Market research is an essential part of any well-rounded marketing strategy. But these days, it’s increasingly more difficult to access and obtain insights on your target audience. It’s not uncommon for marketers to question if surveys are worth the effort due to issues like lack of respondents, cost, and time restraints. Similarly, on the consumer end, individuals might be targeted for irrelevant surveys, making it easy to tune out participation for future studies.
So what’s a marketer to do? There is hope, and it comes in the form of survey profiling. Since this phrase is often confused with customer profiling, let’s review the definition:
Survey profiling (n) : Collecting highly accurate insights about your prospective survey respondents to ensure they align with your target audience.
How Social Audience Insights Overcome Obstacles In Survey Profiling
Survey profiling usually starts by identifying who you want to survey, then asking pre-qualifying questions to weed out any potential participants that don’t have a background that fits the study. Crowdsourced survey websites like Swagbucks, will provide users with a list of daily recommended surveys to participate in based on basic demographics they self-declared when they created their user profile.
Once a panelist decides to opt-in to the survey, they are typically required to meet a pre-qualifying list of questions before they can officially be enrolled in the study. The great thing about survey sites like these is you can be very specific in the questions you ask and in some cases eliminate those less serious participants just looking for an extra buck. The downside? It’s not all too difficult to infer the type of panelist the researcher is looking for based on the questions asked, leading to some less-honest panelists also looking for some quick cash. Additionally, by the time the potential respondent gets through the often lengthy screener, they may be far less engaged in the actual survey itself.
So, what’s a market researcher to do if they want to reach their audience more effectively and efficiently? Take hold of expansive amounts of self-declared social audience data (think: user declared interests, brand affinities, media consumption, etc.) to identify members of the audience you want to target.
Social audience insights allow you to reach the right people at scale. As an example, let’s say you are looking to survey electric vehicle owners. To find a large cohort of individuals that meet this criteria, you would traditionally have to cast a very wide net, likely based on the demographic profile of most electric vehicle owners. But with social audience insights, you can not only target those with an interest or affinity toward electric vehicles, but you can even use what you know about your audience to make your participation pitch more compelling. In essence, you’re conducting market research with a spear rather than a net.
Once your survey results are complete, you can even go a step further to enrich your survey data using the social insights to gain a holistic view of the respondents. You’ll also have the ability to see how a group of survey panelists may defer from another.
Survey Profiling In Action With Tesla Owners
So what does survey profiling look like in action? Referring back to the example mentioned above, our team at StatSocial recently helped a client who was looking to conduct market research around Tesla and other electric vehicle owners. Let’s discuss how we went about this.
How social audience data identified Tesla owners
Within Silhouette, we built a highly custom audience around:
- Those with an affinity towards electric vehicles
- Followers of YouTube content focusing on caring for an electric vehicle
- Followers of relevant influencers across major platforms
- Individuals who have publicly posted about, or identified as owners of electric vehicles
Once the audience was built, we exported the audience data to target them with surveys across paid media channels and email.
Below are two actual responses we received via email that applied to be part of the study:
As you can see, survey-profiling is an incredibly powerful tool that helps you to connect with your audience and actually get to know them. Social audience data allows you to take your survey profiling further by reaching your intended audience without the need to ask time consuming pre-qualifying questions, streamlining the insights gathering process.