All posts by Rudly Raphael

Will Voters Turn Up for the Midterm Elections?

The U.S. midterm elections on November 6th are only weeks away, and there has been much debate and discussion over the highly anticipated outcomes. Republicans currently hold two-thirds of the governor positions across the country, but this year, 26 of those seats are on the ballot. In the Senate, there will be at least 10 states that are predicted to be extremely close in votes.  

Voter turnout is of great interest to both the Republican and Democratic parties this election. A recent study found that Democrats are more politically active than Republicans ahead of the midterm elections. More than half of registered Democratic voters surveyed have attended a political rally, protest or campaign-related event in the past year, compared to 40% of Republican voters.

Need to gain insight into voter behavior? Look no further. Your campaign’s voter file is the foundation of your outreach and will shape your strategy. Why trust anyone but the best?

QuestionPro Audience’s Registered Voter panel provides academic researchers, pollsters and campaign managers, among others, with access to the first nationwide panel of likely voters to conduct online polling, ad testing, focus groups and in-depth interviewing among registered voters across the United States. Our voter panel consists of authentic, well-screened and profiled respondents. The panel members are all fully incentivized by our reward structure, which results in highly active survey participants and optimum data quality for your project.

This dedicated panel harnesses the power of web, social media and mobile technology to address key industry challenges where traditional phone-based data collection has failed—speed, accuracy, feasibility and cost-effective 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.

Traveling on a Budget: Top 5 Cities in the U.S.

Americans traveling solo is at an all-time high right now, particularly among millennials. Travel, in general, is easier than even a decade ago. With smartphones, we’re able to research and book travel plans, but once you’re there, activities cost money. Luckily, RetailMeNot recently conducted research to find out which U.S. cities are best to travel to alone when on a tight budget. Here are the top five.

  1. JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA

Jacksonville is located along the Atlantic Ocean in Florida. With more than 20 miles of beaches, 10 state and national parks, and a vibrant nightlife scene, it’s no surprise it made this list. Jacksonville Beach Fishing Pier only costs you a dollar, and the Jacksonville-Baldwin Rail-Trail (cost: $0) is a 15-mile paved path for bikers, walkers and joggers to enjoy.

  1. NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA

New Orleans is known for Bourbon Street, but has so much more to offer. The Woldenberg Riverfront Park is 16 acres of green space for you to relax in and enjoy. The French Market is an open-air market that features six blocks of art, handmade crafts, produce, and delicious eats.

  1. WASHINGTON, D.C.

The Capital city is known for being on the pricier side, but it doesn’t have to be. Take your pick of landmarks to tour that are entirely free of charge: the White House, Library of Congress, National Zoo, National Air and Space Museum, United States Botanic Garden, and so many more.

  1. SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS

Texas’ second-largest city has rich history, and it doesn’t disappoint. Hemisfair, a series of urban parks that are home to various structures dating from the Spanish Colonial era, provide history and the perfect place to unwind. The San Antonio River Walk is an urban waterway on the San Antonio River in downtown San Antonio (say that three times fast), lined with restaurants and shops.

  1. ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA

Located in the heart of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville has a thriving art and restaurant scene. It’s also a hiker’s paradise, as the Blue Ridge Mountains offer hundreds of trails, ranging in levels of experience. The Botanical Gardens are free to explore, though donations help maintain the grounds’ 10 acres.  

QuestionPro Audience provides our clients with access to more than 22 million active respondents, including frequent travelers, 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. With industry knowledge and innovative tools, QuestionPro Audience always meets the rigorous demands of our clients. Contact us for your next research project.

The New Trend in Petcare Healthcare: CBD

Over the past ten years, the relationship between pet and owner has taken on a new meaning. With Americans waiting until later, if at all, to start a family, the bond with their pets has grown stronger, and young Americans are leading in their rate of pet ownership. The pet industry has seen changes like the popularity of grain-free food and pet technology. Now, the focus is on CBD oil for pets.

Just as people are increasingly taking cannabis to ease their ailments, pet products with cannabis are on the rise. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a non-intoxicating chemical compound that comes from the cannabis sativa plant. Unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, another cannabinoid) CBD doesn’t get users high.

Scientific research has shown that there are many legitimate medical uses for cannabis. Once cannabis was proven to help humans, pet products seemed to be the natural progression for many cannabis supporters. At SuperZoo 2018, the largest national show for pet retailers, there were an increasing number of products with CBD and hemp oil on display. Many pet owners are finding that cannabis oil serves as an alternative to traditional medicine, providing many of the same benefits without the side effects.

