Goals for newsmaker surveys focus your efforts and save you from spending time and budget on extraneous details. Common goals might serve either the long term or short term.

Long-Term Goals

  1. Build brand awareness – To build brand awareness after a re-brand, Motive surveyed 1,100 organizations about their vehicle fleets: their safety priorities, programs, and investments. Symphony’s newsmaker survey led to it being included in coverage about its chief competitor. SpotOn’s pet-owner survey led to coverage in a Newsweek article about a viral video about a dog!
  2. Demonstrate thought leadership – FarEye, a delivery experience platform, used its B2B survey to generate coverage in the trade press in the U.S., Europe, and Asia Pacific. Surveys can help develop content for focused trades like Chain Store Age, Facility Executive, Human Resources Director, Telecom Reseller, VegNews, and VentureBeat.
  3. Develop content for a content marketing strategy – Evergage published seven annual studies on marketing personalization, in order to generate content for executive articles, blog posts, ebooks, and webinars, helping position it for acquisition by Salesforce.
  4. Create gated content for lead generation – Developing leads among niche audiences can be difficult. Act! surveyed 1,146 small-business decision makers for use as a lead generator. FarEye’s survey wasn’t just for thought leadership but also for lead-generation.
  5. Improve search engine ranking of your site for key terms – HealthPocket used a survey to improve its ranking for the keyword “physician search.”


Short-Term Goals

  1. Provide support for a product launch – Rocket Lawyer used a small-business owner survey to support its new tax filing service. Dell used a survey of video gamers to draw attention to its launch of new Alienware laptops. When the startup Seed launched an app for freelancers, microbusinesses, and other SMBs, it shared a survey of small business owners that revealed that 32% aren’t separating their personal and business banking. This led to coverage in Punch, Business News Daily, Bank Innovation, and other publications.
  2. Enter a new region – Opendoor used a survey of local homeowners to announce its expansion to the Orlando market.
  3. Leverage a holiday or event for coverage – GE Appliances did a cooking for Thanksgiving survey, Monetate did a back-to-school shopping survey, Express Employment Professionals did an employee survey for Labor Day, and DaySmart Software pitched its survey for National Relaxation Day. As the last example shows, almost anything can be tied to a holiday!
  4. Build interest in an event – Redis, a real-time data platform, used its survey of Indian IT professionals to drum up interest in its Bangalore event. NCR published the results of its traveler experience survey to drive booth traffic at the Passenger Terminal Expo.

This is an excerpt from the free Researchscape white paper, “Best Practices for Newsmaker Surveys.” Download your own copy now. Updated from an original post published Nov 29, 2016.

Author Notes:

Jeffrey Henning

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Jeffrey Henning, IPC is a professionally certified researcher and has personally conducted over 1,400 survey research projects. Jeffrey is a member of the Insights Association and the American Association of Public Opinion Researchers. In 2012, he was the inaugural winner of the MRA’s Impact award, which “recognizes an industry professional, team or organization that has demonstrated tremendous vision, leadership, and innovation, within the past year, that has led to advances in the marketing research profession.” In 2022, the Insights Association named him an IPC Laureate. Before founding Researchscape in 2012, Jeffrey co-founded Perseus Development Corporation in 1993, which introduced the first web-survey software, and Vovici in 2006, which pioneered the enterprise-feedback management category. A 35-year veteran of the research industry, he began his career as an industry analyst for an Inc. 500 research firm.