What does a survey mean?

11 Jun

A few days ago the Wall Street Journal published an article about the results from a survey at a Microsoft Small Business event called Vision to Venture conference. The survey at this event found that 61% of women who own small businesses do no online marketing and 40% do not have a web site. I read the results and naturally I was disappointed. Why is it that women continue to fall behind? But then As I thought about it, investigated the source I think I can say I don’t think these stats are representative of all women owned businesses. Think about it:

  1. Microsoft Could have an Agenda releasing this survey
  2. We don’t know where this survey was taken. Perhaps it was at a seminar at the event all about how to take your business online. If that is the case you would expect most people attending to not yet have their business online
  3. We don’t know whether Microsoft enticed women to fill out the survey by offering any special prizes or rewards. What if the prize was a chance to win wed design time to get your business a web site? If you already have a web site you might not bother filling out the survey.
  4. You get the picture – I can go on an on with different reasons to potentially doubt the survey

So what’s my point? I think it is really important for everyone to understand that there are professional survey writers that know who to position a survey to get results they want. Think about how politicians come out with survey results that always support them and their issues to the tee. I am going to say that I don’t believe that there is such a discrepancy between men and women in business when it comes to being online. I think that being online depends more on what generation you belong to then what gender you are.

-Sabrina Parsons




2 Responses to “What does a survey mean?”

  1. Dr. Taly Weiss June 12, 2008 at 11:45 am #

    Thank you so much for bringing up this issue!
    As a marketer researcher
    following many surveys running on the web, I want to protest against quoting surveys that were not correctly sampled. Readers misinterpret those results and view them as representative. In this case, women’s self perceptions that were collected in a specific event, with no sample control leads to biases, and wrong perception of women in general, (especially when presented by trusted cooperation’s as Microsoft and publishes as The Wall Street Journal). The Wall Street Journal should know better than publishing such surveys!
    thanks again,


  1. The power of the media: how women perceptions’ biases are created - June 12, 2008

    […] editor of Mommy CEO blog was attentive enough to wonder about a survey carried by Microsoft Office Live Small Business which […]

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