Orangeville, ON (My Corner Office) Last month I was surprised to run across this on a sales page: “With 8 of 10 Canadians doing the majority of their shopping online these days…”

Statistics slipup #1: No source was listed.
Since I knew the person behind that page, I emailed her asking for the source of that data. She sent a link.

Statistics slipup #2: She’d misconstrued what she read.
The study cited in that link reported that 79 percent of Canadians have shopped online. That is, 8 out of 10 Canadians have at some point bought something online – a far cry from 8 out of 10 doing most shopping online.

Statistics slipup #3: The error was not corrected.
Although the woman I emailed graciously acknowledged that she had misinterpreted the survey, three weeks later the error remained. Isn’t that marketing malpractice? She is now knowingly misleading readers for her company’s profit.

Numbers from reputable studies are a key persuasion tool in marketing. But always tell people where your numbers come from. Make certain you’re accurately reporting the study results. And post corrections right away if you made a mistake.