During the month of September, 2008, at least two famous people did something that famous people don't often do: they surveyed a bunch of people to find out something they wanted to know. One of these famous people is Trent Reznor, of the industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails. (The other is Scott Adams, creator of the comic strip "Dilbert," who I'll talk about in my next post.)
Reznor wanted to know some things about his fans: what they liked or didn't like about his music, where they typically bought (or otherwise acquired) his songs, whether they had recently attended a NIN concert, what kinds of content they'd like to see from NIN, etc. So he arranged for a company called QuestionPro to send an email to all his fans (presumably those who had previously registered at his website, nin.com) asking them to participate in a survey (which you can see here).
While the survey seems a bit long, a number of people who have blogged about it have praised not only Reznor's marketing savvy but also the fact that he apparently has such a good relationship with his fans that they actually want to take the survey. When's the last time you actually wanted to take a survey?
And even though Reznor offered a free concert video from his latest tour to everyone who completed the survey, I suspect that this incentive represents only a small part of what will persuade people to complete it. The larger part has to do with the special relationship that Reznor has cultivated with his fans over many years. In contrast to the major record labels, who have engaged in an "unprecedented legal campaign" against music fans over the issue of digital music downloads, Reznor, who last year severed ties to his former label, has made quite a name for himself in attempting to connect with his fans and provide music and related content in the way that they want to consume it. This survey is just another example of how Reznor is attempting to provide his fans with the best possible music experience that he can.