Category Archives: Market Research

Food For Thought: How Millennials Are Changing The Food Industry

Food, and what consumers expect from food manufacturers and grocery stores, is evolving. Case in point: after almost a decade of discussion, the FDA is now requiring restaurants and food chains with 20 or more locations to post calorie counts. One loud voice leading this charge is the millennial generation. Here are 4 ways millennials are changing the way we eat.

EASY MEALS

Millennials are looking for convenience when it comes to buying food, according to the International Food Information Council. A recent report by Alliance Bernstein found that two-thirds of millennials purchase prepared foods from some sort of service every week. Meal kits are no longer limited to subscription services like Blue Apron, however. Grocery stores have jumped on the trend in hopes of retaining millennial customers, partnering with brands like Campbell’s, Barilla and Ro-Tel to offer fresh, easy meals.

HEALTHY EATING

Millennials care about their health, and their meals reflect this. However, their definition of healthy may be different from that of past generations. They’re not necessarily looking for low-fat, low-cal, or low-carb. Instead, you may hear them talk about food that is organic, natural, locally sourced, or sustainable. Which leads us to…

TRANSPARENCY

Consumers are telling food manufacturers what they want, and what they want is transparency. Millennials have been demanding manufacturers show exactly what ingredients and sources create our food by including more informative food labels. In fact, 37% said they are willing to switch brands if their current brand does not provide them with the product information they seek. Intelligent brands who know fostering a relationship with the generation will be beneficial are prioritizing food transparency.

PICKUP OR DELIVERY?

Millennials are skipping traditional grocery stores or spending less on groceriesthan in the past. Stores are evolving their services in an attempt to gain millennials business. Kroger and Walmart, among others, now offer customers the option to order groceries online and then pick them up at their convenience. Customers don’t even have to get out of their cars—workers will load up their groceries for them.

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 for your next research project.

Top 5 Infographics of the Week

We happily admit it: here at QuestionPro Audience, we are research and data nerds. We love to know the latest research, and if it’s in an informative and easy-to-read infographic, even better! We’ve compiled this week’s best infographics, for your reading and visual pleasure. Enjoy!

 

1 – MUSIC’S GENDER GAP 

Last.fm compared their listening data to awards and festivals from the last 16 years to find out if female artists are being rewarded as much as they are being listened to. The results were disappointing, to say the least.

 

2 – HOW TO LOOK AND SOUND MORE CONFIDENT 

Confidence is the key to success. While some of these seem obvious (like your mother always told you, “stand up straight!”), it’s good to take a reminder course in projecting confidence.

 

3 – 2018’S MOST FUN STATES IN AMERICA 

Work hard, play harder! From sports to culture, this is a must-read for anyone who loves to have fun. Even better, WalletHub compared the 50 states across 26 key indicators of a good time that won’t break the bank.

 

4 – FROM KODAK TO IPHONOGRAPHY

If you’ve ever wondered about the history of the camera and film, and how it paved the way for the digital world we currently live in, this stylish infographic is for you.

 

5 – HOW MARK ZUCKERBERG GOT STARTED: THE LIFE OF FACEBOOK’S FOUNDER 

You know you’ve made it big when you’re worth $64.1 billion…orwhen someone creates an infographic of your life. Either way, it’s an interesting read.

 

Ten Market Research Myths that Harm Your Brand

market research myth

Market research is the fuel that propels products, services, and even ideas. In fact, market research might even be more important than the fuel metaphor, since crashing a campaign or initiative is more severe than sputtering at the gate. As award-winning social media scientist and author Dan Zarrella once said, “Marketing without data is like driving with your eyes closed.”

Unfortunately, nagging myths about market research often stall and crash brands as they navigate shifting times full of digital breakthroughs and sophisticated audiences.

By dispelling market research myths, you’ll be halfway on the road to achieving goals that fully activate your customers or clients.

You’ll be myth-informed.

I ALREADY KNOW MY AUDIENCE, SO I DON’T NEED IT

Most organizations know who they are serving, but don’t take into consideration subtle shifts in audience needs and potential blind spots. In these hyper-competitive times, trends are evolving at a fast pace. A change in consumer preference in social media or a minor dislike in a product feature can make a huge difference.

