Why You Should Embrace Inclusive Market Research


Why You Should Embrace Inclusive Market Research Field Research
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As per a survey by Adobe in 2019, “38% of consumers said they would trust brands that show diversity in their advertising.” Developing a brand loved by customers of all demography doesn’t happen on its own. Inclusive product development and brand experience typically begin with inclusive market research. 

Inclusive market research helps brands to create products and services accessible and usable by customers of all backgrounds, abilities, and ages. The process embraces diversity and inclusivity, which means enabling everyone to share their feedback and considering the needs, preferences, and experiences of all user groups. 

In this blog, we’ll explore the importance of inclusive design in market research. We will also look at the best practices for designing inclusive survey questions. 

What is inclusive market research?

Inclusive market research is a research approach that ensures the inclusion of a diverse audience. The researcher prioritizes survey respondents with diverse backgrounds and experiences for the research process. 

The goal of inclusive market research is to include people with different abilities and conduct the research in an ethical and respectful manner. The aim is to gather research data that accurately represents a diverse population and helps build inclusive product design to integrate as many users as possible.

What is inclusive design in market research?

Inclusive design in market research implies a researcher’s ability to take into account the full range of human diversity and design surveys with inclusion survey questions. Inclusive surveys demonstrate respect and empathy in every part of their design, from accessibility to language. 

The surveys enable you to hear the voices of customers who are often marginalized. It helps you ensure no possible user is excluded from the experience. 

Often users with disabilities are unable to interact with some products or services. Such users make up the target audience, and as a researcher, you must study them as well. It’s important to remember that inclusive market research doesn’t only cater to users with disabilities but extends to a wider range of circumstances. 

Before we jump into how to design an inclusive survey for market research, let’s understand its importance. 

Why is inclusive design in market research important?

Why You Should Embrace Inclusive Market Research Field Research

Incorporating inclusive design in market research allows you to ensure that the data your gather are relevant and applicable to a wider range of customers. It helps you take into account the unique needs, preferences, and experiences of people with different abilities, ethnicities, cultures, and genders. As a result, it helps avoid stereotyping, bias, and discrimination in research. 

Inclusive design is not only a priority for product designers. It is also a part of market research from where the inclusivity begins. So, as a result, researchers must also be well aware of using equity and inclusion survey questions when designing market research questions along with accessibility. 

There are many benefits of embracing inclusive market research. We have explained some of these reasons. 

  1. Inclusive research design ensures that your research includes a diverse range of perspectives, resulting in a more accurate representation of your target market. 
  2. Inclusivity improves respondents’ perception of a survey, as without inclusivity, many respondents will likely be excluded from surveys. 
  3. Inclusive survey questions demonstrate a brand’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. This enhances brand reputation. 
  4. Such surveys help you understand the needs and preferences of diverse users/ customers, resulting in products and service development that are accessible and user-friendly. 
  5. By using inclusive language in surveys, you can reduce the risk of bias and stereotyping. 
  6. Inclusive surveys make customers feel visible and heard in regard to their unique circumstances. 

Inclusive design in market research - best practices

Why You Should Embrace Inclusive Market Research Field Research

When you consider your survey respondents’ experience from their perspective or ask them about their gender identity, religion, ethnicity, sexuality, etc., you create an inclusive survey. An inclusive design ensures respondents feel valued, and the brand reflects its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

How to design inclusive market research? Here we have shared some best practices for incorporating inclusive design in market research. 

01. Carefully write your demographic questions:

Researchers gather demographic data to get a better understanding of the audience. The information about the target audiences’ background characteristics helps identify the drivers of their behavior and attitude. However, asking such questions can seem intrusive and personal. But as a part of an inclusive survey, you can’t steer clear of such questions. 

To ensure that your demographic questions are inclusive and also respect personal boundaries, you need to be aware of why you are asking the questions and how you will use the data. 

