All posts by Rudly Raphael

Research For Your Next Campaign Is Not Optional

research

Did you know that you only get one shot at interviewing for an on-air position at ESPN? Applicants hold off on submitting their tape until they feel it is absolutely perfect. If you had one chance at succeeding at something, whether at work or in your personal life, why wouldn’t you collect all the data and facts to ensure the best possible outcome? We say this because there are many companies that still aren’t using market research. They launch campaigns and new products, based on anecdotal information, on a wing and a prayer.

Don’t be like these companies.

Consumer insight is our jam. We eat, sleep, and breathe data. That said, we are your go-to for any and every type of respondent, no matter how small or niche. We gather 300 panel attributes on each member of our panels.

With more than 20 million respondents recruited and managed by QuestionPro, we help advertising and branding agencies tap into millions of consumers to provide feedback into various research initiatives such as:

-Creative Design

-Concept Testing

-Logo Design

-Video Review

-Ad Testing

 

QuestionPro Audience has over 10 niche panels comprised of industry experts who are strategically recruited to participate in quantitative research and live discussions. By implementing various recruitment methodologies, we make sure to provide the right kinds of respondents for your research.

Just a few of our niche panels:

-Healthcare

-Veterinarians

-College students

-General contractors

-Registered voters

-Small business owners

-Frequent travelers

-Consumer electronics and more

With industry knowledge and innovative tools, QuestionPro Audience always meets the rigorous demands of our clients. Contact us for your next research project: sample-projects@questionpro.com.

Travel Trends of 2018

Amid low unemployment rates, travel and tourism is still one of the world’s fastest growing sectors, with bookings hitting close to $1.6 trillion in 2017, and expected to continue to grow in 2018. Did you take a summer getaway this year? Then you’re part of the 56% of Americans who planned to take a vacation during the upcoming summer months. Have an international trip planned this year? Europe, specifically London, is the top destination for Americans this year. Read our infographic below to learn more about 2018’s travel trends.

Big Idea Marketing Trends that can Transform Your Brand

marketing big idea

Marketing trends come and go, sometimes as swiftly (and pitilessly) as the evening tide. Experts croon about them at the beginning of a year, and in the middle of the same year bloggers cheerfully take joy on those that fail to catch fire. It’s just not easy to catch the right trend wave. Should your company jump on the Instagram advertising bandwagon and what happened to Snapchat as the next big thing? Maybe virtual reality is not blowing up, but can’t we trust augmented reality? What exactly is going on with bots and artificial intelligence? I know we’ve tried a few here at QuestionPro.

AND THE BAND PLAYS ON.

With all this said, we can rely on some “big idea” marketing trends that transcend the yearly sequence of products and services—mainly because they have worked very well with established brands. These ideas are hard to measure with short-term analytics, perhaps frustrating financial departments because they are so psychological or “meta.” But in many ways, these trends are priceless because they deeply motivate consumers into action. As research reveals:

-Ninety-five percent of our purchase decision-making happens in the subconscious mind.

-We employ emotions rather than facts to evaluate a product, and those emotions influence our loyalty, trust, and intent to buy from that brand.

Let’s look at these high-horse notions that have helped create many unicorns.

THE “WHY”

Author and motivational speaker Simon Sinek took the business world by storm with his 2009 book, Start With Why. Sinek admits that he wasn’t conveying anything innovative, but distilling what made famed brands or individuals successful, from Apple to Martin Luther King Jr. Sinek’s formula is simple: Most companies go sequentially with the “what,” “how,” and “why” as their business model. Instead, they should reverse it to the “why,” “how,” and “what.” As an example, both Apple and Dell make the right electronics for their audiences. “We make great computers,” is the “what,” which Dell embraced. Apple, on the other hand, started out with “why.” We all know which brand is more popular.

WHAT EXACTLY IS APPLE’S “WHY”?

