Tag Archives: marketing plan

How-To Use Surveys to Inform a Marketing Plan

In mid-November, I was working on Po Campo‘s marketing plan for 2015 and realized it was largely based upon who we thought our customer was and what we thought she thought about us. We have a lot in the pipeline, both as far as new product development and marketing plans go, and I felt like it was time for gut-check with our customers to make sure we were on the same page.

Determining Objectives & Questions
I decided an online survey would be the easiest way to quickly check-in with our current and potential customers. From my past experience as a design researcher, I know that having concise objectives is key to a successful study. Using SurveyMonkey.com ($19/month for basic), I built a survey around answering the following questions:

  1. We think of our customers as mostly active, urban minded women between 25 and 45 who live in bike friendly communities. Is that true?
  2. We think “women-run”, “design-led” and “inventive combinations of style and function” are the brand attributes that resonate strongest with our customers. Is that true?
  3. We’re developing yoga, baby and lifestyle bags and exploring wearables. Do we have license from our customers to stretch our brand into these areas?

I ended up designing a twenty-two question survey, which included a few more questions than necessary to answer the above objectives but it’s hard to resist the temptation of asking people things that you’ve been wrestling with while you have their attention. For me that included getting clarification on whether they see Po Campo as more of a bike, fitness or lifestyle brand to help us sort out our chaotic retail strategy and which brand archetype best suits us to help us determine tone of voice.

Insights from the Survey
We had 624 total respondents, mostly recruited through our newsletter list (88%) and Facebook (12%). Most respondents were existing customers (66%), while 30% were potential customers, in that they didn’t own a Po Campo product but were familiar with what we do.

For the first two objectives above, our assumptions were pretty accurate. We did learn that women value that Po Campo is a women-run business much more than men do, while men value that we are design-led much more than women do. That learning kind of plays into the stereotypes of men and women but so be it.

The answer to the third objective gave me pause: the majority of both our current and existing customers will probably not be purchasers of most of our new products as they do not engage in the activities we are designing for. On one hand, this is okay, because we can expand our pool of potential customers; on the other hand, marketing to a whole new group of people will be a lot of work.

Learnings from our secondary objectives were even more insightful as they challenged my existing perceptions of our brand. When asked what type of store environment would be the best fit for Po Campo, the majority of people (69%) chose either a bike store or a Athleta-type fitness store. The lifestyle boutique and designerly gift shop were much less popular answers, with 14% and 11% respectively. I always kind of thought of us as more of a boutique brand but our audience clearly has us in a more athletic context.

"Which of these store environments would be the best fit for Po Campo?"

“Which of these store environments would be the best fit for Po Campo?”

To help us determine our brand archetype, I asked a fill-in-the-blank question that said “When I think of Po Campo, I picture a brand that is all about…”. The clear winner to this question was the response that said “…being down-to-earth, reliable and trustworthy”, the answer that represented the “everyperson” archetype. I always thought of Po Campo as the Explorer archetype so this was something new. In researching the Everyperson, it does make a lot of sense to me, and has helped me understand the role we play in our customers’ lives better.

Action Steps
Analyzing research without laying out steps of action is a missed opportunity. Based on our research, this is what I will do next:

  • Research the new markets we plan to enter to confirm that our offering fills a need and is differentiated from existing products and brands. If it is, develop a marketing plan for each of the new product launches.
  • Revisit our marketing plan and focus it in on “active healthy living”.
  • Revisit marketing plan to focus on telling the “women-run” part of our story better, especially for content targeted to women.

Click here to see the complete survey. Please note that logic was included in the survey, so not all people saw all questions.

Have you conducted any surveys lately? What tips do you have to share?

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