Here’s an interesting survey of “executives, managers and engineers” in manufacturing from a US magazine publisher, Gardner Business Media. I’ve been involved in creating surveys like this many times, and you won’t be surprised to know that the main design task is to disguise loaded questions. Take the question: “How do you prefer to receive trade publication content?” – think about the wording, and the answer tells you very little. It’s a bit like asking: “How do you prefer to spend your summer, lying on a beach or cooped up in the office?” We all know what we prefer, but what do we actually do?
One question I liked, however, referred to search engines, and was “Which search results do you select?” The answer was 86% “companies that I recognise”, compared to 42% “companies that I don’t recognise”. We perhaps all get a bit carried away with thinking that a top position in the search results will get us instant success, whereas if your company brand is low profile, the clickthrough rate might still be relatively poor. Search engines may not be used as much as we’d hope to source previously unheard-of suppliers.
I’ve noted here recently that remarketing to previous website visitors can be a good idea, keeping your name in front of them. But equally, you might need to get your name in front of them for some time before they’ll ever visit your website.