BizTube: Market Research

This video has been overtaking my life in recent weeks, thanks to the many friends I have on Facebook who see fit to post it with various and supporting exclamations. Once again, YouTube, the source of all knowledge, has taught me an important business principle. In this case, the video is a great example of what not to do.

The creators of the video introduce it as an ethnographic market research project, though they don’t call it that, attempting to determine if men and women can be “just friends.” However, I noticed significant flaws in their research methodology in this video.

Most notably was the overtly directive questioning. Have a look at the two minute marker. Here the interviewer receives the answer from the interviewee and asks follow up questions to deliberately lead her to claim that men and women can’t be friends.

As a gatherer of pure market information, it is critical to remain neutral. If you’ve ever observed a good focus group moderator, s/he never qualifies answers or seeks to persuade participants. S/he is merely the extractor and recipient of information.

This point is further illustrated when, at two minutes and thirty-six seconds, the interviewer corners an interviewee into agreeing with him, and he shouts, “Yes! That’s what I’m talking about!”

This is hardly an unbiased gathering of information. Whether or not you agree that men and women can’t be friends, this is a sadly flawed study. What other errors did you notice?