# Introduction Market research is utilized and conducted to learn

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.

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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

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.