Self-serving marketing posing as news

Self-serving marketing posing as news

Summary: Surveys, top 10 lists, and papers oh my!

TOPICS: Tech Industry

Surveys, top 10 lists and technical white papers can contain useful information and be very helpful.  I look for those coming through my inbox and read them with interest. Unfortunately, I've seen a sharp increase in useless, self-serving marketing information being sent out disguised as useful information.

Quite often surveys are really disguised marketing vehicles. The sample size is too small to support the broad claims being made. The survey instrument is made up of biased, self-serving questions designed to make the sponsor's case rather than teasing out important thinking and plans of decision makers. Unfortunately, the ever-increasing deluge of false serveys are causing decision makers to believe all surveys are constructed this way. So, it is increasingly difficult for analysts to learn what decision-makers are thinking.

Top 10 lists presented by supplier executives often present their hopes and dreams rather than having any basis in reality. It's been my observation that most top 10 lists are based upon an executive's conversations with their own engineers, marketing staff or best customers rather than an analysis of events and actual trends.

While I read most of the material that vendors send, I don't comment on much of it here. I'll comment either when the material is very useful or when it is very badly done.



Topic: Tech Industry


Daniel Kusnetzky, a reformed software engineer and product manager, founded Kusnetzky Group LLC in 2006. He's literally written the book on virtualization and often comments on cloud computing, mobility and systems software. In his spare time, he's also the managing partner of Lux Sonus LLC, an investment firm.

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  • Does Dan work for Fox News?

    "Quite often surveys are really disguised marketing vehicles."

    Quite often, 'news' articles on ZDNet are disguised marketing vehicles. Written by people on a vendors payroll. Without disclosure. We all know that.

    For someone that calls himself distinguished analyst, you seem naive, Dan.
  • Self-serving marketing posing as news

    Happens all the time here on ZDNet. The irony is someone writing about it and publishing it on ZDNet.
  • Ancient problem

    Every once in a while I'll take a phone survey, which most of the time will actually be propaganda; the goal is to guess who sponsored it. Then there are the allegedly scientific research papers sponsored by for-profit corporations for the purpose of "proving" the need for their products (I get lots of white paper and webinar offers too). Then there are the news articles uncritically copied from press releases and the occasional stooge journalist who follows company line in exchange for access to top executives.

    I've no objections to honest advertising, but the covert sort is frankly immoral.
    John L. Ries