The Benefits of Survey Research for Political & Issue Campaigns

The proliferation of tech and how it can solve problems is a big deal right now and it should be. From platforms that hold vast amounts of data points to solutions that can model engagement and link Facebook to your target audience, there are many options out there to increase engagement rates, bring more of your supporters to the polls or any other option you can think of to do.

I’m a big fan of how things are progressing, but sometimes the emerging tech options aren’t what you need to solve a problem. Many times the match to your budget and fulfillment of your needs can be gained by having a skilled practitioner conduct a traditional survey. Here are six benefits to be gained by undertaking survey research, aka polling.

1. Find Answers to Questions

This is the mainstay of research in general. We have questions that we want answered so we research.

Looking at your target audience and what actions they are taking no doubt leaves you with questions. Why are they not responding? What is motivating them? The list of questions goes on and on.

A survey gives you a chance to ask questions of your exact target audience and get the answers straight from them. Done right, you will receive open and honest feedback that answers all the questions you have, allowing you effectively reach and engage your desired audience.

2. Stir Up Conversations

In most instances, you can not physically engage in a conversation with everyone in your target audience. Surveys give you an opportunity to accurately simulate these conversations. This has an added benefit of increasing audience members sense of value.

3. Decide Based on True Evidence

In your work, the stakes are undoubtedly high. Many resources go into your outreach and engagement activities.

Planning and relying on “gut feelings” can be a huge risk. Survey research is a tool you can use to mitigate this type of risk.

An experienced researcher will collect unbiased results and conduct analysis that point to the exact topics of concern. This is better than assumption-based decision making that could waste time and resources on areas of little or no concern.

4. Measure Change

Since polls are snapshots of opinions, attitudes, and behavior in time, the results can be used to set a benchmark and then track how your activities change things over time.

You can see the specific places in time and track back to the exact variables that caused change thus allowing yourself to modify and improve your actions.

5. Look to the Future

Survey research is the closest thing to having your very own crystal ball. You can test how your audience might react to any number of future happenings.

These include messages, events, types of advertising, outreach channels used, just to name a few. If you want to be several moves ahead of your competition, employ survey research.

6. Find the Missing Ingredients

In today’s survey research environment, third party data points allow us to dive deeper into the profiles of respondents. We can measure demographic differences and behavioral variables.

This helps identify insights that you may not even think of looking for without research. We can see exactly why an activity is working or not working when we have a chance to conduct the right analysis.


Surveys are one of the absolute best ways to get first hand input from your target audience. They allow you to keep a finger on your organization’s pulse so you can make necessary changes or reinforce successful programs.  

The next time you want to gain useful, actionable feedback about your activities, use survey research to find out what your audience is thinking.

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