All posts by Rudly Raphael

Why Research is Crucial for Ad Agencies in 2018

market research

Advertising agencies are facing a lot of adversity in 2018. With more and more big brands like Sprint, Netflix, and L’Oreal cutting their agencies to take their advertising in-house, ad agencies are scrambling to re-route. U.S. ad agencies are not at risk of becoming obsolete, reportedly bringing in over $48 billion in 2016 and employing over 200,000 people, but the growth in this industry is slowing. Ad agencies need to find new ways to add value to their client engagements, and keep profit margins in the green, which is why ad agencies need to implement market research into their strategy more than ever.

BETTER CLIENT OUTCOMES

Before creating an ad campaign, it is important to get background information on the client and their audience. While your client may have given you all the information they feel is pertinent to a successful campaign, research allows the agency to generate quantitative and qualitative data into marketplace dynamics, customer perceptions and behaviors, and reveal intelligence that can help to solve business problems and achieve favorable client outcomes. Additionally, it may shed light on potentially profitable opportunities for the client as well.

UNDERSTAND THE CONSUMER

You’ll want to ensure your messaging and marketing efforts are in line with your target audience’s needs and wants. The more you know about your client’s market, its products, consumers, and competitors, the better you can design a successful campaign. Understanding into how the consumer engages the products, trends and the customer journey is knowledge that is necessary for an effective campaign.

TEST CAMPAIGN

Launching an ad campaign is expensive, which is why it is so important to set yourself up for success. By conducting market research, you can test your concepts on consumers to find out which would be most effective. With online surveys, you can capture real-time feedback, and they are easier and less expensive than focus groups.

MEASURE SUCCESS

After launching an advertising campaign, it is imperative to have data to give your client an idea of the campaign’s success. Sales and other performance indicators may provide an idea of the campaign’s success, but with market research, you will be able to better understand what compelled consumers so you can build off that in future campaigns.


QuestionPro Audience provides our clients with access to more than 22 million active respondents, who are strategically recruited to participate in quantitative market 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.

What Your Veterinarian Should Tell You Before Tax Day

tax day

Tax Day, April 17th, is fast approaching. One of the fiscal perks (maybe the only?) that comes with having children is getting a small tax credit. What about pet owners, many of whom consider their pets to be a part of their family? These furry family members can be expensive as well, with the average pet owner spending around $1,400 in the first year, according to the ASPCA. Good news, pet owners: you may be able to deduct costs related to your pet, as long as he serves another purpose besides providing undying devotion, and you can prove it. Here are 4 pet-related areas that could possibly provide you a deduction.

Business Animals

It’s not easy to claim your pet as a business expense, but if your pet guards your business location, you may be in luck. Dogs that work as a security measure for a business fall into the category of a business animal. That being said, it has to be believable—Chihuahuas probably won’t qualify. Even cats that “work” as rodent control at a business may qualify. Owners of business animals may be able to deduct expenses like food, veterinary care, and training related to the animal’s job. Just make sure you keep records about the animal’s hours and work-related purpose.

Foster Pet Parents

If you foster animals, you may be able to take advantage of tax benefits for charitable contributions. Any expenses you incur caring for foster animals from a qualified nonprofit are deductible as charitable donations, as long as you haven’t already been reimbursed by the nonprofit. The expenses must go toward caring for the animals, such as veterinary care, food, and other necessary supplies. Also, if you volunteer at a shelter or rescue organization, keep track of mileage because this is deductible at 14 cents per mile.

Service Animals

If your pet helps you in a health-related capacity, you’re likely eligible for a tax break. As noted in IRS Publication 502, deductions are available for individuals requiring a guide dog for vision or hearing impairments. Your pet must be trained or certified as treatment for a diagnosed illness or condition (complete with a prescription from your doctor) for the IRS to approve the deduction. Additionally, keep any documentation that shows how your animal was specially trained to help you with your medical condition. If you meet the qualifications, you can get a tax break for training, food, medical care and grooming.

Pet Move Expenses

67% of pet owners recently surveyed by Credit Karma Tax didn’t know that you may be able to deduct the cost of moving your pet. Moving is never fun, and with a pet involved, it can be expensive. Silver lining: pets are legally considered property, so you might be able to include the costs of transporting your pets as another item in your moving expense deduction. If the relocation is job-related, and you meet certain requirement regarding the distance and time of the move, according to IRS Publication 521, you can deduct the cost of shipping your pets to your new home.

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.

