No responses to my Evite. No comments on my latest Facebook post. No reactions to my Pinterest attempt. No updates from my LinkedIn groups. Nothing of interest from Twitter or my Google circles. Not even an email from friends or family.
Nothing about the world I follow!
Instead, my email inbox was overflowing with requests for me to answer questions about computers, shoes, lotions, kitchen appliances, window replacements, musicals, air duct cleaning - yes, everything imaginable. Why on earth would I use my valuable time to contribute to consumer research surveys for all those organisations?
Upset, my finger instantly started clicking and moving all those intruding emails to the junk folder. Heated thoughts were sparked: ‘What a waste of time! Where did they get my email address? Why would they think I am part of their target group? Are there actually any functioning spam filters? Is anyone answering these market research surveys? Don’t they have more important things to do with their lives?’
That’s when I saw it ... the subtle inquiry, sent by our school district.
I instantly opened the email, linked to the consumer survey and promptly answered the questions. I clicked on ‘submit’.
The story could have ended there.
Finding my ‘respondent button’
However, my never-pausing, analytical mind made me stop and reflect: What had just happened? Why had I changed from being an opposed recipient of these requests, to suddenly becoming an eager, engaged, enthusiastic contributor to consumer research surveys?
The answer came, clear and obvious.
Our twelve-year-old son is the center of my universe. Anything that concerns his well-being and future is of highest importance to me. A survey about his educational and social needs in school serves a function - it has a meaningful purpose to me.
My answers could actually influence decisions that have an impact on my son’s future.
Researchers, help consumers voice their opinions!
I realised that I actually might influence decisions in many other areas as well - if I just bothered to voice my opinion.
In this new light of insight, suddenly even surveys about lotion had a purpose. What kind of questions were they really asking? Would they actually care about me wanting more options for natural, fragrance-free, dermatologically-tested moisturizers?
Thinking about it, have the TV channels recently been broadcasting anything I am interested in, during my prime time? Why or why not? What social media am I usually spending most of my time on? What kind of energy source do I want to pay for, maybe even pay more for?
Firmly, my index finger clicked and clicked again. It didn’t stop until all those emails were moved from the junk folder back to the inbox. While at it, enthusiastically, my finger continued clicking through all the questionnaires as well, answering every single question.
With the last click, submitting the answers to the last consumer survey, I felt the sensation of being content and powerful.
Being in the market research industry, I constantly focus on helping clients to find the true answers, hidden behind numbers and percentages, enabling them to make a difference.
Shouldn’t I have had this insight about consumer research long ago then? Maybe. But this was my moment of clarity, from the respondent’s point of view …
Consumer surveys empower me!
What an amazingly easy and efficient way to channel my true voice, to be heard by people that make decisions.
What an unparalleled, effortless way to impact the evolution, to change the development, so the end result better meets my desired outcome.
What a powerful tool, helping me to make a difference.
I have grown into an avid consumer research insight fan. Not only from a product or service provider perspective, now even more from a consumer perspective.
Top image : Google Images