Everyone is entitled to my opinion.
Family, friends, and casual acquaintances know that when it comes to opinions, I'm quick to give them. I have opinions on subjects ranging from the obscure to the arcane, even on topics never introduced. I'm just waiting for the right opening.
Most people are like that. They welcome opportunities to tell others what they think or feel. Opinions make the world go around. That's why polls are so popular. Polls capture opinions, expand our knowledge, and indicate how our opinions stack up against the norms. Polls are mirrors into our thoughts and perceptions.
I used to love watching the television program Family Feud. It drew heavily on polls of everyday people on everyday things. Their responses were revealing of our culture. For instance, polls indicate that most men notice a woman's eyes before any other attributes. A majority of women prefer sleeping to a night out on the town. Bananas are more popular than apples. The item that most people would be embarrassed to wear in public is their slippers.
Most men think their mates don't notice their weight gain. Most women still hold out hope for a handsome prince. Rice is rated the most important item to keep stocked in the pantry. Smiling is the single most important means of communication. Without polls, who would have known?
Since the last votes were counted in the last election, newspapers, airways and the Internet have been inundated by polls predicting who will win the next election. Every day we get updates on who's running ahead, who's falling behind, who's tripping over his or her tongue and which states are most likely to swing one way or the other. It's easy to tune out those ubiquitous polls, but there are others that may have a direct impact on how you're doing business.
There are polls out there that track shopping trends. They focus on consumer attitudes, on what motivates people to buy, on what businesses or products are most likely to prosper and which may be falling out of favor. Having and understanding that information can expand your marketing horizons.
Polls taken by startupnation.com in 2012 indicate that consumers are most likely to be interested in the following categories: toys and games, pet products, juvenile products, baby boomer products, video games accessories, organic products and consumer electronics. Gallup.com notes that 54 percent of Americans rate themselves as “thriving”, down slightly from the same time a year ago but up since December. Rasmussen.com shows that short-term confidence about future home values is at 26 percent, the highest level in two years.
What do these findings mean to you? It depends on what you're offering to the public. There are many different survey and polling sites out there. It's recommended that you visit several to find those most closely allied to your products or services. It's also recommended that you verify polling data by cross-checking with other sites to ensure that any information you use is not tainted or biased.
Polls help us see our business worlds through the eyes of others. The view can shape future inventory and hiring decisions, guide research and development and initiate new marketing and promotional campaigns. Polls can tell businesses what target audiences need and expect. With that knowledge, business can develop highly effective sales messages that are specifically directed to the identified needs and expectations.
If you can't find a poll that fits your business situation, conduct your own. Ask questions and listen to the answers. Most people are like me.
There's always an opinion on the tip of my tongue.
Stacy Cornay is the owner of Communication Concepts Public Relations & Advertising.
Visit www.comm-concepts.com or call 303-651-6612.