Don’t Ruin Your Own Election Forecast – VoiceSage’s Martin Williams sees a worrying parallel between how the media got May 2015 so wrong – and what brands may be doing right now about connecting with the marketplace.
Not sure about you, but I didn’t fall off my chair the night of May 7 last year.
That’s because, unlike the media, I hadn’t placed that much belief in the polling that consistently predicted, until the minute the polling booths closed, a hung Parliament.
That’s because from my everyday experience working with customers, we know it takes a range of techniques to find out what the public wants – and so we always suspected the market researchers would come up short.
Our suspicion was borne out not just by the election of a Tory majority in the Spring of 2015 but also the findings published in the last few weeks about ‘what went wrong’ with the Polls
There’s more than one way to skin a cat
Basically, the opinion trackers admitted they’d over-relied on one way of measuring sentiment – online polls.
They’d also failed to talk to older people who were that bit harder to get hold of and who prefer to speak on the phone. (These points were well aired in this bit of Radio 4 That meant that, in marketing terms, they’d done what too many of our clients do until we help them: use one approach to communication.
So we have people who over-rely on emails or Web chats, and who ignore text; or who only use dialers. But the fact is, customers, like voters, only really like to respond at a time and in a fashion of their own choosing.
In the market research firms’ case, all they got wrong was a bad prediction and a loss of credibility.
What’s the risk you run if you do the same as them and don’t look at the variety of ways you need to work with to connect with customers in today’s super-busy world?
Martin Williams is Senior Account Director at VoiceSage