Journalists Should Be Suspicious Of Our Results: Survey Monkey Boss

Newspapers on the computer keyboard close up
SHARE
THIS


What best describes you?

The US head of research at Survey Monkey agrees that journalists need to be as suspicious of stories and research drawn from its online surveys as they would be when handling any other story.

Jon Cohen, Survey Monkey’s vice president of survey research, agreed that people who used the platform to do “legitimate research” too often prejudiced the results with loaded or directed questions to a converted audience. He agreed that these “results” – often doled out to journalists as press releases with screaming headlines – can form the basis of articles that hold little journalistic worth.

JonCohenCrop_square1[1]

Cohen was in Australia recently presenting as Sydney’s Ad:Tech conference and admitted to B&T that a lot of groups and organisations that used its survey tools need to be better trained in how to do it.

“Anyone can put a survey up and get back data that’s completely inappropriate for what you meant to ask,” Cohen agreed. “We acknowledge that and we’re trying to put in guide posts to try and steer the user on how to write questions that don’t produce bias.”

Cohen admitted that journalists were increasingly publishing Survey Monkey results in articles without questioning the calibre of the findings as well as they should.

“All numbers are not created equal,” he said. “I’d certainly implore journalists to tick through when they encounter a number and they need to be just as sceptical as they are when they interview a person as they are when they see a number.”

What Survey Monkey was best at doing, Cohen said, was providing insights, and those insights could be used for a host of things including an agency’s creative process.

He said that agencies often sought external opinions only at the end of a six-month pitch when Survey Monkey could prove an invaluable tool throughout the process, particularly at the start.

“There’ll always be a natural tension between creatives and marketers and their bosses. And the tension is going to happen when it all comes from very diverse sectors, but I just think that conflict is much worse at the end,” Cohen said.

“It comes when there’s six months of work on the line, people’s jobs are on the line; you’ll always have conflict. But if you have the information throughout the process it (tensions) will be smaller and more contained and you can debate it and test and you’ll be fighting smaller fires than you will at the end,” he said.

This sort of data, Cohen said, can be valuable in getting existing work heading in the right direction or getting it started when you have no starting point at all. Survey Monkey didn’t necessarily give you the data required, rather the insights to get something up and moving.

“I don’t think anyone wants more numbers and this is why we keep bringing the debate back to insight,” he said. “Sometimes you can have so much data you can’t separate the signal from the noise. I think what we do have now is the capacity to collect this information in a structured way and then formalise and rationalise that process.

“You can have too much data, just as you can have too little. The idea is about asking the right question when the answer is going to be useful for the decisions you have to make,” he said.

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

Four Questions About Connected TVs Everyone Is Asking – Answered
  • Opinion

Four Questions About Connected TVs Everyone Is Asking – Answered

In this guest post, the ANZ country manager for martceh firm dataxu, Matthew Joyce (pictured below), says almost half of Australians have a connected TV and he takes a look at what that means for brands and advertisers… Four in 10 of us have smart TVs at home, and of that, 70 per per cent are Connected TVs (CTV). […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
TV Production Firm Crocmedia Hires Nine’s Tim Cleary For New Venture
  • Media

TV Production Firm Crocmedia Hires Nine’s Tim Cleary For New Venture

Crocmedia has announced the launch of Rainmaker, a dedicated TV production services business to be headed by former Head of Programming and Production at Channel Nine, Tim Cleary. Cleary will draw on his 25 years in the industry to spearhead the creation of bespoke new shows for distribution both in Australia and overseas under the Rainmaker […]

The Advertising ID Consortium Welcomes New Platform Partners
  • Advertising

The Advertising ID Consortium Welcomes New Platform Partners

The Advertising ID Consortium – the open identity solution for the digital advertising ecosystem – has announced new platform partners. Since the Consortium’s announcement in May 2017, the founding members have established a governance framework and product specification that includes an open and standardised cookie and accessible people-based identifiers, delivered in a secure, privacy conscious […]

