Don’t Mix Research & Marketing

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CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=535567
CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=535567

I’ve been tempted myself to use a survey to communicate as opposed to collect valuable information about prospects or clients, and while it is possible, generally consumers see it as a transparent and in-authentic way of marketing.

For example, today I got the following email from Circle (the home network protection gateway to control content and use by device):

Already the headline communicates to me that the author wants me to upgrade, but this is a survey… or is it?

Then the landing page:

Hmm, in court this would be leading the witness; in research it would be called a biased survey, but then again, I don’t know if these marketers wanted unbiased results.

Are these questions written to truly determine price elasticity and willingness to pay for different bundles? Or have these prices been set and the “survey” is simply a disguise to get me to become aware of the pricing?

In my opinion, mixing surveys and marketing messaging for the purposes of educating while you ask for feedback comes off as in-authentic and certainly makes the survey data far less useful (assuming there’s an actual  interest in obtaining actionable data.