All posts by Rudly Raphael

A Look At Labor Day: Infographic

Labor Day isn’t only the last long weekend of summer—it was started in New York City in 1882, when rival union leaders joined forces to protest unpair labor practices. While not all Americans know the history behind the date, they do appreciate a three-day-weekend to soak up the last vestiges of summer. Kick back, relax, and check out our infographic for interesting facts about this historical day, and why we celebrate it.

Are Cat Owners Happier Than Dog Owners?

dogs or cats

Ahh, the age-old debate: dogs vs. cats. 36% of U.S. households own a dog, with 30% owning a cat. Interestingly, cat owners are more likely to own more than one cat, while the majority of dog owners keep it to one. Animals lovers feel very strongly about their choice in the cat/dog discussion being the right one, so which one wins?

WHICH IS SUPERIOR?

To determine which is the superior pet, let’s see how cats and dogs stack up. Cats have better vision, with their ability to see better in less light. Smell, however, goes to the dogs. Their ability to detect and distinguish odors is four times better than a cat’s. This one’s guaranteed to start a few arguments: intelligence. Cat owners argue that cats are smart enough to get people to take care of them while doing little more than purring in return. But when you start thinking about all the jobs dogs have been trained to do, from smelling malignant tumors to tracking criminals, they’re the clear winner.

MENTAL HEALTH

Those qualities are great, but do dogs and cats benefit their owners’ lives? The University of California released a report that found at owners to be more creative and anxious than dog owners, while dog owners were found to be more extroverted. Additionally, dog owners were found to be more agreeable, conscientious, and open, with lower levels of neuroticism.

PETS ARE POSITIVE

It has been increasingly accepted over the past decade that pet ownership, of any kind, has a positive effect on humans. A recent study found that pet owners were slightly happier than non-owners, more satisfied and have lower levels of negative emotion than non-owners. The National Institute of Health (NIH) found that playing with your pet increases the levels of feel-good chemicals like serotonin and dopamine in your brain. Additionally, pets are conversation starters, and can help you build your personal community. Pets give you the chance to meet other animal lovers at the vet, pet store, or training classes.    

PHYSICALLY BENEFICIAL

Dogs—and some cats!—love going on walks. Dogs require regular walks which forces you to be more physically active. One study followed 2,500 adults, ages 71 to 82, and found that those who took their dogs out regularly had more physical stamina—they walked faster and for longer periods of time, and have more mobility inside the house. While cats don’t stereotypically go for walks, they do like to play with cat toys and stay active.

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.

 

The Unspoken Addiction: Adult Screen Time

Teens and parents have finally found something they agree on: screen time usage. In a recent report, Pew Research found that 54% of U.S. teens say they spend too much time on their cellphones, and two-thirds of parents express concern over their teen’s screen time. This is not new news. But what isn’t discussed as frequently is adult screen time addiction.

PARENTAL CONTROLS

Teenagers aren’t the only ones glued to their phones. While the finger is often pointed at kids, tweens and teens and their screen time usage, adult usage flies under the radar. 90% of American adults own a cell phone, and 36% of parents reported feeling that they spend too much time on their phone. The report surveyed both teens and adults, and their answers were not too dissimilar. 44% of teens check their phone as soon as they wake up, compared to to 26% of parents. 15% of adults lose focus at work because they are checking their cell phone, while only 8% of teens lose focus in class. Another interesting point: 72% of parents feel their teen is distracted by their phone when having an in-person conversation, and 51% of teens feel the same about their parents. 50% of parents feel as if they have to respond to messages from other people immediately, and 58% of teens report feeling similarly.  

Cell phone addiction is not yet listed in the DSM-5 as an official addiction, but research has compared it to a gambling addiction. At least four of the signs and symptoms listed below are thought to comprise criteria for cell phone addiction:

-A need to use the cell phone more and more often in order to achieve the same desired effect.

-Persistent failed attempts to use cell phone less often.

-Preoccupation with smartphone use.

-Turns to cell phone when experiencing unwanted feelings such as anxiety or depression.

-Excessive use characterized by loss of sense of time.

-Has put a relationship or job at risk due to excessive cell phone use.

-Tolerance—need for the newest cell phone, more applications, or increased use.

-Withdrawal, when cell phone or network is unreachable.

While the focus has been on teen usage, the conversation is starting to broaden to include adults as well. Just as there are apps parents use to limit their teen’s screen time, parents need to lead through example and limit their own time.

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.

Insight into Voter Sentiment

The 2020 presidential election will be here before we know it. After such a surprising and divisive 2016 election, there is more interest than ever into voter behaviors. While there has been a stereotype that “all millennials are liberal”, that may be changing. According to a recent study by Reuters, the Democratic party is losing support with millennials. While the majority still prefer the Democratic party over the Republican party, support has dropped over the past two years from 55% to 46%.

