Imagine you own a business which sells a product which most people purchase on a single day every four years. You have only one major competitor.
Now imagine that all the market research on purchase intent says the majority of people plan to buy your product on the big day.
On the basis of this information, you would be entitled to feel pretty confident about selling more than your competitor.
Now imagine you see market research into the qualities of your product versus your competitor.
Your product comes out best in the vast majority of aspects. But not the two most important ones.
This vaguely unsettling data point causes you to look at Google search data, which shows that way more people are searching online for your competitor’s product than for yours.
You then start to notice that there is much, much more media coverage of your competitor’s product.
And on social media, more people are viewing and sharing content from your competitor than they are viewing and sharing yours.
Then you see tracking data which shows that people seem to remember the adverts of your competitor better than they remember yours, even though you are spending much more money on advertising.
And finally, when people are asked which product they think others will buy, the majority think more people will buy from your competitor.
Given all these data points, how confident would you feel three weeks away from the big day?
Ultimately, you would probably be comforted by the fact that most people say they are going to buy yours.
But given everything else you certainly wouldn’t be taking anything for granted.
In an article for Campaign I’ve had a look to see if there are any campaign performance metrics which could indicate that Joe Biden’s lead isn’t as dramatic as the headline polls are suggesting. You can read it here.