Have you Polled your Audience lately?

My youngest son just started High School. Trying to get him to tell me something (anything!) about school, I asked him what the coolest technology they were using in his classes. Technology is his favorite discussion, and I saw him “bite the line”.

“They have this cool way to do quizzes in Math!” he quickly responded. “We all have electronic devices that have buttons we push for multiple choice or true/false questions.” He went on to tell how the teacher can quickly see on a monitor what the scores are and if the class “captured” the concept or if she needs to go over it again.

Now that’s cool!

Wouldn’t it be great to poll your audience about things like this? Where you could quickly see if you’re explaining something well enough, offering the best service, or if the ad/direct mail piece communicates really well.

Well, there are 3 ways you can do this:

  1. Focus Group. Offer to pay a small amount of money, or discount, or meal to a small sampling of your audience. Get them to come into a board room or quiet area (as a group) — and ask them questions! This seems so obvious, but it’s often overlooked. Businesses invest thousands of dollars on what they perceive as an improvement, only to find that the consumer rejects it. A couple hundred dollars can solve this issue. If you don’t feel comfortable with doing this yourself, we’d love to help you! We do this regularly and have a streamlined process that you’ll love!
  2. Facebook/Twitter. It’s like a focus group; except it’s done online in the social networking world. Shoot some ideas out to your “friends” and see what they think. It’s cheaper and less time consuming than a focus group, however you’ll find out fewer ideas and it’ll be very informal. But it’s better than nothing.
  3. Web/Blog. Post your ideas or changes that you’re considering on your website (or blog) first. If you get a strong reaction, you can hone the message. Say you’re considering what to call a new product but you’re not sure what to call it. Try a poll feature on your website — you’ll be surprised with the response if you have regular web traffic. You can also tweet the link to the poll on facebook/twitter.

Any other ideas of how you can easily find out what your audience is looking for? Comment and let me know!

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