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Omnibus Polls Affordable Market Research for Today's Economy

Omnibus Polls Affordable Market Research for Today's Economy

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Omnibus studies by the Omnibus Company provide PR companies with customized Omnibus public opinion polls and surveys.
Omnibus studies by the Omnibus Company provide PR companies with customized Omnibus public opinion polls and surveys.

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Published by: Henley-Putnam-University on Aug 10, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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many American companies to reevaluate spending across all platforms. Cutbacks in media outreach – including advertising, public relations and marketing – have been especially significant. At the same time, companies have an obligation to conduct ongoing market research in order to gauge brand performance and remain top of mind in the media. Without this vital information, even the most successful brands run the risk of losing relevance or, even worse, market share. Surveys provide an ideal means of achieving this goal. Renowned for their effectiveness, custom surveys are created according to the dictates of a specific company, brand or sector and administered over a period of time to a particular demographic. Data must then be collected, processed and applied by the company sponsoring the survey – a process that, when executed properly, can become both time and labor intensive. With a growing number of public relations firms – as well as their clients – having to cut costs, less expensive market research options are gaining in popularity. That’s why more and more American companies are “getting on the omnibus.” Omnibus studies provide an affordable alternative to dedicated surveys for smaller firms (and/or firms with smaller research budgets). Participation in an omnibus poll is straightforward: A company pays a set fee to insert the question of its choice into an ongoing survey targeting a broad demographic spectrum. The extraction of data reflecting that company’s target demographic from the larger set of results provides strategic consumer insights that are relevant and, ideally, buzzworthy. While companies can certainly pay more to have multiple questions inserted into an omnibus survey, significant results can be realized from omnibus polls with participation as low as one question – making for a potentially staggering return on investment. Moreover, the relatively minor costs associated with omnibus polls render participation feasible even for companies with no research budget to speak of. Another distinct advantage of the omnibus format is relative to time. Because the polls are generally short in length and run perpetually across a wide variety of locations and formats, implementation of a participant’s question(s) takes remarkably little time. The same goes for results, which in some cases are made available overnight. That omnibus surveys are not nearly as time intensive as custom surveys is yet another reason why they may be a preferable research alternative. Omnibus polls aren’t for everyone. Companies should always consult with a credible market research firm to determine precisely what type of research would best suit their needs. If an omnibus survey is recommended, one must ensure that the survey is of the highest caliber – and that the research firm recommending the survey has a history of delivering superior results for their clients. Superior results aren’t limited to the data itself. A quality firm will deliver the data along with an in-depth explanation of how it applies to the client’s company, brand or sector. It is important to remember that data, no matter how exceptional, is rarely usable without the proper analytical context.

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