.

Did you know they are also changing the way we collect data?

In market research, many field teams are replacing pencil and paper with electronic tablet devices. Others are evaluating their options for doing so.

Have you heard the hype and want to join in on the action? Are you a bit overwhelmed when you think about getting started?

SurveyPocketScreenShotJoin us on Wednesday March 7th, 2012 at 10:00 AM PST / 1:00 PM EST for a free webinar hosted by Esther LaVielle and John Johnson from Survey Analytics. With over 12 years of combined experience in project management, market research, and software application training, Esther and John are here to train you and offer free guidelines how to use SurveyPocket to:

- Create and manage your own field project
- Train and manage your field research team on tablet use
- Synchronize/organize all data into an online report
- Share your field research results with your clients faster than ever before with dashboards and alerts

We will also share:

- A live demonstration of SurveyPocket, including new features
- Case studies from two of our clients: St. Jude Medical and the Country Music Awards

The webinar will conclude with a Q&A session.

See you there!

Here's the link to register:


Monday, February 27, 2012

How to Use Online Surveys to Build Customer Relationships and Conversations

Surveys used to be rather cut and dry conversation between companies and customers.  Companies ask questions, customers answer questions and that's the end.  In fact, it wasn't really a conversation at all.  It was more of a friendly interrogation.

But what if we could actually use surveys to create conversations?  That might be interesting.  A survey could actually inspire a conversation that goes back and forth and ultimately turns into a relationship.

How to inspire conversations around online surveys

  1. Introduce the presence of an online survey to your customers.  Maybe this sounds silly at first, but when you introduce your customers to the fact that you have an online survey and get them to experience the online survey in a fun and non-threatening way, they will be more likely to respond.

  2. Get customers to "opt-into" a conversation with you.  Create a feedback opt-in list.  This is really a low-cost way to start building a customer panel that you can go to for quick and dirty answers to questions.  You can use your standard email marketing tool to do this or try the Survey Analytics MicroPanel application that integrates surveys and panel management under one roof.

  3. Create a friendly email invitation to your survey.  If you already have a customer list, then you can easily create an email invitation that's as personalized and customized as you'd like.  You can add the respondent's first name as well as any number of customized fields that will allow you to pinpoint things such as what product or service they purchased or even a sales rep that they've worked with.  If it's a record on your spreadsheet, you can customize it it.

  4. Add a Thank You Page.  You can create your own landing page where you can send your survey respondents after they've completed a survey or you can use the QuestionPro /Survey Analytics Thank You Page.  Either way - be sure to include a link where your respondents can continue the conversation with you.  The thank you page is the perfect location for a free download or the ability to register to win a prize or any creative way that you can think of to grab your respondent's information so that you can stay in touch.

  5. Customized Thank You Email.  A really terrific idea is to send a customized thank you email to your respondents once they've finished the survey.  The email can also contain links to other areas where they can stay in touch with you as well as free gifts and incentives for taking the survey.

Don't let your relationship with the respondents stop after the survey.  Give them opportunities to connect with you and engage in ongoing conversation about your products or services.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

7 Ridiculously Simple Ways To Brand Your Online Survey

Some DIY Marketers will tell you that it doesn't matter what your online survey really looks like - people will answer it and you'll get data and that's all that matters.  I'm not so sure.

While I wouldn't go spending thousands on branding and customized templates just to make my survey look good.  I'd want my survey to look professional and match the branding that I have for my organization -- wouldn't you?

What does it mean to "Brand" your survey?

We all may have different definitions of what "Branding" a survey really is.  I'm going to say that "Branding" your survey means that it has a "look and feel" that is clearly defined as your brand.  If you stood 20 people against a wall and asked them who sent the survey -- they would say your company name.

So what might they see that would give them the idea that it was from your company?

  1. The logo - Placing your logo in the survey gives a clear message as to which company is sponsoring the survey.  More than anything, your logo will put your respondents in a specific mindset as to how to respond to the survey.  You can easily upload your logo inside your QuestionPro or Survey Analytics platform once - and have it available to use over and over again.

  2. Slogans or taglines - A slogan or tagline can often define a brand more powerfully than the logo.  Insert your slogan or tagline in the header of your survey as a graphic or if it's keyword rich, you can insert it as text.

