When marketers conduct valid market research studies, they increase the likelihood that the marketing strategies used to collect data are effective. By understanding how a target market relates to a product and what consumers want most out of it, marketers can work towards creating marketing strategies that best meet their needs. Any research tactic utilized must gather consistent and accurate information so that all people in a sample size are represented.
In order to do this, marketers must use quota sampling to approximate the population and reduce sample selection error. It would also be impossible for marketers to speak to everyone about a service or product because it’s too costly, error prone, and time consuming. Regardless of the survey technique used in the collection of survey data, it is crucial for marketers to be strict with sampling methods so that they can make sure that the data gathered is coming from the right people.
In general, more information is better than less, but that doesn’t necessarily mean there shouldn’t be a cutoff point for the number of people participating in a survey. A general rule of thumb is that survey samples should range from 200-500 people, depending on the objectives and data analysis plan. The sample size should be large enough to comfort stakeholders, represent the research target, and enable marketers to run the proper statistical tests without violating any statistical rules.
Small increases in sample size can lead to large increases in sample accuracy, up to a certain point. After that point, accuracy only begins to diminish. Although there are some benefits to having additional samples like better data cleaning, more flexible reporting options, and additional sub-group analysis, rates may not change much between a sample size of 500 and a sample size of 700 people. By selecting too many participants for a marketing research survey, the company won’t learn anything new or different and results won’t be any more or less accurate. Instead, the company risks spending more than they intended to on research costs. It is therefore a vital part of marketing research to set a cap on the number of participants in a survey to utilize time, budget and resources in the best way possible.