A customer survey is a tool that many in both Marketing and business development forget about all too often. While at some level the concept of "build it and they will come" is true (and more efficient), the act of making similar decisions over and over again without any supporting data occurs too frequently.

One of the most important questions to ask a consumer is what the best way to market to them is. As an example, many consumers have strong preferences for being marketed to through email vs. social media, print advertising, or other forms of Marketing. Once this data is collected, companies need to ensure their Marketing budgets and efforts align with the way their customers prefer to be marketed to. But they also need to consider how to reach those who aren't their customers (and who presumably haven't been surveyed). Creating different Marketing strategies for both customers and prospects is a crucial component to both retaining and acquiring business.

As a consumer, do you feel your feedback on advertising preferences is often sought? Has Best Buy or Wegmans asked you recently whether you prefer to receive their ads through email or through print advertising (and if they were to do that, wouldn't you spend more money with them)?