Internet trends: marketing research & predictions

The power of the media: how women perception biases are created

June 12th, 2008 by

As a marketer researcher, following many surveys running on the web, I often protest against quoting surveys that were not correctly sampled. This issue was recently discussed when I was following Chinese reports concerning the internet as a source of mental disorders (this is what I referred to “intentional mis-use of surveys”).

Sabrina, editor of Mommy CEO blog was attentive enough to wonder about a survey carried by Microsoft Office Live Small Business which was quoted on The Wall Street Journal Blog.

The survey, aimed to follow career women’s self perceptions and goals, was gathered among those who attended Microsoft Small Business conferences. No doubt that this sample may represent women who are not web oriented who came for training. The results were presented to the public through Microsoft PR, quickly to be followed by The Wall Street Journal.

According to this survey:

only 39 percent of those attending the conference are using the Web to manage and market their businesses.

The Wall Street Journal, although calls for sample problems, addresses the question: “are women uncomfortable navigating the fast-changing world of online marketing?”

This here is a great example how we can encourage biases! This can easily lead to wrong perception of women in general, especially when presented by trusted corporations as Microsoft and publishers as The Wall Street Journal. I wonder why Microsoft, who claims to have intentions to encourage women in business, published this survey. I wonder why The Wall Street Journal, carelessly continued this discussion by spreading it further with a title as: “Women Business Owners — Afraid of Web Marketing?

Do you see my point? with a title like this – who will remember the non-representative sample?

How can this be stopped?

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4 Responses

  1. David Taboada Says:

    I see your point. But don’t worry too much, newspaper circulation is stagnant at best and voices like yours are thriving on the blogosphere. Maybe that is why Sabrina was not persuaded by the Microsoft press release. She knows better. Many, many more know better because they do not depend on industrial-age information outlets. Perhaps I would have never known about this particular news. But because I follow you on Twitter and got to your blog through a link there, I now have *your* side of the story. So at least for me on this particular story, your blog is more visible than WSJ and MS.
    Great!

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