A new study called Re -Examining the Validity of Different Survey Modes for Measuring Public Opinion in the U.S. by Brian Schaffner and Stephen Ansolabehere made a stunning discovery that non-representative samples accurately predict the market place. Why is this surprising?
Market research has never had the good fortune to use rep samples. Not everyone signs up for, let alone knows about, online survey panels. Mail surveys only go to people who have homes and often skip large apartment buildings. Telephone surveys, even random digit dial version, don’t give every person an equal and independent chance of participating.
Market research has always been about non-rep samples. That’s the nature of our business. We thrive on turning non-rep data into rep conclusions. So stop being surprised and start being proud. It’s what we do.
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