Thoughts from Ciana

  • 05:50:18 pm on March 24, 2009 | 1


    Last week, I stumbled across an article from The New York Times As Jurors Turn to Web, Mistrials Are Popping Up which highlights how instant web access with iPhones and Blackberry devices are wreaking havoc on jury trials.  In several cases, judges have declared mistrials as jurors violated due process by doing their own research for evidence on the internet  while other jurors shared confidential information about cases via social networking (Twitter/Facebook).

    As someone who has focused on “Message and Evidence Marketing” for a number of years, it got me thinking about how the types of marketing evidence has changed over the years. Last week, as I was working on an “Evidence Plan” for a large software firm, pulling together credible evidence to substantiate my client’s claims of their product superiority over the competition, I realized how the Internet has expanded the types of evidence being used in technology marketing.

    Opinion-based evidence (e.g., industry analyst reports, product reviews, customer experiences) has been used for many years to support businesses claims of product benefits.   Easy web access and social media sites have proliferated the number and types of  opinion-based evidence (e.g., blogs, micro-blogs citizen reviews, online surveys, etc.). [Note that the mistrials discussed in the referenced article were NOT about the type of evidence being considered, they were about the fact that jurors used evidence that the judge had not determined to be admissible.]  The legal system has complex rules of evidence. What rules do marketing departments’ follow, particularly with opinion-based evidence?  With nearly 1 million blog posts per day, and many more micro-blogs, what are some guidelines?  As a “rule of thumb” marketers should apply the same judgment when using blogs for evidence as they would apply to other types of opinion-based evidence:

    • Is the source credible/trustworthy/authentic/objective?
    • Are facts provided to support the opinion?
    • Is the fact-based opinion relevant?

    So what type of web-based evidence would you determine to be “credible” to substantiate marketing claims?

    When would you find a blog to be “admissible” evidence and when would you declare a mistrial?



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: