We used surveys when I joined Hill & Knowlton in 1493 (note: John W. Hill was a personal publicist for Christopher Columbus, and conducted the very first survey in the New World. Some 78 percent of Native-Americans said the arrival of Europeans would have no impact on the future).
Two surveys just washed up on my personal shores this past week. Neither told me anything new. Both reinforced the obvious. But, both will undoubtedly generate ink (which is why this antediluvian tactic survives flourishes despite the flummox caused by social media).
The first survey was conducted by The Link Agency, and found that women hold the purse strings in most households! Indeed, Link’s CEO, Tracy LeRoux, says: “It’s wise for businesses to realize just how influential the woman of the house can be in making any purchases.” This constitutes news? I think even Adam knew that Eve called the shots in the bible’s first family.
And, get this, The Link Agency also suggests marketers use social media to reach moms with kids under 18 since 90 percent of moms with kids under 18, drum roll please, use social media!
But, wait, there’s more breaking news from another new survey. This one found that companies can build brand loyalty by sending simple birthday greetings to customers. Wow.
That stat rocked my world. I now need to re-think every strategic recommendation I’ve ever given to clients: “In addition to the program elements we just discussed, please don’t forget to wish your customers a happy birthday!”
The Fulcrum survey says 87 percent of consumers report increased brand loyalty for a company that sends a note saying, ‘Happy birthday, big fella!’ To which, I respond, big deal.
Birthday greetings WILL NOT impact customer consideration one iota. Just because the Brooks Brothers database has a prompt to send me a note on June 29th, it does NOT mean I’ll choose them when I make my next purchase.
But, hey, that’s not Fulcrum’s problem. They just conducted the survey. And the survey will generate publicity for Fulcrum.
And, so it goes. The survey is like PR’s North Star. It’s a constant in a sea of change. No matter how banal the findings, surveys WILL generate buzz. And, that’s the name of that tune.
So, before I sign-off for today, how about one more survey? I’d like to invite YOU to nominate the dumbest survey of 2013. I guarantee you’ll receive publicity. Let me know.