Marketing research links the consumers to the marketer through collected data. Having accurate research is essential to marketing. The information collected from marketing research will be used by an assortment of practical areas of varying business and industries for a number of different reasons. Obtaining marketing research findings is one thing; however ensuring it is correct is another.
Marketing research studies are used habitually to provide certainty. However in some cases, research findings are altered or misinterpreted, thus delivering false and inaccurate data to clients and the public. The misuse of research findings may occur for a variety of reasons. Sometimes researchers purposely or willfully alter the research data to correspond with their objectives. Other times errors in findings arise because of inaccuracies, dishonesty, ignorance, biases or negligence.
Consider the following example: Levi Strauss reported that 90% of college students preferred Levis 501 jeans. However, on the list of options Levi’s were the only jeans. The survey was clearly biased in an effort to encourage college students to wear Levi’s.
Inaccurate findings can provide the public with a misconstrued understanding of a product or service and it can cause marketers to create an unsuccessful, offensive or useless marketing campaign. Industries and business can also be affected because it may cause them to make unnecessary or unprofitable decisions.
Because research information can be mistreated a number of organizations like the Canadian Marketing Association have developed an extensive list of marketing research ethics and standards of conduct. Inevitably, however unethical marketing research practices occur. Each marketing researcher must recognize their responsibilities for conducting ethical research to protect consumers, businesses and marketers best interest and their own.
- Paciotti, B. Lecture 2: Measures, Mistakes, Misunderstandings. Retrieved April 2, 2011, from Brian Paciotti: http://www.brianpaciotti.com/STAT%20lectures/Lecture%202.pdf
- Zaltman, G., & Tybout, A. M. Journal of Marketing Research . Retrieved April 2, 2011, from American Marketing Association : http://www.jstor.org/stable/3151282