What’s more, continuous research can unveil hidden motivations and desires in audiences, which is potentially game-changing for a brand.

Imagine a world where Blockbuster had understood the public’s budding desire for streaming or video home delivery; or Myspace had listened to the swelling dissatisfaction with clunky, spam-ridden profiles? Big examples, for sure, but you get the big picture of audience research.

IT’S TOO EXPENSIVE

As they say, that dog just won’t hunt – especially in a digital age that offers affordable and scalable research solutions. Below we’ll mention some cost-effective qualitative research tools, but online survey platforms (like QuestionPro) and quick-hacks like Twitter surveys make data-collection very approachable. Email marketing platforms can cost close to nothing for reaching audiences.

Don’t worry about building a focus group room in your office or funding a phone interview study. There is a digital avenue out there that fits your budget.

PHYSICAL IS BETTER THAN ONLINE

We might as well quickly address this myth now.

For qualitative research, an argument on accuracy can be made, although not by much. For quantitative research, online is a widely-accepted methodology for quick turnaround and keeping your data collection cost manageable. In fact, we’ve covered the advantages of online survey research:

  • Allows marketers to gather opinions from a wide market spread
  • Results compiled quickly and can capture varying trends
  • Allows for seamless sampling within specific regions or zip codes
  • Effective at protecting respondent personal information

And again…it’s better on your wallet.

MARKET RESEARCH TAKES A LONG TIME

Let’s stress one more time the digital age we live in today. Yes, research should be as accurate and meticulous as possible. That doesn’t mean, however, going on a grand experiment until you find the market research God Particle.

As an article in B2B Marketing explains:

“Most research projects should not require a six-month engagement. In fact, some would argue that long gone are the days of the lengthy survey timeline. Thanks to new technologies and new data sources, researchers and marketers alike have more options than ever to gather different types of insights that come in all shapes and sizes, fit all budgets, and can take anywhere from three days to three months.”

In short, the market research world is yours for the taking…

BIGGER IS BETTER

In today’s research world, size doesn’t have to matter. This is more so in a mobile device era and short-attention-span culture. Research reveals that for most projects now marketers can expect up to 40% response on smartphone screens.

Brands don’t need titanic surveys. In fact, studies show that response fatigue sets in after 20 minutes of any survey — so, a tight, short questionnaire is a better approach. The study also reveals the following:

“They found survey respondents exert less effort and spend less time thinking about their answers as respondents get deeper into the survey.”

QUANTITATIVE IS ALL THAT MATTERS

Well-crafted surveys go a long way in bringing useful data. But the “why” of the data can be as crucial. A survey may explain that a certain demographic isn’t frequenting a store at certain hours, but without knowing “why,” it’s hard to customize a solution. That’s where such solutions as open-ended questions, post-participation interviews, or competitive-analysis come in.

Honestly, it should never be qualitative research versus quantitative research. Instead, it should be a healthy balance for quality market research. In reality, such solutions as webcams, eye-tracking, and neuromarketing make qualitative research available to many organizations.

Moreover, qualitative research is making a comeback as companies increasingly explore the “why” to ensure they nurture the right clients or customers for the long haul.

IT’S EASY-PEASY

Just because you can draw from digital solutions and audiences like “short & sweet” doesn’t mean it’s a cakewalk.

Marketers and researchers should still work hard at research, being as meticulous as possible. From designing an effective questionnaire to systematically analyzing (and re-analyzing) data, you’ll get out what you put in.

Or as an Oracle marketing thought-leader said:

“Marketing research is supposed to be difficult.  If it wasn’t difficult, everyone would do it. Of course, we all know there is research being done all the time — lots of people are doing it, but very few are doing it right. And by “right,” I mean conducting true marketing research with quantifiable and qualifiable results.”

I ALREADY HAVE ACCESS TO PUBLIC DATA, SO I’M DONE

Guess what?

So do your competitors.  

They have the same access to statistics from government agencies, corporation balance sheets, and trade associations. 

Also, data points from different sources have varying methodologies. You may be unable to draw precise comparisons to answer your business questions strategically.

Furthermore, simple syndicated market research helps find the story behind public data, which gets your brand ahead of the pack.

