What happens when we can’t depend on marketing research any more?

marketing research

By Mark Schaefer

Our new Marketing Companion episode is about marketing research and so much more, but first I have to ask you: When was the last time you heard me sing on a podcast? The answer to that would be never … until now, that is. Brooke Sellas and I introduced a new sponsor for the show and we are so excited about it that it made me break into song!

But there are even more (and better!) reasons to listen to the new episode, aside from our warbling!

The top story is about a significant marketing research trend noted in the Wall Street Journal. The article reports that the number of people willing to respond to polls has been in steep decline. People don’t trust the intent of polls and they’re tired of being annoyed by pollsters.

This has significant implications for almost everything we do in marketing, whether we are building a plan on the marketing research of others, or we are doing our own work.

Perhaps this is the ultimate act of marketing rebellion. Consumers are fed up with interruptions from marketers and they’re saying “enough!”

Brooke and I are seeing a drop in response rates in our own marketing research efforts so we turned to our dear friend and polling expert Tom Webster of Edison Research for a fascinating commentary on this concerning trend. The return of Webster!

Marketing research in jeopardy?

This discussion will give you something profound to think about. The top marketing research companies are overcoming these polling issues, but for the rest of us, are we becoming  unwitting generators of “fake news” with our own polling? Even reliable sources we’ve used for years may be in jeopardy.

Think about this … how often do you refer to research from a company you’re unfamiliar with in your own marketing plans or content? What happens when we can’t count on that information like we used to?

But wait! There’s more!

  • Coming out of the Facebook developer conference, Instagram announced it’s rolling a new version in Canada that would eliminate likes and other “vanity” metrics. In the test, followers won’t see total likes on photos, or views counts on videos, in their Instagram feeds or when visiting a user’s profile. The account owner will still be able to access their own metrics and see the total likes or view counts for a specific post, although they will need to tap through a post to view those metrics. Isn’t Instagram repeating the same mistake Snapchat made a few years ago?
  • Amazon is using an algorithm to fire non-productive workers and the social web went crazy over this idea. Brooke and I have our own take on this and we were prepared for a fight on this one!
  • Finally, a signature element of our podcast is the unique and creative introductions provided by our great friend Scott Monty. After nearly 100 of these little art pieces, they’re about to get even better!

So much fun, so much to think about, in 30 minutes of Marketing Companion goodness. What are you waiting for? Click here:


Click on this link to listen to Episode 161

Other ways to enjoy our podcast

Please support our extraordinary sponsors. Our content is free because of their generosity.

Many thanks to our friend Scott Monty for the awesome show intro. Be sure to check out his amazing newsletter The Full Monty and his new podcast available here: fullmontyshow.com.

Tim Washer is contributing creative direction to the show and he’s has worked for Conan O’Brien, John Oliver, among others. He helps corporations build more creative cultures.

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Headquartered in Chicago, Sprout is a Twitter Official Partner, Facebook Marketing Partner, Pinterest Marketing Partner, Instagram Partner Program Member, and LinkedIn Company Page Partner. Learn more and start your special free 30 day trial at sproutsocial.com/companion.

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