The 3 Minute Survey that will change the way Businesses Advertise: Part 1

It’s no surprise that Social Media Marketing has exposed weaknesses in companies abilities to connect with customers in a meaningful way. But I’m not going to focus on the problem; my efforts are dedicated to a solution.

Since Millennials are responsible for causing such a ruckus in the Online Marketing world I’d like to report stats that directly illuminate why it’s imperative to incorporate trending tools in an evolving Marketing Plan.

  1. There are about 79 million millennials in the U.S. (ComScore)
  2. The purchasing power of millennials is estimated to be $170 billion per year. (ComScore)
  3. Millennials don’t trust advertising and 67% of Millennials reported that they have never clicked on a sponsored story.
  4. 95% of Millennials say that friends are the most credible source of product information.
  5. 98% of Millennials are more likely to engage with a friend’s post over a brand’s post.

According to Shoutlet’s latest findings, “Our research reveals that the best way for brands to get their messages heard by millennials is to market with them, not at them.”

But, how the heck do you Market with them?

Now’s not the time to get red in the face, shout louder or making clunky signs held by a guy rockin’ out to his ipod in order to be heard. The most effective tactic, at this point, is learning to listen to those who already give you their attention. Don’t be like that spoiled kid who gets tiered of his new toy because after spotting something shinier. Cherish your social connections, regardless of what you can “get” from them. Millenials can see right through that, and This Survey reveals their overall distrust in advertising in general. Customers who are currently observing you are you most valuable assets. They are smart, savvy and in most cases more intuitive about your product than even you are.

In the show, Blacklist, the lead character challenges a detective to “stop thinking like a cop, and to think like a criminal.” I know it’s just a show, but for dramatic example purposes, humor me.  The detective was only able to track down the criminal once she finally understood the reasoning behind the criminal’s motives. She thought the way he thought, and was able to influence the outcome of the situation.

The same applies to business. But this isn’t a new concept. There are endless articles, books and youtube videos on how important it is to “think like your customer”.  Modern technological tools we afford companies the ability to no longer guess and hope needs are perceived properly. Companies are able to, wait for it….ask to determine the most effective next steps; straight from the source.

But in order to do that we need to first understand how to use the tools that result in the outcome you are hoping to achieve.

That is why I created THIS SURVEY. My goal is:

  1. To discover whether people even desire to be heard. We live in a fast paced world; do customers actually care to take the time to let a company know what they think?
  2. To find out if people are interested in opening up in a one on one marketing style relationship with a brand, or not.
  3. To determine What role visuals play in the conversion process.

Surveys are often created with a company looking to gain insight on how to improve a process. With that, I would not disagree. Where I break left is the fact that a survey is not the end of the line. Currently, surveys seem to be used as the caboose on the ride a company’s seemingly take customers on.

It’s not time to get off folks; there is a beautiful journey ahead.  Understanding Millennials are the bricks paving the path.



6 thoughts on “The 3 Minute Survey that will change the way Businesses Advertise: Part 1

  1. I really enjoyed your survey. I used SurveyMonkey to create my survey for this assignment and it is clear that Qualtrics offers many more features when it comes to design and configuration of the survey. Your survey was very interactive which made it enjoyable to complete. Considering I know about the the product in the advertisement all too well I am interested to see the other responses and if many individuals possess the same familiarity with the product that I do. Your survey topic had me thinking, large national companies very frequently ask for your feedback after a purchase of a product or service but do they really make adjustments when it comes to my suggestions? Well, that’s my feeling anyway. And that is why I often do not voice my opinions because I feel that I am wasting my time. Why would a huge corporation change their ways based on what Danielle thinks? And, if everyone thinks like me than that is precisely why companies do not change – it’s because their consumers do not feel important enough to tell them about it.


  2. Sarah – this is fantastic. I’m a millenial, and you raised some excellent questions and provided great insight and viewpoints. It will be very interesting to see what kind of responses you receive to this survey.

    With the amount of information now readily available, Millenials are armed with research when they go to buy a product. No longer can companies easily get away with charging exorbitant prices for goods – the consumer knows what he should be paying. He knows that if the product he’s after is too expensive or just “not quite right,” he can look online for the exact thing he wants.

    I think that visuals play a huge role in marketing. If a website, for example, is not visually appealing but heavy on text, it can easily turn away people. If one has too many graphics, however, the consumer can be left wanting more information and less visual. It’s a fine balance – let’s see what kinds of responses you get next week!


  3. Very good advice: I agree that a lot of companies ignore the fact that “Our Customer” is a dynamic, ever-changing entity. Getting to understand how they respond and what they want is a much smarter way to anticipate their interests and meet them where they are, not where last year’s focus group planted them.

    The statistics you give about Millennials trusting one another and almost nobody/nothing else reminds me just how important it is to find the influencers and get them engaged. Once you have them in place, you’re no longer a company trying to break into the inner circle. The inner circle itself is showing you around. That saves an incredible amount of legwork and expense.


  4. Hi Sarah –

    I really appreciate that you took a unique approach to your survey. I enjoyed your very first question and would be interested to hear the results. As I took the survey, I was starting to think it was a little bit too long, but with breaking up the different types of questions from clicking on an image to free text to rankings helped me get to the end of the survey. I also liked how instead of calling out millennial directly, you asked if you were born before or after 1980. I thought your questions were very unique, so I’m interested to see your results and how you will synthesis your data to answer your questions on consumer/company marketing relationships. I must say I was a little disappointed that at the end of the survey I didn’t win a $5 gift card for a free drink. It in itself was a great marketing technique to reach a high completion rate. Great work!


  5. Hi Sarah, I was so excited to check out your survey and you certainly didn’t disappoint. The major companies that are succeeding now are the ones who have figured out how to market to Millenials… and it’s not an easy task. Thanks for tackling this topic. I really liked the way you structured your survey… and your blog post! I loved the extra touch that you added with the “Click Now” button. You are so creative! I also appreciated your commitment to keeping the survey short and sweet, while structuring it in a way that gleaned enough information to measure results. I know you’re the analytics queen and I can’t wait to follow your response next week to see how it goes! In the meantime, I’m going to head to my favorite coffee shop and purchase a flavored drink for the season. 😉 Cheers!


  6. Hello Sarah, I enjoyed reading your blog! I love your writing voice. I will be taking your survey in a few minutes and completely understand the Blacklist reference (by the way, I adore the show and look forward to it’s new season). As marketers we need to have our customers and potential clients in mind when looking at our offerings and strategies to communicate as a brand. We were just talking today at the social media marketing agency I work for about this. We have been hosting several Twitter chats and have had deep discussion about the importance of companies truly engaging with their clients, many of which are millenials and expecting a quick response from the social posts. There is definitely many opportunities in this realm for brands to engage more with their consumers and influencers. I look forward to your findings and will make my contributions on your survey, now!


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