Tech Companies Finding Value in Merging Survey Research With Internal Data Sets

November 3, 2017

The vast majority of technology companies that undertake market research are very pleased with the results, according to a study [download page] from Research Now and Lawless Research. These companies report that market research has an impact in many areas, most often in terms of higher customer retention/satisfaction, better strategic decision-making and improvements in customer service.

That may be a reflection of the types of surveys they’re conducting, which lean heavily to customer satisfaction or NPS (59%) over others such as market segmentation (32%), thought leadership/PR (23%) and ad testing (18%).

The study was based on a survey of 300 US technology company professions who had either conducted or commissioned a market research survey during the prior year. These companies averaged 4 departments fielding studies, with IT (46%), customer service/support (40%) and marketing (36%) the most commonly involved.

More Than 9 in 10 Integrate Results With Other Data Sources

The report highlights the use of survey results in tandem with other data sources, which the analysts point out can “multiply its value.” In fact, some 92% of the professionals surveyed for the report indicated that their companies merge survey data with internal or external data sources.

Most companies appear to integrate the data with both internal and external sources – though they seem to be deriving the most value from certain internal ones.

When asked which data sources provide the greatest value when merged with survey data, a majority of respondents pointed to three internal data sets:

  • Customer profiles (61%);
  • Sales or transactions (55%); and
  • Customer segments (52%).

The next-most highly rated data sets to merge with were both external ones: technology ownership or use (44%) and demographic profile, interests, or occupation (38%).

Other Findings:

In other highlights from the study:

  • Well-designed questionnaires are considered to be the most important factor for ensuring successful research projects;
  • While companies using panels gain greater confidence from their use, only around 4 in 10 tech companies are finding research participants through panels;
  • Most respondents are conducting surveys online (71%) rather than via email (48%), websites (37%) or phones (29%); and
  • One-third plan to increase their budgets for survey research next year.

The latest CMO Survey [pdf] indicates that CMOs in the US plan to increase their spending on marketing research and intelligence by 3.4% in the next 12 months. CPG companies expect to have the biggest spending hikes (6.8%), while tech/software/biotech companies planned a slightly below-average (2.3%) increase.

About the Data: The report describes its methodology in part as follows:

“Between August 8 and August 31, 2017, Lawless Research and Research Now fielded a 10-minute online survey of 300 U.S. technology company professionals who had conducted or commissioned a market research survey in the past 12 months. The majority of respondents work for companies that sell software, information technology, telecommunications, digital technology, and cloud-based applications. They represent companies with at least 50 employees, with more than a third coming from enterprises with 10,000 or more employees. Lawless Research and Research Now partnered to design the study, with Research Now providing participants from its B2B panel and Lawless Research analyzing the data.”


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