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Analyze Your Survey

Lesson 22 from: Create a Product Plan & Grow Your Standout Business

Tara McMullin

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Lesson Info

22. Analyze Your Survey

Lesson Info

Analyze Your Survey

Alright, let's look at how to actually analyze this survey, and what I've done here is actually taken a survey that we ran at the beginning of the year, I'll show you all of the questions, and then I'm gonna show you responses. Don't worry the responses are actually anonymous, and I have no idea who sent them, and I'm gonna show you step-by-step how I filtered down the responses of the survey so that I could do a proper analysis of it. So this is what the survey looks like inside my Typeform dashboard, so this is not what it looks like when someone goes through, but this is what it looked like on my end. So we were asking what's your single biggest challenge when it comes to meeting people who you can rely on for support, understanding, and a friendly kick in the pants when it comes to your business? Very long opening question, but hopefully it got the point across, I think it did. But it's that same idea, what's the single biggest challenge piece. Then the next question I asked was ar...

ound urgency, please rate your level of desire for more supportive business relationships from zero to 10. Zero is no desire, 10 is highest desire. If you live in New York City and you've got a 20 person mastermind that you work with on a weekly basis, where you have coffee and chat about business, and you have no desire to solve this problem, I don't need to hear from you. (laughs) Right? Whereas, if you live in the middle of Kansas and you don't know anyone else who has an online business and you're desperate for someone who gets you, I wanna know exactly what you think about that problem. Next question, where have you found these kinds of people in the past? That was a multiple choice question. What's most important to you about the relationships you have or the ones you'd like to have with friends who support you as a business owner? Again, multiple choice, actually that one was open ended as well. This was a bit of a lengthier survey. If you were to hop on the phone with one of your supportive business friends right now, what's the number one thing you would like to talk with them about? Again I wanted to get very specific stories, this was kind of like a jobs to be done question actually, like you wanted somebody to read your sales page with you and give you a critique, you wanted someone to share their Facebook advertising strategy with you, you wanted someone to read a job description that you were writing. Those are all jobs to be done, I wanted a better understanding of that. Then I asked, how long have you been in business? And I asked what's your business' gross revenue for 2016? We had just ended the year, and so that was where we were at. That was the questions, it was seven questions, like I said, it's a little bit longer of a survey than what I've done in the past, but we got a great number of responses from that. Yes? Even though it's longer, one thing I noticed, only one question was required, and that's important. Yes, yeah, and so if you didn't fill out the rest of them, you would've ended up getting filtered out at some point too, but yeah, that's typically how I do it, I make that open ended question required and everything else isn't. And that's, assumed because you get more responses to the one you really want to know about. Yes, yeah, and I'm always gonna lead with that one and then the other questions come as follow ups. Yeah. But at the same time, like I said, I'm probably going to end up, unless I don't have a lot of responses period, I'm gonna end up filtering out those responses that don't answer the rest of them, because they're probably not as invested as the people who did. Alright, this is what then, the spreadsheet of responses looks like. It's a mess. Here, I'll give you another look at it. Yeah, so I got lots of blocks of text over here, weird numbers, random multiple choice answers here, more open ended questions, and some more numbers. It truly is a mess. It's no wonder when people do surveys, they're like, I did it, but I don't know what to do with this. So, my question then is, how do I know what responses actually matter? It's built into the survey, the way we just wrote, the way that survey was written, the way we just wrote Jennifer's survey, the way that mom life survey was written. The way we find those responses that actually matter, that really matter, that are gonna give us the best information so we can refine our core offer, create better marketing and sales, and better understand the complimentary offers that need to go with that product, they're baked right into the survey. And so, any time you do a survey, with a SurveyMonkey, a Google Forms, Typeform, you can download the responses into a spreadsheet, either a .csv file or an Excel spreadsheet. Whether you have Excel or not, or whether you know what a .csv file is or not, you can upload it to Google Sheets, which is just the spreadsheets part of Google Drive, and that's gonna give you a place where now we can actually start filtering through things. And you can do this whether you know what you're doing with spreadsheets or not, and I actually put little red circles here so you could see how this works. But the very first thing I'm going to do is filter through that urgency