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Market Research – Your Guess is as Good as Mine

August 11, 2004

Search Engine Lowdown picked up on an interesting piece of news from research firm eMarketer this morning. The firm has just published its latest online ad spending report which, not surprisingly, finds that ad spending is on the rise.
But of greater interest to the a:c is the chart eMarketer included with the release, which illustrates the wide range of projections from the various research firms that cover the space. These guys are all over the map…


emarketer.gif
Pick a Number… Any Number
Tech journalists love to cite these market research figures in their stories, even though they know the numbers are usually bunk. In our salad days at Red Herring, the inclusion of such numbers (and their utter lack of credibility) was a running joke. Even the obligatory inclusion of the “analyst quote” is a ridiculous journalistic convention.
On this front, The Economist has it right with its policy of keeping quotes to a bare minimum. Sure, it’s good journalism to interview analysts and test your own assumptions against their knowledge of a particular sector. But, as the eMarketer chart illustrates, wildly diverging market projections are the norm. Reader beware.
Read: Online Advertising Is on the Reboom! [eMarketer]
Read: Just How Much Will Online Advertising Grow? [SearchEngineLowdown]

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