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Surveys or Focus Group should start first in Social Media

January 13, 2009
by

One..Two..enough is enough 😉

Dominique and I went through the same experience lately and it sucks. It’s about the process by which companies are conducting surveys.

I won’t disclose the companies but they’re multi-nationals with lots of $$$.

It starts with an unsolicited email (that’s ok) that looked like:

abc is conducting a paid research study on behalf of company xyz on MM/DD.  We are looking for individuals like yourself to take part in an one-on-one interview to discuss (topic of the survey) and would like to include your opinions.  This study will ..bla bla…and as a thank you for your time and opinions, you will receive $$$ (a bit more than 100).

We get excited, we both like to provide our input to companies wanting to improve their products and services (we’re not the only one). The reward is icing on the cake. So we both wholeheartedly enroll.

In Dominique’s case, the following day, he got a call (screening call) and without being given any reason he was told that Company xyz was not interested in my opinion (Assumption: They found enough volunteers).

In my case, they told me the date of the survey (week long), the process I would have to follow (use their service and take 15 min each day to report my experience and, on the last day, 4 people would come to interview me in person in my house which is where i use their service). Then came the date of the interview and nothing.

The net-net is:

  • the study costed company xyz a significant amount of $ (the agency cost, the cost of interviewing a few hundred people…)
  • company xyz created a high level of customer frustration (yes we’re customers of their product/service). I’m sure other people went though the same and, as we did, vented their frustration to a few good friends.

Sound like a broken process to me.

Hello? Have those companies heard of social media?

We looked into what people were saying about those companies products/services and we found valuable and authentic content fresh out of someone’s real life experience (thus much better than a survey done after the fact when things can get biased).

So next time, when preparing a survey, look first into social media and you’ll be able to:

  1. Cherry pick people for your survey or focus group.
  2. Access their social profile in Facebook or LinkedIn and validate they fit your criteria (so you don’t call clients that you end up dumping along the way)
  3. May be even get all the answers you need without having to spend $$$ for expensive interviews. And get them much faster.
  4. Re-use this ‘knowledge asset’ of unbiased customer insights for further marketing effort.

End of the story.


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