The answer is that everything Apple makes is designed to challenge the status quote and make people think differently. This core message (or “why”) then infuses the company’s “how” and “what,” regardless of product. As Sinek explains, people buy “why” you do something, not the “how” or “what.” Consumers subconsciously want a company that believes in what they believe in. With Apple, that’s a whole generation of geeks, artists, and trendsetters.

The truth is that most companies don’t worry about the “why” until way down the branding road, and audiences often smell that as disingenuous rat.

Oh, making money is a result, never a “why,” in case you were wondering.

DESIGN THINKING

Design thinking is increasingly popular today, embraced by companies like Google, Samsung, and GE. It is a form of visual strategy that actively incorporates empathy, imagery, and success/failure predictive models. Design thinking sees all possible roads, with the starting point a deep understanding of audience needs and the ending being success with a disruption in traditional assumptions.

Here is another summary of design thinking: “Design Thinking is an iterative process in which we seek to understand the user, challenge

assumptions, and redefine problems in an attempt to identify alternative strategies and solutions that might not be instantly apparent with our initial level of understanding. At the same time, design thinking provides a solution-based approach to solving problems. It is a way of thinking and working as well as a collection of hands-on methods.”

Design thinking almost sounds like sci-fi, something a computer on the Star Trek Enterprise could handle; but the reality is that it’s been used for decades by the military, admitted and explained by a former Lieutenant General of the U.S. Marine Corps:

“Design thinking creates a mental imagery of what an operation should look like — again, even before actual planning. It’s that squishy area of the conjunction of visualization, projection, and all manner of creative thinking that most people in uniform are not comfortable discussing. It’s not easily quantifiable, you see, but every commander should have a mental imagery of what the operations should look like, as well as the skill to make that mental imagery into a plan. I believe that bridging that gap is critical to developing and executing coherent plans and operations.”

Along with instant coffee and duct tape, add design thinking to useful things the military gave society! And in market research, we’ve shown how design thinking can transform research surveys for superior data.

STORYTELLING

I’ve used it before in articles but let me repeat this quote by Seth Godin: “Marketing is no longer about the products we sell but the stories we tell.”

Why is storytelling important? Because the old legacy ways are dying and a new generation of consumers wants things differently. As Seth Godin once said “Marketing is no longer about the products we sell, but the stories we tell”.

We live in an era where millennials are very frugal and Gen Zers are radically cynical. Robust advertising, alluring deals, and sultry selling just aren’t going to work with these two demographics (who will soon hold a majority of the spending cards). Beyond these younger demographics, most consumers have learned to ignore intrusive marketing and want to make meaningful connections with brands.

What’s more, storytelling works: we retain 70 percent of information through stories, but only ten percent from data and statistics.

The “why” helps in establishing a rapport between a brand and audiences. Design thinking offers a map of possibilities that optimizes the buyer’s journey. But a story needs to be told as consumers increasingly want products and services that provide experiences and moments they can share with the world.

Effective storytelling should connect the story of the brand with the story of audiences, and how both are on a fantastic adventure of self-discovery and just a better life. This involves plenty of interaction and mutual growth on various channels.

Back to Apple again, we can see how the mystic and counterculture story of Steve Jobs was relatable to those audiences I mentioned above (geeks, artists, and trendsetters). As another illustration, we can see how the story of Google attempting to organize all the world’s information resonates with a global population craving for free information on the internet.

Does all this sound like it should be in a Tarantino movie and not your marketing campaigns? When expressing your brand, all you must do is simply consider these thought-leader tips:

-Add a human element to your brand story.

-Keep it simple and universal.

-Introduce a hero with unfulfilled desires, who will reach the goal thanks to your brand.

-Make sure there’s a connection between your customers and you.

-Don’t be afraid of combining incompatible elements if they are relevant to your brand and its mission.

With a healthy mixture of these “big idea” marketing trends, your brand can rise above the many yearly trends (or leverage them better) and do what it was meant to do: directly and meaningfully interact with audiences.

QuestionPro Audience provides its clients access to millions of research participants who are pre-screened and highly qualified to participate in a variety of research initiatives of any level of specificity. With more than 10 specialty panels developed and managed in-house and over 20 years of industry experience in research and data collection, we can always find the right respondent to participate in your research.

