The dangers of

Google Forms

There are three primary "dangers" of using Google Forms in your recruitment, audition management, or marketing process:

  1. A Google Form creates a lame, forgettable, and underwhelming experience for the person filling it out (in addition to looking unprofessional and inconsistent with your organization's branding guidelines)
  2. Your data feeds into an annoying-to-manage Google Spreadsheet where creating different lists (ie. segmenting your tuba players graduating in 2021 from your high school sophomore percussionists) takes manual effort on your part.
  3. The Google Form to Google Spreadsheet setup is static - When someone submits your form twice, or moves from the "recruitment stage" to the "auditionee stage," your data is immediately duplicative, not telling the accurate story of where your people are at, or requires manual intervention to stay organized and up-to-date.

Instantaneous Delivery Of Information

You want people to express interest in being a music major, joining an ensemble, or attending a concert. When someone fills out your Google Form to indicate interest, they are either director to a very basic 'Thank You' page or nothing at all. You need to deliver exciting content immediately to rehash and increase the person's interest. An example might be: "Thank you for your interest in our conducting track, here is a sneak peak into one of our conducting classes!" If you aren't delivering something of value to person within minutes of him/her submitting your form, you have already lost the person. People have zero attention span.

"Well, with our Google Form, I'll get a notification whenever someone submits it and when I get back to the office, I'll always send them a little welcome email inviting them to audition."

Your effort is commendable! However, you can't rely on a system in which you have to manually react to something happening. And what if your list of prospective recruits tripled overnight? Would you be able to keep up? Your audiences crave your information and content, but making them wait even an hour is too long. In this time, another organization has already beat you to the punch.

Being Tailored And Relevant To The Individual

As people become inundated with information from dozens of organizations (who you are competing against!), how do you stand out from the noise? The answer is, showing the person that you care about him/her as an individual. It is critical to match specific content to specific people with specific interests.

If you have a high school senior Tuba player and a soprano vocalist who isn't graduating high school for another three years, the content you would send them is vastly different. The only exception would be if you enjoy annoying and repelling people!

With Google Forms, the people who submit your form are not seamlessly classified this way. Creating the two lists above requires manual work on your part. With Google Forms and Google Spreadsheets, nailing any level of segmentation and personalization is cumbersome. As a result, most organizations who use Google Forms are maintaining one master list and whenever they send out an email blast, every recipient is looking at the same thing. To the individual person, the experience is "cookie cutter." The individual recipient doesn't feel special and feels like they are being mass marketed to rather than personally communicated to. As a result, they either disengage, unsubscribe, or at best, glance at your content reluctantly.

Creating individualized experiences is no longer just a "nice-to-have." It's a "need-to-have." The filters in a Google Spreadsheet were simply not designed to support this objective.

People Aren't Static, People Change Overtime

In January someone fills out a form to express interest in possibly attending your Artist Inspiring Musicianship event. In March, that same person decides to formally register for that program. Using Google Forms to manage this collection of information, the person's information is going to appear in two different spreadsheets. Very soon into the process (and to be honest, a pretty straightforward use case), you're already facing a major headache.

Any time your organization is spending dealing with duplicative information that is siloed in multiple places is time that could have been spent creating beautiful music. You don't want to waste any time with nonsense!

You need your system to automatically recognize what a person is doing and send content that matches where the person is at in their journey (preferably, without you having to lift a finger!). Google Forms are a perfect non-example of how to do this. You want all your forms working under one system, working in harmony. This way, your data is not siloed and the content you send will always make sense to every individual.