 

4 Ways Wendy’s Uses Social Media to Attract Consumers

Wendy’s, the third largest burger fast food chain in the world, has been around since 1969. Created by Dave Thomas, and named for his daughter, Melinda (Wendy), it was a brand that was folky and wholesome. By the 1990s, Dave had become a household name, as he had appeared in more than 800 commercials, and a survey conducted by Wendy’s in the 1990s showed that 90% of Americans knew who he was. By using enhanced technology and digital marketing, they have evolved their brand voice to show a more snarky side, which has really resonated with customers. They’ve even released a mixtape, “We Beefin”. Here are 4 examples of times Wendy’s has stepped up their social media presence to engage and attract customers.

PLAYFUL

Wendy’s manages to be self-promoting and fun. Their brand voice is clever, casual and funny, and sets them apart from the competition. This isn’t their first, or last, jab at McDonalds. In their 2018 Super Bowl ad “Iceberg”, they used copy from McDonald’s website against them (“our beef is flash frozen to seal in fresh flavor”) and urged consumers to “skip the hamburgers at the Frozen Arches”.

RESPONSIVE

Due to the internet, customers today are used to constant and instant accessibility, and Wendy’s is extremely responsive. Wendy’s responds quickly, and seriously, to customers who have complaints, and will even apologize for the delay if it takes them a while to respond.

INTERACTIVE

Carter Wilkerson, a Nevada teen, became a Twitter sensation in 2017 when he went asked Wendy’s a simple question. Wendy’s response set him on a mission, and his campaign hashtag #NuggsForCarter went viral. While he didn’t get 18 million retweets, he did get more than 3.6 million, the record for a single tweet. Wendy’s lifted the 18 million goal and gave him the nuggets anyway. Wendy’s got national exposure, for the price of a year of free nuggets.

CONSISTENT

Wendy’s posts frequently, and maintain the same voice throughout their postings. Consistency is key on social media, both in terms of what you’re posting and how often. Even when they are posting different types of content, their voice is consistent, and in line with the brand as a whole. The long-term consistency allows them to keep their audience engaged, and the momentum going.

Facebook Data Breach: What You Need to Know

Facebook has been all over the news this week due to reports that Cambridge Analytica, the Trump campaign’s data firm, was involved in a data collection scheme. This allowed Cambridge Analytica access to the private information of over 50 million Facebook users. We discuss what you need to know about this recent scandal, and what it means for Facebook users.

WHAT IS CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA?

Cambridge Analytica is a data firm that offers companies and political parties services to “change audience behavior”. The company was created when Steve Bannon approached conservative hedgefund billionaire Robert Mercer to fund a political consulting firm. The firm harvested private information from the Facebook profiles of more than 50 million users without their permission, in order to target them with personalized political advertisements.

myPERSONALITY

MyPersonality was the application Cambridge Analytica used to harvest the information. It was a popular Facebook personality quiz that could be used to build psychological profiles of the people who took the quiz, and, due to a loophole in Facebook API, allowed it to collect data from the Facebook “friends” of the quiz takers as well.  

FACEBOOK’S RESPONSE

The company’s stock price has taken a beating since the revelation, dropping 6.8% on Monday and another 2.5% on Tuesday. Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg released a statement on Wednesday, saying,

“We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you. I’ve been working to understand exactly what happened and how to make sure this doesn’t happen again. The good news is that the most important actions to prevent this from happening again today we have already taken years ago. But we also made mistakes, there’s more to do, and we need to step up and do it.”

According to Zuckerberg, Facebook plans to investigate and audit all apps that had access to large amounts of information. If an audit reveals any misuse, he said, the developer will be banned, and Facebook will inform any users affected by the app’s collection of identificable information.

FACEBOOK USERS

It certainly sparks a larger debate for Facebook’s 2.2 billion active users—how safe is their personal data? And how is it being used? Facebook allowed a third-party to implement an application for the sole purpose of gathering user’s data. Furthermore, Facebook has known about this issue for more than two years, and only now that it has been made public are they ackowledging their mistake. Facebook has publicly touted their ability to accurately profile voters using the information they give to the site.

Critics are calling for tough new regulations, and celebrities are urging users to quit Facebook, with the Twitter hashtag #deleteFacebook. Users have always been aware that Facebook collected their data, but perhaps did not realize the extent and possible ramifications. This invasion of privacy has certainly been an eye-opener for millions of unwitting users across the country.

