Marketing Genius from Maple Creative


Marketing tips, observations & philosophy, plus a few rants and random musings - from those who practice, preach and teach marketing, research, advertising, public relations and business strategy.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Irresponsible Research

A few items I received in the mail this week, surveys from both major political parties, prompted this blog. I’d like to continue the discussion of research for a few moments using these items as the example.

Both surveys were short (about 15-20 questions) and simple to complete with only three responses to select from-yes, no and undecided. I read the first survey before answering filling in any circle with my #2 pencil.

I didn’t get too far into the first survey before I became bothered and convinced that the sender could care less what I thought but was merely trying to get me to agree with them. The majority of questions were written in such a manner that a response of ‘undecided’ makes me look like an idiot, and responding ‘yes’ (the response they clearly expected) easily allows the sender to say, ‘see, Jim and ‘the majority’ of respondents agree with us.’

I went to the second survey and maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised but it was the same thing. Unbelievable.

This isn't research. It's ridiculous!

To me, neither showed any bit or respect for the respondent or their opinion. Neither party could care less what I thought but was merely ‘using’ me as a tool to say they’re plans or policies are better than the other party’s. That’s just not responsible research.

Responsible research is respectful of the audiences and values their opinions. Responsible research is not written in a matter in which you can only get the answer you wanted to hear in the first place.

If you truly value the opinion of your audience than by all means do the research responsibly. If you’re simply conducting research for the sake of doing so, don’t. It’s disrespectful and a colossal waste of everyone’s time, effort and money.

One more thing. The surveys lead me to think that perhaps the reason there is such a divide between the two parties is that both are more concerned with being right or different from the other guys than they are with progress. If that’s the case than progress is certain to be a long way off regardless of who is in ‘control’.

But that’s just my opinion. Maybe I’ll take a page from the parties and send out a survey to see who agrees with me but more importantly disagrees with you.


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