How to upset me by generating leads with market research surveys

[tweetmeme source=”lovestats” only_single=false]I came across a tweet today that made me take a second pass. What? Are you serious? Yes, it was a tweet about how to generate leads using market research surveys.

As a researcher, I have agreed to abide by a number of rules. One of these rules is that I will not use the market research process to engage in marketing or selling. The strength of these ethics rules has even meant that researchers are allowed to call people during the precious dinner hour to survey their opinions.

I do think that a well designed, well thought out, and respectful market research survey will generate more positive perceptions of the brands in the survey. But the purpose of those surveys cannot be to generate leads. Tricking consumers into answering surveys that subsequently turn into a sales lead is exactly how consumers will learn to distrust MR. This is a sure-fire way to cause the MR industry to lose the privileges we have worked so hard to attain.

Please, let’s reread the ethics code of our various MR organizations. Let’s do our best to make sure we adhere to them and encourage others to appreciate them as well.

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  • 3 responses

    1. Baillie Buchanan

      I agree, the process of using MR to generate leads makes me angry!

      Did you catch that recent episode of The Office called “New Leads”? They say that the leads were purchased from a market research firm.

      (starts about 1 min 45 sec. into the episode)


    2. One of the points you mention is calling people during their dinner time. While this might not be the best time it surely is a great time to catch people off guard and catch them at home. My time as an Army recruiter this was a prime time to actualy catch that 17 yrs old in the house and have a legit contact with them. Lord knows it takes a contact to get your foot in the door. However I do understand the ethics behind what you are saying and no one should ever falsely lead someone soley for the purpose of lead generation.

      (What do the raffles in the malls do?)

      Great article btw.

    3. Barrie Rappaport


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