Surveys - the silly season continues

When some suppliers don't have exciting new products to launch or technology to hype, they conduct surveys that are the painful study of the obvious designed to promote their product, service or viewpoint rather than shining a new light on the industry.
Written by Dan Kusnetzky, Contributor

Not a day goes by that another press release crosses my desk promoting some vendor-sponsored study. I view them with a rather skeptical eye because, for the most part, they are self-serving and flawed. This studies appear to be designed simply to show how wonderful their products are or how vital their products are to the well being of their customer.

Three more examples appeared in my inbox towards the end of last week.  This time, the studies were the painful studies of what appears to me to be obvious. They really were well designed and well executed pieces of primary research with the exception that they didn't pass the reasonable person test. That is, would a reasonable person, who was not being incented based upon the results of the study, care.

For example, a study that comes from interviewing thousands of people that comes to the conclusion that their wireless communications bill is too high or that the battery life of their chosen handheld device is too short. These studies aren't designed to take a few extra steps to learn things such as what respondents would be willing to pay for better service or what functions they'd forgo to get better battery life out of their handheld devices.

For the most part, these studies simply add up to "we told you there was a problem and offered you a product to solve that little problem, you you didn't buy it. Here's a study showing how wrong you were. You still have time to buy this product before facing certain doom."

I'm beginning to believe that some suppliers turn to funding survey-based research when they don't have exciting technology news or a new product to launch. It appears that they hope that the press release will be widely mentioned in the media and their current portfolio of products and services will see a boost in popularity

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