According to Dogs Naturally, an aging Staffordshire Terrier had a two-and-a-half-inch mammary tumor and metastasis that disappeared three months after treatment with cannabis and didn’t come back. The owner of a Jack Russell Terrier with a severe heart murmur and painful arthritis found he was able to take long walks after a month of cannabis treatment. That’s when veterinarian Edward Bassingthwaighte discovered cannabis could be a critical part of his holistic veterinary practice. “I simply can’t explain the improved heart murmur,” reported Bassingthwaite. “They normally don’t get better.”

It is estimated that up to 5% of dogs suffer from seizures. Typically, these dogs are put on drugs like phenobarbital and potassium bromide. While they may help control the seizures, they can be extremely harmful to your dog’s liver. Additionally, CBD has been shown to work with drug-resistant epilepsy. In one study, 7 out of 8 patients with epilepsy that was resistant to drugs saw an improvement within 4 to 5 months of taking CBD.

The biggest money maker in the pet industry right now is healthcare, particularly veterinary care. In 2016, $15.42 billion was spent solely in veterinary care, up 2.5% from 2015. Judging by the recent growth in the pet care market, the pet medicine opportunity for cannabis is too large to ignore.

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.

One Brand That Used Market Research to Crush the Competition

I’m going to let you in on a deep, dark secret: there are still companies who do not conduct market research. They actually launch new products without having the research to back up their assumptions. Now, don’t ask me to try to explain their rationale, as it it far too crazy for me to comprehend, but I can say with confidence that I’m fairly certain these companies aren’t growing by leaps and bounds. Now for a company who does use market research.

Nest was co-founded by former Apple employees, Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers. The first Nest product was a home thermostat, which they chose after conducting market research. Upon doing research, Fadell said,

Wait a second. There’s a quarter of a million thermostats in the U.S. alone? Well, if there’s that, what’s the replacement rate?” And I looked and it was over 10 million a year for just residential and light commercial thermostats. I was like, “Wait a second. 10 million? That’s more than game machines! That’s more than washers, dryers, stoves, and ovens. That’s a big market.

Secondly, he found that 70% of thermostats were sold through wholesale, and weren’t being designed for people to use. They were being designed for installers to install and sell. It had nothing to do with the consumer’s needs. Had he not conducted market research, he may have launched a product that didn’t fill a void in the market.

From thermostats on, Nest has become a company that reinvents home products with the consumer’s needs in mind. To gain insight into the consumer’s mind, the company uses surveys to conduct market research. Their surveys include questions about how their current products function, and what they would like changed in order to improve the product. By giving consumers the opportunity to give their feedback, Nest can tailor their products to the consumer’s needs and wants. For example, one question they have asked their customers is “how high is your ceiling?”, in order to get an average by which they could use for their future products.

One month after Nest’s thermostat release, it was sold out in their online store. Three years later, in 2014, Google bought the company for $3.2 billion. Before Nest, I think most homeowners would be hard pressed to tell you the name of the company that manufactured their thermostats. Now, the brand is a household name synonymous with smart home and AI. All due to a little market research.

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 Best Infographics of September

September may have gone by in the blink of an eye, but we can still learn something interesting from it. We’ve compiled the top 5 infographics, with a wide variety of topics. From quitting jobs to medicinal drugs, these infographics are sure to capture your attention and teach you a thing or two.

1 — 8 ENTREPRENEURS WHO STARTED LATE AND FOUND SUCCESS

Everyone has some variation of this internal dialogue: “By the age of __, I will have done __”. Feeling like you’ve wasted your time, and are too old to start over, career-wise? Take a gander at this infographic, and check out these 8 entrepreneurs who started late in life and accomplished impressive feats. Then, get out there and start accomplishing your goals!

2 — HOW TO QUIT YOUR JOB (WITHOUT BURNING BRIDGES)

You may be ready to move onto the next job, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go out with grace.  This infographic gives great advice, so you can use your current boss as a reference for years to come.

 

 

3 — HOW TO SAY CHEERS AROUND THE WORLD

This fun infographic teaches you how to say cheers in 33 different languages. This is a party trick you’ll want up your sleeve!

 

 

 

4 — THE BUSINESS OF HEALING WITH CBD

CBD, or cannabidoil, doesn’t contain THC, so it won’t get a person high. What is does do, however, is treats pain, anxiety, depression, immune issues and more. CBD is a $1 billion industry, and sales are expected to grow to $22 billion by 2022. Learn more about CBD by checking out this infographic.

