Loyal blog reader Brett wrote to ask me for guidance in building a survey for his company's customers before introducing webinars as an alternative to in-room training classes.
I was struck by how infrequently I hear of organizations actually surveying their target audiences to discover preferences. Instead, I get requests for studies of public attitudes or results from vendors about large-scale patterns across all types of events, industries, and audience segments.
If you rely only on data from a webinar vendor about viewing habits in general, you lose any insight into the needs and preferences of your own unique audiences. Corporate executives may (and probably do) have different preferences in terms of length and level of detail than administrative personnel, who may prefer different times and days of the week from programmers, doctors, or car mechanics.
If you are just running lead generation webinars out to the general public, you don't have easy access to survey populations, so you work with any data you can get. But if you are going to use webinars to bring additional value to your own customer base, association membership, or industry group - why not ask them what they want?
I have put together some sample questions I might use for polling customers or members about their webinar preferences. Please feel free to use this as a baseline to modify for your own webinar audience studies. Obviously the questions need to address the types of webinars you plan to produce.
You can get to my sample survey at the following link. If you happen to have a SurveyMonkey Pro account, I will be happy to copy it over to your account so you can edit it for your own needs.
I urge you to find out what different segments of your population want for different types of webinar use. And if you have already performed these kinds of surveys, I would love to hear about your experiences in the comments section. What kind of response rate did you get? Did you find any surprises? Have you ever checked preferences for one type of webinar use against another?
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