Millennials Are Saying Sayonara to the Big Beer Industry

Millennials are saying sayonara to the big beer industry. Core big domestic beer brands like Budweiser, Miller, and Coors were down 3% in 2017, and have been declining every year since 2011. In fact, for the first time since the 1970s, Budweiser has fallen out of the top 3 best-selling beers. While millennials are passing on big beer brands such as Budweiser, that doesn’t mean they’re drinking less. We take a look into why millennials are moving away from big beer, where they’re headed, and what it means for the future.

WINE-NOT?

Wine used to be considered the go-to drink for a stuffy adult dinner party. Not anymore. According to a new by Wine Market Council, millennials drink 42% of the wine in the U.S., even though they comprise only one-quarter of adults over 21 in the U.S. It’s hip, comes in cans, boxes and single serving packages, and millennials love the variety and ease.

CRAFTY BEER

A study of 10,000 drinkers in the U.S. found that 57% of millennials are weekly craft beer drinkers. Domestic beer brand sales have been declining since 2011, which is when craft beer sales grew by an unprecedented 17.9%. Why is this generation so passionate about craft beer? Millennials are very value-conscious, and want to support brands they trust and relate to. Compared to craft beer’s small breweries, the big brands feel inauthentic and corporate.

ROSÉ ALL DAY

The light pink wine is definitely having a moment, thanks to millennials. Rosé reached a valuation of $389 million last year, and grew by 53% over 52 weeks. While consumers purchase rose year-round, rosé outpaces all other wines as consumer’s drink of choice for the summer.

MILLENNIALS, PART II

MillerCoors is focusing on a new demographic that’s younger than millennials, but old enough to legally drink. The 21-to 24-year-old targets are technically part of the millennial generation, but MillerCoors says there are big differences between millennials and this new generation. “There’s just this more openness versus what we’ve seen with millennials,” said Sofia Colucci, senior director of innovation at MillerCoors. “They’re curious and while they’re pragmatic, they still have this genuine openness to discovering and trying new things.”

THE FUTURE WITH GEN Z

A report from Berenberg Research suggests that Generation Z will continue to drive the beer slump down even further. In the study of 6,000 people ages 16-22 across the U.S., they found that Gen Z is drinking 20% less alcohol than the generations before it, and the first generation to prefer spirits to beer. The report says they gravitate toward wine and liquor because they view them as quality products, while beer is seen as inauthentic and unappealing.

QuestionPro Audience provides our clients with access to more than 22 million active respondents, including Millennials, 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: sample-projects@questionpro.com

 

How the Entertainment Industry is Using Data Collection

Hollywood is learning what those in the market research world have known for years: follow the data. For years, film studios have had only a vague understanding of who’s buying tickets to their films. As mobile becomes more popular, however, the entertainment business is using the technology to capture what was lost in the relationship between the studios and the consumer, and convert that data into meaningful insight into what works and what doesn’t.

While advertising “The Greatest Showman”, a musical about the P.T. Barnum’s efforts to build a circus show featuring bearded ladies, dwarfs, and the like, Fox executives thought it would be a shoo-in with the same audience who loved “La La Land” and “Les Miserables”. When they looked at the data, however, they found that 75% of the people who viewed the trailer online bought tickets to “Beauty and the Beast”, “Pitch Perfect”, and “Cinderella”. After further analysis, they realized all of those films featured characters who were shunned by society, and ultimately found themselves embraced by certain communities. With this information, they altered their advertising campaigns and pressed the message of inclusion.

Previously, the data segmentation the movie industry used was very high-level: gender, age, income. Now, by using the digital breadcrumbs we leave online, they are able to create profiles that more accurately represent the modern audience. Richard Maraschi, global leader of advanced analytics at IBM, is helping studios leverage the feedback consumers put online to make better creative and marketing decisions. “Now we can get down to micro-segments,” says Maraschi, “like soccer moms in Florida that are really passionate about action films. You can start to get higher fidelity on understanding the audience. You need predictive analytics tools to do that stuff.”

77% of Americans have smartphones, and Fandango is working to make its app more smartphone-friendly in hopes of gathering more data from its users. It launched a Fandango functionality into Apple iMessage and Facebook Messenger, because it believes that’s how younger consumers are communicating with friends. Atom Tickets, a mobile ticketing app, is taking notes from Netflix and Amazon and deploying algorithms to suggest movies that are similar to ones the customers previously enjoyed.

Data analytics has opened a number of new avenues that the entertainment industry can use to analyze past data, make creative marketing decisions, and predict the turnout for upcoming movie releases.

QuestionPro Audience provides our clients with access to more than 22 million active respondents, 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.

