How Many Respondents Do I Need?

14 Jun 2018

Market research is all about respondents. They are both the primary source of information and the final beneficiaries of the results of the research which are used for the improvement of products and services they use. Thus, the first stumbling block marketers come across on the way to effective research is the identification of the proper number of respondents they should involve.

It’s true that for a traditional survey you need a big sample size of respondents in order to get more or less reliable results. For example, if your target audience is 100 thousand people, your sample size would be around 9 thousand people to reach a level. In the case of traditional surveys, you need such big sample sizes because you work with the conscious answers of respondents which are processed by the brain and as a rule differ a lot from what respondents really think. In such cases, big sample sizes are a kind of insurance from risks related to the conscious distortion of information by respondents.

Neuromarketing tools are more effective in this regard and require much smaller sample sizes – up to 100 respondents. Let’s see why it’s important and how these tools facilitate the research process by abolishing the need to use large sample sizes.

1. 50 respondents for eye tracking

The optimal sample size for an eye-tracking test would be around 50 respondents even if thousands of customers are targeted. Of course, you can test thousands of respondents with the help of eye-tracking but unlike in traditional surveys, there is no real need to do it. Every additional respondent will provide a lower return in terms of insights on invested time and money. Over 90% of issues can be identified during the eye-tracking test within the sample size of 50 respondents or even smaller. You don’t have to invest a lot of time and money in attracting a large number of respondents.

2. 50-100 respondents for emotion measurement

Emotion measurement gives you valuable data because the facial coding tool depicts the real, raw reactions of respondents while they interact with the product, website, marketing materials, or product design. An ordinary webcam and specialized software catches and processes even the slightest changes in respondents’ facial expressions which are impossible for our consciousness to control. Thus, by using emotion measurement technology, you also don’t have to attract a lot of people and then filter tons of inaccurate, consciously processed information which is very often distorted. A sample size consisting of 50-100 respondents will be sufficient for obtaining comprehensive behavioral insights during emotion measurement.

3. 70-100 respondents for implicit tests

Implicit tests are based on the speed of reactions to different stimuli. You just can’t intentionally adjust the speed of reaction when doing implicit tests. Even if you try to do it, the smart software will identify your attempts and make the parts of the test where you wanted to cheat irrelevant. As the result, such data won’t be taken into the account during reporting, and thus the general results of the research won’t be distorted. In such a way, with 70-100 respondents (optimal sample size for implicit priming tests) you can get better quality insights compared to the traditional survey with thousands of respondents.

Talking about other neuromarketing tools or their combination for marketing research you should understand that everything depends on the type of research and its goal. By conducting g projects on our platform, you can always consult our specialists to find out the optimal sample size that will best suit your research goals. Regardless, usage of neuromarketing tools allows you to get faster and better results with fewer people and smaller investments.


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