Car-Shopping in 2018: Consumer Insight

Buying a car used to be a rite of passage in an American’s life, but after seven straight years of growth in new vehicle sales, 2017 reported a decline of 1.8%, with 17.2 million cars and trucks sold. Even worse news for manufacturers, it’s predicted 2018’s number will drop to 16.8 million vehicles sold. It used to be that consumers were stuck with whatever price the car dealership offered them, give or take a little wiggle room. In the age of the internet, where consumers have more options than ever, how are they making their purchasing decisions when car shopping? And more importantly, how can dealerships gain their business?

ONLINE

According to a recent report from AutoTrader, the average car buyer spends 14 ½ hours total shopping for their next vehicle. 61% of that is spent researching and shopping online. Consumers looking to purchase new cars typically start at a third-party site (41%) and end at a dealership site (45%). Used car buyers start (61%) and end (51%) on third-party sites. With this in mind, both parties would be smart to focus their attention to ensuring their websites are easy-to-search and user-friendly, with their offerings front and center. Additionally, they would be smart to focus on local SEO, as 76% of location searches result in a business visit within a day.

IN-PERSON

The 2018 Car Buyer Journey Study found that consumers are shopping around less than in previous years. 59% of car buyers visit two or more dealerships before purchasing a car, a decline from 62% in 2017. Humans are creatures of habit, so it makes sense that 31% of consumers are going to dealerships where they previously purchased/leased, an increase from 27% in 2016 and 2017. While car buyers are shopping around less, that doesn’t mean they’re happier with their purchases. Buyers report being less satisfied with the price they paid and don’t feel confident that the dealership gave them the best deal. In 2016, 70% of consumers felt confident with the price they paid, but in the 2018 study, only 62% are satisfied with their price point. Similarly, 61% of car buyers trust their dealership gave them the best deal, a decline from 65% in 2017. Establishing a set, transparent price may help build customer trust with the dealership, which will gain loyalty.

Manufacturers had a nice, seven-year run of revenue growth, but it has come to an end. While it’s not as bad as it was in 2009, when new car sales plummeted to less than 11 million, it’s still a warning shot to manufacturers and dealerships alike that they need to take a deeper look into how to close sales, and generate repeat customers.

QuestionPro Audience provides our clients with access to more than 5 million active consumer respondents, who are pre-screened and qualified candidates for high-quality data collection. Our Consumer Panel is carefully recruited to target all type of users, but also taking into consideration certain key industry trends, such as online store preference, physical store preference, actual systems, reasons to purchase, etc. With industry knowledge, innovative tools, and purchasing power, QuestionPro Audience always meets the rigorous demands of our clients. By implementing various recruitment methodologies, we make sure to provide the right kinds of respondents for your research.

The Top 5 Infographics: July Edition

top 5 list

It’s that time again—when we scour the internet for the most interesting, colorful, well-designed infographics of the month, and this month’s group is no exception. From AI in healthcare, to investment tips for 20-year-olds, we cover it all.

1 — THE ART & SCIENCE OF DELEGATION IN A SMALL BUSINESS

Every small business owner should take a look at this infographic. 20% of small business fail in the first year, but this infographic tells you how to grow your company, and avoid burnout by delegating.

 

2 — 9 DAILY RITUALS TO BOOST PERFORMANCE ON WORK

Does summertime have you checked out of your job? If you’re looking to give your performance a boost, read this infographic. They have compiled habits from some of the most successful people in the world, as rituals play a crucial role in boosting performance. Oprah’s ritual? She begins her mornings with twenty minutes of meditation.

3 — HOW TO START INVESTING IN YOUR 20s

ATTENTION, all Gen-Zer’s: read this infographic! It’s a great, easy read, and breaks down how to start saving for retirement and invest your money. While it seems far away now, retirement is right around the corner, and you want to be prepared.