question, alright? So I have it, you can't really see it here, I should've put an extra one in, but I highlighted the column where the responses are to the urgency question, so all those zeros through 10s, and then I went up to data and clicked on filter, because I wanna filter out any responses that are less than eight. So once I do that, this little menu pops up, and I'm gonna filter by values, I only wanna see the eights, the nines, and the 10s. If I had tons and tons of responses, I'd only wanna look at the 10s, because those are the people I really wanna know what's on their mind, those are gonna be my immediate buyers if I get it right. But for the number of responses I had, I wanted some variety, so I went with eight, nines, and 10s. I figured I could move the eights to 10s if I made my messaging good enough. I have a lot of confidence. (laughs) So that's how I did that filter, press OK, and that's gonna remove, it doesn't get rid of the data, so don't worry about losing that, it's just gonna hide it. It's gonna hide all of that data. The next thing I wanna do is kind of examine the patterns based on how much money people make and how long they've been in business, because we tend to serve people who've been in business a little bit longer. And so, even though we've got lots of beginners as well, they tend to be outliers for us, and we've got lots of people who've been in business maybe 10 years or more, they tend to be outliers, and we're looking for the people who've been in business you know, maybe like two to eight years. Those are the responses I really wanna focus on and I know that if I focus on those responses, I'm gonna help some of those outliers too, they're gonna be interested because they want something maybe a little bit more advanced, and I also know that the challenges you run into at years 10 plus are gonna be pretty similar to the ones that you hit at five and eight as well. And so again, they might be outliers, but I'm, I don't need to cater to those responses. So first, I'm gonna sort things by how long they've been in business, and that's easy, all I have to do is sort it alphabetically, even though these are numbers, it's gonna sort it in numerical order. So it's gonna put, let's see what it looks like, it's gonna put, wait where am I? Oh, I think something got mixed up here. Anyhow, this is my filter first, oh no, no, sorry, let me back up. I messed up, this up here, so this is a picture of me sorting this column, but the next slide is a picture of me sorting the next column. Sorry. (laughs) So yeah, this next one is gonna show you actually from, down from 150,000 to 300,000, and then it's gonna go in those revenue bracket order so that I can compare. Okay, people who make $150,000 a year in gross revenue have these concerns, and then people who have $40 to $75,000 in gross revenue have these concerns. Where is there overlap? Where are there similarities? Where are there differences? There might be big differences, and then that's for me to kind of judge, am I going to listen, do I like these responses more? Do I like these responses more? Who am I gonna cater this core offer to? That's your decision as a business owner, there's not necessarily a right answer or a wrong answer. You might find as you test things out that maybe one direction would have been easier and another direction is harder, but there's not really a right or wrong answer. And so that's how I kind of really sift through this and look for the answers that are going to matter most, the things that are gonna direct my product development, and then the things that are gonna direct my marketing and sales around that product development as well, the things that are gonna help me refine my value proposition, help me refine my USP, help me refine my opportunity in the marketplace. Sorting and filtering. If this went a little fast for you, those are the two words you need to keep in mind. If you build your survey with those multiple choice questions in mind, so that you've got the filters there, you can Google how to filter a spreadsheet. You can Google how to sort a column in a spreadsheet. You will be able to take care of that, I promise. But this is the result. The result is when you get that information, when you get down to the thing you really want to be looking at, you actually know what matters. You get rid of all of the stuff, all of the responses that came through, and that you're very grateful for, but that aren't in the core segment of who you're trying to pay attention to, and then you can use that to inform what you do next. So let's look a little bit closer at this. What are you gonna look for in those long form answers? The first thing I'm gonna look for is common pain points. It's always easier to sell a painkiller than it is a vitamin, right? So I wanna know where are people feeling pain? Where are they frustrated? What questions haven't been answered yet? What roadblocks or obstacles or challenges are currently in their way? What are those common pain points? And as I'm looking for those common pain points, I'm also gonna look for common phrases. So like, Ayala and I yesterday were talking about the phrase I don't wanna screw up my kids. If you were to do a survey, when you do a survey, I want you to figure out what people say, is it actually I don't wanna screw up my kids, which is what I said, or is there maybe a more eloquent way that parents put it? Or maybe it's not eloquent, maybe it's, (laughs) maybe it's awful. I don't know. What is it that