All posts by qSample

Market Research: Why Every Small Business Needs It

small business marketing

Attention, small businesses! According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there are currently 28.8 million small businesses in the United States. These businesses have played a major role in economic growth because they create so many jobs (1.4 million in 2014!), but getting the business off the ground is a struggle. About two-thirds of small businesses survive 2 years, half will survive 5 years, and one-third will make it to 10 years.

Market research is one of the most effective ways to gain insight into your customer base, competitors, and overall market. The goal of conducting market research is to equip your company with the information you need to make informed decisions. Market research is especially important when small businesses are trying to determine whether a new business idea is viable, looking to move into a new market, or are launching a new product or service.  Read below for a more in-depth look at how market research can help small businesses.

COMPETITION According to a study conducted by Business Insider, 72% of small businesses focus on increasing revenue. Conducting research helps businesses gain insight into competitor behavior. By learning your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses, you can learn how to position your product or offering. In order to be successful, small businesses need to have an understanding of what products and services competitors are offering, and their price point.

CUSTOMERS Many small businesses feel they have an understanding of their customer, only to conduct market research and learn they had the wrong assumptions. By conducting research, you can create a profile of your average customer and gain insight into their buying habits, how much they’re willing to spend, and which features resonate with them. Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, you can learn what will make someone use your product or service over a competitor.

OPPORTUNITIES Potential opportunities, whether they are products or services, can be identified by conducting market research. By learning more about your customers, you can gather insights into complementary products and services. Consumer needs change over time, influenced by new technology and different conditions, and you may find new needs that are not being met, which can create new opportunities for your business.

FORECAST A small business is affected by the performance of the local and national economy, as are its’ customers. If consumers are worried, then they will be more restrained when spending money, which affects the business. By conducting research with consumers, businesses can get an idea of whether they are optimistic or apprehensive about the direction of the economy, and make adjustments as necessary. For example, a small business owner may decide to postpone a new product launch if it appears the economic environment is turning negative.

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.

2016 Presidential Election Survey

 

A new poll conducted by qSample among likely voters shows that Hillary Clinton is maintaining a slight lead (40% to 37%) in the presidential race. While this is good news for Secretary Clinton, the data also shows that Donald Trump is closing the gap and gaining momentum in key battleground states like Florida.

More than 400 respondents participated in the survey between the end of August and September. Respondents are registered members of qSample’s likely voter panel. The sample consists of an even split of republicans and democrats. Respondents were asked a series of questions, ranging from the economy, direction of the country, healthcare, immigration and other important topics dominating this election.

We asked respondents to write one word that comes to mind when thinking about Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. The results are illustrated in the WordCloud below. To avoid compromising the integrity of the data, we elected to keep the original, unedited version of each word. As a disclaimer, the below report may contain words that may be offensive to some readers.

 

HCWordcloud

DTWordcloud

 

Read more about our survey results: The Outlook: Presidential Election 2016

For more information regarding the results of these surveys please contact: sales-team@qsample.com

Does your business have good online reviews? [Survey Data]

 

We recently conducted a survey with our general consumer panel to explore consumer’s online decision-making process, in which over 320 respondents participated in the survey. The findings reveal that the majority of respondents find online review to be a critical piece to their purchasing decision.

Respondents who participated in the survey fall in the following demographic bracket:

– Male (44%), Female (56%)

– Millennial (22%), Generation X (40%), Boomer (31%), Silent (7%)

– Urban (55%), Suburban (34%), Rural (11%)

How do they surf the web?

In general, the most popular platform of web surfing is computer, as indicated by 63% of the respondents, followed by phone (25%) and tablet (12%). When cross-tabulated this particular dataset with age/generation data, we found out that phone usage, in terms of web surfing, declines by increase in age.

Interestingly, when it comes to surfing the web on tablet PCs, the data reveals that baby boomers were far ahead of other generations.  This perhaps should be a sign for businesses to optimize their web pages for various mobile platforms, regardless of their customer base.

Do they trust online reviews?

98% of the respondents indicated that they generally trust online reviews, and they develop higher confidence with the product or service after reading 6 or more reviews, which are posted within a month. Millennials and Generation X respondents tend to read more reviews (11+) before making a purchasing decision.

Furthermore, when they were asked if they trust online reviews as much as peer recommendations, a striking 84% of the respondents agreed that they do.

Where do they read reviews?

42% of the respondents indicated that they find the reviews through major search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.), followed by Amazon at 28% and major social media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.) at 21%. Surprisingly, while Yelp is considered to be a popular business review resource, only 6% of our respondents indicated that they use Yelp for business review. Other sources included consumer reports and manufacturer websites.

92% of the respondents indicated that they find better deals as a result of reading online reviews. Our data revealed that social media sites ranked as number one places for discount deals, followed by Amazon and search engines.