ONCE IS ENOUGH

By now, the key theme in this article about changing times and audiences should be apparent. Even in a legacy, non-digital world, market research should be ongoing. Sadly, companies often stop at market research before the release of a product or only touch on audiences for initial reactions.

As one expert said, market research ought to be conducted “every six months to accurately capture the feel of the market, customers and competitors, ensuring that one’s company does not miss out on valuable opportunities.”

Your mileage may vary, of course, but don’t accept that data-gathering ever ends (if you want to stay competitive and grow your brand).

ALL MARKET RESEARCH COMPANIES ARE THE SAME

If you decide to use a research partner, it’s just the same as if you choose to leverage an agency for branding or digital marketing. Market research companies come in all sizes and specialties. For example, QuestionPro Audience specializes in providing its clients with hard to reach audiences for research –  veterinarians, general contractors, business travelers, registered voters, just to name a few. Other providers have their own mojo or research methodology they focus on.

In short, do some market research if you want to utilize a market research firm. Just as important, always keep your organization’s tank full of the best possible market research fuel. Your brand or services will thank you later — and so will your audiences.

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 for your next research project.

2018 Home Renovation Report: Homeowner Trends, Spending and Priority Projects

renovation

Just as fall signals football and cider mills, spring brings the home renovation projects that were set aside for the winter. QuestionPro Audience conducted a survey with 500 homeowners across the United States to gauge homeowner trends, future renovation plans and spending habits for spring 2018. To view our infographic with full report findings, click here.

CURRENT ECONOMIC OUTLOOK

Overall, U.S. homeowners are optimistic about the next twelve months. 60% of homeowners take the state of the economy into consideration before making renovation plans, and 61% feel confident the economy is improving. Additionally, 55% of our respondents think home values will increase as well over the next year. While President Trump can be a controversial topic, only 28% report taking the presidential administration into consideration before making home improvement plans.

FUTURE HOME RENOVATION SPENDING

Homeowners look to be encouraged by today’s stronger housing market, and are making investments in their homes. 55% of homeowners plan to conduct at least one renovation over the next twelve months, up from the 38% who have previously performed improvements. 41% of respondents are initiating a home improvement project to improve their quality of living, while 17% are looking to increase the value of their home, but don’t have current plans to sell, and 16% want a “new look”.

Homeowners are also tackling bigger, more expensive projects this year—15% are planning to remodel their kitchen this year, 13% plan to update a bathroom, and 9% are looking to revamp the bedroom. 42% plan to spend between $3,000 and $10,000 on their upcoming renovation, up 6% from last year. A bit of good news for contractors: 61% plan to hire a professional for their upcoming project, compared to 59% who hired a professional for their past project. 49% of respondents plan to pay with cash or savings, 17% will put it on a credit card, 14% will use financing, 10% plan to use a home equity loan, and 8% are counting on their tax return to finance their project.

MILLENNIALS VS. BABY BOOMERS: WHO IS SPENDING ON HOME IMPROVEMENT?

Baby Boomers and millennials have at least one thing in common when it comes to conducting home projects: 61% of both baby boomers and millennials plan to perform at least one improvement over the next twelve months. That may be where the similarities end, however. The majority of millennials (35%) plan to spend between $1,000-$2,999, while 31% of baby boomers will be spending between $5,000-$9,999. Baby boomers will primarily be paying with cash (67%), financing (13%), or taking out a home equity loan (7%). Millennials will also be paying with cash (42%), but 19% plan to use one or more credit card.

Millennials are focused on renovating their kitchen (14%), bathroom (10%), and living room (9%), while 23% of baby boomers will be updating their bathroom, kitchen (19%), or replacing windows (9%). The majority of both age groups will be hiring a professional to do the work, but 39% of millennials plan to conduct the renovation themself, compared to 27% of baby boomers. Millennial respondents get a sense of satisfaction from performing the work themselves (40%), while baby boomers are more focused on keeping the project cost effective (59%). Baby boomer DIY-ers are also very specific about where they purchase their materials, with 85% shopping at building supply stores such as Home Depot, Lowe’s or Menards, hardware stores like Ace Hardware or True Value (8%) or Walmart (8%). Millennials also shop at supply stores (64%), Walmart (14%), and hardware stores (7%), but they frequent warehouse clubs like Costco or Sam’s Club (7%) and high-end specialty stores like Kohler (4%) as well.

