We may all say we put customers at the forefront of our thinking – but how many of us actually know what our customers want?
Let me paint you a picture. You’re putting together a campaign and you’re relatively unsure of how it will be received by your fans. It should go well, but you couldn’t for 100% be certain. At this point, it’s not uncommon for rights owners to kick on and assume based on what they think they know about their fanbase. However – as Albert Einstein once said, “if we knew what we were doing – it wouldn’t be called research”. Whilst you may think you know your fanbase, you never truly know until you do your research – it’s that simple.
Getting to know your fanbase better may feel a broad statement, but luckily, with the correct procedures within your CRM eco-system in place, there are different methods of retrieving this valuable information. You can watch them, analysing their behaviour and personalising content based on specific behavioural traits. You can buy the data you need, purchasing marketing information from a third-party data supplier. Or you can ask them. One of the most useful methods used in asking your customer directly for information is through the surveys.
Surveys fit smoothly within your CRM eco-system, working as just one part of a greater technical environment to enable data-driven marketing through a series of software, platforms, and channels. It allows a conversation to be had with the people you wish to converse with. It allows the rights owner to pinpoint exactly what the customers’ needs are and allows the customer to tell the rights owner exactly what it is they want.
Imagine you were a sales attendant in a retail store. A customer would walk in, and you’d ask them a series of questions attempting to assess what their needs are. You could do this all day, and eventually you’d tailor your wording to suit what questioning has worked best, eliminating aspects that have been received negatively, or proved unsuccessful. By the end of the day, what you gain is a greater knowledge of customers’ needs, a greater understanding of your most popular products or services, and an enhanced knowledge of how to converse with your target audience.
Online surveys are no different – only the possibilities are far greater.
Let’s look at the benefits a little closer.
The money shot. We all want more opt-ins. Receiving opt-ins in bulk with an already rich profile is as good as it gets in our world, really. But how do we obtain these?
Surveys are an incredibly useful tool for receiving fresh opt-ins directly into your database. However, it is important to assess how likely new fans are to respond to your requests. Think of it as a trade-off. Put yourself in your fan’s shoes. How much of your information would you be willing to give up in exchange for something from the team or organisation you support?
For example, I’m a staunch supporter of the Republic of Ireland football team (for my sins). If I wasn’t already in their database, I may not give up my time, or potentially sensitive information, without something in return. Offer me a signed shirt from Kevin Kilbane and I’ll give you a key to my house!
As highlighted by my colleague in a blog recently on the benefits of running fan competitions, incentives can go a long way towards increasing the size of your database, with something as easily obtained as a signed piece of memorabilia.
Further insight on your customers
In terms of CRM strategy, many of us see Amazon as the holy grail. As a company, they’ve grown exponentially over the past three decades with CRM at the forefront of their thinking.
Of customer experience, founder Jeff Bezos stated “we see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little better”. Whether you analyse behavioural data, purchase the information from a third party, or ask them directly, it’s clear that if you pinpoint exactly what your customers value and personalise their experience accordingly, you will see far greater results in terms of your business objectives.
Surveys are a fantastic way of obtaining this insight, allowing you to not only find out useful demographic information such as age or gender, but also hugely valuable psychographic data such as lifestyle habits or interests. The more you know about your fans unlocks increased personalisation, allowing you to tailor your communications to truly feel like a one-to-one conversation.
It’s this insight that can truly make the difference in your marketing strategy. For example, you may have someone in your database of huge customer lifetime value, but with limited information on their needs or preferences, you just aren’t getting through to them. In rolling out an incentivised survey to your customers, you may find a proportion of fans that are not only within two kilometres of your stadium, but they have a family of three children that also love your team. Surveys will allow you to pinpoint this segment of your database, and communicate directly to them about family memberships, thus selling more tickets and increasing your revenue.
With this enhanced customer insight, the potential for increased sponsorship is also a hugely important note, as highlighted excellently by Fiona Green here on delivering sponsors value. It can also allow you to spot trends to predict the future, so to speak.
Versatile and easy to collect.
I hear you. This is all well and good, but how do I go about setting it up? How do I distribute it? The beauty of online surveys is the responses can be collected through various online channels, meaning you can meet your target audience where they are.
Many modern survey-based sites such as SurveyMonkey, Typeform, or SureyGizmo allow you to distribute your survey via an embedded form on a site, or a simple link to distribute as you wish through various online channels – socials and email included.
It’s important to note at this point, should you wish to send the same surveys to both your known and unknown customers, you should be wary of the information requested. For example, it can be off putting to receive a request to add your email address when you have just received the survey via email. Duplicating your survey and removing the email address field or marketing opt-in tick box to your known, opted-in fans is highly recommended to avoid this displeasure.
Fundamentally, as habitual data-driven marketers, we believe you can only truly act as the data communicates. Wish to find valuable data points within your current customers to increase your personalisation and segmentation capabilities? Asking them is one of the best ways to do it, alongside watching for specific behavioural traits or purchasing the information from a third party. Wish to gain more opt-ins alongside it? Give your fans a reason to give you their information and consent to marketing. Whether this is incentive-based or giving them the content they wish to receive.
Surveys open a door for a conversation with the group of people you wish to talk to. Combined alongside other aspects of your eco-system, this conversation can provide an open goal in terms of increased performance, giving yourself the greatest chance of achieving your business objectives.
For more tips on how to increase revenue, engagement, and participation, you can find more information on our industry leading e-Learning course here. Or, if you want to know more about how surveys could be used in your organisation, or you would like to discuss how our clients have successfully added them to their decision making, feel free to get in touch.