Introducing Marketing Research

By Paul Baines; Bal Chansarkar | Go to book overview

7
An Introduction to
Sampling
Learning OutcomesAfter reading this chapter you will be able to
Understand why samples are used and the sampling process.
Appreciate the role of a sampling frame and choice of a sampling method.
Choose an appropriate sampling method.
Determine how large a sample should be.
Select a sample for a research project.

Introduction
Sampling is an important procedure in marketing research because it is not often possible to collect data from every relevant person within a population. A population under investigation can be defined as a set number of units of people that collectively exhibit similar traits or features. The sample is the subject of study. In marketing research, it is possible to distinguish between two different types of approach to sampling. The first is where a marketing researcher studies the whole population, and this is referred to as a census. The second is where a sub-set of this population is studied—a sample. There are a number of reasons why marketing researchers use sampling rather than census studies and these are outlined below:
Cost Interviewing all units of a population would in many cases be impossible due to the very high costs associated. For instance, it would involve considerable amounts of money for Tesco to interview every couple in Britain (and in the other markets where they have a presence) in relation to their shopping habits.
Time The interviewing process takes time. In many business situations, time is a critical factor since information is usually needed for action to occur within a

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