The Road to Polling: A White Paper on Cost-Effective, Actionable Survey Research

In August of last year, Cygnal released a white paper on our success in automated polling. Our goal was to show that the methodology behind the way we do it is the difference when compared to the many others who say they conduct “robo-polling”. We understand that there’s much more to accurate, actionable results than just dialing and aggregating, and our mission has been to show it doesn’t have to suck.

We’ve recently updated our white paper to include our work in the general election phase of 2014. If you haven’t taken the time to explore what can make survey research more affordable and accurate at the same time, I challenge you to read our most recent white paper.

To help show the difference, let us share why we decided to poll the way we do.

The Obstacle
We believe in data – good data that is. At Cygnal, we strive to utilize the power of analytics; and just like we do with communications, we believe that data can be used to tell a story. Reading those stories can help us make better decisions, help us establish the right goals, and tell us how effective our efforts are.

We also believe in polling. Good polling provides necessary data to do most of the things that lead to telling the right stories. With that information, we can do the things needed to help our clients succeed. As with many things in the campaign industry, scaling down is always an obstacle.

The clients we usually serve have limited resources and engage us to maximize them. We’ve developed a solid reputation of doing a whole lot with very little. Our desire to be data-driven and our understanding of how vital polling is meant we had to find a solution to the common scenario of expensive polls and small budgets.

We tried to look for outside help and couldn’t find one that worked for us, so as we do with many things, we developed our own solution.

The Solution
Polling isn’t easy. It’s not something you can build a template for or approach haphazardly. We needed a method that used the correct scientific steps at a cost our clients could afford, one that would follow the strategy needed to create successful programs. Not only did decisions need to be based off of initial results, we also wanted to use survey research to create data that we could use to measure ongoing efforts, help build turnout models that evolved and create targets for all outreach projects. This meant running several polls during the life of a political campaign or issue project.

Luckily, our firm has the talent in-house to research, experiment and develop the solution that meets these needs. We spent significant time in developing our polling product and measuring its results before we started offering it to clients. Our solutions are tailor-made to address the needs of data-driven strategies that enhance efforts during the campaign and measure best practices to develop winning solutions moving forward.

The Results
As our white paper shows, an accurate polling solution is critical to campaign success. Our polling helps you make better decisions and offers the most helpful recommendations to the entire campaign team. The end result is that we bring a value-add to our clients that in many cases they wouldn’t have at their disposal without us.