Announcing the number one fastest-selling product of its kind released on a Wednesday aimed at 29-54-year-old left-handed female residents of Midwestern states! You wouldn’t put much stock in that as a marketing boast, but Scott G points out that sales figures often approach that level of absurdity.

Scott G logo by Phil Hatten DesignThis column is 2007’s most popular online opinion piece on a marketing topic written by an advertising professional who is also a recording artist (OOPOAMTWBAAPWIAARA).

Okay, so it may be the only OOPOAMTWBAAPWIAARA, but we’re not going to let that spoil the fun of making up some hype.

The point, for those of you who are no longer attempting to pronounce the world’s longest made-up acronym (“oop oh am twa-bap we are ah”), is that the business community appears to be awash in facts and figures that don’t actually mean anything.

Consider recent sales reports on portable audio players. In a CNET story headlined “Zune Fails to Crack Top 10 in Sales,” the piece quotes a study by a company called Current Analysis that claims that the Microsoft audio device “captured 12 percent of the hard-drive-based player market for December.”

Oh really? Let’s set aside for the moment the fact that the survey listed 8 Apple iPods in that top 10 sales list. (I don’t believe Apple has 8 different models of iPod, so that in itself is a pretty neat trick.)

Let’s also set aside the weasel wording that focuses on hard-drive-based units instead of taking in the whole category of portable audio players.

Instead consider that the survey tracked sales from Best Buy, Circuit City, CompUSA, Staples and RadioShack. Do you see the problem? Those are fine retail outlets. I respect and admire them. And I’m certain they sell a few Zunes and a ton of iPods. But so does, the online store, and Apple retail stores, none of which were tracked by the survey.

In other words, the Current Analysis analysis of the sales figures was just slightly bogus because, well, because it lacked the sales figures.

If we’re allowed to print anything we like, let’s say the Zune had 1% of the market for portable audio players. Would you care to prove me wrong? Fine. Just send me some actual numbers.

[tags]G-Man, Gman, gman marketing, Scott G, Communication Nation, advertising, marketing, ad rants, Zune, statistics[/tags]