Marketing Melodies Partners With Spotify-Backed Soundtrack Your Brand
  • Marketing

Marketing Melodies Partners With Spotify-Backed Soundtrack Your Brand

Australian in-store music provider Marketing Melodies has announced an exclusive reseller agreement with Spotify-backed Soundtrack Your Brand for the Australia and New Zealand markets. Founded in Sweden in 2013, Soundtrack Your Brand was developed to kill bad background music. Its flagship solution, Soundtrack Business, is a music streaming platform licensed for commercial and public spaces. The […]

Social Garden Becomes First Bronze Snapchat Certified Partner In Australia
  • Advertising
  • Marketing

Social Garden Becomes First Bronze Snapchat Certified Partner In Australia

Customer acquisition firm Social Garden has become the first business in Australia to achieve Bronze status on Snapchat. Among the new benefits Social Garden will receive as a result of its Bronze status is access to beta versions of Snapchat data tools, such as the Snapchat Conversion Pixel, as well as being among the first […]

Hypetap Appoints Nuffnang’s Chris Morfis As GM
  • Marketing

Hypetap Appoints Nuffnang’s Chris Morfis As GM

Influencer marketing player Hypetap has made its second senior hire in less than a month, appointing Chris Morfis as the company’s general manager. Joining from influencer marketing provider Nuffnang Australia, Morfis will guide Hypetap’s growing team, providing strategic direction to accelerate the company’s growth, as well as leading operations and managing relationships with key partners. Morfis’ appointment will […]

On Air sign in a studio broadcasting via radio, podcast or wireless transmission.
  • Media

ARN Announces Departure Of Content Director & Radio Veteran

Australian Radio Network (ARN) has announced that Charlie Fox, content Director for WSFM and The Edge, and WSFM morning announcer Ron E Sparks, have departed. Fox has been with ARN since 2005, and Sparks joined WSFM in 2002. ARN national content director Duncan Campbell said the departure of Fox and Sparks are part of the […]

OMD Announces New MD For Melbourne
  • Media

OMD Announces New MD For Melbourne

OMD unveils new Melbourne MD, and it certainly wasn't among any of B&T's picks. Not that we were picking, mind you.

Sydney Festival Chooses Brightcove To Enhance Online Video Content
  • Media

Sydney Festival Chooses Brightcove To Enhance Online Video Content

Video cloud service Brightcove has announced that Sydney Festival has selected the platform to improve its user experience through online video content. Brightcove will do so by removing third-party branding and pre-roll ads, as well as adding autoplay functionality, ahead of the event in January. Leveraging the Brightcove video platform to host and publish video […]

Does Your Christmas Marketing Suck?
  • Opinion

Does Your Christmas Marketing Suck?

Remember the old Palmolive soap ad that asked, "Don't wait to be told"? This is sort of similar, albeit sans any suds.

Opinion

by Peter Harris

Peter Harris
Queensland Anti-Porn Crusaders Cop Ad Ban
  • Campaigns

Queensland Anti-Porn Crusaders Cop Ad Ban

We have a strident anti-pornography policy at B&T. Earphones must be worn at all times and strictly no little people.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Nature’s Way Celebrates Big Things Little People Do In UCG Videos Via Wavemaker & Storyful
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

Nature’s Way Celebrates Big Things Little People Do In UCG Videos Via Wavemaker & Storyful

Health and wellbeing company Nature’s Way is celebrating the achievements of kids in a series of relatable and entertaining online videos that tug at the heart strings of parents. Instead of using actors to tell the brand story of Nature’s Way’s Kids Smart supplement range, Storyful has helped Wavemaker to license user-generated content clips of […]

DEC PR Wins Hisense Account
  • Marketing

DEC PR Wins Hisense Account

Electronics and whitegoods specialist Hisense has announced it has appointed DEC PR to lead its strategic communications remit in the local market, following a competitive tender process. DEC PR will work to support its brand building activities and managing corporate communications. The agency’s work will integrate closely with Hisense’s other marketing partners. Andre Iannuzzi, marketing […]