5 — AMERICANS’ VIEWS ON PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Teachers play such an integral role in shaping the future generation’s minds, yet 66% of Americans feel we underpay them. For the 17th year in a row, American say the biggest problem facing local schools is the lack of financial support. This infographic is an eye-opener.

 

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.

Online Surveys Are Changing Market Research

Market research is necessary for a business to learn and grow. But many businesses push off conducting research due to budgetary restraints and feel there are more pressing areas to invest in than research, which is a mistake.

In a recent study conducted by market research firm, Attest, 26% of businesses surveyed said they do not gauge the market before launching a new product or service. 16% said market research is too time consuming, 35% claimed market research was irrelevant to their business, and 21% said they cannot afford it. Only 11% said their business is performing well without it.

ONLINE MARKET RESEARCH FOR THE WIN

Online surveys are one of the most popular ways to gather data in market research today for good reason. Phone interviews and in-person focus groups are time-consuming and costly. Like many things, with the invention of the mobile phone, these other ways of conducting market research have become antiquated and outdated. With online surveys, panelists in different parts of the country and world can share their feedback on any product, service, or business, with quick turnaround time. Results of an online survey can be monitored and analyzed within a few hours of the completion. Additionally, traditionally hard-to-reach audiences can be targeted and reached promptly, due to the internet’s wide reach.

One company who values online market research? Apple—ever heard of them? Apple uses market research to find out exactly what their customers want from their devices, then take that information to create the product. Their “Apple Customer Pulse” is a great example of market research success. The Apple Customer Pulse research group uses online surveys in order to compile and analyze data faster. In today’s “go, go, go” atmosphere, few people have the time or desire to participate in off-site focus groups or tedious phone interviews. People like to be able to multitask, which online surveys allow them to do. The Apple Customer Pulse online surveys are easy to administer, and require little to no effort for the respondents to complete, making it appealing to both the consumer and business.

Conducting market research can provide your business with insightful information about your market, product, audience, competition, among other pertinent information. By having research to backup your decisions, you can optimize your decisions and minimize your risk.

QuestionPro provides our customers with an advantage when conducting market research in the mobile world with our mobile app, MyPinion. MyPinion is the fastest market research tool that allows mobile users to provide critical insights to leading brands by participating in short surveys. With our mobile panel of more than 250,000 active smartphone users around the United States, you are able to get thousands of responses within minutes with the highest respondent engagement. Our respondents are pre-screened and highly qualified to participate in a variety of research studies of any level of specificity.

Why We Need More Respect and Empathy in Market Research

We use many words to describe those who answer our sometimes-tedious surveys: “respondents”, “participants”, “subjects”, etc. As some have noted, how about using “people”? Then maybe we’d empathize better with them for what we are asking them to do, as Rudley Raphael very eloquently argues in his article. It’s the right thing to do – give them a better experience, and we’ll get better information back.

The passing of Aretha Franklin last month got me back to her glorious music. Many of her songs informed my youth as they did culture, for the better.

Of course, the liberation-anthem “Respect” received the repeat button treatment on my streaming device, even at work. It’s such a transcendent song about how we often marginalize and take for granted those who bring positive results to our lives.

Happens all the time. Happens in market research. In my view, there is a lack of R-E-S-P-E-C-T for online participants from many market researchers. Annie Petit, a well-respected research practitioner and a strong advocate for research participants said to me recently, “It’s very easy for researchers to have unrealistic expectations of participants.”

To Annie, between a lack of R-E-S-P-E-C-T and a lack of understanding of online audiences, a somewhat sneering attitude continues to grow. This had led to a wide range of criticisms — from online participant dependability to their capabilities for valuable information to any need for incentives.

With just a bit more appreciation and knowledge of online research participants, we can leverage their insights for more accurate data in studies. And be more professional.

The expertise of online research panelists

In short, an online panel is a community of research participants who share specific characteristics in common; e.g., general consumers, IT decision-makers, beer-drinkers, etc. They provide their opinion to research questions that fall into their area of knowledge.

Without a doubt, online research panelists are experts in their field or interest — and experts should be consulted for their expertise, right? They are thought-leaders, in essence, audiences that might understand your products or industry better than anyone. What’s critical is creating a well-chosen, well-developed, and highly-engaged community of these experts for online research purposes.

The process of developing an online research panel involves collecting and storing critical profile data from each member of the panel. This includes demographic, psychographic, lifestyle, employment, and household decision-making responsibilities — information that is critical when targeting and qualifying panelists to participate in a survey.

