Factors that Impact Market Research - Access & Sampling

When developing a survey to suit your business market research needs, there are a number of considerations to keep in mind to ensure you successfully gain valuable insight from your target audience.

This guide by leading UK audience insight company Redshift Research (Click here to view their range of professional services) shines the spotlight on two important factors which can make or break a survey - sampling and access.



A sample in market research terminology is a group of people that represents the population you want to find out about. These factors affect the success of honing in on the right sample:

Contact Database

Some companies will already have a big data base of existing customers as a starting point for their market research - these people can be contacted without it being spam, and even given discount incentives to complete a survey. On the other hand, start-ups will need to buy a data base or work with market research professionals that already have a pool of consumers who have agreed to perform surveys for incentive rewards.

Rate of Response

Certain demographics of people are harder to reach than others, so this will affect the survey method and its construction. For example, elderly retired people are much more likely to respond to a lengthy survey than busy young professionals.

Additionally, if your business need to gain feedback from households or companies, the challenge is to get through to the right person i.e. no point getting a response from one of the kids when it's the homeowner you want to talk to, while senior management at companies are notoriously difficult to pin down and often try to palm surveys off on their secretaries who are not decision makers.


Your market research will be a waste of time and investment if you cannot accurately gain access to your target market. Here are the challenges involved:

Contact Availability

While some target markets can be easily enumerated or defined, others require more strategic finesse to gain a handle on. As an example, getting hold of GPs for their opinions is easy as they are publically listed, whereas gaining the contact details of people whose favourite colour is blue would be trickier to narrow down.


Location will play a large part in the type of survey you're looking to undertake. For example, if you want to conduct a focus group, unless people are locally based you will struggle to find people willing to attend.


Some demographics are harder to reach than others. Take education level - your survey will need to fit to educational capacity of the demographic you need to talk to, or the response rates will be very low.

Another prime example is the language barrier, which is increasingly becoming an issue as the world becomes more global and multi-cultural. You might find that you need to translate your survey into numerous languages if you require feedback from a broad demographic. Additionally, you'll need to be careful of cultural differences - one question might be above board to a certain culture, while utterly offensive to another.


It will be difficult to gain honest feedback and high response rates if your survey includes questions that put a person in an embarrassing or potentially criminal light, such as trying to tap into the opinions of cannabis smokers or people with bladder incontinence. Audience insight of this kind will require a great deal of finesse.


This guide by Redshift Research (Click here to view their range of professional services) highlights the numerous difficulties that businesses can encounter when trying to tap into the right demographic for the consumer feedback that will drive their business forward. For this reason, opting for an experienced market research company is often well worth the expense.

Information Shared by Redshift Research (Click here to view their range of professional services).

If you have any questions, please ask below!