Anonymous MR Blogs: Secrets to Die For?


Recently, Google was legally forced to identify an anonymous blogger. You can read the newspaper report here.

There are a few anonymous bloggers in the marketing research world. I’m wondering what is so scary about marketing research that they feel compelled to go this route. Are they revealing little known secrets? Not that i’ve seen. Are they revealing unethical behaviour? Nope. So why the fear? I guess I’m just curious why they’ve taken that route.

Any ideas?

"Concealed" shoot

8 responses

  1. I worked for the UK government as a statistician a few years back and I published an article that promoted researchers and field interviewers working more closely together. I published it under my name and the response was a mixture of ‘what were you THINKING’ and ‘Good job, glad someone said it’. I didn’t think it was controversial so I was surprised at how some people perceived it as a huge dose of negative criticism.
    So I think I’d echo ‘Research Rants’ in saying that I think it’s more about caution than fear – more about playing it safe and wanting to say something without it being blown out of proportion and having a backlash directed at one person. At least if no one can be targeted … it might just spark some healthy discussions.

    1. The thing is, in the market research space, we ALL KNOW all the negatives of what we’re doing and we ALL complain about it every day. This is not one person’s problem and it’s not one person revealing an amazing discovery that no one thought of. We can make no progress with our complaints if people don’t stand up for what’s right. And when people are too scared to put a face to an opinion, we do our industry a disservice. You know that my website is chock full of complaints about our industry and it is also chock full of people completely agreeing with me and supporting me. We’re in this together. Let’s stand up for what’s right.

    2. I completely agree. We do need to stand up for what’s right but complaints are only a starting point. We also need to change things. In my example, I would love to be able to get researchers and field interviewers together regularly. Let’s do it. However, behind that example was a bunch of politics and ‘history’ that made it easier said than done (not impossible – just harder). While I totally agree that people should be brave enough to speak out and put their name to it – there are often other issues that lead to the cautionary act of going anonymous and things that make it harder to enact simple, positive. I don’t agree with it but that’s the situation – hopefully it’ll change soon though.

    3. Sure. But, for the anonymous bloggers I know, there is no political reason for them to be anonymous. It’s just chickenitis.

  2. Because some MR corporations are not open to criticism from within. They’re not open to true innovation either, and they see that as criticism as well. Which is really sad, if you think of it…

    1. Very sad. Bright minds need to speak up no matter how hard it is. It’s good for you personally, and good for business. Keeps everyone on their toes and rethinking the rules.

  3. I don’t think I’d say it’s fear, at least not in my case, though “caution” might not be too far off the mark.

    If I were in business for myself, I’d almost certainly blog under my own name. If I ever make the leap — still trying to figure out how, actually — I probably will. I’d actually be more comfortable that way, and I’m sure it would serve at least somewhat as a marketing tool.

    For better or for worse, though, I’m not in business for myself. The company I work for also has a bit of a corporate tendency toward very controlled communications, and a bit of an unwillingness to say controversial things. If I were blogging as myself, while of course I’d make it clear my opinions are my own, I don’t know if that would be enough for everyone.

    1. That’s too bad. I was always very vocal with my opinions when I did work for a company. In fact, many people there had the same opinions as I did. Our stumbling block was convincing people, internal AND external, to take the leap from “we’ve always done it like this” to “let’s improve surveys so that people want to answer them.” We did our best to try and convince people to make the change but weren’t always successful. The volume of surveys coming through is just so huge, it’s hard to help every single person make that transition.

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