Savvy marketers avoid unpleasant surprises through survey data, identifying what their audience want more or less of and running marketing campaigns accordingly.
The UK government says: “Market (or survey) data should shape your plans. For example, it could show you that a country you were planning to move into has too much competition or falling demand.”
And the Canadian government mirrors the same idea: “Part of being prepared with market research is avoiding unpleasant surprises. Intuition and experience can be helpful at times, but research and facts often paint a more accurate picture of your market.”
As a marketer, you want to know who your customers are, what they’re thinking and ultimately how they’re making decisions. Once you have all that data, getting their attention becomes more like a piece of cake.
Many brands are already running brilliant marketing campaigns thanks to the survey data they’re collecting; here are five examples:
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1. Nike: #JustDoIt (the 2018 version)
Nike established a department called Digital Sport in 2010. Tasked with the responsibility of collecting market and survey data, the department is the brains behind Nike’s ability to analyze their customer behavior and their needs.
But Nike does not stop their market research efforts with Digital Sport. They also reward their customers with $5 to $10 gift cards for taking a survey after purchasing items from their physical stores.
To qualify for the gift card, customers have to:
- Visit a Nike or Converse store and purchase an item.
- Save their receipts.
- Log on to the Nike Survey page, mynikevisit-na.com
- And answer the survey questions there.
Once customers fulfill these conditions, they’re awarded a free $10 Nike gift card or $5 Converse gift card.
Nike gets relevant data this way and one significant way they utilize it is to run brilliant marketing campaigns. A Nike spokesperson says “We’re a company dedicated to activity and inspiration, and we use data that consumers have shared with us to help inspire and motivate people to become more active and to help them find the right products.”
Their campaigns – specifically their Just Do It campaigns – are hard to snub. Even consumers use the tagline in their normal everyday conversations:
And how’s that for word of mouth marketing? Every time someone says just do it, Nike almost always comes to mind.
The athletic apparel giant has been running campaigns around this tagline for ages, and their most recent one this year grew their sales by 31% from Sunday through Tuesday over Labor Day – besting 2017’s comparative 17% increase.
And this increase was directly linked to the campaign.
Nike’s 2018 ‘Just Do It’ Campaign
The success of this campaign comes from data, much of which is survey data. Nike CEO Mark Parker says “We know [Just Do It has] resonated actually quite strongly with consumers obviously here in North America, but also around the world.”
The marketing team at Nike know their customers already affiliate the brand with the Just Do It motto. So they tapped into that data and created an amazing campaign, pushing more messages in the direction their customers are already looking. This made the campaign really hard to ignore.
On top of that, many Nike customers are sports lovers who follow celebrity athletes. Nike leveraged this data as well and used those influential athletes to promote their campaign.
2. Uber: ‘Tonight I’ll be eating…’
Not only does Uber take 70 to 72% of the US ride-sharing market, but their marketing campaigns almost always resonate with their customers. And why’s that? Uber takes data very seriously.
After asking 1,000 Aussies what they’d like to have for dinner, Uber found that by 5 pm every day one in three people don’t know what to eat. With this survey data, they saw a challenge in their customers’ daily lives and launched UberEATS to combat it.
To promote the food solution, Uber launched a campaign named ‘Tonight I’ll be eating…’ – where they offer “a glimpse into the unique appetites of celebrities, inspiring Aussies to broaden their culinary horizons and explore the magic of UberEATS.”
Stars like Naomi Watts, Boy George, Ruby Rose, and Rebel Wilson graced the campaign with videos of them and their UberEATS food packs, talking about what they’ll be “eating tonight.”
YouTube: Boy George with his UberEATS parcel.
Another impressive way Uber collects customer survey data is via their app. After every trip, they ask customers how their ride went – asking them to rate their drivers with stars ranging from one to five.
Besides the data powerhouses like Argos and Gurafu that Uber built and use to study their customers – drivers and passengers – these after-product-usage surveys provide them with a wealth of data on how their customers see them.
And from all this data, the ride-sharing giant is able to run marketing campaigns that get customers talking and taking action – like the UberEATS campaign.
3. Dropbox: “The world needs your creativity”
Almost everyone uses Dropbox in one way or another. The cloud storage provider collects survey data that helps them power some of the most brilliant campaigns in their space.
They have a dedicated page called Dropbox Insiders – aimed at convincing users to become survey participants and provide feedback that betters Dropbox.
With the survey data gathered, Dropbox is then able to run marketing campaigns that reach their target users.
A case in point is their recent rebrand campaign. Dropbox found that their tool is used by people from different walks of life – from surgeons, accountants to comedians. To reflect this data on their brand, they launched a new brand message: “The world needs your creative energy.”
As opposed to their old blue and white design, they’re now adding more color to their brand – typifying the different types of people using their product.
Dropbox CMO Carolyn Feinstein said “I’m constantly inspired by the way people use Dropbox. Musicians create and share compositions. Showrunners iterate on scripts. Set designers turn sketches into scenes that transport us to new worlds. Medical researchers coordinate data with their teams to develop vaccines… Our new brand design was inspired by the creative work of our customers.”
Plenty of all this information that Dropbox gets comes from their user survey data. Besides their Dropbox Insider program, they also run Dropbox User Research – where users apply to answer questions that can help shape the cloud storage product. And they reward them with a gift card that’s in a direct proportion to their involvement in the research program.
This way, Dropbox acquires survey data and makes brilliant campaigns – like the one about their new brand messaging.
4. Siteground: Siteground WordPress Ambassadors
SiteGround is another brand taking survey data seriously, doing as much as rewarding survey participants with an Apple watch (which costs at least $399).
Like most other brands, SiteGround is able to strategize and run marketing campaigns that resonate with their users from the survey data they assemble.
Recently they started what they call Siteground WordPress Ambassadors, where they sponsor select users to speak at WordPress events.
This is a smart marketing strategy because every sponsored speaker during their sessions at the event gets to mention how SiteGround is sponsoring their trips and expenses at the event.
5. Timberland: #FlyRoam
Once upon a time, Timberland assumed all the data they needed about their customers is that they are shoe lovers. And they were right.
But after long years of a blurred product roadmap and unfocused marketing efforts, the Timberland marketing team eventually realized the need to know who their customers really were, above and beyond their adoration of shoes.
Former Brand President at Timberland, Stewart Whitney, said: “When you go after lots of consumers, with lots of messages, the odds are higher for a misfire…The fact that we didn’t stand for anything distinctly meant we didn’t really resonate.”
Now the brand takes pride in collecting survey data. Once you land on Timberland’s women or men’s site category, you’ll see a feedback button you can click on the right side of your screen:
Clicking that button takes users to a survey page, where they answer survey questions:
This way, Timberland collects relevant customer data and runs brilliant campaigns – like their recent campaign for a shoe called FlyRoam.
How successful was the FlyRoam campaign, you may be asking? The product was launched in 2017, and it still drives great results today. According to stats from Keyhole, the #FlyRoam campaign still gets about 100,000 impressions monthly – as at October 2018.
Survey data strengthens your market research efforts
Beyond arguments and guesswork, survey data tells you who your customers are and what’s on their minds. So, generally, with data (whether a survey or some other data type) you know what campaigns to run, how to run them and how to respond to customer reactions towards your campaigns.
Guest author: Victor Ijidola is a content marketer/writer for hire, driving leads and sales for B2B and SaaS businesses through content marketing. His work has also been featured on sites like Marketo, NeilPatel.com, and many others.