Don’t get ripped off in the research mill

30 april 2024

At PLNT, we are constantly in contact with people who are not only passionate about their work, but also really know what they are doing. The same goes for PLNT’s Startup Lead Charlie Wulff! So: we asked her which topic we need to know more about. Her choice? Scamming by market research companies. Charlie, the floor is yours!

Research mills churn out thousands of market research reports based on popular search queries. Their aim is to give you just enough information about a market so that you buy the full report. Except, the numbers are fake. They are either scraped from the internet, made up by an ‘analyst’ or generated through AI. Through smart content marketing, scam market research reports score very highly in Google. As such, many startups fall for these fake reports – read the tips below to make sure you don’t! So, how can you see if market research is fake?


Most research mills are based on Pune, India. However, they will list a company address in the UK or US on their website and on Google. To find out where they are really based, check their LinkedIn page for where their analysts live. Are they all in India? Then the reports are probably fake.

HUGE market sizes

Yes, some markets are worth 1B or more – but most aren’t. If the market size given by an online research report seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Many reports and no industry focus

No market research publisher, with the exception of the respectable industry giants like Gartner and Forrester, can research in depth, publish and maintain thousands of reports, not in a week, not in a year, not in a lifetime. Look for market research companies that cover specific niches and have a few dozen reports in their portfolio at most.

Very specific, or even nonexistent, markets

Research mills publish reports based on popular search queries by consumers. This often results in extremely specific market reports that rank well in Google. If the report is super specific, it is likely fake. In the most extreme case, a market may not even exist. For example (and this is not a joke): Global Time Travel Machine Market Forecast 2019 – 2025. This report was likely published because many people were searching Google for information on time travel.

Business model

If the entire website revolves around existing individual reports available for purchase, the content and the firm itself are probably a scam. Legitimate market research companies usually don’t write and publish a report before finding buyers.

Ananlyst bios

Legitimate market research firms will include full bios for all their research analysts that demonstrate their respective areas of expertise and other bonafides. If you can’t find the name of a specific analyst, that is a clear signal that something is amiss.

Examples of fake market research companies (but there are more)

  1. Markets and Markets
  2. Grand View Research
  3. The Research Insights
  4. Advance Market Analytics
  5. HTF Market Report
  6. Market Study Report
  7. Transparency Market Research
  8. DEC Market Research
  9. GMI Insights
  10. Market Research Future
  11. Imarc Group
  12. Industry Research
  13. Marketing Insight Reports
  14. Quadrant Solutions
  15. Reports and Data

So, be warned for scamming in the research mills. Want to read more about scamming in marketresearch? Do check the links below, suggested by Charlie.

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