How to Leverage Surveys

Data leveraging in marketing

How to Leverage Surveys

What can you do to strengthen your marketing campaigns? Survey says, you need to be doing more surveys. Data can help round out your story while driving media coverage. Surveys are effective for generating such data. If the survey design is done well, the facts and figures can be used immediately, and then continued to be cited for months or even years to come.

Strategies for your Next Survey

From online to in-person to focus groups, there are many ways to conduct a survey. Follow these tips for successful survey planning and design to implement in your marketing campaign:

Pick a newsworthy and relevant topic.

For your results to generate publicity successfully, you need to share information around a topic that will be of interest to your target audience. It’s equally important to avoid topics that have been covered in other surveys, especially ones conducted recently. The last thing you want to do is duplicate someone else’s efforts and publish similar data that detracts from your positioning as a thought leader. The topic should be compelling and unique enough to make the findings newsworthy.

Work backwards.

When developing surveys for media coverage, it’s important to ask yourself “What headline am I hoping to see from the results?” Each survey question should be based on the headline it will generate. This will help result in more newsworthy and attention-grabbing findings. If you can’t develop a compelling headline around your topic, you may want to consider a different topic entirely or consult with a survey partner so they can help you formulate the question(s).

Be brief.

Keep it short – if you ask for too much of a respondent’s time, they’ll either answer in a haphazard manner, which dramatically impacts the value of the data, or they won’t participate at all. A good rule of thumb is to limit the number of questions to less than 10. If you’re surveying people at an event, consider keeping your survey to five questions or less, as they likely are eager to network, attend educational sessions and keep to their schedule.

Sample size matters.

For nationwide consumer surveys a sample size of 1,000 is usually large enough to qualify as credible. It’s also typically the minimum that reporters need to include it as news. For targeted or specialized audiences, a sample size as low as 100 is acceptable. However, if you’re conducting internal research that will help you with product development, a focus group of 10 qualified individuals can be just as helpful as 100 randomly selected individuals.

Throw out the boring results.

Don’t feel compelled to use all of the data just because you have collected it. Select the most attention-grabbing answers and run with them. One Mulberry client survey found that 63% of respondents reported a lack of confidence in using an automated external defibrillator, and only 54% said they felt comfortable administering CPR during an emergency. These are the types of result to highlight.

Slice and dice the data.

Don’t just report the number of responses to each question. Break down the stats by age, gender or geographic region to uncover additional insights if they are statistically significant. This will allow you to tailor your results for specific reporters and/or target markets. It can also shine a light on opportunities for your product team.

Promote the results in multiple formats.

Announce the findings of the survey through a press release and through your social media channels. But you didn’t invest all this money to just write a press release and move on. Get as much mileage out of them as you can. Use the findings throughout the year in media and marketing efforts, e-books, bylined articles, social media, press releases and website copy.

Package it up.

The media loves visual content that they can share with their readers. Consider creating an infographic that summarizes key data points and tells a story. Infographics make it incredibly easy for people to share your survey results via social media.

Turn data into insight.

Don’t just present the findings of your survey. You need to make a case for what kind of decision or trends the data supports. In the example mentioned earlier, the client used the survey findings to make the connection that workplaces should prioritize safety training so that people can become more confident in using equipment and conducting emergency procedures that can help save lives.

An Invaluable Tool

When done properly, surveys are a great way to gather insight into target audiences that you can use to create communications campaigns that achieve business objectives. Survey findings and statistics are powerful tools that can help you tell a complete story. And telling stories helps drive the customer-brand relationship.

Don’t know what to do with the data at your fingertips? See how we built an entire campaign around data for Sofidel – and contact us to learn how Mulberry can help your B2B brand leverage research findings in your marketing.


Christina Alvarez is a Senior Account Supervisor at Mulberry Marketing Communications, an award-winning full-service B2B communications agency based in Chicago, London and Australia. With nearly a decade of communications agency experience, she enjoys securing media relations wins and positioning clients as industry thought leaders.