The Women’s March in Washington, DC and many other cities was the latest in a string of eye-popping political events over the past year, springing up almost spontaneously from a Facebook post, and far exceeding any advance estimate of marchers. Many have tried to interpret what this unusual event means, often asking, what was the issue for which they marched? What was the objective? What do they want to happen as a result? Read more
Many news sources have written about how the polls failed to predict the results of the recent Presidential Election. (See our summary here.)
In fact, that very failure has marketers questioning themselves and re-evaluating how they approach data and marketing research in their decision-making. The Wall Street Journal summarized this quandary: “In the wake of Donald Trump’s election as U.S. president with a wave of support from middle American voters, advertisers are reflecting on whether they are out of touch with the same people—rural, economically frustrated, elite-distrusting, anti-globalization voters—who propelled the businessman into the White House. Mr. Trump’s rise has them rethinking the way they collect data about consumers, recruit staff and pitch products.” Read more
The 2016 Election could have been called the War of the Polls. Even without subsequent misreading by traditional media and social media outlets, poll results were wildly inaccurate, hotly debated, and/or misunderstood.
Polls are conducted by news media, campaigns, academics, and others involved in the business of running elections. In addition to getting information to the candidates about how to sway voters, they are also conducted to create buzz and make news for the pollsters and their sponsors. Polls are neither more nor less than a snapshot in time of how people say they plan to vote, perhaps with some add-on, multiple choice questions. Read more