Free Coffee and Bad Marketing

First the punchline : go to this link, fill out a short questionaire, and receive a $15 Starbucks gift card in the mail, no questions asked. But hurry, because I wouldn't be surprised if that offer evaporates quickly.

Here is one of those cool "internet effects. " There's a site called DealNews where you can immediate reports of interesting offers, coupons, deals, etc. They are posted there by I don't know who - people without a life. They also have an RSS Feed for you BlogBridge users. That's how I found out about the offer.

Anyway, some Oracle Reseller thought that offering a $15 prize to all comers would be a good way to get some market research done. What is wrong with that thought? I wonder what the quality of their information will be.

People are rational actors and will do exactly what is in their best interests, as long as you define "best interests" really broadly. So you need to be very thoughtful about the visible and not so visible incentives you put out there because you will influence the outcome directly, and may have to issue a lot of Starbucks gift cards!