How important is it to know your survey target audience?

by | Jul 20, 2020 | Research world

When you’re designing your questionnaire it’s important to be familiar with your survey target audience. We know, it’s almost impossible to personally know your entire target market in the web era. So, here’s the challenge: designing the best questionnaire for your target audience AKA designing the best questionnaire to get the answers you’re looking for.

The secret to designing great market research surveys is to know what you’re looking for and how to get it. You have to sample and slim down the list to match your population size.

When you’re collecting information you could easily think that the more is the best. Truth is that having tons of information on your respondents is not the winning strategy. What is important is to have the right data.

Depending on the type, theme, and peculiarities of your survey you can categorize survey responses in 2 different groups:

  • generic information, as level of education, age, income, marital status, or religious/political belief.
  • specific information, as the propensity to a certain brand or the satisfaction for a certain service, etc…

Your mission is to be sure of what you want to know from your respondents, what is your premium content. A lot of times we tend to include unnecessary questions that are useless to our research and annoying for the interviewee.
Being direct and coherent to the survey topic is essential, and will increase your response rate.

Another important marketing strategy is to phrase your questions clearly: minimize the risk of misunderstanding, misinterpretation, and vagueness.

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How to be aware of your survey target audience?

Two respondents can be similar but not perfectly the same. It may seem cliché but that’s a really important issue that influences the way each respondent approaches the survey and the impact this has on results.

Putting yourself in your respondents’ shoes is useful to understand their point of view and consequently pinpoint your questionnaire weak points or to imagine the emotional involvement they may feel towards your survey.

It’s also useful to understand which data are the best and the most helpful to collect.

Here are some questions that will help you familiarize with your survey target audience and get useful information for your online survey.

Interest

How much your questionnaire will impact respondents? How interesting could it be for them?

These are the questions you should answer before designing the survey. In fact, the higher is the interest, the more respondents will be motivated to answer which translates into valid and reliable data and a higher number of responses.

Acquaintance

How much is survey target audience aware of the survey subject? If they are well acquainted, they will give better and more sincere answers. So be sure to dig a little deeper on their acquaintance of the topic to be sure that they’re in your target.

Frequency

How often are respondents exposed to information related to the survey topic?
This question is particularly useful for political surveys, for example. When the respondent is well informed, he will also be able to give better answers that have a greater impact on survey results.

Competence

How competent are interviewees on the topic investigated? For example: it’s not recommended to ask a kitchen newbie to evaluate the performance of a new kitchen robot! His opinion will have a lower value than the one of an expert cook.

These are just some of the numerous questions that you should ask yourself before designing your questionnaire.
Be curious and be empathetic: it’s your job to put respondents in the best position to provide the best answers ever.

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