About the Wisdom of Polls

I know from a great deal of experience working with small businesses that polling can be unreliable.  Business owners have told me that they want more advertising, when what they really want are more sales leads, website traffic, or to increase their brand awareness.  Lately, pay-per-click has become symbolic for “I want qualified sales leads.”  The interesting fact, however, is that the leads from PPC advertising aren’t necessarily well qualified.


People aren’t often clear about what they want and, therefore, their wishes can be misinterpreted or unreliable at best.  I’m reminded of the following quote:

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

–Henry Ford


Obviously, in Henry Ford’s day people were unaware of the alternatives for faster travel.  The internet has created a similar environment.  Today, when prospective clients tell me they want more advertising, I’m reminded of Henry Ford’s quote.  What they really want are more qualified sales leads, more website traffic, greater recognition as problem solvers, and better search engine optimization.  The fact is, there is only one marketing tool that can achieve these marketing objectives [and more] cost-effectively: product publicity.


Product publicity is the best way to get widespread exposure online and in-print for the purpose of identifying your company as a thought leader.  This produces more qualified sales leads and better Google search results because today, “content is king” and being published in quality websites generates more website traffic and better organic search positioning.  So, if you think you need more advertising, think about the wisdom of polls.


© 2012  Steven M. Stroum

Steve Stroum

Steve Stroum

Steven M. Stroum, founder and president of Venmark International is a seasoned publicist, marketer, and entrepreneur who has been featured in INC Magazine, Sales & Marketing Management Magazine, Industrial Marketing, OMNI Magazine, USA Today, The Christian Science Monitor, Boston Globe, Boston Herald, The Middlesex News, San Francisco Chronicle, and other media outlets. He has also appeared on numerous radio and television programs, addressed many business and civic groups, and been a guest lecturer at Boston College, Babson College, MIT, and his alma mater Northeastern University.

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