WOMEN TAKING CHARGE OF HOME PROJECTS

While home improvement has stereotypically been thought of as a male-dominated industry, women are picking up power tools and narrowing the margins. Of our respondents, 55% of women are planning to conduct a home improvement project over the next twelve months, compared to 57% of men. The majority of men (33%) intend to spend between $5,000 and $9,999, while 29% of women are looking to spend $1,000-$2,999. Cash is king for women funding their project; 54% of women are using cash, whereas men will be using cash (40%) or financing (21%). The genders are focused on improving different areas of the house as well; men will be remodeling the bathroom, while women plan to update the kitchen.

The majority of both sexes—63% of women and 58% of men—intend to hire a professional for their upcoming project. 56% of women feel they do not have the skills or equipment necessary for their planned project, while men value the expertise that comes with hiring a professional (47%). Another dissimilarity between the genders is how they find professionals to hire. Women prefer to ask a friend for a referral (40%), look on a review website such as Yelp.com (18%), or ask a contractor for a referral (17%). Men also ask friends for referrals (30%), but would rather use a search engine like Google.com (24%), or look on Yellowpages.com (21%).

The motivated women who plan to DIY prefer it because it gives them a sense of personal satisfaction (41%), whereas DIY men like that it’s more cost effective (53%). The majority of both men (74%) and women (75%) plan to purchase materials at a building supply store like Menards, Home Depot or Lowe’s, but that’s where the congruity ends. 10% of men intend to shop at Sears or IKEA (6%), while women will head to warehouse clubs like Costco (8%) or Walmart (8%).

THE YEAR AHEAD

The current housing market inventory is very competitive, so it is logical that many homeowners are choosing to invest in remodeling their current home, rather than get into a bidding war. Additionally, with the economy and housing market more stable, homeowners now have more income—and equity—so they’re making renovations to create their dream homes. Our study found that the majority of homeowners are focusing on discretionary projects such as kitchens and bathrooms, which may have been put off after the housing crisis. Judging from our report, it looks like 2018 will be a profitable year for homeowners, contractors, and material suppliers alike.

Download the full infographic report here.

What Your Brand Can Learn Right Now from the Starbucks Controversy

By now, most of you are probably aware of the disastrous event at Starbucks —  where two black men were arrested in a Philadelphia store for not making a purchase and refusing to leave the premises. The scene was captured in a video that went viral, and the backlash has been monstrous on social media and resulted in physical protests across the country. As Warren Buffet famously said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.”

Starbucks can surely relate. According to a YouGov BrandIndex score, the coffee giant has already dropped to its lowest consumer perception in years. Without a doubt, this is a historic public relations minefield. Starbucks has gone into damage control during these very sensitive, caustic times in the country.

Will any public image initiatives work or is the brand hopelessly crippled?

One way to read the tea leaves right in this situation is to analyze Starbuck’s initial reactions — relating them to effective PR best practices and comparing to how other companies have overcome a public crisis in the past.

STARBUCKS DID THEIR RESEARCH AND KNEW THEIR AUDIENCE

The company knew that these are not the days when a controversy comes and goes. The internet doesn’t forget a scandalous situation. Social media and easily-captured videos amplify events to intense levels of engagement, attitude, and action. The fact that the video caught white patrons angrily objecting the arrest was a visible testament to the company’s customer base. Starbucks is no Chick-fil-A, a more conservative brand that easily weathered its own storm years ago when its CEO publicly shared his controversial views on gay marriage.

As always, any publicity starts with solid market research to understand where a brand needs to pivot, regardless of the situation.

Thus, Starbucks needed to move quickly and address its base.

STARBUCKS OWNED IT, AND OWNED IT FAST

When the racially-charged news broke out, one of the narratives on the web was pointing the finger at the Philadelphia Police Department (who have recently gone on their own damage control campaign). Starbucks didn’t ride that potential wave, immediately taking responsibility for the debacle.

The incident happened on a Thursday, with the video beginning to crest by Friday. On Saturday the hashtag #BoycottStarbucks exploded across Twitter. By then, the company had provided a public apology while CEO Kevin R. Johnson released both a video and written statement of culpability and regret.

