Trying to gather feedback from every current or future consumer is impossible. That is why market research employs various sampling techniques (depending on the research method) to try and capture a sample of people that can represent the larger population.
Market research sampling is the process of identifying a small group of people to represent a larger population. When sampling is done correctly, the small group and the feedback they provide should accurately represent the larger population as a whole.
Market research sampling is important because it is vital to understanding your target audience. Getting the right sample for your research project helps you understand your audience’s needs, attitudes, behaviors, and preferences – along with the feedback on your product and/or service. The data the respondents in your sample provide helps your organization make better, more informed decisions.
In the world of market research sampling, there are a wide variety of techniques and methodologies that researchers can employ to gather a representative sample of the population to gain insights from. Here are a few of the more frequently used techniques for sampling in market research:
Random sampling is when everyone in a population has an equal probability of being chosen. This type of probabilistic sampling aims to remove any potential bias associated with the target audience since no one is more likely to be chosen then another.
Systematic sampling is when members of a population are selected at a regular interval to make up a sample of the population.
An example of sampling methodology would be if you wanted to survey a population of 20,000 people, you would select every 200th person to be part of your pool of respondents.
Stratified sampling is sampling that divides a population into smaller subgroups or strata. The strata or subgroups are based on shared characteristics or attributes like job function, income, etc. The method of sampling lets researchers get the sample that best represents the population they are trying to gather insights on.
Quota sampling is stratified sampling taken to the next level. This method requires a specific quota to be reached within each population strata. Quotas are set to ensure that the sample is representative of the larger population.
Cluster sampling is similar to stratified sampling in that you divide a population into clusters, then randomly select certain clusters as your market research sample. Ideally, each cluster should be a mini representation of the overall population. An example of this could be school districts.
EMI is pretty unique in the online market research sample industry. As a leading sample consultancy, we understand the entire sample landscape, not just a single panel. Our goal is to create a strategic blend of sample based on your project, rather than make your project fit any specific panel. Unlike most market research sample panels, EMI doesn’t own a panel. That means we are not biased toward a specific panel asset, we create strategic sample blends that best fit the goals of your research, not what best fits any panel we might own.
Over the last 20 years, we have developed a knowledge of the online market research sample industry that is unrivaled when combined with our unbiased sample blending approach. We have built this knowledge by not only working with panel partners throughout the industry but also conducting research-on-research for more than a decade into the online sample industry to understand the differences between consumer panels, and how they change over time.
This unparalleled industry knowledge is the driver, along with not owning our own panel, to provide unbiased, transparent sample consulting and advice to our clients that puts the emphasis on what is right for their research, and not what is right for any specific panel.
Strategic sample blending takes traditional blending to the next level and is the best sample design to ensure confident business decisions. It is blending three or more sample providers, but the selection and blending of the selected providers is done in an intentional and controlled manner. Providers are selected to complement one another, while reducing the overall sample bias and any potential behavioral or attitudinal impacts a panel can have. This method ensures that sample blending isn’t done simply for blending’s sake. Utilizing our strategic methodology, we build customized blends that best meet clients’ needs while ensuring the best results possible.
Additionally, by strategically selecting providers and managing their allocation, you increase overall feasibility while avoiding “top-up” situations and panel bias, both of which can skew your data.
EMI has built a global network of sample partners that gives you access to one of the highest quality pools of respondents of varying demographic, socio-economic, geographical, behavioral, and psychographic characteristics. This gives EMI the ability to create strategic sample blends that best fit your study and provide you high-quality, deep insights that you need to make better business decisions.
Every market research sample panel in our network has passed our rigorous Partner Assessment Process so we can best understand the recruiting methods, validation process, and other data quality measures they have in place, as well as the ins-and-outs of their panel. Our strict vetting process ensures we only allow the best sample providers into our network, and that we maintain a high-level of data quality for our clients.
EMI’s experience in identifying, vetting, and managing a network of high-quality market research sample panels, combined with our industry leading approach of strategically blending sample makes us your best option for conducting market research. We will offer your company unique insights that will allow you to uncover exactly who your customer is, how they buy, and why their behavior changes over time. These insights will help you develop your company’s strategies and grow your business.
EMI’s unique combination of expertise, white-glove service, and reach allows us to be your one-stop sample provider — getting it done without compromise.