Knowing your customer is your business’s first and best competitive advantage. And that information comes from various sources, especially market research surveys, marketing surveys, and other customer surveys.
When businesses take customer feedback and overall brand perception seriously, they significantly improve their conversion rates, brand value, and revenue. This blog post explores how local businesses can leverage marketing surveys to gain a strategic advantage in the industry.
Table of contents
What is a market survey?
A market survey is research that details the characteristics of a business’s target audience, potential or existing customer base, or a particular focus group to understand them better and tailor services accordingly.
It usually takes the form of a short questionnaire based on a pre-defined survey template. Market survey questions can be about a company’s products or services, brand awareness, and customer experiences.
Why do businesses conduct market research surveys?
Navigating a business environment is challenging for businesses of all sizes, especially for those looking to expand into new markets, locations, and verticals. Conducting surveys makes it easier to take on these challenges, especially marketing surveys and other research surveys.
- Businesses regularly conduct market research to see how well they fare against competitors within their target market. The more customer feedback businesses get, the better they can position their offerings.
- Conducting regular surveys also helps businesses formulate a more precise marketing budget with data-driven insights.
- For businesses looking to expand into newer locations, market research surveys can help understand the local clientele and modify product offerings accordingly. Fast-food retail giants like Mcdonalds’ and KFC have adopted this approach while expanding to Asian and European markets.
Difference between market research and marketing research
Market research is all about gathering intel, analyzing large data sets, or conducting studies of a specific yet overall market. It’s also a vital business strategy that helps companies determine their competitiveness and how well they can respond to the preferences and needs of their target market.
The goal of a market research survey is to gain information about the wants, needs, beliefs, and values of existing customers and potential customers. It’s also relevant in creating accurate buyer personas for use in marketing campaigns.
Marketing research, on the other hand, is about analyzing the methodologies best suited to reaching consumers of a specific target market. A company’s marketing research will capture insights about customer behaviors to determine the right marketing strategies.
Market research is often part of marketing surveys to define customer needs, behaviors, and spending habits, to name a few objectives.
Different types of surveys
To understand their target audience and potential customers, businesses can employ different types of surveys. These surveys have different objectives, and the market research questions in these surveys differ accordingly. Businesses must define each survey’s objectives so they can use them effectively.
The most popular types of surveys businesses conduct to understand customers are:
- Customer surveys
- Product surveys
- Marketing surveys
- Brand surveys
Customer surveys are incredibly useful to businesses as they provide unique insights into who the target customer is, what they prefer, what they need, and why they make purchase decisions. Use these customer-related survey types and questions to learn more about improving your customer experiences.
Customer Satisfaction Surveys (CSAT)
These surveys are critical in gauging how effective your offerings and customer service efforts are in satisfying your core customer. Businesses must phrase these CSAT questions so customers can answer them with a Yes or No or on a numerical scale.
Here are some sample questions you can use to build your survey template.
1. On a scale of one to five, how would you rate your overall satisfaction with our product/service?
2. How would you rate the responsiveness of our customer service team?
3. Overall, how would you rate the quality of our products?
4. How likely will you recommend our product/service to others?
Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys
NPS surveys measure customer satisfaction and loyalty to a business. You can learn to predict repurchases and referrals and boost retention rates with NPS surveys. Some NPS sample questions are below.
5. On a scale of zero to 10, how likely are you to recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague?
6. What is the primary reason for your score above?
7. What could we do to make you more likely to recommend our company/product/service?
8. How likely are you to switch to a competitor in the near future?
By analyzing NPS survey results with an intuitive tool like Birdeye Surveys, you can better understand how to take your services ahead.
As the name of the survey implies, these questionnaires prompt purchasing customers to describe their satisfaction with your overall purchase methods and experience. Businesses can use these questions to identify areas of improvement in their purchase process.
9. How satisfied are you with your recent purchase?
10. Did our product/service meet your expectations?
11. How would you rate the overall quality of the product/service you received?
12. Did you find the product/service description and information accurate and helpful?
Product fit surveys
Product fit surveys are game-changers in understanding how well your products or services meet your audience’s needs and expectations. The responses you get from these questions will help you make necessary improvements to your core offerings.
13. How frequently do you use our product/service?
14. How long have you been using our product/service?
15. What specific features of our product/service do you utilize the most?
16. Are there any features or functionalities that you find difficult to use or understand?
Customer churn surveys
It is important to know why your customers leave or choose a competitor with customer churn surveys. In the best-case scenario, you identify a fixable problem and earn the customer back. The worst-case scenario is that you still lose a customer but can learn what deterred them so you can make changes to prevent similar situations with other customers.
17. What was the primary reason for deciding to discontinue our product/service?
18. Were there any specific issues or problems that led to your decision to leave us? If yes, please provide details.
19. Were there any factors outside of our control that influenced your decision to discontinue our services?
20. Could we have done anything differently to retain you as a customer?
Product-related surveys are must-have tools in the arsenal because they provide insights into your core offerings. Learn what buying customers love about your product as well as what they don’t quite like about it. These surveys and sample questions can be used for ongoing improvements in your line of services or products.