Inside the Mind of the Millennial Pet Owner

pet owners-millennials

Do you consider your pet to be part of your family? Or even, your “fur child”? Then you’re in good company. It’s no secret that millennials are putting off marriage and starting families later in life, and that may be in part due to their “starter children”. A recent study conducted by Gale found that 44% of millennials see their pets as “practice” for the real thing, with 21% citing that as the main reason for getting a pet, and 23% saying it was at least partially the reason. In an industry that topped $66.75 billion in 2016, millennials own more than 35% of pets in the U.S., according to the American Pet Products Association. Pet brands are realizing this demographic has been largely untapped thus far, and are conducting research to gain insight into the buying habits of the Millennial pet owner. We break it down below.

BRAND INTEGRITY Millennial pet owners are more conscientious when making purchases for their furry loved one than other generations. 86% of millennials prefer to buy items at smaller, locally-owned pet shops, and 73% are willing to splurge on a product if the company shows that they are giving back to the community in some way.  

QUALITY 68% of millennial pet owners report reading the nutrition labels on pet treats and foods. They expect high quality products for their pets, and are willing to pay more for it.  According to a report from Wakefield, 81% of millennials say BPA-free is essential in pet products. Furthermore, 78% say natural or organic materials are crucial, and 77% say the same for hypoallergenic shampoo.

VET GUIDANCE At $15.95 billion, veterinary care was the second largest category, behind pet food ($28.23 billion), of the $66.75 billion Americans spent on pets in 2016. Pet owners in the 18-39 age group are far more likely to depend on their veterinarian for advice about pet products. They are also more likely to use veterinary products and visits preventatively, rather than just treatment.

SPLURGING Studies show that 76% of millennials are more likely to splurge on an item for their pet than they would for themselves, including for expensive treats (44%) or a custom bed (38%). They will purchase discretionary products or services under the guise that they are nondiscretionary. Services such as dog walking or pet daycare are seen as essential, and these owners are more likely to cut something out for themselves than limit their pet.  

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.

Hiring a General Contractor? 4 Tips Every Homeowner Needs

general contractors

Spring has sprung! (Sadly, we’re still waiting on actual confirmation from Mother Nature here in Chicago). After the long winter, homeowners are always eager to tackle home improvement projects. According to a recent study conducted by LightStream Home Improvement, 58% of homeowners plan to spend money on home improvement projects this year. Fueled by the rebounding housing market, spending on improvements, maintenance and repairs reached $340 billion in 2015, up 12% from 2013. Avoid being one of the 44% of homeowners who experience at least one problem during their remodel by reading through our list of tips below.  

CHECK CREDENTIALS Despite the growing home improvement market, the construction industry has a major labor shortage, due to the loss of more than 2 million jobs since 2007. In a recent study conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center, almost a fifth of general contractors lacked either a state license or proper insurance, and 9% lacked both! The survey also found that fully accredited general contractors are better at holding down costs when unexpected issues arise—which brings us to our next tip.

NEGOTIATE Get bids from at least three general contractors to get a sense of the current market rate. While it may seem enticing, the lowest bid may not be the best bet, however. In CR’s report, general contractors reported seeing unscrupulous practices to win jobs like submitting lowball bids, only to jack up the lost later due to “unforeseen problems” (35%) and using unskilled or inexperienced workers (31%).

BUDGET According to a survey conducted by Houzz, staying on budget is the top challenge for homeowners, with a third saying they struggled not to overspend. Budgets are a moving target when it comes to renovations. Once you’ve established how much you can afford to spend in total, prepare your budget to cover 90% of that amount, and give at least a 10% cushion for the unexpected.

GET IT IN WRITING A written contract is essential, and provides protection for both you and the general contractor. It should specify the full scope of the work, including a breakdown of labor and material costs for each part of the project. Additionally, the general contractor should provide a written guarantee for their work in the contract. The median time period is 15 ½ months, while 14% of contractors promise more than three years of coverage.

QuestionPro Audience provides our clients with access to more than 20 million active respondents, including our General Contractor panel. Our General Contractor panel offers unparalleled value by providing big box stores, such as Lowe’s and Home Depot, a front row seat with professional home builders and industrial contractors.  It is one of a handful in the continental U.S. and consists of more than 80,000 highly engaged, pre-screened general contractors who provide critical insights. With industry knowledge, innovative tools, and purchasing power, QuestionPro Audience always meets the rigorous demands of our clients.