As an illustration, if Whole Foods is looking for a reaction from mothers, ages 20-25, on a new product for toddlers, they’re going into the proverbial “belly of the beast.” These moms are the real experts for specific market research, their feedback above that of pediatricians, food executives, or internet influencers.

The reality is this: whether it’s young moms in a study or Bill Gates at a tech conference, thought leaders typically provide quality data because they have skin in the game.

But what about those dang incentives?

Critics have disparaged the effectiveness of rewards for online panels. They should offer some R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Recent studies have shown that incentives do improve survey data quality. What’s more, Market Research Association presented these benefits of survey incentives:

-Overall enhancement of response rates

-Improved response rates from hard-to-reach groups

-Increase efficiency, especially when it comes to non-response follow-ups

It’s important to know that incentives are not bribes. They are based on the social exchange model, which states that positive social behavior is the result of an exchange process, and this maximize benefits and minimize costs. Also, time is the most valuable commodity in many demographics, so incentives help reduce bias or hurried responses.

As Annie said concerning this issue:

“Market researchers need to switch places with research participants and remember what it’s like to be a consumer with a career, family, and personal responsibilities. The token gifts we offer do not compensate for the 30 minutes they can’t spend with their kids or watching Netflix, and those gifts certainly don’t match the hourly rates people earn at their jobs. We need to respect the fact that people freely offer us the best possible information they can within the limits of the quality of the questionnaire we give them and the attention they are able to make available to us. We need to be grateful for the time and expertise they shared with us. It is a gift.”

Many research practitioners agree with this comment, including Jump Associates VP of Strategy and Insights Kathleen Boyse, who contends that empathy is essential for research departments to gain quality data.

Show, don’t tell

Words are just words, and the proof should be in the pudding… the data pudding.

Take Home Depot, for example. The company generated more than $100 billion in revenue in 2017. One-third of this revenue comes from equipment rentals and other purchases made by building professionals. To remain competitive and continue growing revenue, the company continually relies on incentivizing online participants.

A recent study revealed that most of Home Depot’s audience are building professionals and small contractors — with no more than five employees and less than $500,000 in annual revenue. This demographic finds product availability and price as its top concerns. By continually tapping into its online building professionals and general contractor panels — specifically the sample that makes daily decisions on tools and building materials — Home Depot is continuously able to gain fresh insights. Keen research has been a part of the company’s incredible growth in recent years.

What’s more, brands like Home Depot gain other benefits of online participants:

-Ability to reach demographics across a broader geography

-Faster data recovery

-Features that permit customization of the respondent experience

Again, these experts or thought-leaders that need to be well-developed and engaged (and this may include some reward).

For this type of effective online sample, it takes the right online sample provider— one with its own expertise, empathy, and plenty of that R-E-S-P-E-C-T. When the right provider meets the right experts, the results are better data that leads to improved services and superior products, whether it’s for toddlers or general contractors, or anyone in between.

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. We have more than 10 specialty panels developed and managed in-house, including veterinarians, pet owners, millennials, physicians, and over 20 years of industry experience in research and data collection.

How Amazon is Owning the Smart Home Market

Smart home technology, which enables devices to be connected or controlled by a device, allowing automation of lighting, heating, security and home appliances, among other things, is growing. When we conducted our smart home report to gauge interest at the beginning of 2018, 48% of respondents planned to use digital voice assistant devices to convert their home to a smart home in 2018. And that opinion seems to be a popular one: the smart home market is predicted to grow into a $53 billion industry by 2022, according to a recent report. Approximately 47.3 million U.S. adults (or 20% of the U.S. adult population) currently have a smart speaker. What once seemed futuristic and a bit ‘Big-Brother’-esque, is now the norm for many homeowners.

Amazon is doubling down on their investment into the smart home, as evidenced by their product launch on September 20th. They announced 15 new Alexa-enabled products to make life easier for users, including a microwave, clock, amplifier and car gadgets. The Amazon Basic microwave, which is integrated with Alexa, will cost $59.99 and while it initially failed to obey commands during the launch, it did eventually work. The Echo Auto will be able to understand location-based routines, such as pulling up to your home and alerting Alexa to turn on your lights. Alexa Guard will sync your Echo, smart lights and security service together. When a user says, “Alexa, I’m leaving,” the product will move all Echo-linked devices into guard mode. New services were announced as well, like Alexa Hunches, which makes suggestions like turning off lights at night, based on daily behavior.

