What A Market Research Screener Is, Why You Need It

Market research screeners are an essential part of the market research process. They’re used to recruit participants for your study, and they make it easy to find people with specific characteristics who’ll be able to answer your questions accurately. 

If you’re conducting a survey about teen attitudes toward fast food, for example, you wouldn’t want to have respondents who aren’t teenagers or who don’t eat fast food. This guide will walk you through how to do a market research screener in 5 steps:

Why is Market Research Important? – YouTube
Key Takeaways
Understanding the role of a market research screener is crucial for filtering potential participants.
Market research screeners help ensure that research participants align with specific criteria.
By using screeners, you can enhance data quality and gather more targeted and relevant insights.
Market research screeners contribute to more accurate and actionable research outcomes.
Incorporating screeners into your research process is essential for making informed decisions based on reliable data.

What Is A Market Research Screener?

A market research screener is a questionnaire that helps you to identify potential respondents for your survey. A good screener will help you choose the right respondents and qualify them so that they’re more likely to give you useful feedback.

Here’s how it works:

You create a list of attributes that are relevant to your research question(s) and assign points based on these characteristics (e.g., if someone has purchased one specific brand of tennis shoe in the last year, they would receive 10 points).

The respondent fills out this form before answering any other questions or completing any other tasks as part of their participation in your study; 

This allows you to get an idea about how well-suited they are for contributing valuable feedback based on their answers to these questions (e.g., someone who doesn’t have children may not have much insight into diapers).

You make sure that only people who meet all of your pre-defined criteria end up getting through the screener process this helps ensure that only those whom you need to participate in subsequent steps of data collection!

Understanding the foundations of effective marketing research is crucial. If you’re looking to dive deeper, our guide on marketing research step by step provides comprehensive insights into the process.

Why Use A Market Research Screener?

Market research screeners are used to identify potential interviewees who meet your qualification criteria. 

They help you find the right people to talk to and make sure that your responses are coming from individuals who fit your topic, are interested in participating in the study, and have a high likelihood of completing all of the questions asked of them. 

This is important for two reasons: first, it ensures that you don’t spend hours conducting interviews with people who aren’t interested in providing you with useful information; second, it minimizes bias by ensuring that participants come from similar backgrounds as one another. 

For example: if you wanted to conduct an opinion survey on whether people think dogs should be allowed inside public places (like restaurants), but only asked men or women you could end up with skewed results based on gender alone!

The Anatomy Of A Screener

A screener is an instrument that helps you to identify the people who meet certain criteria. It’s also called a questionnaire, but we’ll stick with “screener” for this post.

A good screener uses the following elements:

A net (or sample frame). This is typically a list of some kind. It could be compiled from publicly available records like phone books and business directories, or it could come from your internal records or databases. 

You should have already decided how big this group should be before designing your screener, so there’s no need to spend too much time on this step.

Your questions/topics/topics (these are just different names for the same thing the questions in your screener). This is where most of your time will be spent designing your screeners because it’s important to get it right!

The world of marketing thrives on innovation and creativity. Discover more about the significance of allowing marketers to leverage tools in our article on why stifling tools in marketing is counterproductive.

How To Do Your Market Research Screener In 5 Steps

Now that you know the basics of what a market research screener is and why it’s important, let’s look at how to do one. In general, five steps make up a good market research screener.

1. Define The Goal Of Your Study

Before you start any kind of market research study, it’s important to set your goals. This might seem counterintuitive why would you define the problem before starting on a solution?

But by defining your goals first, you’ll be able to make sure that your research efforts are aligned with what matters to you. You don’t want to spend time and money collecting information that doesn’t lead anywhere or doesn’t help you achieve your goal.

Your goal could be something like this: “I want to lose weight.” Or more specifically: “I want to lose 30 pounds in 3 months through dieting and exercise.” If these are two different things, then why not break them down further?

For example, losing 30 pounds is an overarching goal for someone who wants to get healthier overall but also wants specific health benefits from doing so (like lowering blood pressure).

Then one concrete step toward achieving that goal might be reducing salt intake or increasing fiber intake or both.

2. Pick The Best Method For Your Respondents

Once you’ve decided on the right kind of screener, it’s time to choose the best method for your respondents. 

Choosing the right method is important because each approach has its advantages and disadvantages. Here are a few questions to consider when choosing among these options:

  • What will fit best with our research goals?
  • How much time do we have to complete this survey?
  • Does my team have the expertise needed to run this type of survey?

In addition, there are also new ways in which market research can be performed. These include online focus groups (which allow for virtual interactions via video conference), and remote interviews (using webcams or other technology).

Digital surveys (conducted via email or SMS text message). You should weigh all of these options before deciding how you want your market research conducted.

Social media platforms offer a wealth of insights for marketing research. Dive into our guide on utilizing social media for research purposes to harness the power of these platforms in your research strategies.

3. Determine The Qualifications For Your Target Audience

You will want to consider the qualifications of your target audience. This includes their age, gender, location, income level, and other factors that make them unique. 