 

4 — 5 WAYS AI WILL TRANSFORM HEALTHCARE

Did you know 54% of consumers worldwide are open to receiving AI-enabled healthcare?  Or that AI can now predict lifespans with 69% accuracy? This eye-opening infographic covers the healthcare industry, and how AI will transform it in the coming years.

 

5 — WHAT TYPE OF LEARNER ARE YOU?

This is such an interesting infographic! Everyone receives and processes information differently. Follow the flowchart to find out which type of learner you are, so you can tailor your learning approach to absorb information much faster.

 

QuestionPro Audience provides our clients with access to more than 5 million active consumer respondents, who are pre-screened and qualified candidates for high-quality data collection. Our Consumer Panel is carefully recruited to target all type of users, but also taking into consideration certain key industry trends, such as online store preference, physical store preference, actual systems, reasons to purchase, etc. With industry knowledge, innovative tools, and purchasing power, QuestionPro Audience always meets the rigorous demands of our clients. By implementing various recruitment methodologies, we make sure to provide the right kinds of respondents for your research.

Back to School Spending: Infographic

back to school

Hear that? That’s the sound of moms across the country rejoicing and children crying. And that means it’s almost time for kiddos to head back to school after summer vacation. But heading back to school isn’t as easy as waving goodbye as the kids board the school bus. Supplies, clothing, electronics…there is a lot of money that will be spent before September.

HOW MUCH?

According to a new survey released by the National Retail Federation, spending for K-12 schools and college combined is expected to reach $82.8 billion, only slightly less than 2017’s $83.6 billion. College and graduate students plan to spend an average of $942.17 each, while K-12 households are looking to drop $684.79.

WHAT ARE THEY PURCHASING?

Clothing tops the chart for K-12 back to schoolers, with an average spend of $236.90, followed by electronics ($187.10), shoes ($138.66) and school supplies ($122.13). College shoppers plan to spend the most on electronics ($229.21), followed by clothing ($153.32), $109.29 on furnishings for their apartment or dorm, and only $69.46 on school supplies.

WHERE WILL THEY PURCHASE?

K-12 consumers are headed to department stores (57%), online retailers (55%), discount stores (52%), clothing stores (51%) and office supply stores (35%). The majority of college consumers are also focused on online retailers (49%) and department stores (40%).

HOW ARE THEY PAYING?

Overall, consumers plan to pay with debit card (57%). 44% will be putting it on a credit card, and 37% will pay with cash or check. Interestingly, when comparing household income to payment method, 68% of households with an income of $100,00 or more will charge their purchases to a credit card, while 68% of households with less than $50,000 will pay with their debit card.

We compiled an infographic of interesting stats and little-known facts (why do we give teachers an apple?) relating to the back-to-school season. Check it out below—you may learn a thing or two!

Is Your Creative Just Creative—Or Does It Sell, Too?

creative strategy

Creativity is indispensable to branding and any marketing strategy in general. It was Albert Einstein who famously said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”

The problem is when creative departments overlook “knowledge” in their initiatives. In reality, data-driven creativity bolsters customer activation, whether it’s a radio ad or an email campaign. What’s more, having a strategic roadmap before producing any creative effort ensures a brand engages with the right audiences at the right time. As Dan Kelleher, chief creative officer at Deutsch, said: “I see data as overwhelmingly positive. It helps guide where creative is going to go.”

Here’s a strategic roadmap (or hack) for tapping into that overwhelmingly positive data to fuel that important imagination.

KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE

We all know Leonardo Da Vinci was insanely creative, but the artist also recognized whom he was making art for: wealthy and powerful Italian families. He knew their culture, desires, background, and tastes. The art produced was unique and stirring, but data certainly informed the painter’s work.

Like Da Vinci, your brand should intimately know its audiences when it comes to creativity. Before even beginning any creative project, you should have a detailed breakdown of who will consume your content (just as you would for any sales or marketing campaign). This exploration should include:

  • Detailed demographics
  • Cultural values and vernacular
  • What influencers resonate with them
  • Their deepest worries and hopes
  • Legacy and digital channels frequented

As one marketing researcher said, you should be able to “detail the buyer’s feelings, motivations, and expectations relating to the part of their life that your product or service will impact.”

