There are various steps you have to follow when you undertake a market research project. After the problem is defined and the approach to the problem is developed, you sit down to formulate a research design.
When it comes to quantitative analysis, the very basic and yet, the most important factor is the “Incidence Rate”. According to Marketing Research: An Applied Orientation,
Incidence Rate is defined as the rate of occurrence or the percentage of persons eligible to participate in the study.
Incidence rate is very important since that determines the number of respondents qualified to take the survey once the respondents are contacted. A sample size is the net responses that must be achieved and the incidence rate generally increases the number of respondents to be surveyed to achieve that net size.
Incidence rate therefore has the power to affect the budgeting as a survey with low incidence rate would cost more as compared to survey with high incidence rate. There are other factors that affect the survey pool such as completion rate, however incidence rate is the major factor.
For example, in very basic terms, if 100 women are to be surveyed for their preference in clothes, however only 75% are expected to be in the desired age group then the total women actually approached for survey would be 133.
This is a very basic example. Generally incidence rates depend on the subject matter and the kind of respondents you are looking for.
So, concluding, when it is determined that the sample size of the research is a certain number, it goes through various adjustments to account for variability in the sample before a survey is actually launched. The incidence rate adjustment is the main one!
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