From finding out about their motivations, attitudes and interests, to what most influences their commercial behaviour, undertaking some level of consumer research is essential if you're to identify the right target audience for your products or services.

From key demographic information about potential customers, to where you're most likely to find them, whether that's online or offline. The results of your consumer research can enable you to get a clearer picture of your ideal audience, which you can then break down into specific buyer persona profiles, for more effective and targeted marketing.

Primary and secondary research of fresh and existing data should form a key part of this, if you're to gain a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of the target audience group you're most interested in. By enabling you to collect, analyse and interpret this data, consumer surveys are the ideal market research method to help you better understand the motivations, attitudes and interests of your target audience.

Consumer research as part of a market research program

How Consumer Surveys Fit Into Market Research Programs

While a well-crafted and executed consumer survey can deepen your understanding of your target audience's thoughts and behaviour, the insights it can deliver can also benefit other areas of market research from market and product, to brand and promotion surveys.

Market

While market surveys tend to focus on wider macro issues such as opportunities and threats, the insights from your consumer survey can be beneficial in providing a more detailed focus to this research. Not only can it provide a snapshot of consumer needs and pains points, it can also reveal information about their location and the potential market size of this audience group.

Take this further with market testing.

Product

Having as good an understanding of the demand for and market you're planning to launch into is critical to your product's success. And having a better understanding of that market's target audience is an essential element to this. The insight from your consumer survey questions can reveal any needs, pain points or gaps they want to see resolved, which if you're able to fix, will ultimately improve the success of your product's launch.

Take this further with product testing.

Brand

While there are many types of research that can provide a good starting point to measure your brand awareness, and where it lies in comparison with your competitors, for the best results you need to know how consumers perceive your brand. Through the insight of a consumer survey, you'll have a more accurate picture of how your brand is perceived and what changes you need to make, to drive further awareness and market share.

Promotion

While advertising is an extremely effective way of reaching out to your target audience with a new product or service, having increased clarity about what's likely to work best with your target audience is extremely valuable when you're working on designs and messaging. Thanks to the insight that a consumer survey can reveal about your potential customers' interests, attitudes and motivations, it can make this process a lot smoother and less painful.

Types of consumer and target audience survey

Types of Consumer Survey

From attitudes, opinions, behavioural trends and expenditure patterns to demographic and lifestyle issues. Consumer surveys can measure a lot about a particular target audience, as well revealing factors from the wider society that might be influencing them. Subsequently, these areas can be explored in a lot more focus through niche consumer surveys ranging from consumer insight, consumer opinion, consumer expenditure and consumer lifestyle surveys, to demographic and target audience surveys when you need to dig deeper into the detail.

Advantages of audience surveys

The Benefits of Running Consumer Surveys

Consumer surveys are vital in helping you identify and maximise engagement with your key audience groups, but there are also a number of wider business benefits. Some of the key ones include:

  • Minimising business risk and increasing your chances of new product or service success

    Whatever fresh venture you're involved with, there will always be an element of risk, which can be costly if your targeting is completely wrong. However, thanks to the insight it can provide, running a consumer survey can help you to identify those with the greatest interest in and capacity for buying from you, which reduces risks and helps maximise your likelihood of success.

  • Helping to build customer loyalty

    Customer loyalty can provide you with a significant advantage over your competitors, which a consumer survey can help you with by enabling you to identify your most ideal audience from the offset. Not only this, but when consumers can see that their opinions are being listened to and implemented into your products and services their customer loyalty is only strengthened further.

  • Strengthening your brand and market position

    Similarly, the insight from a consumer survey, can give you a more accurate picture of the awareness and perceptions of your brand. With greater clarity about how your brand compare compares with that of your competitors, you'll be in a better position to further differentiate yourself and strengthen your market position.

Consumer Survey Best Practice

Whatever consumer survey you're running, whether it's more generic or niche, there are a number of best practice steps you need to have in place, if you're to maximise its success and the value you're able to obtain from it. Here's six best practice steps you need to consider:

  1. Define your goals from the outset:

    Whether you're trying to gain greater clarity about your target audience's level of disposable income, or any lifestyle factors that might influence their interest in your product. Whatever you're looking to survey, before you do anything else, you need to have some clear objectives in mind about why you're carrying out your survey and what you're looking to achieve. If you do this, you'll more likely attain what you set out to achieve.

  2. Give careful thought to your choice of questions:

    Having defined your goals, you'll want to create your questions. From closed and open-ended questions, to multiple choice or rating style questions. With many types of questions to choose from, think carefully about which one's you'll use and whether they will help best achieve your goal. It's always good to have a mix of questions to help keep respondents engaged, but for surveys where you're looking to dig deeper into your audiences' thoughts, you may decide to include a few more open-ended questions.

