ARF Event 11/29/16 – Predicting Election 2016: What Worked, What Didn’t and the Implications for Marketing & Insights

The ARF partnered with GreenBook to assemble a forum of this highly charged topic. Ten industry experts were on hand, with ARF EVP Chris Bacon serving as moderator for the panel discussion. Here are excerpts from the event:

Gary Langer, Langer Research and formerly ABC News:

  • There is no real “sample” of voters, only estimates of likely voters. This adds uncertainty, especially in predicting the electoral college vote
  • Polling is not just about the horse race, as we use it to collect important information on what voters were thinking

Raghavan Mayur, TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence:

  • You can never compensate for bad data

Cliff Young, Ipsos Public Affairs:

  • We are in a political era of uncertainty worldwide. It is anti-establishment. This means we also need new methods (for polling)
  • This was a “disruption” election, which globally accounts for only 15%. And in these elections, past behavior may not be a useful guide

Matthew Oczkowski, Cambridge Analytics:

  • As with marketing research, it is all about finding the right consumer with the right message at the right time
  • His role is to help clients win elections. Micro-targeting is a key component. He worked as a consultant for Trump team

Rick Bruner, Viant Inc:

  • We need more random control trials (to improve polling). We also need more behavioral inputs
  • Underlying values are important, like we do for marketing. For potential voters, this begins with “do I vote?”

Melanie Courtright, Research Now:

  • Everything was different in 2016!
  • We need samples representing the real population (of voters)

Jared Schreiber, Infoscout:

  • The undecided and the indifferent voters matter a lot (swung to Trump)

Dr. Aaron Reid, Sentient:

  • Traditional methods are not accurate enough
  • Need to measuring the unconscious – people may have had conscious access to answer the researcher’s questions

Tom Anderson, Odin Text:

  • Collected 3,000 Americans via Google Surveys one week before the election (inexpensive and predictive). Goal was positioning, finding out what candidates stand for via simple text
  • Three issues: Non response bias; “Shy Trump” voter; voter identification

Taylor Schreiner, Tube Mogul:

  • How will this (failure) impact CMO’s opinion of research
  • We need more experimentation
  • Let’s use this election as a teachable and learnable moment