Our findings is further illustrated in the infographic below:

online-review

Alumni Series: Health Trends (Part 1)

qSample and Alumni Reader Panel conducted a survey to discover health related trends of alumni of top national universities (please refer to the previous blog post for details regarding demographics). The findings from this survey will be divided into two blog segments:

Part 1. Basic preventive health measures/healthy lifestyle

Part 2. Spending habits on healthcare

According to a 2016 study by Mayo Clinic Proceedings, less than 3% of Americans meet the basic qualifications for a “healthy lifestyle”. In order to qualify as living a healthy lifestyle, following four requirements must be met: moderate or vigorous exercise for at least 150 minutes a week, a diet score in the top 40% on the Healthy Eating Index, a body fat % under 20 for men or 30 for women, and not smoking. Unfortunately, survey respondents were not aware of the qualifications set by Mayo Clinic, rather they were asked to answer best to their knowledge. Chart below reveals their knowledge and awareness of healthy lifestyle:

lifestyle

Average of 62.7% of the respondents either have some degree of expertise or are trusted from peers with advice on health-related issue. Moreover, in the survey, 74.1% agreed that they are constantly looking for new ways to live a healthier life. Following three charts confirm that majority of the respondents do indeed take preventive health measures (diet, exercise, and regular check-ups):

eatt habits

reg ex

reg check

In summary, 88.1% follow a healthy diet, 75.2% follow a regular exercise routine, and 84.8% visit the doctor for regular check-ups.

 

health


 

Alumni of top national universities: Buying Habits

A survey was conducted by Alumni Reader Panel and qSample to investigate the buying habits of alumni of top national universities. 1,964 respondents completed the survey. Universities represented in this survey are: University of Chicago, Yale, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, Harvard,  Dartmouth, Cornell, and Brown. Succeeding three charts summarize the demographics of the respondents by each school:

age

gender

employ

In a bigger picture, 4.4% were Millennials, 23% were Generation X, 72.6% were a mix of Boomers and Silent Generation. In addition, survey respondents were predominantly males (66.5%). Prior to discussing the buying habits of alumni, an important limitation to acknowledge is that there is an insufficient amount of data to categorize the demographic of respondents from the results. For instance, if respondents were asked a question about brand loyalty and given four choices, the results were simply netted by counts. Thus, we could not identify what percentage of the total counts stemmed from which generation or gender. With that in mind, here are the findings (note: data are shown in average of eight schools as there were no significant statistical outliers – margin of error is approximately +/- 5%):

They are brand loyal:

brandloyol

91.6% of respondents agreed that when they find a brand they like, they will stick to it. Furthermore, 90.4% agreed that if a product is made by a company they trust, they are willing to purchase at a premium price. These two independent results revealed a correlation coefficient of 0.994. What this indicates is that brand loyal consumers become price desensitized, allowing the brands to obtain greater pricing power. In addition, 66.1% of consumers are aware that brand name is not the best indication of quality (see below):

QUALITY

Although the survey revealed that these consumers are highly brand loyal, behavioral data portion of the survey showed what might be advantageous to competitors with potential substitute products. 99.1% of respondents indicated that they value “curiosity wanting to explore and learn about new things”. Since a mere 25.8% agreed that they are one of the first among their friends to try new product, word of mouth (through peers) would likely be their most trusted source of advertisement.

They are willing to pay at premium for quality not image:

premium

Respondents were asked to answer the following: “I am typically willing to pay more for high-quality items” and “I would pay extra for a product that is consistent with the image I want to convey”. As there is no direct correlation between these two factor, the correlation coefficient is 0.224. Although we do not have to access to the respondents’ income distribution, as 88.7% of respondents are willing to pay at premium for quality, it may be safe to assume that price is not much of a concern as long the product quality meet their standards. Interestingly, even though only 42.8% agreed to buy products to convey self-image, a striking 65% had expressed that they buy from brands that reflect their style (see below):

styleTherefore, it is critical for brands to identify the lifestyles of their target audience to effectively form bonds and trust with the consumers.

They prefer American products:

america

60.5% of respondents agreed that purchasing American-made products is an important factor. “Made in America” label has its strong manufacturing reputation, and considering that majority of these consumers value trust and quality, they are most likely willing to pay premium price for American-made products. As a matter of fact, 82.9% agreed that their purchase decision is solely based on quality rather than price.

Moving forward, blog posts will focus on buying habits and decision factors in specific industries (technology, travel/hospitality, healthcare, etc.).

buying-habits

 

 

 

 

 

Branding Trust in Healthcare

 

Trustworthiness is a major player in brand sustainability. According to 2015 Nielsen Global Corporate Sustainability Report, 62% of global consumers reported that “brand trust” is the primary purchase decision driver. Of which, 72% are willing to pay a premium. Trust seems to act like a magical remedy to minimize the anxiety of risk-averse (or price-sensitive) consumers, which in turn leads to brand loyalty. Speaking of risk-aversion, there is one particular industry that absolutely cannot “screw-up”. The healthcare industry.

