Defining the target population in any market research analysis early on is crucial to the success of the study. The correctly targeted sample for inclusion in the study can be beneficial in various ways especially in determining respondent participation and the completion of the surveys to obtain high-quality data.
Defining the specific parameters that will govern the selection of the elements of the target population is to be done before choosing the sampling frame, determining the sample size, or choosing the sampling methods.
If we try to understand this particular component of the research study, we must first learn the target population definition. A target population is the group of people or elements on which the study is conducted for data collection and analysis.
The results of the study based on observations made on this target group are then used to create the foundation of operations of an organization to achieve a goal which is usually enhanced customer satisfaction and growth of the organization.
Defining the target group
While determining the elements of the target group, it is essential to use specific parameters instead of using ambiguous statements. The chosen parameters should define populations based on:
- Geographical locations.
- Unique characteristic understudy
- Ability to contact the participants of the target population
For any organization, there are 3 sets of elements or people that can qualify to be a part of the target population. They are categorized as:
- Primary constituents:
- These are our regular clients or customers using our products and services.
- Secondary constituents:
- They are those people who use our services on an occasional basis.
- Potential constituents:
- This is that target group who has shown interest in our services and could become our primary constituents if a relevant program is created for them.
Characteristics of a target population
- It clearly defines the demographics of its constituents.
- The perimeter should not be very broad to result in an ill-defined sample and this makes an organization lose focus on the interest of study.
- At the same time, it should also not be narrow to include only a small set of groups of people. This will limit the growth of any organization.
- It allows broadening of the group constituency at a fast pace and at the same time does not overburden the financial constraints.
Benefits of defining the target population
A target population defines the blueprint that will determine the sample of the population qualifying for our specific research study. The 3 main benefits of defining well-set parameters of a target population are:
- It gives the research objectives a clear direction to work on.
- Limits the entry of random people or elements in the study group and thus avoids errors and bias in the study.
- It also helps in determining the scope by which sample size and total population size need to be calculated.
The goal of defining a target population is to broaden the audience to include the potential constituents so that methods can be created to convert them into either primary or secondary constituents for the benefit of the organization.