Another election, another chance for the polls to be wrong. Researchers everywhere are bracing themselves. But why is this happening? Does this mean all research is inaccurate?
Why the polls are wrong
Thinking back, much of consumer research – along with political polls – were carried out in person. Before long, the internet was born and found its way into the research world as it did virtually all other aspects of modern life. Since then, smartphones, apps and digital brands like Google, Facebook, Amazon etc. have transformed how we think and act. We want things better, faster and available at all times.
One of the main effects of the internet has been a reduced need to commit. We are able to take a ‘last minute’ approach. Rather than agreeing to a time and place to meet someone, we make arrangements on the fly and change them as we go. Rather than slow, considered learning we employ multiple sources at the same time – Google searches, Wikipedia, Facebook, YouTube, reviews.
All this adds up to a situation where people, when asked a simple question, have increasingly not yet made up their minds. Particularly in this turbulent political climate – getting an accurate view of the polls is more challenging than ever.
New techniques for uncertain times
We’re far from the days of face to face interviews at people’s front doors. Today’s uncertain world requires a new type of question, a new frame of interpretation and new forms of data. We shouldn’t lose faith in research, but we should constantly make it better. Using digital technology, we can tackle some of the challenges we face, and help businesses to act on quality data faster than ever before.
Over the last decade, we have been at the forefront of the application of digital technology to the craft of research:
- Advanced text analytics that help to augment hard numbers with nuanced, relevant opinion
- Digital survey interfaces that are interactive, allowing responders to zoom, click and show the parts they liked / didn’t like and why
- Point of experience – surveys sent to consumers within 24 hours of a relevant consumer experience
- Statistical tools to explore the strength of opinion and likelihood of future behaviours
- And more!
So, when it comes to June 8th even if the polls end up being wrong (again), don’t give up on research.
If you need to discover useful insights about modern consumers using the latest in digital research methods, then get in touch.