Market Research Survey FAQ’s

  • Q. If I’m doing a consumer targeted online survey, how large a sample do I need for statistical reliability?

    A: To determine the optimal sample size for a consumer survey, one must strike a balance between cost and reliability or the level of sampling error that is tolerable. A larger sample provides greater reliability, but at a higher cost. A smaller sample will be less costly, but will yield a higher margin of sampling error. The table below provides the error margins for a set of sample sizes at the 95% and 90% level of confidence. This means, that for the 95% level of confidence and for a sample size of 100, the answers to the questions in your survey will be within +/-9.8% of the actual, unknown, “real” answer, 95% of the time if you repeated the survey an infinite number of times.

    Sample Size

    95% Confidence Level

    90% Confidence Level


    +/- 9.8%

    +/- 8.2%


    +/- 6.9%

    +/- 5.8%


    +/- 5.6%

    +/- 4.7%


    +/- 4.9%

    +/- 4.1%


    +/- 4.4%

    +/- 3.6%


    +/- 4.0%

    +/- 3.3%

    *As you observe, once your reach a sample size of about 400, the decrease in sampling error margin begins to diminish and may not justify the increase in the cost of the sample.

    Another consideration in determining sample size is your need to compare any subgroups through cross-tabulations. If this is a consideration, you should design your total sample size so that there are adequate numbers of responses in each of your subgroups to provide the desired level of reliability.

    Infosurv can provide the consultation and expertise to design a sample size and structure that efficiently and effectively meets your objectives.

  • Q: Where do you find a sample that is truly representative of the consumer audience I am trying to reach?

    A: Through our relationships with various online sampling partners, Infosurv can provide targeted respondent sampling services for clients. Our sampling partners all maintain panels of volunteer survey respondents for both Consumer and Business-to-Business surveys that closely mirror the United States population in terms of gender, region, race and household income per the latest US Census data. We also have access to global panel data for International studies.

  • Q: How long do surveys typically take to administer?

    A: Administration or “fielding” of an online market research survey typically requires 2-10 business days. The variables that affect fielding time include:

    1. The sample size
    2. The incidence of the target sample (i.e., the percentage of people in the population who meet your requirements)
    3. The length of the survey in minutes

    Once these variables are determined, Infosurv can provide a projected timeline for your project.

  • Q: Do you conduct global online research?

    A: Yes, Infosurv does conduct global market research. Utilizing our network of sampling partners, we can gather sample from almost any country in the world. In addition, we support the administration of surveys in multiple languages, including double byte languages like Chinese and Japanese.

  • Q: I am starting up a new business, but need to see if my business is a good idea and know more information about my target audience, as well as to show potential investors that consumers are excited about my concept. What type of questions should I ask?

    A: The survey you need to conduct is called a new product concept test. New product concept tests are designed to gauge the market potential of a new product or service that has been conceived but not yet marketed to consumers. These studies typically include questions to measure consumers’ likelihood to buy, expected price points, expected points of distribution, and perceptions versus existing competing products. You might also consider conducting a market assessment, which is designed to form a “snapshot” of your target market in terms of demographics (age, gender, income, etc.), psychographics (hobbies, interests, wants, needs, fears, aspirations), media consumption, and behaviors (where they shop, how often they go out, how much money they spend.)

  • Q: We work in a highly competitive industry and would like to know what marketing strategies to use to compete successfully. Can a survey be used to help us?

    A: Market research surveys can be effectively used to measure the level of relative awareness and perceptions of your brand among target consumers. This allows you to see your competitive strengths and weaknesses and point out where you need to invest your company’s resources. Companies that apply this technique present a believable and consistent brand message to their customers, resulting in greater sales, growth in market share, and higher profits.

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