they actually say about those pain points? When they're up late at night, and the answers to your first question are just flowing through their fingers, what is it that comes out of their mouth? What is going on in that internal monologue that is constantly running? We all have one of those right? And if you think, probably even now, to maybe pain points you have about your business, or pain points you have about parenting, or pain points you have about your health, there are phrases you will find yourself saying or thinking about all the time. And lo and behold, they end up showing up in people's marketing, or in people's sales pages, or the value proposition for that product you're being sold is exactly what's in your head. They must be psychic right? No! They did a survey. You're not alone. You have the same exact verbiage when it comes to your pain points as thousands or millions of other people. And so what you're trying to discover is what those common phrases are so that you can use them verbatim, whether that's in marketing, or in your product development. I'm also gonna look for patterns that occur in different demographics or customer segments, we talked about that a lot. So I'm, like I said, I might wanna know, how does a mom in an urban environment differ in her experience from a mom in a rural environment? What are those differences, what patterns exist, and what is a universal experience of being a mom? If I can find that, I can make a lot of money. And then finally, I'm looking for that level of intent. Alaya said, are you gonna buy now, a little while from now, or far in the future? I said, what's your level of desire? There might be a bunch of different ways that you can phrase this question, but at the end of the day, what I'm really looking for is how much intent someone has around solving that problem. Now that type of scale of one to 10 question isn't the only way that you can do that. You can also do it by actually looking inside the answers themselves. You're going to prioritize answers that are really specific, that are lengthy, that give you a lot of details on someone's situation, and where they wanna go next. So it doesn't have to be just those kind of one to or scale kinds of questions, you can do it through the responses themselves. So I'm assuming that, I'm thinking about a Coke commercial right now, do you tend to approach everything and say, if we can't measure it, we can't manage it type of thing? 'Cause I would think this is kind of lining up, you know your survey going into a product or an offering. Offer it, survey again, find out how it worked, revise, repeat, continue to do that. 'Cause it sounds like you have to, at some point, get into a mindset of continually learning what works. That's I guess, that's the question, yeah. Thank you, that we've all earned the entrance fee to this class now. Yes, you have to get into a mindset of figuring out what works. Done, I'm gone. (laughs) That's exactly it, yeah. And I will say, I think when we talk about measuring and we talk about data, people can get really nervous about how much they need to track things, how specific it needs to be, and I will say, I'm not dogmatic when it comes to measuring things, tracking things, analyzing data, I'm looking for patterns. So I'm not necessarily using the most specific tracking link for every single thing and I'm not necessarily looking at one customer and all of their behavior, I'm sure that there's things that we could put in place like that, I currently don't have the time or resources to do that. I'm not stressed about it, but I do still have that mind set, that I'm at a continual process of figuring out what works, and I'm always, I always know what I'm paying attention to when. In a previous lesson I mentioned that we're currently really measuring our retention rates. And so, I don't have a really clear way to say, this thing that we did led to this increase in retention, but I can look at patterns, and I can say, well we did this for two months, and our retention rate went up two months in a row. That's a pretty good indicator that I'm on the right path, and then the more refined I want to become, based on how much I know, the more I know, the more refined I can become, then I can track data more specifically. Yeah. And I guess one of the other questions I have for you is, do you find yourself going down the analytics rabbit hole, and saying okay, now I'm becomin' an analyst, and I didn't wanna be an analyst and-- No, so I, my personality would tend in that direction. Okay. So, I've been very careful about that since the very beginning. I started online business as a blogger, and selling advertising, and so I was looking at my page views every single day because my page views paid my bills. And I knew from the get go I could end up affecting my editorial content by my page views instead of what I really wanted to say or what I felt needed to be said. And so I made a very conscious decision, very near the beginning of my business that I wasn't going to let myself go down the analytics rabbit hole. So even when it comes to our Facebook advertising, which advertising is another great way to get data and information and learn for product development and for marketing purposes. When it comes to Facebook ads, I know there's no really good way to track a customer based on exactly what ads they saw, or exactly what part of the funnel they went through. And so I'm less interested in a very particular result, and more interested in a