The thinking consultancy

Surveys with substance

The other day I received a piece of direct mail from a charity organisation. I won’t name and shame, but it was to do with our woodland. It was in the form of a survey, yet I couldn’t help thinking that they had completely missed out on a PR opportunity.

You see all the questions were leading questions, which the author clearly felt would lead to a charitable donations, such as ‘are you concerned about building on our woodland?’ However, the questions had no substance and would provide no interesting results that could be used further in their marketing programme.

If only they had sought to genuinely find out the views of the public, they could potentially have several news stories for throughout the year, the results could be fed back to the distribution list as another opportunity to reach consumers, the data could be used on its website, social media and for any events planned throughout the year.

I wonder, actually, what the uptake from the survey was – not much I would imagine, and how much wasted paper was there for a charity devoted to conserving our woodland?!

Please, if you are thinking about using surveys as part of a marketing programme, think about what data would prove genuinely valuable to your organisation. I suspect the person that developed the mailer was purely focused on generating revenue, but forgot to look at it as a strategic marketing tool. Surveys have a valuable place in the marketing mix, but they are only as good as the thought process behind them and people aren’t stupid, they’re less likely to fill out a questionnaire if they think it will be of little value.

Posted on Monday 13th May 2013