This morning I was re-reading an article I wrote just a month ago about market research surveys, and I was thinking how much the world has changed in just those few weeks. The Corona Virus has completely revamped how humans live and how marketers market, and we’re all trying to figure out the right way to navigate now and anticipate the future that’s coming.

But as different as things are, I actually think more highly of marketing surveys now than ever. Obviously I’m biased as a proud market research partner for marketers, but even so, there’s a whole lot of value happening in the world of market surveys right now. So I thought I’d pull a few of those powerful reasons together into this article.

If you’re a marketer trying to figure out how to market in an intra-Corona world, take a few minutes to read the below ideas, and maybe consider how market research surveys could give you a jump in the Bizarro World we’re all living in right now.

1. Surveys let you talk to your audience without selling.

Market Research Pro Tip

If you’re writing a market research survey to engage with your customers, focus on keeping it short and sweet. Aim for two minutes or less in length, and be sure to use a little bit of clever copywriting to make it fun and memorable. Create something unique and interesting, and you’ll be doing your due diligence amidst the Corona Virus calamity.

It’s a weird evolving time in the world, and one of the biggest Corona Virus marketing changes is happening with consumer spending. Some shopping categories are actually up, especially some e-commerce brands or brick-and-mortar that’s figured out delivery. But meanwhile, jobless claims have shot up like crazy, and especially in some discretionary categories, spending is taking a hit.

Bottom line – trying to sell right now might be a tricky battle.

Even if you’re not selling, though, your brand still needs to maintain contact with your customers.

Enter surveys.

Surveys give your marketing team an opportunity to interact with your audience in a passive manner that doesn’t involve selling. And with the right survey design, market research surveys can even be incredibly engaging, which ultimately helps build brand affinity between you and your customer.

On top of that, people like giving feedback through surveys, especially consumers. As humans, we enjoy being asked for our opinions and ideas, and when done right, customers especially feel like they’re really being pulled into the brand-building process.

2. Your audience actually has time to fill out your survey.

Let’s face it – your customers don’t have a lot of time to fill out your research surveys during their days. They’re busy people, with deadlines, places to be and people to see.

Market Research Pro Tip

If you’re going to create a market research survey specifically to engage with an audience that’s looking to spend their time meaningfully, focus on asking market research questions that are more about your audience than you. Find out how your customers are spending their time, or what they are looking for during their time in quarantine. Maybe even ask what kinds of brand experiences they’re looking for right now, and see if you can come up with some exciting new marketing ideas based on their feedback.

Except, that’s not the case right now. For the first time, perhaps ever, society has time on its hands. And as marketers, we can capitalize on this Corona Virus quarantine-induced downtime by asking our audience to complete super engaging surveys!

Consider three important factors about marketing audiences right now:

Taking all of that into account, we have a recipe for opportunity. Our audiences want to hear from us and they’re looking for ways to spend their time. And surveys present that interactive, time-spending solution.

The best part? Surveys are also a brand engagement tool!

When done right, surveys can help create more meaningful connections between brands and consumers. If we’re not selling right now, then as marketers it’s up to us to build those brand connections, so we can set ourselves up for success in the world of the ‘new normal’ in the future.

3. Surveys are more engaging than plain email marketing content.

Market Research Pro Tip

When sending out a survey email, be sure to clear and up front about what you’re trying to get your audience to do. Make the survey link visible and easy to locate, and call it out in the email’s call-to-action. In the email body, be sure to use copy that clearly says you value their feedback and appreciate their time. You can even let them know what you’re trying to achieve with your market research process, which can often get consumers more excited about participating in the project!

If you’re like a lot of brands out there, you’re sending email updates regarding your business and how it’s handling COVID-19. And that’s the right call. Before the Corona Virus marketing crisis, nearly 3 in 4 consumers preferred to receive brand communications by email, and recent research suggests that that number might have risen even higher in the past few weeks.

But did you know that surveys actually have a higher engagement rate than normal email marketing outreach? That’s right. And it’s because, as we saw above, consumers love giving their feedback in a helpful and engaging manner.

Surveys provide an opportunity to create deep brand engagement. And when those surveys are tied to an email campaign, both perform much better than either component by itself.

That’s why, for brands already planning email marketing communications strategies, email surveys might offer a lot more bang for your buck. Using the right market research survey strategy, brands can engage with their audiences during Corona Virus marketing times the same way they’re currently planning, but using a tool that helps build a stronger relationship with the consumer in the end.

4. Surveys have high engagement on social media too.

Surveys perform well in email, but did you know market research surveys also perform incredibly well as part of your social media marketing strategy too?