For example, when asking about the gender identity of a customer, it’s best to include all the options or make it a text-box question. For example, if you only include – straight, gay, lesbian, and transgender as the answer option, it won’t take into account the other gender identity. If you want to understand your target audience’s identity, you will need to use a more inclusive approach. Same with race, religion, ethnicity, etc. 

One of the best practices to ensure the question feels more inclusive is to use a fill-in-the-blank question. This gives respondents the space to share their own answers.

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02. Inform respondents of the reason for asking demographic questions:

A simple introduction that lets’ respondents know the purpose and goal of your survey can encourage respondents to be more honest about their responses. Many people may not feel comfortable sharing personal information with a brand. However, if you can offer a simple explanation, it can help them understand how their response will be important for your research purpose. 

For example, a library asking people about their race and gender identity would receive good quality data if it explains that it will use the data to plan better book inventory and organize community programs. 

03. Use language consciously:

An inclusive survey must use language that acknowledges diversity, is sensitive to differences, and respects people. Avoid using words or phrases that offend, excludes, or marginalize people. 

When designing your survey questions, always look out for words/phrases that can carry implications. It’s best to know use language that can have different meanings to individuals from different backgrounds. Also, ensure not to use ‘normal’ language. For example, it’s best to use neutral terms like “significant other/ partner” instead of “husband/wife” or “sibling” instead of “sister/brother”. 

04. Allow respondents to skip questions:

It’s important to remember that when you conduct a survey, you ask participants to take some time out of their busy life. Your inclusive survey should urge respondents to participate in a respectful manner and not force them to respond to an uncomfortable question. 

The best way to ensure that your survey demonstrates inclusivity is by allowing respondents to skip a question on their own accord. This way, you can respect their boundaries, engage them and decrease survey dropouts. 

05. Evaluate your sample recruitment techniques:

Paid social media surveys enable you only to target those demographics who use social media. This excludes many respondents. Consider the pros and cons of each research method to ensure your survey respondents are as diverse and inclusive as possible. 

This means your screening questions should also be carefully crafted to ensure you have a highly representative sample. 

06. Keep survey accessibility in mind:

Make sure your survey is accessible to a wide range of audiences. You can do it by translating your survey, using images, adding context, and making survey questions clear and concise. 

Your survey should enable participants to use screen magnifiers if required. It should have the necessary text elements to help a user navigate and complete your survey. Your survey should also allow respondents to take the survey without a mouse or keyboard. Use audio or video questions to make the survey more accessible. 

By adopting these six best practices, you can design inclusive market research and ensure an accurate representation of the population.

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Examples of how to embrace inclusive design in market research

Here we have shared some tips on how to ensure you conduct inclusive market research for individuals from particular demographics and circumstances. 

Inclusive design in market research for diverse demographics:

  1. For questions such as race, ethnicity, gender identity, and sexuality, include all the options or use fill-in-the-blank questions. 
  2. Don’t use words or phrases that demonstrate a particular stance on gender identity, sexuality, or politics. 
  3. Use gender-neutral terminology. 
  4. Assure the privacy and anonymity of your respondents’ identity. 
  5. Be mindful of words/phrases and subject matter which are considered taboo in some cultures and religions. 
  6. Use appropriate privacy and security requirements as per countries. 

Inclusive market research for various circumstances:

  1. Offer context and explain the purpose of the survey. 
  2. Be mindful of what questions you ask and how you ask them in regard to disabilities. 
  3. Avoid using language that demonstrates biased opinions regarding disabilities. 
  4. Use contrasting images and larger fonts to make surveys inclusive for people with visual disabilities. 
  5. Use online surveys to allow people with auditory and speech disabilities to offer their opinions. 

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Accenture found that 42% of ethnically diverse customers are likely to switch to a brand that is committed to diversity and inclusion. To create a brand that is committed to diverse communities, you must first commit to inclusive market research. Inclusive design in market research paves the way to identify and cater to a wide range of diverse communities. 

An inclusive design allows you to identify business and growth opportunities by simply making your surveys more accessible and inclusive. The key is to find online survey tools that enable you to create inclusive survey questions and conduct inclusive research efficiently.

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