What is a Consumer Survey?
Consumer surveys are research tools used to collect information from a target audience about their preferences, needs, and opinions on products, services, or concepts. The survey typically consists of a series of questions designed to understand consumer preferences, behaviors, and opinions related to a product, service, or market trend. This data is then analyzed to gain insights that inform various aspects of business strategy, including product development, marketing campaigns, and customer experience improvement.
- Opinion Polls
- Feedback Forms
- Observational Study
- Experimental Research
- Focus Groups
- Online Surveys: Websites like SurveyMonkey allow companies to send out electronic questionnaires.
- Mail-In Surveys: Respond with a post card or letter you send in the mail with your answers.
- In-Person Surveys: Field agents ask questions directly, often in shopping malls or on the street.
- Telephone Surveys: Respondents answer questions over the phone.
How Consumer Surveys, Benchmarks, and Market Research Work Together
Consumer surveys, benchmark studies, and market research are interrelated tools that businesses use to gain a comprehensive understanding of their market landscape, customer behaviors, and competitive positioning. Here's how they work together:
- Primary Objective: To gather specific data directly from customers or potential customers about their preferences, needs, and behaviors.
- Application with Benchmark Studies and Market Research: The data gathered through consumer surveys can be used as a point of reference or as a set of variables in benchmark studies and broader market research.
- Primary Objective: To evaluate a company's performance metrics in comparison to industry standards or competitors.
- Application with Consumer Surveys and Market Research: Benchmark studies often use data collected from consumer surveys to establish industry norms or identify best practices. They can also integrate findings from general market research to create a more nuanced understanding of market position.
- Primary Objective: To collect and analyze information about market conditions, including customer behaviors and competitive analysis.
- Application with Consumer Surveys and Benchmark Studies: Market research serves as the broader framework within which consumer surveys and benchmark studies operate. It uses data from both to provide actionable insights.
Synergy in Action
- Identification of Metrics: Market research can identify key performance indicators (KPIs) that are critical for a business.
- Data Collection: Consumer surveys collect raw data on these specific KPIs.
- Benchmarking: The data is then used in benchmark studies to compare against industry norms or key competitors.
- Strategic Decision-making: Insights from all three methods inform strategy, from product development to marketing campaigns.
Expert Opinion: Seth Waite
"Utilizing benchmark studies gives businesses a unique advantage—they can create their own data set that is both relevant and compelling. This allows them to have something important to talk about in their social media, content marketing, and sales channels. The alignment of consumer surveys, benchmark studies, and market research creates a robust system for both outbound and inbound opportunities."
By strategically combining consumer surveys, benchmark studies, and market research, companies can generate a more holistic understanding of their market environment, empowering them to make informed decisions that drive growth. If you're looking for market research agency help, reach out to Schaefer.
The Gallup Poll, one of the earliest examples of consumer surveys, started in the 1930s. The internet has significantly expanded the reach and decreased the cost of consumer surveys.
According to a study by Pew Research, the average response rate for consumer surveys has dropped from 36% in 1997 to just 6% in 2018, emphasizing the need for well-designed surveys.
Example for Emerging Markets in Food & Beverage
A beverage company looking to enter an emerging market may conduct a consumer survey to gauge interest in a new organic juice line. Questions may include taste preferences, pricing, and the importance of organic ingredients.
"Consumer surveys are a goldmine for actionable insights, especially in fast-evolving industries like Food & Beverage. They allow you to tap into the consumer's psyche and offer data-driven solutions that resonate with your target audience. However, the key lies in crafting surveys that are concise yet comprehensive, to get the most valuable feedback."
- Sidnee Schaefer, CEO at Schaefer