If you are looking for insight like this and more, look no further: QuestionPro Audience’s Registered Voter panel is what you need. The Registered Voter panel provides academic researchers, pollsters and campaign managers, among others, 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.

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, feasibility, accuracy and cost-effective research.

In addition to the Registered Voter panel, 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
  • 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.

 

Millennials Are Changing the Wedding Industry

millennial wedding

We know that millennials are getting married later in life, if at all, than previous generations. How many times have you heard a baby boomer say, “By 30, I had two kids and had bought a house”. Times have changed. Not only are millennials getting married in lower numbers, and at later years, they are changing everything the wedding industry  

SPENDING

Just because they’re getting married later in life, (average marrying age for brides is 29.2, grooms, 30.9) it doesn’t mean they’re not spending money. A study by The Knot found that the average cost of a wedding in 2017 was $33,391, with high spenders—those spending $60,000 or more—spending an average of $105,130. The spend per guest has increased from $194 in 2009 to $268 in 2017, while guest count has decreased, from 149 in 2009 to 136 in 2017.    

REGISTRIES

Gone are the days of registering at a department store for wedding china. Due to millennial’s more mature age when getting married, and the fact that many have also lived together prior to marriage, their registries are reflecting that. Many already have traditional gifts like cookware and linens, so they are using the opportunity to register cash towards meaningful experiences while on their honeymoon, or a big purchase like a home or car. In addition to this trend, millennials are also philanthropic. A recent study showed that Millennial guests want to offer a gift that gives back. The study found that people ages 18-39 are more likely to donate to a charity the couple has included on their registry, rather than buying a traditional gift.

UNCONVENTIONAL

Again, due to millennial’s later age when tying the knot, they know what they want. They aren’t looking for the cookie-cutter banquet hall experience for their big day. The Knot found that formal weddings have decreased (27% in 2009 to 17% in 2017), with more couples choosing non-traditional venues like barns, wineries, museums and parks.

TECHNOLOGY

Smartphones are making wedding planning easier for many couples, as usage increased from 89% in 2015 to 92% in 2017. While the most popular activity is browsing wedding gowns (65%), researching vendors (54%), using online planning tools (48%) and creating a personal wedding website (31%) are other top activities couples are doing on mobile. Additionally, couples are using technology to celebrate with their guests, by creating a custom wedding hashtag (64%), creating a Snapchat filter (23%), using drones to capture footage from above (10%) and using a photo-sharing app for guests to upload photos into one place (9%).

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.

How AI is Impacting Healthcare

AI healthcare

From virtual assistants to facial recognition to personalization, AI (artificial intelligence) plays a large role in our everyday lives. We have grown accustomed to having these digital personal assistants make our lives easier and having “smart” homes and cars. Now, there is a lot of excitement about how AI is going to change healthcare. AI technologies are being used to help streamline administrative and health care processes. According to venture capital firm Rock Health, 121 health AI and machine learning companies raised $2.7 billion in 206 deals between 2011 and 2017.

YEAR OF AI

One of AI’s biggest potential benefits is to help people stay healthy so they don’t need a doctor as frequently. Wearable technology and apps encourage individuals to lead healthier lives, and take control of their well-being. According to Mark Michalski, executive director of Massachusetts General Hospital, “2018 will be the year AI becomes real for medicine. In 2018, we’ll begin the adoption of a technology that may truly transform the way providers work, and the way patients experience healthcare, on a global scale.”

PERSONAL NURSES

Digital assistants aren’t limited to our home life; AI-powered virtual nurse assistants are starting to gain recognition for their potential. UCSF and the UK’s NHS are using Sensely’s “Molly”, an AI-powered nurse avatar, to interact with patients, ask questions about their health, assess symptoms and direct them to the most effective care. According to Harvard Business Review, these AI nurse assistants could potentially save $20 billion annually by saving 20% of the time nurses spend on patient maintenance tasks.

FRAUD

A common, and expensive, issue for healthcare providers and insurers is error and/or fraud. Fraud detection has relied on tedious manual reviews of medical claims, and requires being able to quickly spot inconsistencies. Health insurers are experimenting with AI-supported data-mining to search Medicare claims for patterns associated with medical fraud. This could result in $17 billion in savings by improving the speed and accuracy of fraud detection in Medicare claims.

CANCER

Pathologists have traditionally diagnosed diseases by laboring over a microscope, a tedious task that is prone to human error. Recently, however, a Harvard-based team demonstrated how AI can help pinpoint cancer cells among samples of breast tissue cells. The technique can differentiate cancer cells from normal cells with a 92% accuracy. When tested against human pathologist, however, the pathologists won, with their ability to identify 96% of the biopsy samples with cancer cells. So while this does not replace the pathologist, using in tandem, AI and pathologists were able to identify 99.5% of the cancerous biopsies.

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.  

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.