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Surveys are dangerous!

by / maanantai, 04 elokuu 2014 / Published in Innopinion

Tämä kirjoitus on alun perin julkaistu LinkedInissä

I recently ran into a brilliant article regarding commercial blogging, an article by the famous blogging pro Jon Morrow (former Associate Editor at Copyblogger). The article is called ”Make Money Blogging: 20 Lessons Going from 0 to $100,000 per Month”.

The topic itself is an interesting one, but my interest to the post was of very different focus than blogging as such. You see, the content marketing and email marketing that blogging often is related to, are related to Innopinion’s process as well. And Jon’s article has one extraordinary lesson that he’s sharing with his audience. It’s this one:

Lesson #18: Surveys Are Dangerous

”So, how do you find what problems exist in the mind of your customer? Traditionally, the answer is a survey, but I’ll warn you: surveys are dangerous. Ask the wrong question, and you’ll get an extremely misleading answer. Use that answer to guide your venture, and you can waste years of your life, not to mention possibly going bankrupt.”

Morrow says; ”If you’re a beginner, I recommend asking one and only one question: “what’s your biggest frustration with <topic> right now?” So, in my case, it would be “what’s your biggest frustration with blogging right now?” That’s it. Nothing more. Look for patterns in the answers you receive, and you’ll learn a ton about what products or services you need to create.”

This particular advice is given rarely, but has great essence related to Innopinion’s ways of working. One of the exact reasons we came up with the original idea of Innopinion was to better understand the target audience and their needs, wants and problems. Traditionally the kind of problems that people had solved with survey tools and buying costly market research services. Both had their flaws, and we decided to build on that particular need, combined with some open innovation and peer-evalution issues as well as features.

The type of open questions that Jon advices to use in surveys are the kind that Innopinion is built on, but which in traditional surveys are not possible to use or generally give very poor results. Not to mention that you would have interpret the answers yourself.

We take freeform answers and return them to the target audience, activating them to analyze the content. All content is being peer-evaluated to better understand the priority, the different aspects of, and the potential of the answers. Sometimes these are customer complaints, sometimes ideas, sometimes general feedback.

But in an automated process there’s hardly any effort in trying to understand the aspects and importance of all individual feedback and answers you’re getting, as the process takes care of analyzing everything, giving you actionable reports of all content, not to talk about understanding the people and their needs and wants at the same time.

Now I don’t want to make this too much of a promotional post (or perhaps I just did?), but I wanted to just say that it’s extremely important to understand what you want to achieve when you run surveys and polls, are you getting the kind of results you were looking for, did you know to ask the right question, and can you really interpret the results yourself or would you need more market data to make any decisions based on these results.

That said, I’d like to invite you to try Innopinion out. We’ve created a charity campaign where anyone can join the process and see how it really works. Here’s a link to our charity campaign, welcome!


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