Market Research Pro Tip

If you’re conducting a survey on social media, especially for the purpose of engagement, consider publishing live results to the survey as your audience completes it. People often want to see how they ‘stack up’ against everyone else taking the survey, and when you create these kinds of content opportunities, you develop an even more meaningful engagement between your consumer, your brand and the survey itself.

It’s true, and right now amidst the Corona Virus marketing happenings, social media surveys might be one of the best opportunities brands have to engage with their audiences.

Marketing surveys, engagement surveys, brand awareness surveys and more, all conducted on social media, allow you to create meaningful content opportunities that consumers really want to engage with.

More than just ‘likes’ or ‘comments’, surveys actually let your audience dive into a unique, engaging, interactive experience. And for a few short minutes, you have their attention captured.

The best part about surveys conducted on social media? Often, you don’t even need to use an external tool or link to get your audience to engage. Many platforms, including Facebook business pages and now even Twitter, offer in-platform survey and survey-like capabilities. This means you’ll create a survey experience that lives within the social media platform, adding to your engagement and helping your organic reach.

5. Surveys can help you learn more to enhance your marketing – now, and in the future.

I’ve talked a lot in this article about the power of market research surveys as an engagement tool. But it’s important to remember that market research surveys, at the end of the day, are also an important learning tool for marketing and market research.

Market Research Pro Tip

When building out a market research survey designed to enhance your marketing, start with something broad. Learn more about your audience and their preferences on a macro scale, with the intention of conducting some follow up research to learn the down-and-dirty nuances later. Don’t worry about rushing the process; it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

With that in mind, I want to make sure at least a portion of this article discusses how to use engaging market research surveys to help build out better marketing.

Start by asking yourself what you want to learn about your audience, and building out questions from there. Focus on the marketing opportunities you want to hone in on, like audience segmentation opportunities or marketing communications preferences and buying habits, and build out broad questions that can help guide your marketing in the future.

When your survey is completed, or even while it’s in process, your research findings will help you understand some of the marketing insights that are out there. With that information in hand, you can begin to enhance your marketing by incorporating it into your marketing strategy.

As we navigate the current Corona Virus marketing situation, and also as we try to anticipate what a post-Corona marketing world looks like, it’ll be up to marketers to help navigate the marketing landscape.

And the kinds of information we can get for our marketing from market research surveys will prove especially important in the near future, as we begin to build out programs designed to attract and retain customers in the ‘new normal’ marketing world.

6. Surveys help you engage with your employees and team members.

Market research surveys might seem like a purely outward-facing tool, but they actually present a lot of marketing opportunity for inward examination as well.

Market Research Pro Tip

If you’re creating an employee engagement survey, be sure to tailor it to your business size and structure. If you’re very team focused, consider building in some abilities to break out the data by specific teams or other crosstabs. If you’re a smaller organization, consider using more open-ended questions in order to gain rich, meaty insights from your team members. Be sure to make the survey a useful tool for your team and business structure.

Right now, the Corona Virus has created a new work from home environment that’s impacting millions of people across the globe. This is especially true for the marketing and advertising industries, many of which are navigating this work from home scenario for the first time on a full-employee basis.

For those businesses, market research surveys present a great opportunity to engage with your own team, and improve the overall work from home situation in the process.

Culture is incredibly important in any workplace, especially in marketing organizations, and even more so in remote working environments. If your marketing team is navigating a workspace change during these Corona Virus times, you can use an employee engagement survey to help figure out how your team is getting through the challenges. You can also create solutions from the results.

And fortunately, most employees in the working world actually respond well to these types of company surveys. They appreciate the engagement and the request for their feedback, just like we saw with average consumers above. And they also feel empowered when they see the results of their feedback implemented in the workplace.

The best part of it all? When it comes to brand communications during these weird times, consumers are especially interested in hearing how businesses are handling employee health and safety amid the Corona Virus crisis. Depending on the design of your employee engagement survey, you might even be able to generate some interesting stats and facts about how your employees are handling the situation, in order to create some interesting and engaging consumer content for some of your marketing channels.

Capitalize on survey opportunities amidst the Corona Virus era.

None of us really know how this situation will end. As marketers, it’s up to us to keep our audiences engaged now, as well as create opportunities for the future (whatever that future might look like). That’s a weird, complex road to navigate, but fortunately, market research surveys present some great opportunities for both of those agendas.

Consider some of the options outlined above, and compare it with a few of my other articles on market research surveys. And start brainstorming how you can use these powerful market research tools in your current marketing process today!