Picking Your Survey Audience

Picking your survey audience should be as fun as rocking an audience, but it's not.
Picking your survey audience should be as fun as rocking an audience, but it’s not.

Welcome back to the ongoing startup marketing series.  We’ve been mucking around with using surveys as a tool for startups to build tons of content marketing, i.e. customer foreplay, collateral.

Part of building a successful online survey is picking the correct audience.  I boil down audience selection down to three factors:

  1. Who’s in.  Who’s out.
  2. The size.
  3. How people find your survey.

A good online survey tool, like SurveyMonkey [I am not a paid sponsor nor endorser, only a user of the product], makes this very easy.  Taking the above point-by-point…

    Click to make big
    Click to make big

  1. If you need a very broad audience, that’s easy.  Open it to everybody.  If you need to limit by gender, income, age, education, location, shopping habits, technology use, check the right buttons in your survey tool.  Take look at this image here.

  2. Pick the size of your audience based upon two criteria: your budget and the end use of the data.  The larger your audience, the more likely you’ll have to pay to reach that size, and the more you will pay. Do what your budget permits. Secondly, if you hope to have your data published in scientific journals or more legitimate news sources, you’ll want a larger data set. Small data sets usually aren’t statistically significant enough to be representative of the US population [if that’s what you’re after].  Small audience sizes work well if the audience or industry to whom you are marketing is also small.
  3. If you share your survey only with friends and colleagues, your data will be heavily biased towards people who think and act like you.  If that is representative of your target audience, go for it.  If not, pony up the cash and pay to reach a broader audience.

Next up, we’ll share how to appoint yourself “Chief Data Scientist” for your startup, and how to interpret the data from your survey.



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