Online Marketing Advice: Be Careful Who You Listen To

According to a sales rep from Yell I was talking to last week, you are “53 times more likely to be on the Google front page with a video than without”. And that is why you should commit additional money (about £1000 and £100 per year thereafter) to your Business Information Page (BIP) on the Yell.com directory website.

That is a direct quote, I wrote it word for word and then read it back to them so I could be sure that I had it right. As a uni grad my first question was, “What’s your reference?”, or in lay mans terms, how do you know that’s true. They didn’t know where it was from or why it was true, just that its true (not very helpful).

Exploring the Claim

A quick Google search will reveal a whole bunch of websites that use the claim but none of them actually use a quote or directly cite anything, they just attribute the “53 times more likely” claim to Forrester Research. One or two mention a blog post by Nate Elliot from Forrester, but this blog never makes a specific 53 times claim.

Since the person who made the claim didn’t know where it came from I decided to email Forrester directly and too my pleasant surprise, I got a very helpful reply.

Becky Anzalone, a citations specialist at Forrester research, told me in an email that the “53 times more likely” claim is based on research that is only available to clients. I found that it is available to purchase for $199. So, for me, if you didn’t buy the research you really shouldn’t be citing from it directly. And if you had bought it, you’d know where it came from

Furthermore, Forrester have an 18 month citation policy. What this basically means is if a published paper or blog article is more than 18 months old then they do not permit citation from it. This may be because the research they do is in a rapidly changing field, namely the Internet, the web and online marketing and the like) so once a paper is over 18 months old then the research may no longer be relevant.

The research that the “53 times more likely” claim is made is from November 2008, which is two and a half years ago. So even if we had the full research paper in front of us and we were persuaded by its data and its arguments, the relevance of this research will have depreciated so much over this time that even the authors don’t want it cited.

Ms Anzalone did kindly send me the quote but also asked that I did not cite it. I intend to keep my end of that bargain, so you’ll have to take it on blind faith that the quote with the “53 times more likely” claim in it that was sent does not prove it to be true and not something to base a £1000 purchase on.

If you don’t believe in blind faith, feel free to buy the article.

  3 comments for “Online Marketing Advice: Be Careful Who You Listen To

  1. Mandy Round
    26th April 2012 at 10:42 am

    You appear to know so much, like you wrote the guide in it or something, fantastic blog. An excellent read. Thanks

  2. Jason Milies
    17th May 2012 at 7:28 am

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    • 21st May 2012 at 4:25 pm

      This looked really spammy and would normally go exactly where it belonged, in the ‘trash’ but I thought some bad advice in the comments to this article was am amusing and ironic.

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