A 2014 study on healthcare branding found that “trust is a key variable in establishing affective commitment in consumer brand relationships” (Becerra, Jillapalli, and Kemp 133). In building a sustainable brand, trust is especially critical in this sector due to the fact that individuals surrender sensitive information to the healthcare provider, and also his or her physical and psychological well-being.

Even though trust is a critical aspect in healthcare, consumer’s industry perception begs to differ. According to 2016 Edelman Trust Barometer – Healthcare Sector Results, 61% of general population trusts the healthcare industry, which is on the lower end compared to other industries (technology being the most trusted at 75%, followed by manufacturing at 67%). What measures could be implemented to tackle this problem? Kelly Michelson, Associate Professor of pediatrics and Director of the Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities at Feinberg School of Medicine states the following:

“Research shows that open lines of communication create trust, and vice versa, and that trusting relationships are key to better healthcare outcomes. One study, for example, has shown that poor communication among the staff in a pediatric hospital influenced their trust levels and how they cared for patients. In another study, clinicians who worked in an intensive care unit were trained in how to conduct a family meeting, specifically in empathetic listening.”

Internal change is vital to cultivating a brand’s trust. As stated in Nielsen 2015 report, “Global Trust in Advertising”, with respect to earned advertising format, 83% of global consumers reported that they trust the recommendations of peers, followed by consumer opinions posted online at 66%. In terms of owned (brand-managed) format, online channels are considered to be the most trusted. 70% of global consumers trust branded websites, and more than half of respondents (56%) trust emails they signed up for.

Sources:

Becerra, Enrique, Ravi K. Jillapalli, and Elyria Kemp. “Healthcare branding: Developing emotionally based consumer brand relationships.” Journal of Services Marketing 28.2 (2014): 126-137. Print.

2015 Nielsen Global Corporate Sustainability Report

2015 Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising

2016 Edelman Trust Barometer – Healthcare Sector Results

Trusting Healthcare Providers and Institutions: Key Findings

 

Download our Physician Panels book:

qSample-Physician-Panel-Book.pdf (5488 downloads)

Reddit: Active Support System for Mental Health Sufferers [Infographic]

 

Power and flexibility of social media sites should not be undermined. Among many usage of these sites, the lesser known is that they serve as an emerging source of data for public health studies, including mental health (Schrading et al.).

According to a study on domestic abuse disclosure on a social media site, Schrading et al. reported that this site offers “less intimidating and more accessible channels for reporting, collectively processing, and making sense of traumatic and stigmatizing experiences”. One such site is Reddit.

Reddit is a popular social news and entertainment media launched in 2005. As of 2015, Reddit has amassed 36 million user accounts and 234 million monthly unique visitors. This site has a vast range of forums dedicated to various topics, known as “subreddits”.  Its forum-style social system allows users to share texts and media as posts that allow votes and comments. Unlike Twitter, Reddit allows lengthy submissions.

Given the unique characteristics of the site, Reddit acts as a support system for mental health suffers, which provides a platform for self-disclosure, social support, and anonymity. Users may interact anonymously and become connected with others who share similar difficulties, misery, pain, condition, or distress (Choudhury & De).

Moreover, each subreddit is moderated by online community volunteers. For sensitive subreddit topics that are related to mental health and illnesses, their main role is to ensure that “the anonymous submitter has access to local help hotlines if a life-threatening situation is described” (Schrading et al.).

In essence, Reddit is a comfortable and safe space for people who cannot disclose their mental health experiences due to social stigma. Even for ones who are simply willing to share a piece of their own life story to help others.

Infographic below summarizes key findings and statistics in relation to this topic:

reddit info

Mind Blowing Text Messaging Statistics [Infographic]

 

Social Media may rule our lives, as qSample has demonstrated. Yet when it comes to marketing or simply engaging deeply with our audiences, email is the king of all internet media (as our president Rudly Raphael proved in his article The Dominance of Email).

The queen might be text messaging. It’s often overlooked as an efficient form of marketing, according to Small Business Trends. Regardless, the relevance of text messaging as a medium is astounding. For example, check these statistics:

  Texting is the most frequently used app on smartphones–with 97% of Americans using it at least once a day.
  More than six billion text messages are sent in the U.S. each day.
  People worldwide will send 8.3 trillion text messages in 2016 alone. That’s almost 23 billion messages per day or almost 16 million messages per minute.
  Text messaging has a 45% response rate, while email only has a 6% response rate.
  Over 80% of adults text, making it the most common phone activity.
  Text messages brag a 98% open rate, while email only delivers a 20% open rate.

For more context and awe, we present you our latest infographic (and please text your friends or colleagues about it; they’ll open it more than if you email them this data):

Mind Blowing Text Messaging Statistics

 

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