What is the Response Rate?

In the planning stage of a market study, a series of data must be known. This is in order to prepare the resources, method and techniques necessary to cover the objectives of the investigation. Among the parameters to study are the nature of the target population that allows us to calculate the sample size.

However, there is another piece of information that is not always available and whose weight in the results of a field protocol is paramount. We refer to the response or incidence rate. It can be defined as the number of individuals in a population who qualify to participate in a study and is usually represented as a percentage. For very common segments, it is not usually studied because it is certain that the majority of people meet a requirement.

To cite an example, the percentage of smartphone users in Brazil and Mexico is around 78% of their total populations with Statista data. This figure gives us reason to anticipate that in a certain place in both countries and where there is a homogeneous mix of inhabitants, we can affirm that almost 8 out of 10 people will have a cell phone.

However, when very novel topics are studied or for which we do not know their degree of market penetration, we must use other means to estimate their response rate. A common alternative is the development of a pilot test with enough cases to give us a statistically valid percentage, but in many situations due to budget or time it is not feasible to carry it out.

Another alternative to correct the absence of this parameter is to find out the response rates of studies that are similar, but are not completely identical. Perhaps another brand, product or service bears similarities between the target consumer, price range and distribution channels of the object of analysis. The degree of resemblance between them will indicate the level of confidence that we can place in this approximation.

In extreme scenarios where it is not possible for us to define this rate in any way, we must use the experience of experts in the field. To find the solution, it will be necessary to contact people who belong to the target population and ask them, based on their knowledge, what their estimate of the response rate is. Being immersed in the group that interests us, their answers will be better than the unknown. Several interviews are recommended to average estimates.

Although at the end of each project the response rate of each study can be defined with certainty, this number turns out to be a finding that already implies the areas of opportunity that the field team found to complete the objectives of the research and that was not achieved possible to plan ahead. Being reactive implies rework and delays in the completion of research projects.

At Acertiva we have experts in Market Research who can advise you to plan and carry out your studies in Latin America. We put at your disposal our experience of two decades so that you can achieve your goals. Write us today to tell us about your needs. We in turn will get back to you with how together we will realize your next success story.

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