Jupiter Research Makes Some Changes


Blogger_cartoon_1 Checking blog stats one finds interesting links .. a referral to David Schatsky's, President JupiterKagan, blog. Both  David and Greg Dowling, the Jupiter Research analyst of the infamous Jupiter Research corporate weblog study, provide additional information about the methodology and the results .. some are rather surprising.

Sidebar: If you missed the threads here's a link to the back-story.

David Schatsky's post is titled  Bashed By The Blogosphere For Our Blog Research. My high level take aways .. 

  • Jupiter will do better interfacing with "interested parties" (as long as they don't perceive you to be a competitor).
  • They will look into how to provide more methodology information so "interested parties can better interpret the information." 
  • David will personally talk to Jupiter Research's "PR firm and provide them with clearer guidelines on how to handle inquiries from bloggers in the future, and (he'll) look into providing a bit more information in news releases as well, at least in the versions we post on our site.

Sidebar: If anyone from Jupiter Research or Peter Arnold Associates is popping by (or any other research firm), I suggest you check out the AAPOR Press page for specific guidelines on what an organization is ethically obligated to provide to the public. I had an interesting chat with Tom Guterback, 2006-07 Ethics Chair of AAPOR and director of the University of VA Center for Research, this afternoon. Disclosure of research methodology applies to any publicly cited research finding including media releases.

However, the company is only obligated to provide information the pertains directly to the results revealed. Although Jupiter Research offers general information about the process of their research methodology, it by no means meets the standards of AAPOR Ethic Guidelines for disclosure of specific results.

I strongly encourage anyone who has posted information regarding the results of this study to read Greg Dowling's post.  No one that I read got it right. The "...nearly 70 percent of all site operators will have implemented corporate blogs by the end of 2006." did not refer to marketing or business bloggers but to "Web site decision makers from companies with more than $50 million in revenue."

Directly from Greg's post:
"It should also be noted that the term " "Weblogs" in the context of this report (and press release) does not differentiate between external Weblogs or internal "dark" Weblogs and is referring to the deployment of Weblog authoring technology not the creation of customer facing Weblogs.

To reiterate, the survey respondents were Web site decision makers with budget authority asked about technology deployments, not marketers asked about their use of Weblogs. However, marketers were surveyed for the data point, "Only 32 percent of marketing executives said they use corporate Weblogs to generate WoM around their company's products or services."

I appreciate everyone's support and comments on Diva and on so many great blogs. Thanks to Fard and to Neville for staying the course on this one.  Working together we might have made a difference in the way a company conducts business that will result in a win-win that positively impacts the blogging and marketing research industires. 

As Mack, Dave, Eric and Ann would say this is what it means to belong to a community ~ where the voice of one turns into the voices of many.

Sidebar: Lou woulda liked this one!

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Answers From Jupiter Research (JupiterKagan)


A few weeks ago JupiterKagan/Jupiter Research issued a press release that provided results from a study about corporate blogs - Jupiter Finds That Deployment of Corporate Weblogs Will Double in 2006. I was puzzled by one particular finding -  "... nearly 70 percent of all site operators will have implemented corporate blogs by the end of 2006." The stat seemed high to me.

I contacted JupiterKagan/Jupiter Research, via their agency Peter Arnold Associates, to lean something about the methodology (not included in the release). JupiterKagan/Jupiter Research refused to provide additional information (which in all fairness was their right).  However, concerned with the study's conclusions, I voiced my questions - which I felt was my obligation to the readers of Diva Marketing. Here's the link to the Diva Marketing posts one and two and three.

The posts caught the attention of many in the biz blogosphere including Fard Johnmar who bought the research and came to his own conclusions; and Ian Betteridge who commented on NevilleHobson.com that I should have contacted Jupiter directly. Ian I took your advise.

JupiterKagan's/Jupiter Research's Response
I left a voice message for David Schatsky, President, JupiterKagan, Inc. I offered Mr. Schatsky an opportunity to tell his side of the story. The following is the unedited eMail exchanges that Mr. Schatsky kindly gave me permission to post on Diva Marketing.

David Schatsky's eMail response  #1

Hi Toby.

Thanks for your voice mail. I appreciate your interest in our research.

You must be aware that it is disingenuous in the extreme to publicly voice "concerns about JupiterResearch's lack of methodology information to support the findings of a study" when in fact our methodology is transparent to all of our clients.

We do not tend to devote time to providing information of this type for free to anyone, as it's generally beyond the scope of the interest of publications who follow the sectors we cover and does not benefit Jupiter or Jupiter's clients--who pay for the privilege of exclusive access to this information. You owe your readers a correction of this misrepresentation.

I'll tell you that some of the data cited in the report you are discussing and mentioned in our press release is from a survey of 251 executives from a variety of industries who make decisions about their company's Web site spending and who work at companies with $50 million or more in revenue.

It's worth noting that some of the other bloggers you engaged in dialog thus misrepresented the focus of our study, suggesting it focused on Fortune 500 companies. That's not what we said in our report or in the release. For the sake of your own credibility, it's worth correcting that misrepresentation as well.

Thanks and best regards,

David Schatsky
JupiterKagan, Inc.

Toby's eMail response:

Mr. Schatsky -

Appreciate your email response to my message. 

