As marketers, data is our friend. We use it as a tool to better understand our target audiences, we leverage it to build strong business cases and we rely on it to help guide where our marketing spend should go, and why.

Many times we pore through the Web to find free studies and statistics. Other times we need to pay for reports. Or, when we can't find relevant data that suits our needs, we retain researchers to conduct a custom survey. But we can't always afford to do so– especially at a time when budgets are on the chopping block.
Wouldn't it be grand if we could tap our collective intelligence and create our own marketing survey with someone else taking care of the expense and legwork? A research project that that was truly "for marketers, by marketers"? Now we can.
Yep, right here, right now. Hey, there's no time like the present.
Put on your thinking caps folks, because we're going to develop 10 of the questions that will be part of a comprehensive survey distributed to over 50,000 marketers–ranging B2B and B2C marketing professionals in large and medium-sized companies and agencies. And Equation Research is going to take care of all the rest. Once the findings are compiled, we'll have first access to the findings as I'll publish the report here, before it's available anywhere else.
To my knowledge (please pardon if I'm incorrect), this is the first marketing survey that's directed by the community, yet facilitated by a third-party research company.
The report will include a summary of findings, results for each question and relevant charts and graphs illustrating key points. And if you want to really wonk out with the research, we'll also be given access to an online tool that lets us filter and cross-analyze the data to our heart's content. After all, it's your data!
*Please note: I'm not affiliated with Equation Research (though I will say they've been tremendous to collaborate with on this community project). They are not my client nor am I being compensated by them in any fashion---not through cash, cars, cookies or otherwise. This was a unique opportunity extended to me that I could extend to the marketing community, and I jumped at the chance. Why? Well, for several reasons.
I'm a proponent of projects where everyone benefits. And this "survey-development-by-community" idea intrigues me as I'm fond of crowdsourcing initiatives, especially ones that tap the smarts of professionals–as B2C programs seem to get all the play, yet B2B holds so much potential. But mostly, with companies waking up to the wonders of Web 2.0, I advocate that businesses leverage these tools in ways that engage their audiences through value creation– rather than as another vehicle for broadcasting their marketing messages. So this program is an example of that practice, and I hope to see plenty more.

If you want to submit a question (or two) for the survey then please:

  • Submit your question (or idea) by leaving it through a comment to this post.
  • Don't worry about crafting a perfectly worded question. You can even submit an idea for a question as Equation will ensure that all questions are worded objectively so as to avoid survey bias and to yield statistically relevant findings.
  • You can ask a question on anything marketing-related. It could focus on social media, marketing budgets, advertising spends, etc.
  • Yes, you can submit more than one question/idea for consideration–but I think it's best to limit it to no more than 2 per person as that seems fair.
  • Please also look at the questions that others have submitted in the comments. If you particularly like a few questions that have been suggested, please let us know through a comment as that will help us understand which questions and ideas are most favored overall by the community.

  • Please submit your questions and voice-in on which ideas you liked from others in the comments by Monday, May 11, 2009 as the survey will be compiled shortly thereafter with the full report published here by the end of June.
    If we get more than 10 questions submitted–and I hope we'll get a bunch to choose from!–Equation will review all our comments to see which questions most resonated with the community. So, don't be afraid, ask away–

    Update: To get the final results and full 2009 research study, please go here.

    Sign up for free to read the full article.

    Take the first step (it's free).

    Already a registered user? Sign in now.


    image of Christina

    Christina "CK" Kerley is a strategist, speaker, and trainer on innovation through mobile and smart technologies ("The Internet of Things"). Access her e-books and videos.

    Twitter: @CKsays