How to survey Gen Z and Millennials

How to Make Your Survey Appealing to Gen Z and Millennials

Twenty-somethings, even teenagers can be a key demographic for your product. 

At this moment, Millennials have significant spending power according to YPulse’s most recent calculation.

Based on their estimates, Millennials’ 2020 spending power will be $2.5 trillion and Gen Z teens’ $34 billion. Yes, they are growing up so quickly! 

These two groups are the digital natives. They have grown up with the internet, social media, mobile devices. Many of them use adblockers to navigate through online advertisements and they simply hate cold calls. With this in mind, how should brands, businesses, and researchers reach out to these folks, and most importantly, how can they get feedback from them? 

While you might think that Millennials and Gen Z are hard to reach, which is by the way quite true, the fact is there still are a few ways to their hearts or… at least their opinions. 

When developing a market research plan and, specifically, when working on your survey questions and deciding on distribution channels, keep in mind the following aspects that affect how excited Millennials and Gen Z will be about your survey and how likely they are to take it.

Go mobile, make it mobile-friendly 

Millennials are on their phones for around 5.7 hours daily. Gen Z are on their phones for slightly more than 4 hours per day. And since they are there, your survey should be there too. In other words, make your survey mobile-phone friendly. 

And by saying mobile-phone friendly, I mean short and easy to read on the go. 

Take a look at the list. Instead of using heavily worded survey questions, try to make use of these items: 

  • One-finger reply on a mobile phone 
  • Rating sliders, star ratings, emoji ratings
  • Picture selections 
  • Audio/video/picture response options 

Leaving wide spaces for open-ended questions won’t work since it’s not always comfortable to type on a mobile phone, especially while outside. Since Millennials and especially Gen Z are quite opinionated and love expressing themselves, give them additional ways to respond, provide feedback, and participate.  

How TruePublic solves this 

TruePublic is a platform where people can anonymously ask, answer, and search questions on topics they feel deeply interested in. It’s a polling app with hundreds of thousands of questions distributed across various Spaces (interest groups) such as Dating, Relationships, Politics, Entertainment, Brands, Tech, etc.

TruePublic is a cross-device platform, which means it has both mobile apps and a web platform, and they all work in sync. If the user answers a question on the web platform, they will no longer have to answer the same question on the mobile app and vice versa. Asking and answering questions is fun and easy – you can do that both on the web version and the mobile apps (for iOS and Android).

TruePublic supports the following answer options:

  • Options (2-7)
  • Agreement (Likert)
  • Rank (3 options)
  • Rating (Likert)
  • Number vote (Number, Year, Price)

Most importantly, emojis and sliders (the things that a lot of people belonging to Gen Z like) are incorporated. 

Rating question example on the web platform
Rating question examples on mobile

Incentivize participation

While there are paid surveys, real consumers hardly ever take them. Also, when there is money involved, survey takers might rush to answer as many questions as possible, as quickly as possible to simply get paid. Will this guarantee honest answers? Nah, not really. 

And you cannot expect people to answer your survey questions for free either since they could use their valuable time doing anything else. 

So how is it possible to incentivize participation? 

You have roughly two options here: 

  • By making answering the questions fun 
  • By providing some benefit to the respondents

Making a survey fun can require gamification or at least a unique approach towards the question structure. 

Providing some kind of benefit to the survey taker can involve offering them coupon codes, exclusive offers, free stuff, gift cards, and what is more meaningful – the survey results themselves. 

How TruePublic solves this 

To solve this, TruePublic does both – it gamifies the experience and provides the survey results immediately. Let’s break down these two things:

Gamification

Answering questions on TruePublic doesn’t feel like taking a survey. Most of our users hang out online on TruePublic to kill time and have some fun playing around the questions. Also, they join Spaces on their favorite topics to never miss questions related to them. 

What’s in it for them? 

It’s totally fine that Gen Z and Millennials are more concerned with what’s in it for them. When they provide answers to poll questions, they expect something in return. Unlike other survey tools that provide the results once the survey is completed, we show the results immediately, thus helping the respondent satisfy their curiosity. You answer a question and see what other people have answered through statistics based on demographic data. It’s as simple as that!

Keep it short and if it’s long, save the progress 

According to an article by Forbes, the average attention span of a Millennial is 12 seconds—and for Gen Zers, that number is an even more disappointing 8 seconds. 

So, it’s a no-brainer that to appeal to Millennials and Gen Z, one must make their survey short and easy to fill out. Sometimes, you don’t have a choice, and your survey ends up being longer. 

If this is the case, allow the respondents an option to save their progress and return later. Sometimes, in the middle of filling out a survey, the respondent has to leave whether they want it or not. For those who do, it would be helpful to be able to come back later and continue, instead of doing it all over again from the beginning. You could make it cross-platform too to ensure a seamless experience.  

How TruePublic solves this 

We understand that Gen Z and Millennials have short attention spans. We have quite a few Gen Zers and Millennials in our team as well. That’s why we have created a question creation guideline for our content moderation team. We have distributed its main message across the app in the form of tips and useful advice to our question creators and ambassadors (those who like submitting their questions to TruePublic). 

One of the cornerstones of our question creation process is making the questions easy to read and understand. We also make sure that our questions are not biased or binary. Following these guidelines helps us control the quality of our content and keep it attractive and functional for all users. 

Summing up

Millennials and Gen Z are not like any other generation. They are quite different from one another too. And if you know the specific characteristics of each generation, you’ll be able to craft the best survey questions tailored to their interests and preferences. When it comes to creating a survey for the representatives of these generations, make sure you take into consideration all the factors that I have mentioned including but not limited to their short attention span, being opinionated and wanting to express themselves, being digital natives and wanting to be incentivized BEFORE they provide value to you. 


If you’d like to learn how we help brands and researchers conduct surveys and gather insights through TruePublic, feel free to create your free account on our market intelligence tool.

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