Pay Attention to Your Demographic Profile Questionnaire

Pay Attention to Your Demographic Profile QuestionnaireIf you are planning to develop a survey panel or have one in existence, then it is time to review your demographic profile questionnaire. This is the first survey panelists will encounter, and the results it generates will be used throughout the year to profile respondents, select sample and weight the results on the back-end for survey data analysis. QuestionPro can help you get qualified Survey Respondents.

The demographic profile questionnaire, almost more than any other survey in your quiver, should receive time and attention in its development phase. Because the demographic profile questionnaire is the primary source for demographic and usage questions it needs to be aligned with your organization’s view of the market. For example, if you employ a segmentation scheme based on usage then as a survey designer you need to make sure this question is included in the demographic profile questionnaire and that its attendant categories match with existing usage definitions (e.g. what quantity of sales is used to define a ‘heavy’ or ‘frequent’ user?)

As mentioned previously, this is typically the first survey of significance that a potential panelist will encounter. Demographic profile questionnaire needs to be able to stand the test of time as new panelists coming on board over the course of the year will be exposed to it and their responses stored for later profiling and sample selection. The primary advantage of using this type of survey is that it prevents having to ask respondents the same qualification questions on each project. For example, if you ask demographic questions in the demographic profile questionnaire then a participant’s responses to age, household income, and education can be appended to all subsequent surveys. This minimizes the cognitive load and allows you to create shorter surveys.

Some key points to remember about demographic profile questionnaire:

  • They should be updated annually.
  • Once updated, they need to be re-administered to all panelists in order to keep responses current
  • They will be lengthy and panelists should be informed of this up front. Consider using additional incentives to drive response.
  • Due to length, you should consider implementing reminders, as well as allowing respondents to return to their survey should they be interrupted.
  • Consider using data available in CRM systems, where feasible, to shorten the questionnaire length.

Start with our demographic survey sample questionnaire, if you’re just getting round to creating questionnaires.