  3. The colors - People quickly recognize a brand by the color combinations that you use.  You can easily use a base QuestionPro or Survey Analytics template and then create a branded header that you upload as an image.  Like a coat of paint, it's a quick and easy way to brandify your online survey with very little effort.

  4. Typography - Fonts are another defining element of a brand.  If you're using a unique font, be sure to show it prominently in the header art so that your brand shines through - and then use a complementary font for your questions.

  5. The tone of the questions - Brands aren't just visual, they have a voice.  Be sure that the questions are worded in your brand's voice.  If your brand is very professional, then it doesn't make sense to create fun, casual questions with snarky answer options.  Likewise, if your brand is more fun and casual, you will shock your audience by using a formal voice or tone to your survey.

  6. Images and photography - Some brands use illustrations, others use photography and still others have a style to their videos.  Be sure that the design images you use define your brand while still leaving you space to use images and video in your online survey.

  7. Values and purpose - These are can often be forgotten whenever a survey opportunity comes along.  If you're surveying your customers and they know it's you -- then be careful and mindful about the topic of your survey and see how it meshes with the values, purpose and promise that your brand stands for.  So, if your brand has clearly taken a stance or position as being environmentally conscious - you wouldn't want to do a branded that puts that position in jeopardy.

To brand or not to brand your survey

While it might be nice to always have a branded survey, it may not always be appropriate.  There are times when you want your respondents to THINK about your brand and times you don't.

When you customize and brand your survey, your respondent sees that brand and is instantly influenced by what they think and feel about the brand as they answer the questions.  This isn't always a bad thing.

When doing surveys on customer satisfaction or customer experience, I want them to think about my brand and what they expect from my brand as they answer the questions.  I want them to take their expectations and overlay them on their actual experience and then give me that impression.

If, however, I'm thinking about taking on a position that's different from what might normally be expected from my brand -- for example, say my brand has taken a stand against animal testing and now I'm considering some animal testing.  It might not be a good idea to blast my brand on that survey.  I would want to know what my audience feels about animal testing without being influenced by my brand.

The bottom line is that using a DIY online research tool doesn't have to look unprofessional.  You can create a high-end customized look to your brand with very little effort or even technical skill.

Monday, February 20, 2012

5 Creative Ways to Use Your Survey as a Lead Magnet

One of the really fantastic things about online research lately has been its ability to shape-shift from a survey that occurs as a nuisance to something that can actually serve as a lead generation tool.

Here are some creative ways to use your QuestionPro of Survey Analytics tools to generate new leads for your business.

The most important thing to do when you're using your web site as a lead magnet is to create a landing page that uses an opt-in form.

Once your prospect enters their information into the opt-in form, they will receive a double-opt in email.  Inside of that email, include a link to your survey.

Following is a list of creative ways to use your online survey to generate leads.

  1. Create a quiz.  Why not give your web site visitors an opportunity to test their knowledge on a specific topic.  Let them take the quiz and then as a finishing option, direct them to a page on your site that has the answers written out and explained.

  2. Outline a needs assessment.  Another creative way to use your online survey tool is to create a customer needs assessment.  When your prospect fills out the form, they get forwarded to an assessment that asks them questions about their product or service needs.  After they've submitted their assessment, forward them to a landing page on your site where they can click to schedule an appointment with a sales person.  You can even insert a link to a calendar tool like Tungle that shows your representatives available dates and times.

  3. Personality test.  Who can resist a personality profile? If you really wanted to get creative, you could create a personality profile test by using the logic and branching features.  You'll have to take some time to map out the logic and algorithm for how you will put people into a specific personality profile, but once you've got the logic worked out, you'll be satisfied with the results.

  4. Product evaluation.  Everyone loves to give their two cents and opinion on a variety of products.  You can create a series of short surveys about a specific product and then have people opt-in to review it.

  5. Customer qualification.  It's common practice to qualify survey respondents to make sure they match your sample requirements.  Why not do the same thing with potential leads or customers?  Ask them your top seven qualifying frustrations and when they finish the survey -- send them to a page that specifically outlines the features and benefits that solve their problem.

