With the pace of change in the business landscape and consumer interests, market research studies have become critical to maintaining and growing your business. But can you really trust the results coming out of phone surveys and focus groups? According to Pollfish, traditional market research relies too heavily on phone and online surveys. This means marketers may miss key insights in target populations.

So, how how can you make sure your market research is accurately reading audiences and their sentiments?

1. Go to where your consumers are—on their mobile phones

Part of the reason 2016 election polls were so off is that they relied on landlines to connect with voters. Why not go where people spend hours every day—on their mobile phones? Based on our experience, this method allows unprecedented speed and response rates because you reach people where they already are.

2. Watch out for sampling bias

Election polls also suffered from sampling bias. Sampling bias can sneak into your research survey in a number of different ways—from inadequate sample sizes, screening questions that can easily be gamed or over- or under-representation of important target audiences. Look for reach and targeting capabilities when you conduct surveys. With a reach of over 320 million people, worldwide—Pollfish allows targeting to geographic and demographic sub-groups that most survey platforms fail to reach.

3. Go beyond demographics to really understand your customers

Age, gender and income can only tell you so much about what motivates your audience. What was missing—and needs to improved for the next election cycle in 2018—is understanding: detailed demographics of different populations (like race, education levels and income) that go beyond "average", the likelihood of voting amongst different populations, and the behaviors and personas of target populations in prediction models. Persona-based insight can help marketers better understand how target populations behave and make decisions.

If the 2016 election taught us anything, it's that we can't rely on doing things the way they have always been done. Mobile is a new area for a number of industries, and market research, in particular, has been slow to change its methodologies—for a variety of reasons. Businesses and digital marketers are just beginning to understand the consumer journey across mobile, and how they can use this new medium to interact on a more intimate basis 24/7.

By harnessing the power of mobile, the next generation of surveying tools will more intelligently capture and target key consumer segments, which will allow businesses to better allocate their budgets and generate the results they need to better serve their customers.