Your target audience can help you determine the number of things including who you want to interview and what method(s) may be best suited for reaching them. 

For example, if your product is targeted toward women under 35 with incomes between $30K-50K per year and live in the Mid-Atlantic region then this would be an ideal demographic for interviewing.

What’s more important than finding out exactly who fits into your target audience? Finding out why they fit into it! While knowing the demographics of someone can be helpful when it comes time for market research to carry out studies with them (i.e., conducting surveys).

Learning about their motivations will help guide future decisions around product features and marketing campaigns.

4. Pick The Right Online Survey Tool To Create Your Survey

There are a lot of tools that can help you build and administer a survey, but they don’t all have the same features or capabilities. For example, some tools are easier to use than others and some offer more data analysis options or reporting functionality. 

Also, it’s important to choose a tool with good support so you can get answers to any questions you may have about using the software effectively. Before deciding on one particular online survey tool for your project, consider these factors:

Ease Of Use 

How easy is it for someone who isn’t familiar with creating an online survey? Is there extensive training offered by the company? Do they provide training videos or documentation? Can users learn how to use this software with minimal effort? 

If not, then choosing another platform might be worth considering since users will likely become frustrated.

If they have trouble getting started on their own without support from customer service reps at whatever company provides them access through its website (and goodness knows why anyone would want their personal information stored there).

Management Abilities 

Are there any features built into this program specifically designed for managing large amounts of data collected through different channels over time (e-mail campaigns) such as filtering or exporting results quickly into Excel spreadsheets?

So business owners can perform further analysis themselves if needed rather than having everything done automatically by someone else? 

This kind of flexibility comes in handy when trying out different methods before settling down on one final method which works best overall because who knows what might happen next week!

For instance, let’s say we were testing out two different types

Exploring the diverse landscape of marketing research tools can unlock new possibilities. Learn about the often overlooked but potent tools in our list of top 10 powerful marketing research tools that could transform your strategies.

5. Write And Test Your Survey Questions

The last step in the process of creating a market research screener is writing and testing your survey questions. As we’ve discussed, a survey question is any part of a survey that asks for information from participants.

The exact way you write survey questions depends on your topic and how much time you have to complete them (a five-minute questionnaire will be different than one with 100 questions). But some basic principles should guide your approach:

Keep it short and simple, but don’t be too vague. Your goal is to get people interested enough in your product or service so they’ll want to participate but not so interested that they’ll just fill out anything for $5! Try to keep each survey question down to one sentence or less; 

If it’s more than two sentences long, cut up the question into chunks instead. You can always ask people what their preferred method would be when filling out surveys later on; now just focus on finding out whether or not they’re interested at all!

Avoid leading statements like “I’m thinking about buying an X” or “I’m looking for an X.” Instead ask open-ended questions like “Why do you use X?” 

This way anyone can answer without feeling limited by pre-existing ideas about what they might say versus what someone else might say (“Oh yeah? Well I am looking into buying an X because…”). 

Plus, closed-ended answers won’t help us figure out who these people are yet so let’s not limit ourselves!

Market Research Screeners (Or Recruitment Screeners) Are An Essential Component Of A Good Market Research Strategy

If you’re trying to get a survey or campaign off the ground, using a good market research screener can help you save time and money.

Screeners are an essential component of a good market research strategy. They streamline the process of finding respondents and make it more efficient, saving you time and money in the long run.

A screener allows researchers to create a list of potential respondents who have been pre-screened based on their characteristics or interests. 

They also allow researchers to classify potential respondents into demographic groups so they can easily target specific groups with their survey. 

Once they’ve been selected, these lists provide access to people that have already expressed interest in participating in similar surveys or campaigns (or products).

Simplifying the market research process can streamline decision-making. Dive into our guide on conducting simple yet effective market research to discover actionable insights that can drive your marketing efforts.


We’ve covered every aspect of market research screeners, from the definition to best practices. 

We hope you found this post useful and that you’ve learned all about these essential tools in your market research toolkit. Have any questions for us? Feel free to reach out in the comments below!

Further Reading

Explore these additional resources to deepen your understanding:

Recruitment Screener Glossary: Uncover the essentials of a recruitment screener and its significance in the market research process.

Demystifying Market Research Screeners: Delve into the world of market research screeners and gain insights into their role and importance.

Purpose of Market Research: Discover the profound reasons behind conducting market research and how it fuels informed decision-making.


What is the role of a recruitment screener in market research?

A recruitment screener serves as a preliminary filter to identify suitable participants for research studies, ensuring relevant insights are collected.

How do market research screeners enhance data quality?

Market research screeners help ensure that participants match specific criteria, leading to more focused and accurate data collection.

What are some common criteria used in screeners?

Common criteria in screeners include demographics, behaviors, preferences, and other attributes that align with the research objectives.

How does market research benefit decision-making?

Market research provides actionable insights into consumer behavior, preferences, and trends, aiding businesses in making informed strategic decisions.

What distinguishes qualitative from quantitative market research?

Qualitative research focuses on understanding underlying motivations and sentiments, while quantitative research involves numerical data analysis for statistical insights.