What are some creative ways that you've used your QuestionPro online survey tool to generate new leads for your business?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

5 Easy Ways to Attract Followers to Your Blog and Brand

In the world of ecommerce and global business it is more than likely that your website includes a blog. There is important information that is shared in your blog but is it something people are excited about reading. You want to create that blog that people wake up every morning or Monday (depending on how often you update your blog) ready to drink their coffee and see what it is that you had to say today. Follow these 5 tips to attract customers to your blog.

  1. Relate to your customer. The easiest way to get customers to hear you is to relate to them. How are you like them and how can you help them from your own learning experiences. Brainstorm and make a list of what you both like and dislike in your industry or niche. Write about how you are frustrated with “such and such” happens and how you overcame that frustration. Story-telling can be intriguing. Rope them in with your ability to relate to them through your own story.

  2.  Offer Solutions. Now that you have formed a relationship with the customer because you share the same likes and dislikes you can help them. You don’t have to be the decision-maker for them but simply offer different solutions to the problems or concerns. Even through your story you might have tried one solution and found that didn’t work and you tried another solution and found that was successful for you. You can point out that the first solution could have worked in perhaps a little bit of a different scenario.

  3. Engage your customer. It could be that in your story you didn’t find a solution or maybe you want to hear how other people find a solution and what worked for them. Ask your customer direct questions in your blog and share from one another what worked and what didn’t work. Make sure that you follow through with commenting back to your questions. If you want your customer to speak up you need to let them know that they have been heard and their opinion does matter.

  4. Get an expert. After your initial blog and you find out what people have tried. You could invite an expert in your field to help narrow the scope or explain why certain solutions work better than others. You will gain respect from your customer if they know they can go to your blog and find out the honest truths, the ins and outs and even get advice from a credible source.

  5. A Note from your CEO. The face of the company is your CEO. People value the opinion of the top dog. Have your CEO contribute to the blog on a regular basis.  If your CEO doesn't feel comfortable writing his own content, either let him dictate the content into a digital recorder, have it transcribed and just edit it as an article.

Rather than beat your head against a wall, survey your customers as to what topics interest them most and be sure to write and address those from time to time.  Be sure to tell your readers that you are answering customer questions - this will let everyone know that you are listening to their feedback.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Marketing Pros Rate Fiat Super Bowl Ad Tops Using SurveySwipe

FIAT’s “Seduction” topped the field in a real-time poll of selected Super Bowl commercials by marketing and advertising professionals at Seattle’s third Annual Chalk Talk event. Interestingly, parent company FIAT’s advertisement slightly edged out Chrysler Corp’s “Halftime in America” spot. Coming in last among the commercials rated was GE’s “Power and Beer.”

Organized by the Puget Sound American Marketing Association and the Ad Club, and moderated by former NFL quarterback Brock Huard, attendees were able to rate a selection of Super Bowl ads real time with SurveyAnalyticsSurveySwipe smartphone app. Once downloaded, the SurveySwipe app enabled the audience to receive survey invitations via push notifications on their smartphones as the advertisements were replayed. Respondents then completed brief questionnaires on their smartphone, and immediately submitted their ratings. Results were then displayed real time to the audience. Said one attendee “This is a real cool way to measure the pulse of an audience in real time.”

Participants rated each commercial on a five point scale, where 1 = Hate it, 2 = Don’t like it, 3 = Neutral, 4 = Like it and 5 = Love it.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

What Market Researchers Learn from the Honey Badger

(ATTENTION: This honey badger video has been cleaned up for safe and clean viewing)


The Badass Honey Badger has been a YouTube sensation for a while now.  It's even gone mainstream now as a commercial.  I first heard of the honey badger video when I was having "one of those days" and a friend said to me -- you need to watch the honey badger video, you'll laugh and it will get you inspired to go out there and get the job done.

It worked.

So I thought I'd try to see what we can learn from the honey badger in the area of market research .  So here are a few attributes of the honey badger with some thoughts on how we can apply them in market research.

  • Crazy -- It's easy to get into a rut and just do the same old thing.  Why not get crazy.  Take a second look at the questions you're asking on your survey and start brainstorming other more fun questions that might give you the information you're looking for.  You can try using the graphic question types and include images instead of just words.

