Survey Says

Topics: HRExaminer, John Sumser, by John Sumser


“Why is it so hard for marketing people to understand that any surveys they generate will always be suspect?” – John Sumser

My inbox feels like that dam in California. Remember the one where the spillway was eroding and the dam was ready to collapse? It is full of crap like this:

“A new survey from Peapod, the country’s leading online grocer servicing businesses and homes, revealed the impact of free office snacks on employee morale. According to the survey, 66% of those who say their office is always nicely stocked with free food or beverages report being extremely or very happy with their current job. Additionally, regarding recruitment and the much sought-after millennial – “when accepting a job position, millennials are nearly 3X as likely to value the availability of in-office treats compared to those 45 and older.”

Holy moly. The cure for the global engagement malaise is free snacks. Even more so with those pesky millennials.

Can you imagine? A company that delivers food conducted a survey and discovered that, get this, people want free food delivered to the office. Clearly, this is an unbiased source, polling a representative sample. I’m totally certain that they’d have published the results if the opposite was true.

And, wait for it, they will happily provide a branded infographic for me to give to you at no additional charge. Yes, they will let me advertise their service without charging me a penny.

Like I said, my inbox is flooded with this sort of crap from these sorts of knuckleheads.

Why is it so hard for marketing people to understand that any surveys they generate will always be suspect? Of course your survey supports your point of view. Of course you are going to ask a biased sample a set of biased questions to generate a biased outcome. And, even if you didn’t, who is going to believe you didn’t?

Someone might have told the folks at Peapod that the engagement problem is intractable and unlikely to be solved with a candy bar, even one a day. Hell, Elon Musk is offering frozen yogurt, a roller coaster and a ‘kickass party’ to tackle the same issue.

And, what is so hard to understand about ‘one pays for advertising?’

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HRExaminer Radio – Executive Conversations: Episode #269: Heather Bussing

John Sumser speaks with Heather Bussing, an employment lawyer, writer, and photographer who tries not to believe everything she thinks.