Every marketing leader faces enormous pressure to squeeze out as much value as possible from their spending. And for those choosing to invest in a survey, usually to support a major report, this pressure is amplified by the typical size of the investment. But what’s often surprising is how little consideration is usually given to finding other ways to extract as much value as possible out of the data being generated. This is a missed opportunity: much more can be done to eke out more mileage from what’s already been commissioned. Here are five ideas, ranging from the easy no-brainers to the more complex and sophisticated offerings:
1. Think beyond the core report
- Your survey results are clearly being data-mined and segmented to find the fresh angles and insights for the core report. But there is usually a lot of good material left on the cutting room floor. Why not take the core findings and draft a set of customised mini-reports to generate more content? For example, producing region-specific, or even country-specific versions of the executive summary or key findings. This is especially useful for global marketing teams trying to provide their local teams with additional content. At the most basic level, simply share relevant cuts of the data with your local marketing teams – it’s free, so it doesn’t especially matter if they use it or not.
2. Customise your PR messages
- Another valuable use for your data is to support a wider range of targeted press releases. One client we work with generated 7 custom press releases, each aimed at specific niche business and trade media targets, to play out a much wider range of angles. Within a week, they’d generated nearly 130 press clippings – far more than they’d achieved when focusing solely on the core survey data findings a year earlier.
3. Create an infographic, or even several
- Everyone consumes their content and insights in different ways. Some prefer to read, a few like to crunch the data, but nearly everyone enjoys a visual approach. Done well, infographics can bring the survey data to life and create another powerful means of communicating key survey messages to a wider audience. This is especially pertinent for social media, where people might be more likely to share a striking image. And as with the press messages, infographics can be tailored to certain audiences, to provide additional reach.
4. Help support an index or ranking tool
- What is the greenest city? Which country has the most supportive entrepreneurial environment? Which region offers the best prospects for growth? Indexes and ranking tools are inherently fascinating, as these questions suggest – and many are now highly recognised, such as Mercer’s Cost of Living City Rankings, or The Economist’s Big Mac Index. Surveys alone usually aren’t enough to drive these kinds of data-driven outputs, but they can often be a powerful input. For instance, they can help weight key indicators, or provide a set of sentiment-related inputs to balance the hard data. Properly planned, it’s a powerful extra use of your survey.
5. Create a benchmarking tool
- An inherent part of human nature is the desire to compare how we stack up against our peers – and a benchmarking tool can be an ideal mechanism for this. Quite simply, it’s about creating an interactive online tool that allows your target audience to see how they differ from your baseline survey sample set. It’s also a valuable means of lead generation, with visitors inputting their details in order to receive their custom benchmark findings. There is also wide scope for invention here: creating custom mini-reports for different audiences taking the benchmark, say, or even unique typologies based on the underlying data. Although a bigger overall investment, benchmarks can significantly increase the shelf life of your core survey data.
What other uses have you found for your survey data?