  • Fearless:  The honey badger isn't afraid of a doggone thing.  He goes into a nest of swarming bees to get larvae and honey.  He attacks cobras.  He's unstoppable in the face of danger.   He doesn't sit back and ask for permission and he doesn't wait for approval from management -- he goes and gets the job done.  As researchers we can be fearless by either taking on something new, by taking a stand or by introducing our organizations to ideas or technologies they may not have considered.

  • Takes what it wants:  A recurring phrase in the video is that the honey badger takes what it wants.  To take what you want, you have to know what you want.  I wonder if we don't take the time to really figure out what it is that we want either out of the research that we're doing or out of the research function.  What we deliver might have changed as has the way we delivered it -- but the expectations are still the same -- help business make better and more profitable decisions through data.

  • Eats snakes: What's the one thing you've been running away from or avoiding?  Make like the honey badger and just go after it.  Resolve it one way or the other.  Letting it hang out there clutters your mind and keeps you from going after what matters.

  • Digs:  This is something researchers are great at -- digging.  While others just look at the top line, we dig deeper to get to the heart of what the research means.  There's nothing quite like the thrill of watching the numbers tell a story - so keep digging.

  • Gets up like nothing happened - What did you think about that honey badger fighting the cobra, getting bit, napping and getting up again?  BRILLIANT.  When was the last time you went after something with gusto, attacked it, got knocked down and then went right back to it?  It's this kind of behavior that builds experience and strength.

There's a reason that this video has gone viral.  It speaks to something that's inside all of us at one point or another.  Too many times we see people shy away from what they know in their hearts is right or necessary.

The honey badger doesn't do what he does because he's brave or smart -- he's hungry.  Why not add a little of that hungry honey badger energy to your day today.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The ABCs of Customer Satisfaction

The following is a reprint of an article that appeared on Research Access by Dana Stanley.  Read and ask yourself how YOU spell SATISFACTION Image

Later this week I’ll be attending the Net Promoter Conference in San Francisco.  I’m really looking covering this event for Research Access. Customer satisfaction (or CSAT) measurement is a highly specialized, but vitally important, part of the research world. Yet I think there are many researchers and marketers who aren’t terribly familiar with the ins and outs of customer satisfaction and loyalty measurement. Here is a quick ABC guide to what you need to know about CSAT.


Satmetrix  Satmetrix, known as the Net Promoter Company, is the firm that administers the Net Promoter methodology.


ACSIThe ACSI (American Customer Satisfaction Index) is a methodology for measuring customer satisfaction.  It factors in the following variables:  customer expectations, perceived quality, perceived value, customer complaints and customer loyalty.


TrackingCustomer satisfaction and loyalty are fluid; therefore, most measurement programs involve tracking scores consistently over time.


IndicatorCustomer satisfaction is a leading indicator of business success; that’s why it’s so important to understand it and take action based on it.


SCIThe Secure Customer Index is a customer satisfaction measurement methodology developed by D. Randall Brandt.  The SCI combines three elements – overall satisfaction, likelihood to continue using the service, and likelihood to recommend.


FutureThe purpose of customer satisfaction research is to assess current attitudes toward a company in order to predict purchase behavior in the future.


Answering the Ultimate QuestionAnswering the Ultimate Question is a book by Fred Reichheld which outlines the Net Promoter methodology.


Calculating Your Net Promoter ScoreThe Net Promoter score is just what the name implies – the net of customers who are “promoters” minus those who are “detractors.”  The core Net Promoter question asks on a scale of 0 to 10 how likely a customer is to recommend the company to a colleague or friend.  The NPS is calculated by subtracting the percentage of customers who give a score of 0 through 6 (“Detractors”) from the percentage who give a score of 9 or 10 (“Promoters”).


TruthLike all research, customer satisfaction research is a search for truth.  There are different approaches, but the search for truth must continue unabated.


IndexMost customer satisfaction methodologies yield an index; a single score which is easy for an organization to understand, and, importantly, can be the basis for positive action.


Out of LuckFirms that ignore customer satisfaction altogether will soon find themselves out of luck.


Net Promoter Net Promoter is a customer satisfaction measurement methodology, developed by  Satmetrix, Bain & Company, and Fred Reichheld.  The Net Promoter Score is obtained by asking customers about their likelihood to recommend a company to a friend or colleague. You can use this link to get a discount if you’d like to join me at the Net Promoter Conference in San Francisco, February 1-3, 2012. I hope to see you there!