Millennial’s Spring Break Travel Trends

Every year, thousands of young Americans flock to destination spots for a week of vacation during spring break. This year, 53% of millennials plan to travel for spring break. In the 90’s and 00’s, this typically meant a booze package in Florida or Mexico, but millennial consumers are veering away from the standard party vacation. We took a look at where they’re headed, and how much they’ll be spending.

SPEND Travel is always a good gauge on the state of the economy, and all segments of the travel market have grown significantly over the last year, with millennials representing the largest and fastest-growing. The typical millennial will spend an average of $369 on spring break travel and stay an additional two days longer (19 vs. 17) this spring break compared to last year.

DESTINATION While domestic locales like Orlando, Chicago and Los Angeles are still popular, booking data from CheapOair shows that millennials are getting more adventurous this year, and traveling overseas. The percentage of international travel for millennials during March and April has increased by 12% in international bookings since 2016. While US millennials are still traveling to international spring break hot spots like Mexico and Jamaica, Thailand is the top destination in 2018, followed by Tokyo and London.

EXPERIENCE That millennials are venturing out to exotic destinations isn’t surprising. According to a study conducted by Harris Group, 78% of millennials prefer to spend more money on a desirable experience than material items. They are looking for unique experiences and see the value in travel. The travel industry is eager to gain millennials’ business, and have tried to pinpoint exactly what they’re looking for out of a vacation. STA Travel’s recent research found that this group is looking for adventure, with mountain trekking the number one trip style sought, followed by sailing trips and wildlife safaris.

SPONTANEITY Millennials’ travel habits are different from other travelers. According to TravelInsurance.com, millennials book their vacation more last-minute than older travelers, and purchase their tickets 70 days before they leave, compared to 110 for all travelers. While they may be spontaneous, they are also responsible—they are more likely to purchase travel insurance than Gen Xers or Baby Boomers.

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.

International Women’s Day—It’s Time to #PressForPower

international women's day

People around the world are celebrating International Women’s Day (IWD) today, March 8th. Women will be participating in marches, rallies, conferences, and discussions to honor the achievements women have made, and to discuss the steps that can be taken to continue the fight for gender equality. We took a deep dive to understand the significance of this historic date and also conducted a short survey with more than 600 respondents (men and women) from our consumer panel to gauge how Americans feel about IWD. Results are published below.

HISTORY The first “National Women’s Day” was held February 29, 1909 in New York, in honor of a strike 15,000 women held the previous year to protest for better pay, shorter hours, and the right to vote. In 1910, during an international conference dedicated to working women, Clara Zetkin proposed an annual Women’s Day be held on the same day in other countries across the world. The following year, the first International Women’s Day was observed by over one million women and men who attended rallies to protest for women’s right to vocational training and to end job discrimination.

THEME A theme is given to IWD each year, so there is a focus on a particular aspect of feminism and women’s rights. This year, the theme is #PressForProgress. This comes in response to the Global Gender Gap Report, which measures gender parity. Gender parity is a statistical measure that compares a particular indicator among women (like average income), to the same indicator amount men. The report found that we are still 200 years away from gender parity in four main areas: economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment.

SUPPORT 34 companies, including Morgan Stanley, Proctor & Gamble, and Ernst & Young, illuminated buildings with giant red female symbols (♀) as part of the Catalyst Skyline Takeover campaign to show a dedication to advancing women in the corporate workplace. Catalyst is a non-profit that works with companies to make their workplaces more inclusive. According to their research, even though women make up 47% of workforces in the U.S. and Canada, men still lead more than 95% of the most powerful companies in the world.

RESEARCH RESULTS In recent months, movements focused on women’s empowerment like #MeToo and #TimesUp have elevated the global conversation about obstacles women face in both their personal and professional lives. We polled over 600 Americans across the country to learn their thoughts on International Women’s Day. We found that an impressive 75% of the respondents were aware that March 8th is IWD, and only 7% had never heard of it. When asked to “use one word that comes to mind when you think of IWD”, the majority of those surveyed answered  “empowerment”, followed by “equality” and “strength”. 33% of those polled feel gender equality in education has most improved over the last decade, followed by social issues (24%), equal pay (21%), workplace environment (20%) and 2% feel there have been no improvements. Looking forward to the future, the vast majority of our respondents hope equal pay will improve over the next decade.

International Womens day

QuestionPro Audience provides our clients with access to more than 22 million active respondents, who are strategically recruited to participate in quantitative research and live discussions. By implementing various recruitment methodologies, we make sure to provide the right 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.