Product satisfaction surveys
You can discover how satisfied customers are with your products when you ask these types of questions in your satisfaction surveys.
21. On a scale of one to five, how satisfied are you with the quality of our product?
22. How would you rate the performance of our product?
23. How well does our product meet your specific needs and requirements?
24. How satisfied are you with our product’s overall design and aesthetics?
Product usage surveys
You can gain an even deeper understanding of how your customers use your products with these lines of questions in your product usage surveys. See if you can spot ways to improve how they meet your buying audience’s needs.
25. How frequently do you use our product?
26. Which specific features of our product do you use the most?
27. How well does our product meet your specific needs and requirements?
28. How would you rate the overall user experience of our product?
Product Improvement surveys
Still not sure how to improve your suite of products or platform of services? Take the guesswork out of your inquiries and use a product improvement survey where you can ask customers precisely what they suggest you do better.
29. What improvements or enhancements would you like to see in our product?
30. Are there any specific features or functionalities that you feel are missing from our product?
31. Are there any performance issues or areas where our product can be more efficient?
32. Is there anything about our product that frustrates or confuses you?
Product pricing surveys
Sometimes the pricing of a product can negatively impact the sales. So, if customers love your product, you may see a decline in purchases or subscriptions. This may not come out in the product usage or improvement survey, but these product pricing survey questions can help:
33. On a scale of 1 to 5, how affordable do you find our product?
34. How does the price of our product compare to similar products in the market?
35. How would you feel if we slightly reduced the price of our product?
36. How does the price of our product align with your expectations and quality?
Product comparison surveys
See how your company’s core offerings stand up in comparison to other options in the market with a product comparison survey. These responses will help you identify strategic strengths and weaknesses in your own offerings and with competing products.
37. Have you used any similar products to ours in the past? If yes, please specify the products.
38. How would you rate our product compared to the competing products you have used?
39. What key differences have you observed between our product and the competing products?
40. In your opinion, Which product offers better value for money: our product or the competing products?
For inspiration, you can find more questions from our product survey questions blog post.
Marketing surveys are different from customer or product-related polls because they intend to provide insights you can use in your business marketing strategy. These types of surveys and sample questions are mission-critical to providing direction with your promotion efforts.
Businesses can learn more about demographics, buyer personas, and motivations for making purchases.
Know your customer in detail so that you can build buyer personas, ideal customer profiles, tailor marketing campaigns, choose the right channels, and so on with demographic surveys.
Some sample demographic survey questions look like this:
41. What is your age?
42. What is your gender?
43. What is your highest level of education completed?
44. What is your occupation?
These questions can also be part of your overall customer feedback collection process. For example, when Southern Careers Institute started using Birdeye Surveys to collect feedback from their students, it also included a demographic survey to know more about the student’s overall career path. The business then used this information to align marketing efforts and target students who are more likely to follow similar career paths.
Ad effectiveness surveys
Businesses can use these surveys during or after an active ad campaign to see just how effective your ad messages were to your target audience.
45. Have you seen or heard our recent advertisement?
46. How did you come across our advertisement? (TV, radio, online, print, etc.)
47. On a scale of 1 to 5, how appealing was our advertisement to you?
48. Did our advertisement capture your attention? Why or why not?
Market segmentation surveys
Take a deeper dive into understanding what motivates your customers’ shopping and buying habits. Knowing market segments will help you better target your ad messages and marketing calls to action.
49. How would you describe your lifestyle? (Active, busy, relaxed, etc.)
50. What is your preferred method of shopping for products or services in this category? (In-store, online, both, etc.)
51. What is your primary reason for purchasing products or services in this category? (Functionality, quality, price, convenience, etc.)
52. What is your preferred method of shopping for products or services in this category? (In-store, online, both, etc.)
Product concept surveys
Evaluate current product interest or gauge potential buying markets for new products with a product concept survey that asks these types of questions.
53. On a scale of 1 to 5, how interested would you be in purchasing this product?
54. How well does this product concept meet your needs or address your current problem?
55. What aspects of this product concept do you find most appealing?
56. Would this product concept provide value for its intended price point?
Competitive analysis surveys
These surveys are like pulse checks on how competitive your products and services are within your niche or industry. Discover customer sentiments about how well you rank among those competitors and identify opportunities for improvement.
57. Are you aware of any other brands or companies that offer similar products/services to ours?
58. How would you rate our brand/company compared to our competitors regarding overall quality?
59. How would you rate our brand/company compared to our competitors regarding customer service?
60. How does our brand/company compare to our competitors in terms of brand reputation or image?
Brand-related surveys are another type of engagement that you can send out to existing customers, potential customers, and loyal brand advocates. These responses will paint a picture of how well your brand is perceived in the market.
