Introduction

Market research

is utilized and conducted to learn about the consumers of a population by collecting

sample data from a population (Burns,

Bush, & Nash, 2012, p. 43). Trying to obtain information about every person from a population is

next to impossible and would require lots of resources. Instead, marketers utilize

sampling methods to collect samples from each population in order to research

the relevant information needed for the market research process. In order to

settle the controversy regarding the proposed building of recreational facilities

in Peaceful Valley, the Peaceful Valley Suburb Association must conduct a

survey to poll the opinions and preferences of the Peaceful Valley homeowners.

They must begin by calculating the sample size needed, choose a sample method

to execute, and determine if a sample survey or census best suits the

situation.

Sample Size

If the

steering committee agrees to a survey that is accurate to +/-5% and at a 95% of

confidence, the sample size calculation would be as follows:

n = z^2(pq)/e^2

z = 1.97

e = +/-5%

p = 50%

q = 50%

n = 1.96^2

(50 x 50)/5^2

Sample Size

= 384

First, ‘z’

represents the standard error associated with the level of confidence of 95%

determined by the steering committee; the corresponding of 95% is 1.96. Next, ‘e’

represents desired accuracy and sample error of the survey which is +/-5% in

this study. Lastly, ‘p’ and ‘q’ represents the variability of the sample survey

which “refers to how much respondents agree in their answer to a question” (Burns, Bush, & Nash, 2012,

p. 296). Peaceful

Valley householders will either saw ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to building the recreational facilities,

therefore p = 50% and q = 50% is used in this survey. After, calculations, the

sample survey size that should be used is 384 respondents.

Sample

Method

I would recommend

utilizing the Stratified Sampling method which is one of the Probability

Sampling methods. Stratified Sampling is utilized when a “population is not

distributed symmetrically across a normal curve” (Burns, Bush, & Nash, 2012,

p. 306). The population

to be sampled is split up and sorted into different subgroups; a random

sampling technique is then utilized to sample these subgroups (Burns, Bush, & Nash, 2012,

p. 306). By utilizing

stratified sampling, the population of Peaceful Valley can be separated into

subgroups because not every household is the same. The use of another type of

probability sampling such as random sampling or systematic sampling can then be

used to obtain a sample from each subgroup (Burns, Bush, & Nash, 2012, p. 306).

Not every

household in Peaceful Valley, own the same property features or have the same

views of the newly proposed recreational facility. For example, some don’t

agree with paying the one-time fee, some think the recreational facility

doesn’t appeal to them, some have their own swimming pools, some belong to local

tennis clubs, and some don’t need a meeting room (Burns, Bush, & Nash, 2012,

p. 320). Some “see that

the recreational facility would be a great addition to the Valley, where their

kids can learn to swim, play tennis and hang out” (Burns, Bush, & Nash, 2012,

p. 320). Each household

in the sample could be sorted into subgroups depending on what property

features they already own that may influence their decision on building the

recreational facility. For instance, households that don’t own a swimming pool

will value a recreation facility that has a swimming pool, more than those that

already own their own pools or that own a lake view property. The households of

the sample could also be sorted into subgroups depending on income since the

new recreation facility will cause an increase in annual maintenance fees. The

subgroup sample sizes can be determined based on the variability in each

population.

If a selected

household happened to be on vacation or was unwilling to take part in the

survey the sample size would need to be adjusted to compensate for nonresponse.

A refusal rate would need to be determined to calculate the response rate and

adjusted sample size.

Sample vs

Census

The survey

for Peaceful Valley should be a sample instead of census because a census is

normally unobtainable due to time, accessibility issues, and cost (Burns, Bush, & Nash, 2012,

p. 293). A census takes

a long time to complete and could take even longer depending on many factors. For

example, people almost never stay in one place. It may take several months for

the census to be completed, where people would be coming and going out of Peaceful

Valley. By conducting a sample survey instead, more time could be spent

explaining the situation to ensure full responses are obtained from the

households. The surveys can also be conducted more quickly without the issue of

residents of Peaceful Valley entering and leaving the valley.

By using

sampling, costs will be lower, results will be available quicker, and the

utilization of the best suitable sampling techniques can produce results that can

be very close to representing the entire population.