  3. Think carefully about how you approach sensitive demographic questions:

    When it comes to questions about audience demographics, think carefully about whether you really need them. If you do, you need to approach them in the best way, as some are more sensitive than others, particularly those asking about sex, gender, and sexual orientation.

    Firstly, it's prudent to explain why you need to collect this information, how it aligns with your mission and if you'll need to share this information with any other organisations.

    Secondly, you also want to be collecting this information separately from other areas of your survey, whether that's at the beginning or at the end.

    Finally, offer respondents as many selections as possible, as some people's identities can't be summed up by one category alone. You may also consider leaving an open box to cover anything you've not already listed.

  4. Make your brand clear:

    If you've ever received a survey and is wasn't immediately clear where it was coming from, chances are you probably ignored it.

    Therefore, it's prudent to make sure your survey is instantly recognisable, by ensuring it's consistent with the rest of your brand. From including your company logo, text font style and brand colours, to even customising your survey's web address or using your own sub domain. Doing will make your survey instantly recognisable and help to maximise your response rate.

  5. Consider using a consumer panels service:

    Sometimes, forces beyond your control mean that you may not have a representative enough sample to run a survey using your own contacts. In such circumstances it can pay to turn to the experts for help to get your questions to the right sample size and audience for you needs, which will ensure you get the most accurate insights within the timeframe you need. The service we are referring to is typically called a consumer panels service.

    With our own consumers panels service we've able to provide instant access to more than 20 million respondents globally. So, whatever you're looking to survey and whatever demographic you want to target, we can get you the responses you need within your required timeframe.

  6. Think about how you're going to analyse your survey data:

    Once you've distributed your consumer survey and gathered your survey responses, your data should be analysed thoroughly for any key findings and trends that will allow you to draw actionable insights. Think about the survey software you're using and how well it allows you to view, present and manipulate your data in a wide variety of different, as this can a big difference to what you're able to identify.

Best practice for consumer and audience surveys

Consumer Surveys Software

If you're to be able to create, distribute and analyse your survey easily, and maximise your response rate, you need to have the right survey software in place. With the ongoing development of our survey software, we're making even simpler and quicker to create, send and analyse surveys, with tools that will also maximise its impact with respondents:

Quickly create impactful surveys

With our user-friendly software, ready-made and customisable templates, extensive question library and advanced features, it's quick and easy to tailor your survey and questions to meet the needs of any customer survey research you're working on.

Reach out quickly to your audience in the way that best suits them

From email and web to SMS. Different demographics prefer different platforms for accessing and completing their survey. So, with our wide range of distribution channels, it's easy to segment and then reach out to different groups within your audience, with the channel that best grabs their interest.

Maximise the impact of your survey

It's simple with our survey software, with tools that make it easy for you to incorporate your brand's look and feel. From your company logo, text font style and brand colours, to even customising your survey's web address. Our tools will ensure your survey's instantly recognisable to your target audience to help maximise your response rate.

Draw actionable insight quickly

Thanks to our powerful analysis tools, it's easy to identify trends or correlations and quickly gain actionable insights from your data. In addition, strong reporting tools featuring smart dashboards and a wide range of charts and graphical formats, makes it's simple to present your findings and next steps to your colleagues.

Consumer Survey Questions

If you're to identify the right audience group for your products or services, it's vital to know more about their motivations, interests and demographics, as well as the commercial behaviour. And the most important element to this is your survey questions, which can help you to dig deeper into the thoughts of the consumers you're surveying.

However, it can still be challenging to know where to begin, so to help you, we've outlined a few sample questions you might like to consider below.

To start with, you might want to find out a bit more about the demographics of the audience you're surveying. Having asked some initial questions about their age and gender, you may want to explore their income and what they do for a living to see if there's any correlation between this and their interest in your products and services. You might want to consider questions such as:

What do you do for a living?
What is your family income?
What is your highest educational qualification attainment?

You might then want to investigate more about their behaviour including lifestyle and spending patterns. Suitable questions might include:

In terms of your primary residence, do you:
  • Own
  • Rent
  • Other
In a typical month, what proportion of your family's expenditure is made on the following?
To help us better understand your lifestyle interests, please indicate the activities you enjoy participating in on a regular basis:
  • Sports
  • Music
  • Arts/Theatre
  • Pubs/eating out
  • Travel
  • Watching TV
Ask the right consumer survey questions
Consumer survey template

Consumer Survey Templates

With a wide range of consumer survey types and questions you could potentially use, it can be challenging to know where to begin. That's why to help you, we've created a fully customised range of consumer survey templates, to help get you started.

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