50 powerful questions for market audience profiling

There’s 101 different pieces of information you can gather about consumers, some are vital to creating a strategy for your product that connects on a personal level. Whether you're informing NPD or forming a marketing strategy, here's 50 questions that can help profile your market and audience.

What would someone need to know about you in order to really ‘get’ you? Where you live? Maybe. Where you were born? Unlikely. What you love, like and loath? Probably.

There’s a hundred and one different pieces of information you can gather about your audience through customer profiling, some of which are vital to creating a strategy for your product that connects with them on a personal level.

The way you choose to profile your consumers will hinge on what it is you want to find out. Are you looking to inform new product development with the motivations and needs of an existing audience, create a marketing strategy that resonates with the priorities of your audience, or something else entirely?

We’re here to help. The psychographic questions below will help you establish the general breakdown of your consumer base into groupings of similar beliefs, behaviours, demographics, motivations and more. Knowing what your consumers look like is the first step that your brand must take to being able to create a product and service that appeals to them. Pick and choose the questions that best suit your own consumer profiling project.

Find out more about profiling and how to get started with a customer profiling template. And get the lowdown on launching your research project with the Attest Consumer Research Academy, including the business challenges consumer profiling can help solve.

Top tips

Here are some best practices for getting the most out of the questions below:

  • Every question should be mutually exclusive, whether you’re asking an industry-specific, pragmatic or psychographic question. To properly define the makeup of your audience you’ll want each consumer to sit squarely in one bucket – no venn diagrams allowed. If consumers sit in two distinct buckets, it’ll cause problems when working out the proportions of each profile in the market. Keeping each question to a single choice answer, or grouping multiple choice answers together, will help.
  • Ask equivalent questions in every country you’re profiling, but don’t make the mistake of assuming one profile will map perfectly onto all markets. Be prepared to see both similarities and differences across markets, and use this to your advantage; tailoring products and campaigns to suit the distinct segments in each market.
  • You’ll notice we don’t ask consumers for their age in the following questions, nor their gender, income and so on… With Attest, there’s often no need to ask demographic survey questions when surveying consumers. Simply select the demographics you require – including set quotas, if you want – after you’ve drafted your survey, and use these to filter and compare the results by up to 16 demographic details.
  • Keeping your surveys nationally representative, before diving deeper into the answers of your key audiences, will allow you to see whether your key consumers track higher or lower than the rest of the population on the key topics covered below. The statistics in isolation don’t mean much unless you’re able to say your consumers are more or less likely than others to feel a certain way or do certain things.
Face-to-face survey being conducted

Psychographic questions

To establish what consumers like and dislike:

  1. Do you actively seek out new experiences, or prefer to stick with what you know you enjoy?
  2. Which activity do you do most often when you have free time?
  3. Do you prefer a big night out or a quiet night in?
  4. Do you prefer spending time with your family or with your friends?
  5. Where is your dream holiday destination?

To understand what they value and prioritise:

  1. Do you prioritise your family, work or your social life?
  2. How do you feel about the recent news story regarding [current affairs story]?
  3. Are you worried about climate change and the impact it will have on future generations?
  4. What was the last big ticket item you bought?
  5. Are you happy with your current work-life balance?
  6. Would you call yourself an optimist or a pessimist?

To understand what motivates them:

  1. Have you ever boycotted a brand because they’ve acted unethically?
  2. If so, which brand?
  3. Do you pay more attention to the price or quality of the items you buy?
  4. Where do you go for advice on which products to buy?
  5. How often do you give to charity?

Read more about the importance and potential of psychographic profiling.

Pragmatic questions

To understand the journeys they take:

  1. How do you travel to work?
  2. What other places do you visit every single week without fail?
  3. How often do you walk to your destination rather than taking the car/other motorised vehicle?
  4. Which physical activities do you take part in?

To know what they’re paying attention to:

  1. How many hours did you spend watching live/streamed TV in the last week?
  2. Which commercial radio stations do you listen to?
  3. Where do you go to keep up to date with the news?
  4. Which social media platforms do you use, and how frequently?

To understand what they need:

  1. Do you spend more money on yourself, or on your family and friends?
  2. Do you spend more time caring for yourself, or for your family and friends?
  3. Do you have income left over at the end of the month or do you find it hard to make ends meet?
  4. Would you rather have more time or more money?
  5. Do you use apps and/or planners to budget your money for the month?
  6. If you’re feeling stressed, how do you calm yourself down?

Industry-specific questions

To uncover what polarises your industry

  1. Have you heard of [product category] before?
  2. How often do you use [product category]?
  3. How long have you been using [product category] for?
  4. Are you opposed to using [product category]?
  5. Why have you never used [product category]?
  6. How would you feel if you could no longer buy [product category]?
  7. Has your opinion on [product category] changed within the last 12 months?

To gauge their opinion on competitors

  1. Who do you seek advice from when you’re shopping for [product category]?
  2. Do you feel like you know enough about [product category] before you decide what to buy?
  3. Were you one of the first people to start using [product category]?
  4. Are you loyal to one brand of [product category]?
  5. What is one thing that your favourite brand of [product category] could do better?
  6. What do you love about your favourite brand of [product category]?
  7. How did you find out about the last [product category] you bought?

To understand consumers’ jobs to be done

  1. Do you tend to use [product category] on your own or when in the company of others?
  2. At what time of day do you use [product category] most often?
  3. At what price would you consider [product category] to be too expensive to buy?
  4. At what price would you consider [product category] to be so cheap that you would question the quality?
  5. Do you feel brands in [product category] offer a good level of service currently?
  6. How would you search for a new provider of [product category] on Google?

Consumer profiling can help across multiple facets of your business, from customer success, to new product development. The 50 questions above are just some of the avenues you can explore. If you’d love to get more inspiration for your insights project, here are more essential market research questions.

And here are some real examples of what can happen if you don’t run consumer profiling, starring Facebook, Pepsi and Dove.

To discover which questions are most important for your brand, and to get started with your own consumer profiling project, speak to our team today.

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Nick White

Customer Research Lead 

Nick joined Attest in 2021, with more than 10 years' experience in market research and consumer insights on both agency and brand sides. As part of the Customer Research Team team, Nick takes a hands-on role supporting customers uncover insights and opportunities for growth.

See all articles by Nick