pattern or a trend. And so if anyone's feeling like, oh Tara, the surveying stuff sounds really good, but it's just so much and how do I track all of this? How do I go through that cycle without losing my mind? The way you do it is to focus on patterns and trends, instead of really fine tooth analysis of data, okay? Yeah. And we've got three questions from online, let's go ahead and bring those up. Taylor says, "How is my survey supposed to relate "back to my core offer? "Who are you really sending these to? "What specifically is supposed to come of it?" So it depends on what you want to learn Taylor, how is my survey supposed to relate back to my core offer? If your core offer isn't, if it's not selling like gang busters, if it's not incredibly easy to get a yes and you're not getting tons and tons of word of mouth referrals back, it means your product still has an opportunity to iterate. And so one thing you might be doing with your survey is figuring out, are you actually answering the particular pain point or pleasure point of your customer with that core offer? Your survey could do that either with surveying your audience, or with surveying purchasers, which then leads to your next question, who are you sending this to? It could be your total audience of people who could still purchase, or it could be the people who did purchase, and surveying them on their experience, either of the product, their current experience, or their experience before they purchased your product. And what specifically is supposed to come of it? That's up to you. That's why we started this lesson talking about what is it that you want to learn? Do you wanna learn something about the problem that's top of mind for your customer? Do you want to learn something about the goal that they have in purchasing? The job that they want done by purchasing your product? Do you wanna learn something about their ultimate goal? The person they're trying to become? The journey they're trying to go on? Whatever it is that you wanna learn, you wanna learn something about that through the process of surveying, and so this is sort of like a choose your own adventure piece of business growth and development. It's up to you to decide, this is what I wanna learn, this is the hypothesis that I have, and I'm gonna build a survey that helps me get the information to get that done. Next one. Melissa says, "What's the best way to use a survey "for feedback as well as testimonials from past clients? "Are surveys good for testimonials, "or is that a separate request?" Great question Melissa. Again, when I'm surveying purchasers, they're willing to do more for me, because I've done something for them. We have an established relationship if you will. And so, yes, I would absolutely use sort of an offboarding survey as a chance to also ask for a testimonial. And so, a couple of questions that I like asking in surveys where I'm also looking for testimonials is simply, what was your situation like, or what were your circumstances like before you purchased this product? In other words, what were those pain points? What were those problems? Those questions you were looking to have solved? What are one or two specific changes you made because of this product? And so I'm not looking for how the product helped them, I'm looking for what they did, what action they took because of the product that I sold them and gave them, delivered to them. And then I ask, and what are your circumstances like today? After using the product? And so what I'm trying to map there is the actual transformation. Not only does that give me a better idea of the job that they got done, what they found value about it, what those key valuable outcomes were, but it also allows me to string together a testimonial that I can go back to them and say, hey, I took your survey responses and I grabbed these couple of sentences here, these couple of sentences here and I put it together, is it alright if I use this the next time I sell the product? And what you get is a testimonial that instead of focusing on how great you are, or how great your product is, you get a testimonial based on the change that someone actually experienced. The action they took, the result they got, and those are the absolute best kind of testimonials that you can get. Not only do they help you sell your product, but at the same time, they give you the information you need to better understand what is truly valuable about your product, so you can further refine in the product development process, how you can make your core offer help people get that result more often. Make sense? Yeah, awesome. "I have a current email list of people who have "seen my art somewhere and liked it enough to follow along. "Is it okay to send them a survey that says "something like, what are you most interested in seeing?" Taylor, this goes back to what we were talking about kind of with Jennifer and with a couple of other people, I prefer not to ask people what they want, instead I ask them about themselves. So if you're an artist, one thing that you can ask, 'cause I know it's problematic when I say what problems do your customers have when you're an artist. So instead, you wanna think about what needs they might have. You can ask them if they're collectors or not, do they like to collect things from the same artist? You can ask them where they need to put art in their homes, are they looking for pieces for a nursery, for a living room, for a bathroom, for an office? Where is it that you are