Once a detailed view of your audience appears, you might find yourself modifying your creative project, from colors to language, especially when it comes to specific social media channels. This is a good thing that ultimately provides a superior deliverable.

HAVE A GOAL

Sure, Da Vinci wanted to express his soul, produce beauty, and leave a legacy. With that said, he also needed concrete results — like getting paid to eat and validation from rich patrons.

Yes, ole Leonardo had very tangible goals.  

It’s a trap to create without some benchmarks or a return-on-investment (ROI). It doesn’t matter how beautiful the website or email banner might be.

Even the most off-the-wall, imaginative radio ads have a serious ROI that can be keenly measured.

For creative efforts, then, it’s wise to ask yourself these two symbiotic questions:

  1. What exactly does your creative work intend to do (bring awareness, a call-to-action, promote a feature, etc.)?
  2. How can you identify the impact of your creative work (increased sales, salesforce feedback, higher traffic, post-ad surveys, etc.)?

The measuring doesn’t end there. There is also a return-on-experience (ROX). What is it exactly? ROX is measuring the long-term relationship a brand has to its audiences, broken down by experiences and valuable moments across many channels. This may sound esoteric, but companies like Apple and Harley-Davidson are very good at ROX — continually succeeding at forging brand allegiance and deeper emotional connections with their customers.

And yes, ROX can be measured, but it doesn’t usually happen with short-term data (hint: it will include some thorough market research including various forms of both qualitative and quantitative studies).

In truth, focusing on a ROX is the future of marketing right now. As a multimedia journalist on CNBC stated:

“Millennials are prioritizing their cars and homes less and less, and assigning greater importance to personal experiences — and showing off pictures of them.”

Again, think of Apple and their long-term strategy of delivering experiences that people want to share with their worlds.

TELL A STORY

A story has a beginning, a middle, and an end. And Seth Godin notably said: “Marketing is no longer about the products we sell but the stories we tell.”

What does this all mean?

It doesn’t mean you have to be William Shakespeare or Stephen King, but it does mean that a creative effort ought to be aligned with the overall strategy and branding of your organization. The colors, messaging, history, and values of your organization are part of its story and how it connects to the story of audiences. A stray piece of information or out-of-place logo can interrupt the story of your company, possibly shutting out audiences from the overall narrative.

Susan Credle, global chief creative officer at FCB, said it best in The Wallstreet Journal:

“Great storytelling in this business happens everywhere if it is done right. We tell brand stories not only in traditional advertising but with events and sponsorships, through advocates, with new products, with new technology, packaging, licensing, stores.”

Credle further states that in our short-attention but shopper-savvy culture, shiny things just aren’t going to work unless they’re integrated to a lasting, brand story. After all, it was Steve Jobs who said, “Creativity is just connecting things.”

In short, creative initiatives are not a one-and-done, but part of a brand flow into other channels where audiences frequent. This, of course, ties into ROX, as moments tie into an overall story.

You may be asking about ole Leonardo. Indeed, he employed storytelling. Da Vinci was part of the innovative, humanistic movement that provided flowing, action-rich images – all relating to the surrounding culture and its traditions. Take a look at “The Last Supper” painting—there’s a lot going on (including storytelling).

MAKING IT WORK

Just like sales and marketing should work together to move a brand forward, so should analytics and creative. John Wanamaker offered the famous quote: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” This iconic line is a mini cautionary tale on the necessity of pairing research with any creative initiatives.

In the end, and as mentioned, accurate metrics can supercharge creative works, even find new stories and experiences that immerse audiences in your messaging and values.

That will make even your driest company accountant smile like the Mona Lisa.

QuestionPro Audience has over 10 niche panels comprised of industry experts who are strategically recruited to participate in quantitative research and live discussions. From healthcare, veterinarians, college students, general contractors, registered voters, small business owners, frequent travelers, consumer electronics and more, we have you covered. By implementing various recruitment methodologies, we make sure to provide the right kinds of respondents for your research. With industry knowledge and innovative tools, QuestionPro Audience always meets the rigorous demands of our clients. Contact us for your next research project: sample-projects@questionpro.com.

