What is Seeding in Marketing Research? | Market Research Firm Rochester, NY

seeding market research rochester nyNowadays businesses both large and small use customer databases and utilize sales systems and CRM tools to organize data. These systems like Salesforce and Oracle track customer records on everything from contact information to sales transactions and ordering. The best companies find ways to integrate these systems together so insights and analysis can be pulled from all of these big data sources.

When it comes to customer surveys it should be no different. The benefit of using the customer feedback to better educate and understand the sales aspects of a customer relationship often go overlooked. With this in mind, here are 3 questions you need to add to your customer surveys.

When your responses roll into your survey software, businesses need to find ways to integrate the data back-into programs like Salesforce and other CRM tools to maximize value. How beneficial would it be for a sales rep to login into Salesforce one morning and see a large volume customer rated the recent order a "2" on a 1 to 10 scale and rated likelihood to switch to a competitor as "strongly likely."

Integrating this survey data directly into the customer record gives the opportunity for the sales representative to follow-up here. If the survey system did not integrate, this response might have fallen through the cracks and never made it to the sales rep. Sound familiar? Even worse, if not customer surveys were being completed, the customer would have likely switched without your company even knowing why?

Several survey platforms allow a market research company to set up flags and reports in a system which notify users when a case meets or fails to meet specific criteria These flags can be set up so if a customer rates their satisfaction as lower than a "5" it triggers and email to the analyst, the sales representative, and the manager. It's value-added tidbits like these which further drive home the value of market research.

Seeding data into your online survey can tie-in some critical data for analysis.

What is seeding?

Seeding data in market research involves taking fields and categories found elsewhere in your customer databases and appends this data directly to survey responses within your software. Here are some examples of seeding data in market research which provide additional value for your business.

Seeding is also beneficial because it saves time and questions for the respondent. Why ask questions which you already have answers to in your customer database? If you know your customers age and ZIP code, why do you need to ask this in a survey? You don't have to.

First name and last name

The most basic example of seeding is using an Excel CSV file to upload email addresses for survey invitations and pulling in first name. Personalizing invitations is a great tip to improve your survey response rates. Use this basic example of seeding to address your email invitations using first names.


This breakdown comes in handy for analysis. If your CRM breaks customers down by country, geography within the United States (e.g., West, Midwest, Northeast, etc.), or global region (North America, South America, etc.) you'll want to ensure this data is appended and seeded into the survey. Comparing satisfaction across regions would create some interesting insights.

Spending volume

Seeding this type of data allows an analyst to segment customers into various levels of sales categories. If your sales system doesn't do this already, you'll want to breakdown your survey data by Class A, Class B, Class C, and so on. Each class denotes a specific range of spend with your company. Class A would be your highest spenders.

Use either your top 10% or an 80-20 rule. The important takeaway here is seeding this spending data gives you the opportunity to run this type of analysis without having to ask this question in the survey. If you ask a customer how much they spent with your company in the past 12 months, you'll likely have responses that are underestimated and overestimated. The point is here it will be less accurate than the actual data.

Products purchased

This is a little more advanced but just as valuable. An example of how you can use this for seeding is by asking directly about the product purchased inside the survey. Rather than asking a general satisfaction question about the product(s) you most recently purchased, you can ask the customer to rate their satisfaction of "Product Widget Model 2020." This makes the survey more engaging and direct for respondents.

Several other examples of seeding and integration of data sources exist. The ones listed above are 4 of the more basic applications to utilize as part of your market research survey efforts. Interested in a customer survey? Drive Research is a customer survey firm in Rochester, NY who works with clients across the country, consulting with them on their market research needs.

Call us at 315-303-2040 or email us at info@DriveResearch.com.

Looking for some more survey tips? Try reading the following articles from Drive Research:

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