Internet-based research: great for most things but sucks for opinion polling?

Colleague Doug Usher @ Widmeyer Communications, and guest blogger at, sees internet-based research eating the lunch of phone or mail-based research on many fronts, but not yet on public opinion polling.  I don’t think he’s not a believer in the ability of the tool to capture the information cost effectively (maybe he is?), but Doug really sees it falling short in getting to the people who need to be guagued (e.g. those in a certain district).  Digital marketeers might immediately jump to their favorite social network to think they can reach the respondents, but are you going to get the range of demographics you need in the geographies you want?  I myself thought, “well Doug, you can just run a social ad and survey on Facebook which allows you to target the geography, age, etc.” but when I just tried it for where I live it was clearly evident the 50+ age group was severely underrepresented, and don’t they love to vote?

How can we make internet-based research more effective for public opinion polling?


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