The Tribe Discovers the Usefulness of Survey Research

Last week, the FEI tribe reconvened to learn why market research is crucial to marketing success. This week, Marka and the tribe discuss how intelligent survey research can help companies answer important marketing questions. Remember, fire = print.

It was a hot afternoon and the FEI tribe was trying to beat the heat by holing up in the conference room to discuss survey research.

“Answering certain key questions about the fire marketplace will help us discover business opportunities,” Marka began. “Market research and data collection are crucial to answering these questions. Usually, our marketing research will involve collecting both secondary and primary data. Secondary data are data already collected for another purpose, while primary data are gathered specifically for our research initiative.”

“Ideally, all of our research will rely on secondary data,” Numo said. “It’s much less expensive to cull from existing studies or research initiatives than to create our own.”

“Of course,” Marka agreed. “We’ll start our investigation by gathering as much secondary data as possible. If the data we require doesn’t exist or is outdated, however, we’ll have to collect new data ourselves. At this point, we may consider a survey research approach.”

Marka began scribbling on the whiteboard:

• Survey Research

“Survey research can paint a picture of the knowledge, beliefs, preferences and overall consumer satisfaction of current and potential fire buyers,” she explained. “The knowledge we gain from survey research will allow us to plan more successful marketing initiatives.”

“What form should this survey take?” Org asked.

“One common and effective type of survey research is the questionnaire, which is a set of questions presented to respondents,” Marka replied. “Using questionnaires, we can ask respondents both closed- and open-ended questions. Closed-ended questions, which specify all possible answers, lead to answers that are easy to interpret and quantify. Open-ended questions—which allow respondents to use their own words—offer a better gauge of precisely what customers think, but are usually more difficult to quantify. Including both types of questions is often necessary in order to ensure our survey is effective as possible.”

T.J. Tedesco is a sales growth, business strategy, marketing and PR consultant operating at the intersection of clear vision, compelling content and effective outreach practices. For nearly two decades, T.J. has been an independent consultant and sales growth team leader. Previously, he sold commercial printing, graphic arts machinery and supplies, and finishing and bindery services. T.J. helps North American companies with content development, Web and print design leadership, nurture marketing programs, sales coaching, sales team alignment and business strategy. Since 1996, T.J. has worked with more than 100 clients on retainer, 80 percent in the graphic arts industry. T.J. is author of "Win Top-of-Mind Positioning," "Playbook for Selling Success in the Graphic Arts Industry," "Fire! How Marketing Got Hot," "Direct Mail Pal" and four more books published by PIA. He can be reached at (301) 404-2244 or
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