Consumer research firm Survata is now offering a new way to find out.
This week, the San Francisco-based company announced the launch of Segment Surveys. As the name suggests, the beta offering allows marketers to conduct online, anonymized surveys directed at second- and third-party data segments — the same segments that are later targeted for ads. The company says this is the first time online surveys have used the same segments.
I asked CEO and co-founder Chris Kelly: Why has it taken so long? After all, this new setup mirrors targeted advertising, except it employs targeted surveys.
“Good question,” he replied, adding that it’s partly because “research tech is about five years behind ad tech.”
Many of his competing market research firms, he said, still rely on large panels of sample users. Plus, although there’s a similar infrastructure, he noted that it takes a fair amount of work to implement the necessary server-to-server integration.
Previously, for instance, an advertiser might seek research about what kinds of deal packages were most appealing to car buyers before conducting a Subaru ad campaign. They might put out an online survey on participating publishers’ websites, asking a gating question first: “Are you in the market to buy a car? If so, please take our survey.”
Incentives to answer the survey could include access to the rest of a teased article, an otherwise unavailable short video or other locked content.
Now, Kelly says, they can utilize Segment Surveys to show an ungated invitation to take an online survey that accesses locked content, but the surveys are offered only to those visitors at participating publishers’ sites who have actually visited a Subaru site. Those visitors are identified by a cookie or a mobile ID that has anonymously tracked them to Subaru sites.
The survey can be more focused than one that has a broad gating question, such as asking Subaru-related questions instead of general car questions, and it can show a video ad for Subaru and ask questions. Later, the same, larger segment of Subaru visitors can be targeted with the tested video ad.
Here’s a dashboard screen for Segment Surveys:
The key idea, Kelly pointed out, is that the brand’s market researcher and advertiser will interact with the same audience slice, from the same data management platform (DMP). The survey’s targeting doesn’t rely on self-reported behavior that the user is in the market for cars, but instead targets actual tracked visitors to the brand’s site.
And here’s a sample survey screen on a publisher’s site:
In December, Survata released Retargeted Surveys, which enables surveys to be retargeted at users based on a given action, such as visiting a landing page, watching a video or taking some steps to make a purchase.