You’ve got to love an election year. They’re filled with endless polls and surveys to tell us who’s winning the race and what the hot button issues are with voters. Have you ever noticed that some polls say one thing and another poll can come to an entirely different conclusion? We all know there’s good research and bad research, the trick is to determine which is which…often a tough task whether it’s an election year or not.
Surveys and polls when done right are incredibly powerful tools. Our organization partners with USCB and others who specialize in research to provide critical data and input that guides us on a variety of fronts. We do Visitor Profile Studies to find out who comes to our destination, what makes them tick and more importantly, what makes them come back. In partnership with USCB’s research experts, we are currently surveying visitors to find out how they like to get their information while on vacation and taking a closer look at our day visitors and how we can turn them into overnight guests. We survey our members on a regular basis to find out how we’re doing and how we can improve on our programs and offerings to meet their needs.
It’s not research that sits on a shelf, it’s information that’s put into action to serve our members and market our destination. What’s important to one member or to one traveler might be entirely different to another, that’s why we take the time to look at the big picture of what the group as a whole deems important. Our chamber is a membership-driven organization and your needs “drive the bus” of what we do. The travel industry is a consumer-driven industry and they help us determine where to market and how to market to best reach our target audience.
As consumers and in an election year, we’ve all taken surveys and polls. Next time you see survey results, be discerning. Ask questions. Is the source credible? Are the questions leading me to a certain bias? Was the survey given to a random sample? If the survey used the entire population, did enough respond to make the results valid? Survey results are meaningless unless done right. Take a closer look at survey results you read that are presented as research. You might be surprised at the real conclusions when you ask the questions above.