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5 min

Why is it important to know your survey target audience

A post describing why it's important to know your survey target audience

Jan 5, 2023
B2B market research
B2C market research


The better you know your survey target audience, the more likely you are to get the information you want. It's common sense, but it's just as important in surveys as it is in real life. If you don't know who will complete your survey, how can you reach them? And if they aren't representative of your target population, then how can their answers be meaningful? In this post, we'll cover these topics and more.

Let's talk about an example of a survey target audience. Did you know that Booking.com recently conducted a survey of 24,179 survey respondents across 32 countries to know how the metaverse will influence travel in 2023. Out of the target audience, those most likely to try travel in the metaverse were Gen Z and Millennials. Learn more about the survey in this article.

In the next section, let's jump into knowing who your survey target audience is and why it's important for your survey project.

Knowing your survey target audience is important for your survey goals

The first thing to consider is who you are asking to complete your survey.

  • Who is the target audience of your survey? You can find this out by looking at your company's website, social media accounts, or any other marketing materials that have been created.
  • How do you reach them? This can be done through phone calls and emails if they are available in your contact database or through advertising on social media platforms.
  • What is their demographic profile? This means knowing their age range, gender, ethnicity, and other relevant demographic information about them. Asking questions about where they live and how much money they make can also help with getting a better understanding of who will best fit in with your survey target audience.
  • How could you get more people to participate in this survey? One way would be by offering incentives such as discounts or free products for taking part in it.

Another way would be to offer something in exchange for completing the survey, such as points that can be used to enter a prize draw or some kind of discount code. What kind of questions should you ask? The best approach is to start with an open-ended question such as “What do you think about this product?” then follow it up with more specific questions like “Would you recommend it to a friend? Why or why not?" 

Knowing who the right respondents are is critical to your survey

Knowing your target audience is critical for every survey you conduct. If you don't reach the right respondents, your survey results won't be as accurate and useful to you. So how do you know who are the right people to reach out to?

  • First, make sure that your survey questionnaires contain only questions relevant and appropriate for your target audience. The questions should also be worded appropriately so that they're easy enough for respondents to understand but not too simple (or else it may seem like an interview question).
  • Second, create a list of all possible contacts who could answer these questions. This might include coworkers at work, friends on social media networks like Facebook or LinkedIn as well as family members who live close by in case they want any help filling out their responses! 

Some ways to be aware of your survey target audience

Now that we know why knowing your respondents is crucial for a market research project, let's dive into some methods by which you can be aware of your audience.

In market research projects, it can be that two respondents are similar but not perfectly the same. Respondent similarities have an impact on the outcome of the market research project. Although it's impossible to completely know your target audience, putting yourself in the respondent's shoes is sometimes useful to understand their point of view. Empathising with your audience also helps you to identify any weak links in your survey. More importantly, it helps you relate to the emotional involvement that people have toward your survey. Ultimately, it helps you identify high-quality data.

Typically, four elements (interest, frequency, familiarity, and competency) help researchers become more aware of their survey target audience. Let's look at each of them in detail below:-


Measuring interest translates into how much your survey will impact respondents. You can also tell yourself how interesting it could be for them. Determining respondent interest is something you should answer before designing the survey. Usually, the higher the interest, the more respondents will be motivated to answer. So higher interest implies more valid and reliable data and a greater number of responses.


How much is the survey target audience familiar with the topic of your survey? If they are well aware, they are likely to give better and more sincere answers. So while launching your survey, be sure to determine the level of familiarity that respondents have while answering your survey.


How frequently are respondents exposed to the topics of your questionnaire? Usually, if the respondent is well informed, they will also be able to give better answers that will lead to high-quality data.


How competent are respondents on the topic of the survey? For example, an experienced management consultant may be able to give more helpful and valuable opinions about his industry as compared to a graduate associate. These are just some of the points that you should keep in mind before designing your questionnaire.

For more tips on survey design, check out this post.

How to gather responses for a survey for a specific audience

Once you know your target audience, the next step is to think about how to reach them. You might already have a plan of action in place for reaching this group of people. If not, here are some ideas:

  • Consider how you're going to reach them and how often or how long it will take.
  • Create any advertisements that will be used as part of your campaign (blog posts, Facebook ads, etc.).
  • Put together a schedule for when all these things should go live so that they aren't all released at once or at different times throughout the survey period.

Also, think about what will happen if your campaign doesn't go as planned. Do you have a plan for that? If so, make sure to include it in your calendar.

Your aim should be to be sure of what you want to know from your respondents. Avoid including unnecessary questions that are not useful to your research. Another important survey design element is to develop your questions clearly. You should try to minimise the risk of misunderstanding and vagueness. Being direct with the survey topic is vital, and it will increase your response rate. To know how to write a survey, check out this post.

You need to know exactly who you want to answer your survey so you can reach them and get the info you want

Knowing your audience is important because it helps you determine the best way to reach them. If you know who they are, what they like, and where they hang out, then it will be easier for you to get them on board with answering your survey.

For example, if you wanted to conduct a survey among college students about campus life, you would have an easier time finding them if you knew which schools had more than one dormitory building or how many students live on campus in all five dorms (which would give you an idea of where there are most likely going to be more students).

If you don’t know who your audience is, then how can you possibly reach them? You’ll be wasting time and money trying to get people on board with answering your survey when there are plenty of other people out there who would have been more than happy to answer it.


Knowing your survey target audience is essential to a successful survey. It's important that you understand who will complete your survey so that you can reach them and get the information you need. If you're looking for more resources on this topic, we've got just the right blog post for you. Learn more about survey target audiences in '5 tips on how to find the best survey target audience'. Alternatively, you can reach out to us for more information. We'd be happy to help!

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