You have been charged with researching the value of directing a media buy toward a specific platform such as TV, radio, print yellow pages, or Google PPC. How far should your due diligence go? In our digital information bonanza, I miss yesterday’s trip to the university library to pull out a giant binder of full survey research papers. Yes, I can find the full papers online but they are needles in shoddy research SEO haystacks.
Accountability of “research” is diminishing. What is the connection to the accompanying trend of widespread anonymity? Perhaps we’d rather not know.
Granted, survey research has never been guaranteed bias-free. But faster, efficiently indexed information at our fingertips costs us data integrity.
…The conclusion that print Yellow Pages are still valuable for advertisers and consumers was confirmed in another study by CRM Associates, which is a market analysis and consulting firm headquartered in Boulder, Colo. -Ken Ray, AT&T Advertising Solutions
Amidst many other studies demonstrating evidence that champions digital media spend, I needed to examine AT&T’s research methods:
*EIDQ: First off, Ken Ray states that the findings confirm. No. Research findings never confirm hypotheses. They provide evidence that supports. Please refer to The Structure of Scientific Revolutions or a Survey Research Methods 101 class.
Research bias, reporting bias, verification error: Study by Omnicom-owned M/A/R/C Research was sponsored by AT&T, a major PYP provider. (Caveat: Both have a stake in digital.)
Design bias: Question credibility and interests of companies involved
Inclusive bias: Sample selected for convenience (50,000 adults in 125 AT&T-serviced markets)
Correlation mistaken for causation
**WSJ blog states that 2/3 of U.S. adults still use print yellow pages. The statistic comes from “a local survey” by the Local Search Association (formerly the Yellow Pages Association). I have been unable to locate the original. (Can you?)
The stat may or may not be valid. But the real question is: Why is it so difficult to track down transparent, substantiated evidence?