You need a market research mind-set

Marketers need an inner ‘market researcher’ says Leela Srinivasan of SurveyMonkey.

“If you think about all the work that marketers do across demand gen, brand, product marketing…there are many different aspects. When you talk about market research, the term seems narrow and specific — but my point-of-view is that it’s really vital to lean into feedback from the customers, prospects, audiences and stakeholders that matter to you.”

Tap into feedback. That’s a point-of-view Leela Srinivasan, CMO of SurveyMonkey conveyed in her recent session at HubSpot Inbound. “If you can tap into that feedback,” Srinivasaran told us, “it can really improve your output.” That goes for messaging and campaigns. “The creative process can be so subjective; it’s more powerful when you can back it up with concrete research.”

SurveyMonkey is a familiar name, of course; it’s been around for over twenty years and is well-known as simply an online survey tool. But from the tens of millions of surveys processed through its system over those years, SurveyMonkey has accumulated at a data-set which machine learning can use to generate guidance for users in designing effective surveys (the tool is called SurveyMonkey Genius).

With brands increasingly focused on customer experience, Srinivasaran is seeing marketers think more deeply research and feedback gathering, and voice-of-customer data. In digital channels, for example, it’s important to gather feedback at the right time, and make it easy to give feedback. “I was on a website this morning,” she said, “and up popped a chatbot to engage for sales reasons. I wanted to give feedback about this thing which wasn’t working, and there wasn’t a feedback button or anywhere I could do that.”

Cross-channel feedback. A brand’s own digital channels and online surveys aren’t the only ways customers deliver feedback — among other things, there are call centers, and the global social conversation. Do marketers need to pull all that together? “If you’ve got a lot of web traffic, that will yield a lot of responses, but that does call out a need. You do have to be thoughtful about how you aggregate and analyze the information.” The challenge with social, she says, is “cutting to what matters.”

One thing she’s seeing companies doing is pulling research results into systems of record where it can have impact. “It’s common for companies to send out a survey after a case closes. If that data doesn’t flow back into the system and cause different behavior, why are you even gathering it? There’s a heightened desire to connect feedback and survey data with other customer data.” SurveyMonkey itself has an integration with Salesforce for these purposes.

The customer impetus. If anything, the current economic and health climate makes it more important than ever for brands to be tuned into their customers expectations and needs. “The world has never been changing faster than it is today,” said Srinivasaran. “The way people feel about things is evolving all the time. That’s made it even more important to understand how your customers will react to, say, the launch you have up your sleeve.”

Why we care. Marketing is now data-driven. That’s table stakes. But it’s important that the data includes insights on how prospects, customers and stakeholders are reacting to your messaging. That goes deeper than just looking at KPIs like conversions, especially if you want to know what is working and why.

 

This story first appeared on MarTech Today.

 

 


About The Author

Kim Davis is the Editorial Director of MarTech Today. Born in London, but a New Yorker for over two decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space. He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020. Prior to working in tech journalism, Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.

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