Case Study: How Marist Poll is transforming modern day surveying and reaching new audiences

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Marist Poll is an academic organization run by Marist College. Best known for comprehensive public opinion and media partnership polling, they are also a trusted source of data for private businesses and non-profits.


Marist Poll has been gathering American insight for over 40 years. The first 37 of those involved interviewers dialling landlines and cell phones from phone rooms on campus, and between rising costs and falling response rates, Marist Poll needed to modernize their methodology.

“That’s when we found Cint,” says Mike Conte, Director for Survey Solutions.


On a mission to cut costs and time, Mike researched online panel providers. It was Cint’s “full-service project management” that impressed him most.

“The whole process is very, very easy,” Mike adds, “Our systems were compatible, and then we hit the ground running. Once that first poll cut our field length [project duration] and costs in half, we just kept going with that methodology. It’s worked for us ever since.”

Today, Marist Poll takes a hybrid approach to their work: gathering insights from a mix of their own phone and text outreach, and web surveys by Cint.

“Cint is really great when we have smaller target populations, such as individual states. Unlike a lot of other panel providers, Cint has those sample sizes to allow us to get basically statistically significant samples within smaller target populations.”


Working with Cint has opened up new – previously unreachable – audiences. Online sample targeting and panels give the Marist Poll access to much younger, more diverse audiences especially; essential if they want to represent every demographic.

“We’re only able to do academic programs like Gen Next (surveys of Gen Z by Gen Z) because Cint gives us access to younger target population,” Mike says.

The time and money saved has had a huge impact too. “Projects that used to take us multiple weeks now take a couple days. We’re also doing a lot more cost-effective polling because we’re incorporating the online completes [participants] from Cint.”

“It’s the time to task, the cost-effectiveness and how responsive Cint is. As soon as I email, I know that it’s not going to be a problem to get a survey up in the field by the end of the day.”


Improved efficiency

“The national or statewide polls that used to take five to seven days of landline and cellphone dialing, now takes us one to three days,” Mike says. “Since a lot of the work we do is with media partners, everything is constantly on deadline or last minute. A big current event happens and our media partners want us to jump into field. We used to not be able to promise them any relevant poll results until about two weeks out. At that point – with a 24-hour news cycle – it’s no longer relevant data. Every time I email Cint, someone responds to me almost instantaneously and we’re able to get relevant data out to our partners at a moment’s notice.”

Capacity growth

With projects taking days instead of weeks, the Marist Poll team has been able to take on more clients. Media partners have benefited too, where Marist Poll capacity has grown from hosting from a few polls a month to at least one a week.

Enhanced data quality

“Cint has been instrumental in helping us maintain our representative data sets. With landline and cellphone polling, we’re not always able to reach the younger or more diverse audiences that we need. Cint’s online capabilities has made sure we’re weighting our data sets as minimally as possible, because our raw data is resulting in a really great representative sample of the population as a whole.”

Expanded capabilities

With Cint’s support, Marist Poll can reach previously cost-prohibited audiences. From national polls to state-level surveys, they can now deliver statistically significant samples tailored to specific client needs, solidifying their position as a leader in survey research.

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