How Survey Research can help with public relations and marketing planning

“If you didn’t ask the question, how would you know the answer?” That old saying is a succinct summary of the logic behind surveying to learn more about your customers in marketing planning.

However, researching is not as simple as asking questions – the right questions need to be asked of the right people. You must first determine what information you want to collect, which will help you choose the questions to ask, how to ask them, and by whom.

When a survey is useful?

Surveys are usually done for at least one of three reasons: to describe a population, to explain behavior or attitudes, or to explore or discover new relevant topics.


So the first step is to determine the purpose of the survey: what you want to know – how you can learn about users, their perception of a product or their needs, and the environment in which that product will work.

The topic can be further narrowed down to possible questions about who the potential users are, what current customers think about a particular product, or what are the most relevant issues when they decide to buy an item in this product category.

Sample and process:

Once you’ve determined your goal, you can decide who is best to look for. You should be aware of trends, such as people attending a fair, passing by your booth, and agreeing to take the survey. Perhaps a telephone survey conducted by an outside company would provide more accurate answers because it would be an independent survey and perceived as more objective by respondents.

Of course, time and budget issues must also be taken into account, and a path outside the company is more expensive than a stock option.

Some studies may require data collection over time (eg, “How have attitudes to the cloud changed in the last year?”). In that case, respondents would have to complete the same or similar survey multiple times to see if attitudes or knowledge changed and the reasons for the change.

Research project

Discussions about the research design occupied several textbooks. The main conclusion is that the questions must be clear and unique to the respondent, to provide useful answers for those who answered the survey.

During an in-person or telephone survey, the person conducting the survey is not obligated to advise on the questions or express an opinion on the answers provided.

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Once the data is collected, what is done with it?

As the saying goes, “there is no need to reinvent the wheel”. In this case, it means that the data, after being converted into conclusions and information, can be used for public relations and marketing purposes, and can be distributed and used in different formats and for different purposes, such as press releases. print, sales offers, white papers, formal reports, webinars, infographics, etc.

Any text should contain visual elements such as tables and graphs that clearly show the main results.

From a marketing perspective, information can be used for business decisions such as product launches, pricing, messaging, and branding. Information cannot and should not fully guide decisions, but it can be combined with the overall direction of the business and the needs of the market.

When properly designed and with a clear objective in mind, the survey is a valuable tool for gathering information about customers, attitudes and motivators, and market challenges.

When questions are answered correctly and respondents are carefully selected to avoid bias or misrepresentation of the general population, valuable results will be obtained. The goals and issues must be clear to avoid being deceived.

Regardless of whether or not you get the answers and trends, you expect, conducting a survey can be informative and useful for your business, marketing, and public relations strategies.