Stop asking basic demographic questions, and here’s why

Demographic questions are at the crux of every research survey. Researchers usually place these questions at the beginning of studies to quickly visualize their respondents. Knowing your respondent mix well can help you make better, more accurate decisions.

But, demographic questions contribute to the length and time taken to complete surveys. Basic questions like age, gender, income, education, occupation, etc., are essential and they help you picture your respondents better. However, asking these questions is not always easy. For starters, not everybody is comfortable sharing their personal information repeatedly, and many respondents bounce off surveys when asked sensitive questions. Being mindful of the respondent’s time answering long surveys should always be a priority for researchers, especially when they are looking for a quick research turnaround.

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Should you ask basic demographic questions?

Yes, demographic questions are essential. We’ve established that asking these questions helps researchers understand the sample better for further decision-making. A questionnaire without demographics is incomplete. Understanding a buyer persona is crucial for organizations entering new markets or changing existing products to suit customer needs. The better you understand buyer personas, the better you’ll get at product pricing and placement. Simply put, market research is incomplete without these questions.

The problem around asking demographic questions

Today more than ever, people are concerned about their personal information getting stolen, and they are right in doing so. In this age of information, there have been numerous cases of data breaches and talks about data security. The greatest challenge is asking intimate questions without making the respondent feel uncomfortable. Research ask and re-ask demographic questions multiple times – out of which, at least twenty questions are repeated. Imagine answering 30 qualification questions and then being disqualified in a survey.

A respondent who is reluctant to answer sensitive questions won’t think twice before dropping off from a survey. Asking too many questions can hurt your data collection and its quality. Respondents tend to get bored of long surveys, and asking multiple questions to understand ones demography is a reason for incomplete surveys. 

How QuestionPro can help you overcome the demographic dilemma

With QuestionPro Audience, you can access more than 30 million high-quality online panelists around the globe. These panelists belong to various demographics that they have selected while signing up to be panel members. When they join a panel, they fill out an extensive survey of more than 300 demographic profiling questions. This screening helps us categorize and segregate them accurately, which later helps you to target the exact sample you’re looking for. Regular panel updates, maintenance, and health checks ensure a continuous update of demographic points. Additionally, we have mechanisms to identify and eliminate survey fraudsters and fake responders.

Select your respondents

You can safely skip the demographic questions with QuestionPro Audience

Buying respondents from QuestionPro Audience helps researchers target the exact respondent mix because their background information is already available and up to date. You can directly pipe in basic panel data into your live survey, and cut survey time by about four minutes. Not asking demographic questions generates a better respondent experience, and response rate, getting you to your insights faster. Build a survey without adding demographic questions and field it via QuestionPro Audience. Get in touch with us to know more about smarter surveys!