Strategy and Sausages:
A British Strategic Planner in Germany
Friday, 24 June 2016
Goodbye to all that
A few years ago, my mother was asked to take part in some market research. It was what used to be called a Hall Test, and maybe still is. It involved tasting samples of orange juice. My mother enjoyed the experience, and being asked her opinion.
However, at the end of the interview, the market researcher asked my mother her age and explained that she was 'terribly sorry, but they wouldn't be able to use her interview as she was past the cut-off point.' Needless to say, my mother was not too amused to be declared 'past the cut-off point,' as if her opinions didn't count.
When I did my stint as an interviewer, the 'cut-off point' was absurdly young - 65 or even 60. This was explained to me (if I remember correctly) that 'older people' were difficult to interview/find and all the rest. Some couldn't hear well, some couldn't see well, some couldn't manage the steps going up to the room where the research was taking place. I have noticed on surveys I have done that it has crept upwards, but I expect there is still a bias against say, the over 75s.
Orange juice is one thing, but decisions about the political and economic future are another. When I woke up to the news this morning that was so different from the last poll I'd heard last night, my second thought was my mother and orange juice.
It's only a theory, but I expect that the polls underestimated the 75+ vote. From the demographic breakdowns I saw before the referendum, there was a clear age effect, with the 60+ group strongly more pro-Brexit compared to the average. My suspicion is that 75+ would be even more so.
With Brexit, it seems as if the 'Silent Generation' have found the voice the pollsters didn't want to hear - and used it.
When I was little, I wanted to be a spy. I got off to a good start, studying Psychology at Trinity College, Cambridge but somehow got side-tracked into the wonderful world of advertising and marketing.
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