looking to put art that you purchase? You might also ask them where they purchase art as well, do you purchase art in a gallery? Do you purchase it online? Do you purchase it at shows? And that's gonna give you a better understanding of the experience that they have as an art buyer, and that's gonna help you better understand maybe not what to do necessarily with your art, because the point of being an artist is you get to make art, but instead it's going to help you understand how do I need to position this so that the right people are coming in contact with it so they can buy. It's time to kind of check yourself. Once you've gotten that analysis done, once you've absorbed this new information, it's not enough to just have the information, we actually have to turn that data into something, into real learning, something that you can use. So I like to ask myself, what assumptions have I made that aren't true? I guarantee you, you have assumed something about your customer that isn't true. (laughs) I do it on a regular basis, you do it on a regular basis, and the only way we can find out that it's an assumption is if we open ourselves to the possibility that we are constantly making assumptions, and then checking that against objective truth, alright? Or at least truth that's objective from the mouth of our customers. So what assumptions have I made that aren't true? What's a perceived pain or desire, versus what's the real pain or desire? So your surveys are largely going to be full of perceived pain. This is where I think things are going wrong, this is the stuffy nose that I have, this is the crampy calf muscle that I have, let me tell you about it. People love talking about those itches that they're trying to scratch, or the pain in the elbow that they're constantly experiencing. You know as a product creator, as a business person, as an expert, as a professional, that underneath that perceived pain, there's something else often going on. There's a gut issue that needs to change. There's a way that we talk or don't talk about our work that keeps us from getting those grant proposals accepted. There's that bigger underlying problem. So when I get, once I've done that analysis, once I get that information back from my customers, I'm gonna look at it as, this is the top level. It's my job to fill in the bottom level. It's my job then to be the doctor saying, alright, I know you've got a stuffy nose, but we need to figure out whether it's a cold or whether it's allergies. And my guess is based on all your other symptoms and everything else you've told me that it's allergies. And so your job is to figure that out. What is it? Is it a cold? Is it allergies? What's that real pain or desire that's underlying that? Because the cool thing is, is that when you use those common phrases you get from your survey, you get people's attention, but then when you peel that back and you say, this is what's on your mind, but here's what's really going on, you earn trust so fast with your audience. And so part of the surveying and analysis process, for me, is doing that diagnosis, so that I can build that kind of deep experience into my core offer, and so that also I can talk about it in my marketing and sales assets as well. And then finally, I'm gonna ask myself which responses signal someone who's most ready to solve their problem. And this just comes back again to only focusing on responses that matter. I know everybody maters. We love everyone, we wanna help everyone, but the truth is there's a core, target customer who you are best equipped to help. It's that customer you can make the highest contribution to right? That's the idea that we kept coming back to, it applies to your customer as well. There are other contributions you can make, there are other customers you can help, but when it comes to actually developing, and refining, and streamlining your business around that core offer, we wanna focus on the customer who's most ready to solve their problem, 'cause they're the ones that are most ready to buy. They're the ones that are gonna give us the best feedback on that product. They're the ones that are going to get the best results. All of that is best for your business, and so you need to focus on that. We can help other people, we'll take them along for the ride, but when it comes to analysis and feedback and real learning in your product development process, you wanna focus on the people who are most ready to solve their problem, those people who are willing to do anything to solve their problem, no matter how big or small it is.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials

Product Plan -- Implementation Month

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Product Plan -- Workbook

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Lindsey Warriner

Every time I thought the class had reached a point that I knew "enough" about, Tara dropped yet another game-changer that I'd never even considered. Great experience, great speaker, great class.

Alaia Williams

Once again, Tara has been extremely helpful in getting me to think through where I'm taking my business next. I'm excited about the opportunities that lie ahead!

Ate Myt

Although the course targets people who have already started a business, I found it very helpful for me as I start my own business. I particularly appreciate the step-by-step guide to developing a 3-pillar business model. Very practical. i highly recommend it.

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