Research Is Spam And Tech Is To Blame

We’d all love answers to our questions on why our audience does what it does.  And there’s no end of tech tools to help you, but are they turning your research into spam?

Take a deep breath. There’s a cost to your audience?

To you it’s just one little survey. But in their world, it’s one of several they’ve been hit with that day.  And they are sick of it. 

Today it’s just too easy to put a question at the end of, or even during the sales process. 

Is that what you want to be remembered for?

I recently wrote a report based on quotes from ‘real’ people, sharing their opinions of these surveys. You can check it out here.  But it’s not pretty!

I’ve extracted a couple of my favourite comments below.

“If you do one survey then you will get another and another in your Inbox - every month. Better to avoid them in the first place.”

And not limited to any particular channel. There are the apps, where it’s very easy to hard-wire in a survey … “Dominos has this on their app, once you enter once, the emails of spam never stop.”

And a new feedback tool, where you can’t complete the Eftpos transaction until you’ve answered a question. This comment revealing an avoidance technique, based on the participant’s previous experience … “I find it intrusive already, and I haven't seen it yet. Just pressing 0 every time is "a response", as is shopping elsewhere or online.”

Are these people loving their experience with the business?  No way! There’s nothing uplifting or motivating about these one-sided demands on people’s time and attention.

But you still need to know the Why 

Let’s look at an abandoned shopping cart example.  Yes, you can have a couple of pop-up questions to find out why they didn’t complete.

And say 20% bothered to give you their feedback. It would have to be a check-box situation to keep it simple, but that means making assumptions on their answers anyway.

What's your customer story?

So at the end you’ll have a spreadsheet of stats telling you that they changed their mind or whatever other assumptions you made.

Yes that can be useful. But it doesn’t give you the real story, that is the Why.

I thought about how I buy online.  There are products I buy regularly which are commodities. So you can find them in lots of online & offline places.

But the prices vary by nearly 25%, and then you factor in postage.  So, what I do is price-compare on different tabs.  I might get as far as the payment, only to discover someone’s shipping is very expensive.

The point is …

if you held a fun & entertaining chat forum for example, you’d gather these types of ‘real’ user stories. Which would be gold in your marketing.  So you could even say in your messaging, “we guarantee you won’t find a cheaper price…etc”.  Or “I get you might have a couple of sites open checking out options, but did you know … “. 

The quick & dirty spam surveys will never give you these stories.  And today’s marketing is all about being relatable. 

If the customer thinks you understand them, you’re more likely to connect on an emotional level.  Which means their trust in you is up a notch from your competitor.

Bridging the Gap between Marketing & Market Research

Spam does NOT build trust! 

The spreadsheet telling you that x% abandoned because of Y can be helpful.  But Desk Research could have unearthed similar information.  I just did a quick search and found several reports presenting the main reasons behind abandonment.

However, ‘engaging’ research based on your needs, would unearth the details behind the WHY they didn’t continue. With the added benefit of building customer loyalty.

You’ve worked hard building your business’s reputation, don’t damage it because it’s cheap and fast.

Before you add yet another plugin to your website

Think about your customers. Will it enhance THEIR experience today?  Or is it more for MY benefit?

If you want to be a successful long-term business in this untrusting world, you must earn that trust.  And that doesn’t come from just taking. 

Think about what your business stands for - if you fit quick & dirty spam research then go for it.

But if you want to last for the long-haul, adding to your customers’ experience and building stronger relationships, then make it warm, friendly & engaging.

And yes, we’ve built a tech tool just for that!


Hungry for more on this topic?  

Check out this video where I talk about the number one takeaway is adding 'value for your audience.


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