Sampling is not the only way to conduct a survey, of course. There are also comprehensive surveys, which can be useful if your population is small and you’re looking for a larger dataset.
Sampling as a sales and promotion strategy
Sampling is also used as a promotion strategy by many businesses. In this context, we call this product sampling, and it refers to the practice of giving out free products to introduce them to your target consumers.
If your business has given out free products in public settings, such as on the street or over the counter in a department store, then you have already engaged in product sampling.
In some countries, it is also possible to send free products by post.
What are the benefits of survey sampling?
There are numerous reasons why most people prefer survey sampling over other methods, but we can boil these down to two main reasons.
Survey sampling is more cost-effective
Compared to other methods, such as comprehensive surveys, survey sampling is generally more cost-effective, in terms of both money and time.
Here’s an example: let’s say you want to find out the opinions of women between the ages of 24 and 40 on your new shampoo line. If you’re using a comprehensive survey, the number of people you’ll have to survey might be in the tens of thousands. But with survey sampling, it is possible to reduce that number to just 20 or 30 people.
Of course, the cost of your survey sampling plan depends a lot on your sampling method, sample size, and research purposes. Some survey results can be valid with just 10 people, while others may require more than 1,000 people. The difference in sample size will not only affect the financial cost of the survey, it will also influence the validity of your research results.
Nevertheless, survey sampling tends to take less time to do. It is also easier to do, since it is possible to distribute the questionnaire simultaneously. If you use online surveys, it can be even more efficient, since you won’t need to hire any extra personnel to administer the survey.
Survey sampling can represent a population
The greatest aspect of survey sampling is that even a small sample can be enough to represent a population. However, for a sample to be representative, it must share the same characteristics as the target population.
Let’s go back to the new shampoo line example to get a better understanding.
The survey population for the study you want to do is women between the ages of 24 and 40. A sample that represents your population could be women between the ages of 24 and 40 who have used your new shampoo line in the last two months.
In contrast, the following sample groups do not represent your population:
Women above 40 who use your new shampoo line
Men between the ages of 24 and 40 who use your new shampoo line
Women under 24 who have used your new shampoo line in the last two months
When your sample does not represent the population you study, your survey result is not going to be valid. ‘Valid’ means that the survey result is true and reflects the real condition of what is being studied.
Survey sampling is one of the best ways to gain insight into your market segment in an efficient and effective manner. The key to getting a valid result is to use a sample that represents your target population.
If you’re interested in learning more about the best survey sampling plan for your business needs, contact us here:
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