It will also allow you to spot brand inconsistencies that need fixing. Consider these survey types and sample questions to evaluate the overall health of your company brand.
Brand awareness surveys
Send these brand awareness survey questions to learn just how well your brand is known in the market. Brand visibility translates to brand trust and more conversions. See where you can make improvements to boost brand visibility.
61. How did you first become aware of our brand/company?
62. Which of the following products or services do you associate with our brand/company?
63. On a scale of 1 to 5, how well do you recognize our brand/company logo?
64. What words or phrases come to mind when you think of our brand/company?
Brand perception surveys
Brand visibility is one thing. But, brand perception is more about how your target audience feels about your company. Use these survey questions to see if their responses match your brand’s mission and positioning.
65. How would you describe your overall perception of our brand/company?
66. What words or phrases come to mind when you think of our brand/company?
67. How well do you believe our brand/company understands and meets your needs?
68 How well do you believe our brand/company aligns with your values and beliefs?
Brand equity surveys
Brand equity is all about being able to fire on all cylinders and reach your core buyers when and where they need you most. These survey types will outline whether or not your customers know you exist, can find your offering when needed, and what they think about your company.
69. How familiar are you with our brand/company?
70. How likely are you to choose our brand/company over competitors when making a purchase?
71. How likely are you to switch to a competitor’s brand/company in the future?
72. How well do you think our brand/company understands and meets your needs?
Brand loyalty surveys
See just how loyal your existing customers are with a brand loyalty survey that gauges levels of advocacy and brand championing. They’ve bought from you before, but these questions will tell you if they’re casual one-time buyers or brand enthusiasts.
73. How likely are you to continue purchasing from our brand/company in the future?
74. How well do you think our brand/company values and appreciates its loyal customers?
75. How would you rate the level of trust you have in our brand/company?
76. How well do you believe our brand/company understands your needs and preferences?
Brand positioning surveys
Discover how effective your current brand position is in your market and in relation to competitors with these surveys. Insights here can help you make adjustments to your branding and marketing efforts.
77. How would you describe our brand/company to others?
78. What specific benefits or advantages do you associate with our brand/company?
79. When you think of our industry or product category, what specific words or phrases come to mind in relation to our brand/company?
80. On a scale of 1 to 5, how memorable is our brand/company’s messaging or tagline?
Learn more about brand surveys and questions you can use from our detailed blog post.
Tips for creating an effective market research survey
Conducting a market analysis may seem daunting, but the following tips will help you create a cohesive market research survey:
- Outline the problem: Pinpoint a problem or pain point that you can uniquely solve. Include questions in your survey template that will lead to answers to help with the right solution.
- Define clear research objectives: Compile a list of questions to help you fulfill your goals. Keep surveys targeted to customer experiences, marketing, branding, or product-related insights.
- Identify and target the correct audience: To make your market survey effective, only target those who will potentially work with your business and fit your buyer persona. If your potential target market is too small, survey a larger pool for more adequate customer feedback.
- Keep it concise: Never ask unnecessary questions that stray from your core objectives. Only ask questions that prompt answers that provide value to your market research endeavors.
- Use clear and simple language: Never ask questions that are too wordy and difficult to understand. People become annoyed by long and complex surveys since they feel like a chore to complete.
- Use a mix of question types: Avoid making your survey monotonous and boring, so mix up your question types.
- Avoid leading or biased questions: Always ask questions that will compel your target audience to answer honestly. So avoid presumptive questioning methods and stay as neutral as possible.
- Prioritize relevant questions: Always start your market survey with the most important and relevant questions at the top.
- Provide response options that cover all possibilities: Include multiple-choice questions, especially if there’s more than one possible answer to a question.
- Test the survey: Certify that your market survey works by letting work colleagues or a small sample group complete the survey. If they misunderstand any questions, you must revise them, and then test again.
FAQs about marketing surveys
Market research involves gathering data about a specific market from different means. A market survey is a questionnaire or interview on a particular topic like brand awareness or customer satisfaction.
Start by setting clear objectives for the survey. Know your target audience, then ask them concise questions. Also, be sure to alleviate any biased, too complicated, or repetitive questions.
Market surveys are like windows into customers’ needs, wants, and behaviors. It’s also worth conducting a survey when concept testing. Additional benefits include improved customer satisfaction, more precise ad spending, and competitive advantage.
Choose the best-fit market research methodology, identify your target market, and survey this audience. You can launch an online survey if in-person, telephone, and mail surveys aren’t feasible.
Businesses that conduct market surveys see overwhelming benefits from the feedback they receive. They gain a lot of valuable data about their customers and expectations, putting them at a distinct advantage. You can leverage them and improve your offerings now that you have all the survey types and sample questions at your fingertips.
An intuitive and easy-to-use survey tool like Birdeye that is built for local businesses looking to scale can help automate this process. You can regularly collect valuable feedback from your customers and gain insights without having to spend additional resources.