We have all had marketing debates within our teams or with clients. The classic boxing match of ideas where each side is convinced that their logo, color, phrase, or call to action is the defacto heavyweight champion. When these knock-down, drag-out matches appear, we recommend settling the debate in the marketplace, not in the boardroom.
There are two primary avenues to do this: split testing and market research surveys.
Split testing is an excellent way to check if your website ideas will sink or float, but what if you don’t even have a website up yet to test with? What if your team can’t decide on a mission statement, call to action or logo design?
If you have a website already online, A/B split testing is a great way to test how users interact and react to various elements on your site. If you are pre-launch, though, it will not help you learn what your target market wants. Enter Google Surveys.
I am not going to lie, I am not a huge Google fan in many cases, but a few of their products are invaluable and inescapable. “Surveys” is one of those in my view. For as little as ten cents per response, you get statistically normalized data in reply to your question.
We have used Surveys in a variety of ways over the years for clients at The Sky Floor, from auditioning book covers and market testing logos to asking questions like “How important is a good website to your choice of visiting a local business for the first time?” (29% of respondents said a website wasn’t important.)
How Does it Work?
If you have browsed around news websites at all, you have seen a Google Survey. They often gate off the article unless the user answers or skips the question. Google does all the work of placing the questions and giving the results statistical confidence. They will tell you if the winner is statistically significant and will even re-weight the reply percentages based on their statistical model.
The creepy amount of data Google has on its users is precisely what makes this tool powerful. Without any screening questions on the web version, Google knows the user’s age, gender, income, etc.
- Get specific – we asked how important a website was to a first-time visitor, not just “how important is a website.”
- Use images – visual feedback is more straightforward for users to digest swiftly.
- Use closed questions – this a time closed-ended questions shine, it is easier to make statistical sense of a set of closed questions.
- Give it time – the more comprehensive your audience, the more time it may take to get replies. Don’t mark the winner until it is over; the early leader often doesn’t win!
- Get help – if you love the idea but need help with execution, set up a meeting and we will get you the help you need
If you want honest market feedback to settle a debate or just set your sails in the right direction, Google Surveys is a great place to start!