google pants

An early Google Pants sighting

Companies like Forrester and Gartner — who used to make their money providing expensive and exclusive research reports — are finding it impossible to “contain” the data. If somebody buys just one report, it’s likely to very soon be distributed widely on the web for free.

As a result, there is a very subtle but important change going on in the world of research with profound implications for what we can see and believe on the social web.

In our latest Marketing Companion podcast, Tom Webster and I explore some of the implications of this as we look at a case study where Forrester recently skewered Facebook with some provocative, but not necessarily accurate, claims. A company VP added fuel to the fire with an “open letter” to Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg. Facebook called the claims “irresponsible.”

Why would a company built on providing dispassionate data and insight make a sensational move like this?

Data and research are certainly taking on an interesting new role in the field of content marketing.

Some of the ideas we discuss in the podcast …

If companies can’t make as much money from their research, are they using their data as a content marketing promotional tool?

If businesses won’t pay for research, what happens to the quality of the research?

What can we really believe right now and how do we know if the claims we are looking at on the web are to be believed?

Most important of all, how is Tom Webster getting rich from Google Pants and Smithfield Hams?

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