So, you want to gather intelligence about your buyer. You are considering doing a survey to your customers.
Surveys give you lots of graphable data.
Surveys are easy and with the plethora of tools available today, they are cheap to do.
You get what you pay for.
The truth is, surveys give you very limited intelligence about your audience. Even with the best designed survey, the value of the intelligence you do get is quite low.
Audience interviews offer you a superior alternative to surveys. Here's why. With audience interviews you can:
- Obtain more detailed responses
- Discover surprises
- Explore motivations
- Understand relationships
- Develop trust
- Create authenticity
Every time I show a client the richness of the intelligence I can gather in audience interviews, they choose to move forward with buyer interviews rather than surveys.
So, why don't more businesses regularly use buyer/audience interviews as part of their intelligence gathering regimen?
Myths About Audience Interviews
- It is difficult to get buyers to talk with you.
- You can't build nice graphs from the results.
- Smaller sample sizes mean results are not statistically valid.
On the contrary, many buyers welcome the opportunity to talk with you (not a telemarketer) about their experiences.
A well-designed set of interview questions can produce quantifiable data.
With proper audience selection, trends become quickly apparent and are often representative of statistical results.
If you really want to know what is going on with your buyers, don't do a survey.
The actionable information you obtain from the interviews can transform your marketing efforts.