All You Need to Know About “Cluster Sampling”

cluster sampling

First, let’s be honest. Although it is now a commonly used term, if you’re not familiar with “cluster sampling”, it can come across as a bad episode from the Twilight Zone. There’s something eerie about the word to make one feel like he/she is about to get probed by aliens. Ok, perhaps it is just me and my wild imagination.

Unless you’re 70 years old, cranking stats in a windowless basement office, market research terminologies can make even the brightest of the bunch take a mulligan or spurt an occasional “what the heck?”. Ironically, the term cluster is probably one of the most simplistic terminology in the research dictionary.  A cluster, as defined by Webster, is “a group of similar things or people positioned or occuring closely together”. The main idea behind creating clusters is to group a set of objects in order to create relationships and similarities among each group. In a nutshell, it is simply a form of classification or distributing groups.

WHY CLUSTER SAMPLING?

In an ideal world, research practitioners would love to survey the entire population and select their respondents randomly to make sure everyone is accounted for and therefore ensure their research results are as accurate as possible. This is referred to as random sampling. Unfortunately, there are two issues associated with this approach – cost and feasibility. However, by dividing and classifying the population into groups (cluster sampling), this provides the researcher the ability to account for individuals with common interest, relative to the larger population. By using the cluster sampling technique, the sample data set is smaller, which helps keep research costs reasonable.

When using cluster sampling methods, it is critical to keep in mind that only one variable (element) can be assigned to a cluster. In most cases, clusters are created by geography. For example, if Apple wanted to gauge the performance of the iPad in Spain, the researcher would create clusters by all cities in Spain. The larger cities would be accounted for and cluster analysis would determine usage of iPad by each city.

While there are other complexities to using cluster sampling – stages, sample selection, sample size, etc., in comparison to other sampling methods, cluster sampling can be a very effective technique to determine the characteristics of a group and can be implemented without the need of other elements of the population. Most importantly, cluster sampling provides 4 key advantages that other methods fall short on:

-Convenience

-Takes less time and cost less

-Easy to implement

-Higher margin on data accuracy

The next time you’re limited by budget and don’t have time to run around the country to conduct interviews, consider using cluster sampling. Getting probed is the least of your worries.

QuestionPro Audience has over 10 niche panels comprised of industry experts who are strategically recruited to participate in quantitative research and live discussions. From healthcare, veterinarians, college students, general contractors, registered voters, small business owners, frequent travelers, consumer electronics and more, we have you covered. By implementing various recruitment methodologies, we make sure to provide the right kinds of respondents for your research. With industry knowledge and innovative tools, QuestionPro Audience always meets the rigorous demands of our clients. Contact us for your next research project: sample-projects@questionpro.com.

2018 Beauty Trends

beauty trends 2018

The beauty industry is an ever-evolving one, with trends like lip kits—hello, Kylie!—and charcoal face masks coming from seemingly nowhere and turning into the next big thing. The beauty industry grew by 6% in 2017, to reach $17.7 billion, with skin-care sales growing by 9% and contributing to 45% of the industry’s total gains. Here are the trends that are taking the beauty industry by storm in 2018.

PERSONALIZATION

Consumers are tired of being sold products that are for a general demographic such as age, gender or ethnicity,, as everyone has different, specific issues. Beauty is not a “one-size-fits-all” industry, and brands are listening. Rihanna’s Fenty makeup line features 40 different foundation shades, and Eyeko offers bespoke mascara. 2018 brings customization to beauty products with base products that consumers can then add selected “active concentrates” to, depending on their particular skin needs.  

ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY

Studies have shown that consumers are concerned about the environment, and care how their products are made and the effect they will have. Building on the “clean” eating movement seen in the food and beverage industry, “clean” beauty is being demanded by consumers. Natural and sustainable products with allergen-free, pure ingredients are increasingly popular as eco-conscious consumers gravitate toward these environmentally-friendly products. Additionally, the demand doesn’t stop at the products. Consumers are looking for eco-friendly packaging as well. According to Marie Lavabre, founder of “clean” brand KINN, “I expect to see more of a shift towards plant based plastics in 2018 and glass, too, as the consumer becomes more aware of the harm plastic is causing when not disposed of safely or recycled.”

BEAUTY FOR EVERYONE

In the past, beauty brands offered completely different products for men and women, using gendered marketing. Today, however, brands are moving towards gender neutral products for 2018. Just as consumers are getting fed up with being segmented into small demographics, consumers were getting frustrated with the “segregated” beauty industry. Sam Farmer, a father from the U.K., created Unisex Cosmetics after seeing the pink, sexist deodorant options for his teenage daughter. His line of gender neutral deodorant , face and body wash, come in solid-coloring packaging without masculine or feminine visual cues.  

ACTIVE BEAUTY

81% of millennials exercise, or would like to, compared to only 61% of baby boomers. For millennials, fitness and overall wellness is a part of their daily routine, and are willing to spend money on this hobby. Which leads to skincare developed exclusively for active women. This niche targets exercise-specific concerns and the products boast about “sweat resistant” and “workout ready” attributes.   

QuestionPro Audience provides its clients access to millions of research participants who are pre-screened and highly qualified to participate in a variety of research initiatives of any level of specificity. With more than 10 specialty panels developed and managed in-house and over 20 years of industry experience in research and data collection, we can always find the right respondent to participate in your research. Click here to learn more.

The Extreme Cost of Being a Pet Owner

dog pamper

It shouldn’t come as any surprise that the pet industry, which reached $86 billion in 2017, will continue to have a strong growth trajectory. Our relationships with our pets have slowly changed over the past few decades, eventually evolving into a beloved member of the family, according to 95% of Americans, up from 88% in 2007. 62% of American households now own at least one pet, and according to the ASPCA, the annual cost of owning a dog averages as much as $1,843. Now consumers have moved beyond organic pet food and dog walkers and into the cosmetic space.

PLASTIC SURGERY

According to Petplan, an insurance company for pets, pet parents spent $62 million in 2011 on plastic surgery for their pets. Some of the surgeries are medically necessary, such as eyelid lifts for dogs whose wrinkles collect bacteria between the skin folds, or “nose jobs” which enlarge the nasal openings to help snub-nosed breeds like pugs breathe easier. Others, like Neuticals, which are prosthetic testicular implants for dogs, are cosmetic surgeries, and seem to be more for the owner’s sake than the dog’s health. According to the creator of Neuticals, Gregg A. Miller, who invented them in 1995, over 500,000 animals have been surgically implanted with the silicone testicals. These surgical procedures can cost the owner between $4,000-$5,000.

GROOMING

The flea bath and shave down are a thing of the past. Now pet owners are getting their dog’s hair colored, accessorized and beyond. The latest fads are lion cuts, teddy bear cuts, and “asian fusion” styling, (short on the body and long on the legs) which will set the owner back up to $300. Veterinarians, however, disagree with these custom cuts as it can actually make it harder for the pet to cool down and leave them open to getting a sunburn.  

SPA TREATMENT

A relaxing day at the spa is no longer an indulgence only available to humans, and has grown into a $5 billion annual business. Luxurious pet hotels and spas have opened up to offer mud masks ($25), oatmeal soaks ($30), blueberry facials ($10) and more. A water workout and lap swim will cost the owner $40, while the more strenuous “Iron Dog” workout, which includes a jog, swim and field play, is $80 per session.

QuestionPro Audience has more than 10 niche panels, including our veterinarian panel. Our vet panel is one of a handful in the continental U.S. and consists of more than 40,000 highly engaged, pre-screened veterinarians who provide critical insights. With industry knowledge, innovative tools, and purchasing power, QuestionPro Audience always meets the rigorous demands of our clients.