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by Rakhi Palak on Sunday 3 April 2011, 4:12 PM | Category: Marketing| View: 1666 views
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The Sampling Process




1. Define the population

The population is defined in terms of a) element, b) units, c) extent and d) time.

2. Specify sampling frame

The means of representing the elements of the population – for example telephone book, map, or city directory – are described.

3. Specify sampling unit

The unit for sampling – for example, city block, company, or household – is selected. The sampling unit may contain one or several population elements.

4. Specify sampling method

The method by which sampling units are to be selected is described.

5. Determine sample size

The number of elements of the population to be sampled is chosen.

6. Specify sampling plan

The operational procedures for selection of the sampling units are selected.

7. Select the sample

The office and fieldwork necessary for the selection of the sample are carried out.

Step 1: Define the population

It is the aggregate of all elements defined prior to selection of sample. A population must be defined in terms of

·       elements,

·       sampling units,

·       extent and

·       Time. 

Eliminating any one of these specifications leaves an incomplete definition of the population that is to be sampled.


Step 2: Specify the Sampling frame

If a probability sample is to be taken, a sampling frame is required. A sampling frame is a means of representing the elements of the population. A sampling frame may be a telephone book, city directory, an employee roster, a listing of all students attending a university, or a list of possible phone numbers.

Maps also serve frequently as sampling frames. A sample of areas within a city may be taken and another sample of household then be taken within each area. City blocks are sometimes sampled and all households on each sample block are included. A sampling of street intersections may be taken and interviewers given instructions as to how to take “Random walks”. From the intersection and select the households to be interviewed.

A perfect sampling frame is one in which every element of the population is represented once but only once. One does not need a sampling frame to take a non-probability sample.


Step 3: Specify the sampling Unit

The sampling unit is the basic unit containing the elements of the population to be sampled. It may be the element itself or a unit in which the element is contained. For example, if one wanted a sample of males over 13 years of age, it might be possible to sample them directly. In this case, the sampling unit would be identical with the element. However, it might be easier to select households as the sampling unit and interview all males over 13 years of age in each household. Here the sampling unit and the population element are not the same.

Step 4: Specify the Sampling Methods

It indicates how the sample units are selected. One of the most important decisions in this regard is to determine which of the two –probability and non-probability sample –is to be chosen. Probability samples are also known as random samples and non-probability samples as non-random samples.

There are various types of sample designs, which can be covered under two broad groups – random or probability samples and non-random, or non-probability samples.

Step 5: Determination of the Sa

Step 5: Determination of the Sample size

Traditional sampling theory generally ignores the concept of the cost versus the value of the information to be provided by various sized samples..

Step 6: Specify the Sampling Plan

The sampling plan involves the specification of how each of the decisions made thus far is to be implemented. It may have been decided that the household will be the element and the block the sampling unit. How is a household defined operationally? How is the interviewer to be instructed to distinguish between families and households in instances where two families and some distant relatives of one of them are sharing the same apartment? How is the interviewer to be instructed to take a systematic sample of households on the block? What should the interviewer do when a housing unit selected is vacant? What is the callback procedure for households at which no one is at home? What age respondent speaking for the household is acceptable?

Step 7: Select the Sample

The final step in the sampling process is the actual selection of the sample elements. This requires a substantial amount of office and fieldwork particularly if personal interview are involved.


Characteristics of a good Sample Design

A good sample design requires the judicious balancing of four broad criteria –goal orientation, measurability, practicality and economy.

1.    Goal orientation: This suggests that a sample design “should be oriented to the research objectives, tailored to the survey design, and fitted to the survey conditions”. If this is done, it should influence the choice of the population, the measurement as also the procedure of choosing a sample.

2.    Measurability: A sample design should enable the computation of valid estimates of its sampling variability. Normally, this variability is expressed in the form of standard errors in surveys. However, this is possible only in the case of probability sampling. In non-probability samples, such a quota sample, it is not possible to know the degree of precision of the survey results.

3.    Practicality: This implies that the sample design can be followed properly in the survey, as envisaged earlier. It is necessary that complete, correct, practical, and clear instructions should be given to the interviewer so that no mistakes are made in the selection of sampling units and the final selection in the field is not different from the original sample design. Practicality also refers to simplicity of the design, i.e. it should be capable of being understood and followed in actual operation of the field work.

