MacroMonitor Questionnaire Design and Data Collection

MacroMonitor Questionnaire Design

Since 1978, the MacroMonitor survey maintains a consistent design to measure consumer behavior and attitudes surrounding financial products and services. Before each wave of this research, Strategic Business Insights' (SBI's) Consumer Financial Decisions (CFD) updates the questionnaire and submits it to clients for suggestions, additions, and deletions. Before fielding the main survey, CFD pretests the revised questionnaire among a small group of respondents. Final edits to the questionnaire are based on pretest results before full-scale implementation of the survey.

Data Collection


The main survey consists of two household-level target populations. One is a general-population sample of households headed by adults age 18 and older residing in the United States; the other is an oversample of affluent households—those households with a total annual income of at least $100,000 or total assets (excluding the value of their primary home) of at least $500,000.

CFD randomly selects a sample at the household level from GfK's KnowledgePanel, a probability-based web panel representative of the United States. Individuals who completed the survey either are the primary decision maker or share responsibility for the household's financial decision making. We ask individuals not active in making the household's financial decisions to pass the survey to the decision makers in their household.

Field Period

We typically field the MacroMonitor from June through September in even-numbered years. The MacroMonitor consistently returns a 50% completion rate.

Survey-Cooperation Enhancements

The following steps are in the survey methodology to enhance respondent cooperation:

  • GfK sends email reminders to nonrespondents on day three of the field period.
  • GfK sends additional email reminders to nonrespondents on varying days of the week each week the survey remains in the field. In total, ten reminder emails go to nonrespondents before the interviewing ends.
  • GfK offers a cash-equivalent incentive of $20 for completing the survey.