LOW TURN-OUT AND NO SECURITY
ARE HALLMARKS OF NEW NAQP SURVEY
If you participated in my 2012-2013 Quick Printing Industry Pricing Survey
, I want to sincerely thank you for your efforts and trust.
if you participated in NAQP's Digital and Wide Format Pricing Survey
, or are considering taking advantage of their recently extended Sept. 17th deadline, you need to think again.
When you receive your free copy of their study, or start to enter your data because of the deadline extension, you need to seriously consider THREE KEY FACTS.
(1) Launched on Aug. 17, 2012,
NAQP's Pricing Survey violated the most basic of all survey tenets, and that is to test thoroughly before launching - i.e "First, do no harm."
They didn't do that, and as a result for the first 17 DAYS
the survey was on line every bit of confidential information including names, annual sales volume and of course pricing was available for viewing by both participants and even casual observers.
That means that if you participated in this survey, everyone, including possible competitors, could see the answers to each of your questions, including your sales, email addresses, and your answers to hundreds of questions.
With almost 30-year's experience in this industry, I believe this was an inexcusable error for a major trade association. Furthermore, I place 100% of the blame on the association and not the survey company that produced their survey. They may try to pass the buck, but their excuses simply won't pass the "smell" test. They screwed up and did it royally!
It is up to the client conducting the survey to decide what shall be visible and what is not. There are times when you might want certain information available and displayed so this type of window or backdoor is always available, but it needs to be exercised with caution and it is up to the association to exercise this caution by taking their own survey before releasing it to the public. Obviously, NAQP, in its rapid rush to distribute and publish a pricing study in competition to my own, released their study without ever thoroughly checking it over.
(2) The only good news for NAQP
(if there was any) is that the rate of response was so poor up through the first 17 days fo the survey that it came as no surprise they decided to extend the deadline. While the release of confidential data is inexcusable, in only affected a relatively small number of printers!
How small? By Sept. 3rd, NAQP had received a GRAND TOTAL
of only 53 surveys, with 21 or more companies skipping a significant number of questions.
(3) Large Format Questions Receive Lowest Response -
When NAQP released its competing survey they defended it by noting that it covered Large Format Printing
, something our pricing study didn't cover. Well guess what section got the most dismal response? - Large Format. I todl them that would happen. In fact, according to data we obtained, approximately 60-65% of their participants never even answered the questions on Large Format.
What does that mean?
Well when you start of with 53 surveys submitted, and only 35% or so choose to answer questions on Large Format, that means in some cases less than 18 firms are providing answers upon which you will base your report to the industry! Folks, that's just too little data upon which to base a study. Knowing survey data as I do, NAQP will be forced to correct or delete at least 4-5 of those 18 answers so the reliability of the data will continue to plunge. If you decide to read this report, do so after taking a few grains of salt. You will need it!
With only six days to go before the end of their originally posted deadline, it shouldn't have come as any surprise to anyone that they decided on Sept. 6th to extend their survey deadline to Sept. 17th. Now, it's possible many more surveys will come pouring in in the next 7 days, but in my experience that is highly unlikely.
Why? Because NAQP is not only inexperienced conducting pricing and benchmarking studies, but they also lack basic marketing skills to take on a project such as this. It will be interesting to see how they try to put a good face on all of this, especially the violation of confidentiality, and attempt to create a "silk purse" out of a "sow's ear."
Based upon my experience in this industry, any increases in participation levels they receive in the last seven days of an extension will remain modest, and they will still end up with a relatively small amount of data replete with many questionable entries.
Of course after revealing the above,
it will be interesting to note whether NAQP decides to even publish this study considering the low rate of return. If they do go ahead and publish it, I assume they will report what all good surveys do and that is the "N" number for surveys submitted, as well as the "N" number for at least individual sections, if not individual questions.
If I was one of those 53 firms that submitted their survey by Sept. 4th, I would be pissed at how irresponsible NAQP was in the handling of my data, and second I would demand my money back! Oh wait, you didn't have to pay so that option is out. Of course, you could invoice the association for the time spent completing the survey but that would be a bit too much!
Check my web page in the next couple of days to read my latest column on this association fiasco!
Labels: confidentiality Violated, Irresponsible conduct, Low Turn-out, NAQP Survey, Poor Results