Marketing Research Versus Polling


There, we said it.  It was good to get that out in the open.  Don’t get us wrong, we have nothing against pollsters at all – it’s a respected and scientific discipline.  It’s just that polling and marketing research are very different from one another. 


We’re a company of marketing professionals.  We love marketing, advertising and branding; which is why we’ve chosen to focus on what we know.  Heck, three of our team have been President of the Oklahoma City chapter of the American Marketing Association, and one is currently serving on the board as the Programming Chair (i.e. Jenn is responsible for educating marketers in Oklahoma City about the latest and greatest things happening in the marketing world).  We use research as a tool to provide strategic insight about marketing campaigns and to drive marketing decisions. 


Marketing research is extremely varied.  Surveys are typically more complex than their poll-related counterparts.  The questions feature more variation, and broader selection of topics are covered.


Polls are shorter in length, and because of their extremely short shelf life, analysis is often quick and sometimes not even an option.  Honestly, polling data is so time-sensitive that the data literally has to be with the client the day it comes out of field.  With marketing research analysis we’re afforded more time, therefore reporting is usually more in-depth and we can experiment with different types of analysis and visualization techniques.  That being said, we know clients’ are curious and have deadlines of their own, so we always make sure they have the topline data and often an executive summary within a day of completing the fieldwork.

Marketing, advertising and branding have strong creative components which allows us to bring creativity into our research.  In fact, we consider ourselves to be creative researchers.

And full-disclosure, in Evolve’s early history we conducted political polls, so we’re talking from experience here.  We just didn’t LOVE it like the pollsters do.  We were in love with marketing and simply used our passion as our guiding star. 


Anyway, if our Research Manager, Stewart Law, has ever been introduced to you as a pollster you might (if you’re really good at reading body language) have seen his left eye twitch ever so slightly.  Now you know why.  He’s marketer, not a pollster.


*Actually, the last time we checked, we were the only marketing focused full-service research agency in Oklahoma.  

Posted by EvolveKev

Kevin is all about research. Qualitative, quantitative, UX, you name it. When he's not researching, he's to be found laying down beats in his studio and hanging out with his dogs (and girlfriend). Woof.

Topics: Research