People are extremely complex. In fact, they often make decisions that they themselves cannot explain. Over and over again, research into consumer and voter choice tells us that some of the most commonly used survey techniques yield biased or even false results. The simple opinion survey is not a magic screwdriver that can also hammer nails and saw wood. To push beneath the surface, to understand and shape peoples’ choices, one must know the strengths and weaknesses of a wide variety of sophisticated research methods. Only then can the right tools be selected for each job.
Sometimes the simplest approach is the best way to tackle a research problem. Other situations call for greater creativity and complexity in designing a customized, effective research plan. At The Mellman Group, we have experience using all of the most sophisticated analytical techniques, including:
In an ideal world, it would be best to employ every available research technique, as each makes a unique, valuable contribution. However, we will design a research plan that best fits your needs and your budget. We want you to put your money into disseminating your message, not into unnecessary surveys or focus groups. In all cases, we educate our clients in the range of approaches that are possible, and together, we decide on a research design that best achieves the specified goals, while remaining within budgetary constraints.
A Commitment To Accuracy
All of the sophisticated methods listed above – Logit and Probit analysis, our split sample simulations and others – are worthless if the data we collect is inaccurate. For this reason we place as much importance on the execution of our research as we do on the design and analysis. Our accuracy is rooted in rigorous quality control, as well as attention to the latest sampling techniques.
In recent years, many questions have been raised about the accuracy of public opinion polls, and rightfully so. In every political race, scores of conflicting polls are either commissioned by the press or leaked to the media by other campaigns. We are proud to say that while not all of our candidates win, our polls have invariably proven themselves to offer the most accurate assessment of the situation each of our candidates has faced. For example, while other polls showed Senator Harry Reid losing his reelection battle, The Mellman Group was the only research firm to accurately project his victory—an achievement chronicled in a Las Vegas Sun article headlined, “How Harry Reid’s Pollster Got It Right.”
“Though we spent far less on polling than we had hoped, The Mellman Group stood by us day in and day out, offering real wisdom on message, strategy and targeting that proved vital to the success of our campaign.”
Charlie Beckham, Campaign Manager for Mayor Dave Bing (Detroit)