A public opinion poll, sometimes called an opinion poll or simply a poll, is the collection of data that relates to the opinions held by the members of a particular group, generally made as part of a survey intended to measure the views held by the public on topics related to politics and government in general, or to current events. The term opinion poll can also refer to the process of gathering data to perform such an analysis, as well as to other similar processes designed to gauge public opinion in general.
Defining Public Opinion Research
In simple terms, it is an investigation into how people feel about something, whether that be an issue or a product. The results of these studies are used to help companies make decisions about their products and services, as well as how they market them to consumers. This can include everything from advertising campaigns to packaging design and even where they place stores. For example, if a company wants to open up another branch in a new area, it might conduct public opinion research there first before committing resources. This way, it can learn what residents think about other businesses in town and what kinds of things would attract them to spend money at their store instead.
Types of questions in public opinion research
The first consideration for an interviewer in planning a public opinion survey is what kind of questions to ask. There are two basic kinds of questions:
open-ended (unstructured) and closed-ended (structured).
In general, open-ended questions give respondents more room to answer at length, while closed-ended questions require that they answer with a simple yes or no or with their rating on a scale from 1 to 5.
Incentives for Participation
People might not want to take surveys for a number of reasons: They think it will be boring, or they’re concerned about privacy. You can overcome those objections by rewarding participants with things like gift cards or other prizes. Some companies even let you offer your own rewards in exchange for participation. One study found that respondents were willing to share their opinions if they were offered $5 cash or a $5 Amazon gift card.
Techniques used in Conducting Research
There are several techniques used in conducting research, these include: Survey Research, Experiments, Case Studies and Focus Groups.
The methods of collecting data for public opinion are also divided into two categories;
Qualitative Research which includes interviews, observations and questionnaires and Quantitative Research which includes polling, observation charts/records as well as statistical data. All these methods are extremely helpful to analyze data from any business point of view.
Analysis of Data Results
Every good researcher knows that your initial analysis of data should be a critical aspect of all research projects. Looking at results as an unbiased party can help you to discover insights that might otherwise have been missed, or put a new slant on information you already know. And when writing a report, these findings can provide evidence for any recommendations you may make.
Applications of Public Opinion Research
Regardless of whether you believe it to be an integral tool for decision-making or a complete waste of time, public opinion research can inform any business. It doesn’t matter if you’re an “Internet Startup” or a “Fortune 500” company; it’s important to know what people think about your products, services, branding, marketing messages and competitors. In fact, public opinion research can have applications at every level of your organization.
If you have an event, project or presentation that requires reliable and accurate data, we would be delighted to help. Simply contact us with your requirements so we can present you with a solution tailored to your needs. We look forward to hearing from you!