Amazon is certainly establishing itself as the industry leader in the smart home market. The Apple Homepod, whose claim to fame was a great sound system, may be put out to pasture after the launch of the Echo Sub, which features 100W of power and a 6-inch downward firing woofer. Sonos’ target audience is one that is willing to pay higher price points for its products, but with Amazon improving and expanding upon their product range, they are encroaching on complete takeover. The other popular smart home device companies have some catching up to do if they want to stay part of the game.

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.

Millennials in the Workforce

The majority of millennials graduated from school during the Great Recession (2008), and encountered a harshly competitive workforce. This resulted in many taking part-time jobs, or jobs outside of their degree in order to make ends meet. Millennials are currently the largest generation in the U.S. workforce, accounting for 31.7% of total employment. A recent report from LiveCareer looked into the most popular jobs among millennials. We analyzed the top five most popular jobs among the millennial generation.

  1. HOTEL/MOTEL/RESORT DESK CLERK


There are currently 125,000 people employed as front desk clerks working in hotels, motels and resorts, with millennials making up 52% of the total amount. The average age of all employees is 31.7, and they make an average of $22,850 annually. 

  1. BANK TELLERS

Bank tellers work with customers to receive and pay out money, and maintain transaction records. With the popularity of ATMS and online/mobile banking, the number of tellers is projected to decrease by 8.3% from 2016 to 2026. There are a total of 306,000 bank tellers employed in the U.S., and millennials comprise 55.2% of that, with an average age of 30.9, and annual wage of $28,110.

  1. WAITERS/WAITRESSES

Waitstaff in restaurants do not require formal education, which may be one of the reasons why it is so popular with younger employees. The total employment is 2,016,000, and millennials make up 56.4% of the total employment. The median age of all employees is 26.6, with an annual income of $20,820.

  1. VETERINARY ASSISTANTS

Vet assistants work under the guidance of a veterinarian, laboratory animal technologist, or scientist to provide care to animals. Unlike vets and scientists, who require an advanced degree, veterinary technicians only require a high school diploma. There are a total of 61,000 vet technicians in the U.S., and there is a projected growth of 19.4%. 59% of vet technicians are millennials, and make an average of $26,140 a year.

  1. BARTENDERS

The top millennial-employed position is the bartender. Late nights and long hours on your feet make this professional a great job for younger populations, as opposed to older generations. Of the total bartender workforce (417,000) 60% are millennials, with the average age of all employees 31.3. Bartenders do not require any formal education, though many may have completed a bartending course. This profession is expected to grow by 2.5% by 2026.

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. We have more than 10 specialty panels developed and managed in-house, including veterinarians, pet owners, millennials, physicians, and over 20 years of industry experience in research and data collection.

Fall Food + Drink Trends of 2018

September is upon us. With it comes sweater weather, pumpkin spice lattes, and hearty crock pot meals. Consumers are looking for warm comfort food and substantial drinks, and we are talking the top trends for fall 2018.

PACKAGING

Consumers are turning away from the traditional bottle packaging for wine. Fall brings football season and tailgating, and smart wine brands realize consumers want alternative options to the traditional beer. According to a recent report by Nielsen, millennials are more influenced (68%) by great package design than their older counterparts (54%). This difference is even more pronounced when it comes to alcohol purchases, for 74% of millennials compared to 57% of older consumers. When asked why they had recently switched brands, 22% of millennials reported favoring the new brand’s packaging, compared to one-third of older consumers. We can expect more wines in kegs, boxes and cans rather than the traditional bottles. Wine in more casual packaging fits in with marketing wine as an everyday drink, rather than a stuffy drink meant for a dinner party.

WHISKEY

Whiskey isn’t just your father’s drink anymore. According to the Distilled Spirits Council, sales of American whiskey grew 8% ($252 million to $3.4 billion in 2017). Consumers are putting away rosé for the fall and incorporating whiskey into their cocktails. Millennials, in particular, have shown more interest in whiskey this year, with 6% of millennial women and 18% of men favoring it. Beyond the cocktail, whiskey and bourbon popularity are growing for chefs as well, who are incorporating these into glazes and sauces.

PLANT-BASED

While chili has long been a staple for fall menus, vegan diets are gaining in popularity. This fall, consumers are looking to swap out meat for plant-based stews and soups. People over the age of 40 have increased their vegetable intake by 52%, and about 31% of people practice meat-free days, according to a report by The NPD Group.

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. Contact us for your next research project: sample-projects@questionpro.com.