4.    Economy: Finally, economy implies that the objectives of the survey should be achieved with minimum cost and effort. Survey objectives are generally spelt out in terms of precision, i.e. the inverse of the variance of survey estimates. For a given degree of precision, the sample design should give the minimum cost. Alternatively, for a given per unit cost, the sample design should achieve maximum precision (minimum variance).


It may be pointed out that these four criteria come into conflict with each other in most of the cases, and the researcher should carefully balance the conflicting criteria so that he is able to select a really good sample design.



Advantages of Sampling

1.    Sampling is cheaper than a census survey. It is obviously more economical, for instance, to cover a sample of households than all households in a territory although the cost per unit of study may be higher in a sample survey than in a census.

2.    Since magnitude of operations involved in a sample survey is small, both the execution of the fieldwork and the analysis of the results can be carried out speedily.

3.    Sampling results in greater economy of effort as relatively small staffs is required to carry out the survey and to tabulate and process the survey data.

4.    A sample survey enables the researcher to collect more detailed information than would otherwise be possible in a census survey. Also, information of a more specialised type can be collected, which would not be possible in a census survey on account of availability of a small number of specialists.

5.    Since the scale of operations involved in a sample survey is small, the quality of interviewing, supervision and other related activities can be better than the quality in a census survey.

Limitations of Sampling

1.    When the information is needed on every unit in the population such as individuals, dwelling units or business establishments, a sample survey cannot be of much help for it fails to provide information on individual count.

2.    Sampling gives rise to certain errors. If these errors are too large, the results of the sample survey will be of extremely limited use.

3.    While in a census survey it may be easy to check the omissions of certain units in view of complete coverage, this is not so in the case of sample survey.



Sampling Techniques

Sampling techniques may be broadly classified as non-probability and probability sampling techniques.

4. Snowball Sampling

A variety of procedures. Initial respondents are selected by probability methods. Additional respondents are obtained from information provided by the initial respondents.

5. Purposive sample

Subjects selected on the basis of specific characteristics or qualities. Users of a particular technology. Such as

Young mothers with small children, doctors, members of a fan club, target market members.

Probability Techniques:

Probability sampling techniques vary in terms of sampling efficiency. Sampling efficiency is a concept that reflects a trade-offs between sampling cost and precision. Precision refers to the level of uncertainty about the characteristic being measured. The greater the precision, the greater the cost and most studies require trade-off.



      i.        Title: Be specific. Tell what, when, where, etc. In one main title and a subtitle, give a clear idea of what the paper investigated.

    ii.        Index

   iii.        Introduction: Sections may be combined in short reports.

   iv.        Statement of the Problem: This is a general introduction to the topic.

    v.        Data Collection technique

   vi.        Research design/ Sampling Method

  vii.        Major Finding

viii.        Recommendation

   ix.        Conclusion

    x.        Bibliography or Literature Cited: These are the bibliographic reference for each of the works cited in the End Notes.

   xi.        Appendix: Any tables, figures, forms, or other materials that are not totally central to the analysis but that need to be included are placed in the Appendix.







Chapter 2



The purpose of product research is to develop a product line which meets the needs of consumers in general.


Product research facilitates the process of making products more attractive, useful and agreeable to consumers.

      Meaning of Product Research:

Product research is one major area of MR. It is concerned with different aspects of a product which include name, features, uses, package used, brand name given, price, consumer support and so on.

The term product research covers all aspects relating to manufacturing and marketing of a product. Product planning and development, product innovation and modification, product pricing, product life cycle studies  branding, labelling, packaging, etc. are the different areas    aspects) of product research

Packaging and branding are treated as two components of product research. This is because they are closely connected with the product itself. Moreover, sale depends on the product as well as on its packaging and branding. In product research, existing products of the company are made superior (in quality) and agreeable to consumers.


 In addition, new products with promising market demand are developed. This is called new product research. Product research is directly related to product-mix which is one component of basic marketing mix.


There are four components of product mix.

Branding Research can be done at every stage of Brand building process, the various researches related to Brands are:


1. Brand Character Research: The brand character research can be done using both qualitative and quantitative techniques.

Qualitative research involves the understanding of:

Ø  Personality of each option

Ø  Fit with the name of each option

Ø  Fit with the brand association of each option

Ø  Fit on the pack

Ø  Fit with the proposed role in advertising of each option

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