What are your customers thinking? Wouldn’t it be great to identify what they want in a product or service? Business owners understand the value of market research for uncovering customer needs and desires, yet the cost is often prohibitive for companies on a small budget, where research is considered too expensive and time-consuming.
According to author Lloyd Corder, a seasoned marketing research strategist, you can conduct research in little time at very low cost using a snapshot survey. A snapshot survey is ten to fifteen customer-designed questions that include two or three open-ended questions. His book gives tools and ideas for anyone from senior management to human resources to design and administer a quick survey. Chapters explain how to test customer awareness and marketing programs, and how to identify prospects. Different survey types, customer satisfaction, brand assessment, message evaluation, and employee surveys are also covered. The information gathered using a snapshot survey can test marketing strategies, create publicity, size up the competition, and evaluate your attributes, select the right marketing mix, or simply validate a hunch.
Brief, straightforward, and simple to follow, the advice is well suited to many small-business owners. The survey tools, however, are not necessarily appropriate for larger firms with more complex research needs. [HBS Working Knowledge Annoation]