What does market research have in common with Election 2016? Besides the fact that we all are very passionate about our work, have great hair, and want our work to have a positive impact, market research professionals must often overcome similar obstacles to those the candidates are facing in this year’s Presidential election. More commonalities are included below.


  • It can be a hard sell

At this point, I’m sure most of us are at least somewhat familiar with the contentious nature of the campaign and the issues debated among the 2016 Presidential candidates. We won’t talk about those issues here, but as market researchers, we can relate to the difficulty in marketing a service (or in their case, their campaign). Over the years, we’ve learned that not everyone willingly jumps on the market research train. An individual or company may be obligated to conduct market research for a myriad of reasons, including to obtain funding or to get an idea passed through an administrative team. While many of the clients we work with understand the value that market research provides, that is not always the case. We rely on a hard-working and extremely talented team of business development associates and researchers to provide prospective and current clients with an outstanding research experience. In fact, we’re so passionate about our work that it shows through our delivered work products, and has resulted in a large amount of our business stemming from repeat clients. It’s clear that the 2016 Presidential candidates have faced the same hurdle, with “indecision” being a popular voter topic discussed in the media. With such a division in the voting pool, perhaps the Presidential campaign staff could benefit from a market research approach to branding – demonstrate the benefits of your service to those who think they need it the least.

  • People either love it or leave it

This is perhaps the most direct similarity between market research and Election 2016. It’s no secret that the voters have very strong opinions about the 2016 Presidential candidates. It seems the media is frequently reporting on a rally in support of a candidate or protest that has resulted in a less than optimal outcome. Luckily, market research is not quite as dramatic, but we do find that people typically love or leave market research. We’re fortunate that many of our clients enjoy conducting market research because they have benefited from prior projects, and we’re typically able to convert the skeptics into supporters after one great experience. This is often directly tied to the reason market research can be a hard sell –the skeptics don’t initially see the value in market research and do not want to conduct it. There’s nothing more rewarding than providing a person who was initially skeptical with an outstanding experience that convinces them to embrace future market research initiatives.

  • We need each other

Elections rely on market research polling to help identify which issues are important, the impact of candidate qualities on voting behavior, and the extent to which voters support policy changes. The polls are a measure of a candidate’s likelihood to secure the vote, and influence campaign activity. In return, the market research industry gains access to individuals who may otherwise not participate in market research, and has an opportunity to provide a positive research experience that may lead them to participate in future research initiatives. Having a strong network of participants is critical to any research initiative, and it can be an expensive component to a project. To overcome that obstacle, RMS has curated an engaged research panel (RMS ViewPoint) that consists of community members from across the country that have opted in to participate in research conducted through RMS. This leads to a substantial savings for our clients, by providing them with a sample that is representative of the U.S. population, at a fraction of the cost that a standard sample house would charge.

RMS is a full-service market research firm located in Syracuse, NY. If you are interested in learning more about our research capabilities, please contact Sandy Baker, our Senior Director of Business Development & Corporate Strategy at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422. Visit our website at www.RMSresults.com.