Survey research principles can be applied to areas outside of consumer or B2B market research. This should be no surprise to readers of this blog. Trade associations are one industry vertical that is tapping into the attitudes of its members. I recently participated in a survey of market researchers that asked about opinions on the pace of change currently shaping the industry. Although this survey was specific to those of us in market research, it can easily be applied to members of any industry. This ‘consumer insight’ can be used to shape training and education programs and to keep industry professionals up to speed and hopefully ahead of the curve.
The question below contains a simple five-point scale which captures feelings of industry professionals regarding the pace of change anticipated over the near-term. Regardless of whether respondents see threats or opportunities looming on the horizon, marketers supporting trade associations can leverage this sentiment to develop educational content.
Is one question enough to build a clear picture? Although advocates of the net promoter score (NPS) believe one question is all you may need, I would suggest building on this question with a two-phased approach. Variable unstructured questions can be driven by the respondent’s selection. For example, if they see more threats than opportunity, then a follow-up question probing into areas where the greatest threat is perceived is appropriate. This is practical as it may identify areas which are currently not at the surface. You might also follow up with a structured question asking respondents to rate the level of perceived threat/opportunity for already identified areas.
Keeping a check on the pulse of industry professionals is vital to the mission of groups and trade organizations. Although they may not be selling a product in a direct sense, the information they provide to members is crucial to the success of their organization and the industry as a whole.