The company’s reaction is a huge contrast from last year’s infamous video-captured incident on a United Express flight, when a passenger was recorded being forcibly dragged out. As the video became viral and the media reaction swelled, United appeared to deflect any blame at first and only apologized several days later. This was a textbook illustration of being tone deaf, widely seen as crippling the airline’s public perception.

The same argument can be made with the recent feet-dragging of Facebook once it was found its data was being politically mined by third-party companies. Stay tuned for that one, though.

STARBUCKS IS MAKING CHANGES TO THE BRAND

Taking responsibility and apologizing are only the first steps in any public crisis. Transformative actions should follow (beyond whatever recompensation offered to maligned consumers).

Historically, the best example might be in 1982 when seven people died from poison-laced Tylenol. Apologies were not going to make much of a difference in this tragedy, even if the culprit had been found. Instead, the maker of Tylenol, Johnson & Johnson, introduced a tamper-resistant packaging and $2.50-off coupons. Both solutions became a standard for the industry and an iconic case study on damage control.

Starbucks is obviously not going to add bigotry-erasing ingredients to their employee free coffees — but will be closing its stores on May 29 to conduct racial-bias education for employees (at the potential cost of $12 million).

This change is not in the product but the overall culture of the company.

As an expert in crisis management said, “This move goes far beyond the playbook of what a normal crisis response would be.”

STARBUCKS IS BEING DYNAMIC

A strategy in any business sense should never be static. Strictly following initial data and sticking to a template may lead to a disconnect.

Starbucks is being fluid with its crisis management. Johnson not only apologized in a video and written statement but has met with the two arrested individuals. This move has allowed Starbucks to own more of the dialogue instead of the media completely controlling the narrative.

Furthermore, the company continues to address the issue on its social media channels, as well as deal with collateral issues like fake coupons that offer free drinks to black customers. Sadly, regardless of the gravity of a situation, there are always elements wanting to make an extra buck or troll a population in the hope of having another sucker born in a minute.

Surely, Starbucks is learning from past nimble movements from other big brands — like JC Penny quickly addressing a Reddit, viral graphic that compared its teapots to Hitler or Southwest keeping its audiences well-informed right after an airplane made an emergency landing. Again, it’s about owning the dialogue as much as possible.

PR WIN OR CAUTIONARY TALE?

Starbucks seems to be doing everything right in the reputation management front, drawing deftly from past cases and innovating out of necessity. As marketer Viv Segal once said, “PR means telling the truth and working ethically – even when all the media want is headlines and all the public wants is scapegoats.”

I wouldn’t bet a pricey cup of coffee that it overcomes the crisis, though.

All times in history are unique, but these are singularly days where audiences live equally in both shifting physical and digital domains, all under an uncertain geopolitical and cultural atmosphere. In any public relations today, there are too many moving parts to be confident of how a brand will be affected.

In between now and the racial-bias education at the end of May, a lot can and will happen. In the end, the one thing that is certain is that this controversy will be a future case study, maybe or maybe not accompanied by a latte in a siren-printed cup.

Don’t Exhibit at Your Next Event Before Using this Research Hack

Proper market research is the stable launching pad to rocket any successful product, service, or campaign. That’s not rocket science.

Having said that, market research tends to get overlooked in the event space. All too often, brands get lulled into the “we’ve always done it this way” mentality when it comes to the annual exhibition. It’s time to dust off the usual signage, call an event provider for a booth, and send out the team with product samples. Or something like that.

Any event should be well-researched, new or reoccurring. Face-to-face marketing is still crucial. Research shows that companies are increasingly investing in events for their ability to bring results (some as much as 50% of marketing budget).

Without the right data, you risk exhibiting at an event with the wrong audiences. Your service or product will sputter. Conversely, well-researched shows blast your brand to hyperspace when it comes to customer engagement.

Follow this approachable and executable roadmap below to find the most suitable trade show or exhibit for your product or service.

Align the needs of your brand

One of the most important questions for marketing and business decisions is “Why?”

Why does your organization need to be at an event? At any event?

For these answers, it’s key to interview internal sales, marketers, product managers, and other stakeholders. This search aims to obtain background on promotional aims, product details, and competitive climate needed to select shows that fit like the proverbial glove. If possible, getting upper management to present a “big picture” vision goes a long way — which can then be aligned with the specific goals of having a booth (sales, networking, data gathering, product testing, etc.).

