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Anyone with a SurveyMonkey account is a market researcher these days. Get 100 people to fill out a Web form and then issue a press release. It's easy, and some people will actually believe what you say.
Be skeptical of any research that doesn't come from a respected organization such as Gallup or Harris. At the very least, check the methodology statement. If the researcher doesn't provide one, abandon ship.
A survey should have several hundred responses to be even marginally credible. Even then, the researcher should reveal how the responses were gathered. E-mailing their customer lists and friends and family is not a credible methodology. In fact, online research is inherently biased because it only measures the opinions of people who take surveys online. A good study uses a completely random sample. Ideally, it uses the telephone.
You should also look at what questions were asked. Often the questions are so poorly constructed or so biased that the results of the study are meaningless. Writing survey questions is a science.
Here's an example I wrote about on the CMO Site. It shows how badly flawed a survey from a major trade publication can be. http://bit.ly/M6G8nM
1 year, 9 months ago on Don’t Believe Everything You Read About Social Media