I want to make it very clear that my intention was never to bash JupiterKagan; however, when an organization provides research findings to the general public, for example, as stated in a media release, without the benefit of background details don't you agree it may cause people to question how those findings were determined? Although JupiterKagan's clients may be familiar with its methodologies,  I'm sure JupiterKagan doesn't expect the marketing community at-large to accept results from (any) research at face value.

In my message to you I offered the opportunity to present your side of the story. Would you like me to post your response to Diva Marketing? I will  be happy to publish your comments unedited. If you prefer that this remains a private conversation between us I will  certainly honor your request.

Looking forward to your response.

Very best.

David Schatsky's eMail response #2

I agree that our news releases may cause people to question how our findings were determined.  That's a good thing from our perspective. An aim of those releases is to motivate people that have a significant stake in understanding and applying out findings to inquire with us about becoming clients. 

JupiterResearch clients have unfettered access to our analysts. Our analysts can not only explain the finer points of methodology, but also provide market intelligence, advice on best practices, insight into trends, and so on.

Feel free to post my response on your site.

David Schatsky

Mr. Schatsky seems to think that I owe you an apology. I apologize to all readers who feel I misled them. I stand firm in my belief that any marketing research firm that offers results to the public should include information about the methodology. If not, don't be surprised if marketers, bloggers, the media or prospective clients question your findings and draw conclusions based on the information provided including questioning the credibility.

Sidebar: The debate for the marketing research community - Is it a business decision not to include methodology with publicly published findings or is it an ethical issue? Thanks to Bill Neal, SDR, Inc. for the link to the AAPOR Code of Ethics - reference - III. Minimal Disclosure of Research Findings (American Association for Public Opinion Research).

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Is Marketing Ethics An Oxymornon?


Hardy_burger Interesting article by Philip Kotler, the guru of marketing, in the current Marketing Management about ethics in marketing. Dr. Kotler challenges marketing professionals to examine not only how we market but what we market.

“What if the customer wants something that isn’t good for him or her?”

“What if the product or service, while good for the customer, isn’t good for society or other groups?"

Example: At a time when the American public is battling a war on obesity, Hardee's rolled out Monster Thickburger™. The “mother of all burgers” is a two, one-third pound slabs of Angus beef, three slices of American cheese, four strips of bacon and mayonnaise on a buttered sesame seed bun weighing in at 107 grams of fat and 1,420 calories. Yo Mama!

According to Hardee's chief executive Andrew Puzder this is "not a burger for tree-huggers."  However, The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a advocate for nutrition and health, had a different word for the Baby Huey Burger - "food porn."

[Sidebar: To be fair, Hardee’s also has low carb choice. The company is also launching a cause marketing program where one “monstrous” NFL player will work the drive-thru of a local Hardee’s for two hours. The proceeds from every Monster Thickburger sold at that location on that day will be donated to the player’s charity of choice.The Center for Science in the Public Interest calls this - "sinister."]

The debate rages on … “Are we our brother’s or sister’s keeper?” Kotler poses a bigger question, “Do public interest groups and government agency have the right to intervene in the free choices of individuals?” Kotler believes that the problem stems from conflicts among different ethical systems.

More questions arise and there are no easy answers. What are a professional marketer’s social responsibilities? Should social ethics be part of a marketing code of ethics?

Establishing a code of ethics for the blogosphere is something that has been an issue for several years. How do you build a community based on trust? Does the blogosphere need a Code of Blogger Ethics? Here are a few ideas.

Cyber Journal’ Code of Blogger Ethics

1. Be Fair and Honest

2. Minimize Harm

3. Be Accountable

Rebecca Blood’s Code of Blogger Ethics from the Weblog Handbook

1. Publish as fact only that which you believe to be true.

2. If material exists online, link to it when you reference it.

3. Publicly correct any misinformation.

4. Write each entry as if it could not be changed; add to, but do not rewrite or delete, any entry.

5. Disclose any conflict of interest.

6. Note questionable and biased sources.

Joho The Blog (David Weinberger) - Blogger Code of UnProfessional Ethics

I can’t figure out if Doc or David or Chris wrote this. Posted October 16, 2002!

My readers:

...know me. They will judge me according to context.

...are smart. They will not be misled by some stray comment I may happen to make.

...are kind. They make allowances and forgive me ahead of time.

In return:

I will speak my mind about what I care about.

I will not revise too much or too carefully: Blogging about opera is still jazz.

I will not anticipate and reply to every objection: Punctilliousness in pursuit of the appearance of propriety kills voice.

If I apologize, it will be because I have actually betrayed my readers' trust, not because I may have, might have, or could be misread as having done so.

I pledge to keep the reading of my weblog purely optional.

[Sidebar: Take a look at the thread on “Blogo culpa” – integrity in the blog world – on Doc’s site.]

As recently as this month the beat goes on. Jason Calcanis Blogethics.org, wants to organize a committee to draft A Code of Ethics for Blog Advertising .

Heard if from NickDenton

Business Ethics – Top 10 Best Corporate Citizens 2004

1. Fannie Mae

2. Proctor & Gamble

3. Intel

4. St. Paul Companies

5. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc

6. Deere & Company

7. Avon Products

8. Hewlett-Packard

9. Agilent Technologies Inc.

10. Ecolab Inc.