After a thorough examination, you’ll acquire a solid picture on identifying events that line up with your organization’s general marketing aims. Not getting this right from the start is likely to imbalance the rest of the process — so be as thorough as possible!

Find out where your audiences hang out

It may seem obvious to know what events your audience frequents, but it’s also vital to know why they attend a show, as well as their specific opinions after experiencing an event. After all, there can be many events for a single vertical and many reasons audiences attend them (education, networking, product search, etc.). Some events are more popular or relevant in any given year.

This is the time to whip out a survey for your customers and prospects. Ask them which events they patronize yearly, what are they looking for specifically on the show floor, and other explorative questions. Not every organization has the budget or time for high-level surveys, but in full transparency, QuestionPro provides its clients with a suite of intuitive research tools that can do the trick.

Keep in mind that informal, qualitative studies like picking the brain of clients over lunch or during a phone meeting can go a long way in obtaining data.

Hunt down the right exhibition or trade show

You’ve got actionable data at this point. Yay! Now it’s time find the best event opportunities for exhibiting. Luckily, there are many sources for identifying potential events.

These include:

  •      Association websites
  •      Trade publications
  •      Internet sites
  •      Trade associations
  •      Competitors (specifically their sites or social media channels)
  •      Direct mail from event producers

This investigation should produce a list of shows that match your brand’s marketing strategy and objectives. For best results, categorize by industry, vertical, and market — at the same time analyzing for potential cross-overs for multi-product/division companies.

Go into the belly of the beast

With a targeted list in your possession, contact organizers of each relevant show for pertinent information. This can include attendance figures, cost per square footage, space availability, sponsorships, etc. In addition, try to contact current exhibitors for their personal experiences.

As a warning, this step may be difficult. In many cases, organizers just don’t possess the kind of data you require, are reluctant to share numbers publicly, or have inadequate standards of information-reporting. What’s more, many show organizers simply lack independent auditors to certify their own data. Regardless, any information collected will go miles towards achieving research goals.

For additional criteria, there is nothing wrong with weighing such elements as speaker popularity, media exposure, or brand recognition. Not every event can be Comic-Con or SXSW, but you can hear an industry buzz if you’re attentive.

Use your research!

Now that you have all this rich data, it’s time to do something about it.

By now, you should have a clear answer to the most critical question: Should we exhibit and where?

Even if the answer is yes to exhibiting, it’s a matter of to what extent and how deep to invest. All of this depends primarily on the target audience quantity and quality (gleaned from the show organizer data and your surveys). It also depends on the feedback and insights of all relevant company stakeholders and decision-makers

Put together, this process ought to lead to a full marketing strategy after a few meetings. Even better, you’ll likely find overarching objectives and strategies for future shows, not to mention post-participation promotions.

What’s important is that your organization can be free of that “we’ve always done it this way” attitude when it comes to exhibiting. Once on the show floor, your team will be saying a hearty “hello” to audiences that are ready to interact with your brand fully.

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.

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.

Snapchat’s Got 99 Problems and Kylie Jenner’s Just One of Them

snapchat

It’s safe to say Snapchat probably wishes Kylie Jenner was still under her self-imposed social media hiatus. Last Wednesday, she tweeted to her 24.5 million followers: “sooo does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me… ugh this is so sad.” Shares of Snapchat’s parent company, Snap Inc., sank 6.1% on Thursday, costing Snap $1.3 billion (yes, billion) in market value. Can the social media platform bounce back, or are users done with it?

When Snapchat initially came on the social media scene, it was a way to send photos or videos, which after being viewed or played once, disappeared. Since then, it has changed immensely; it now lets you replay snaps an unlimited number of times, screenshot images if you want to save them, and save your own snaps to the Memories section of your account.

To say this recent redesign has users upset is an understatement. 1.2 million people have signed a Change.org petition asking Snapchat to revert to the old version. Common complaints are difficulty finding friends and rewatching Stories, and the Discover page, which has been replaced with featured and sponsored content. One reason why Jenner may be unhappy with the update is because it implements an algorithm to create a division between content from friends and content from publishers and celebrities, leading fewer people to see her posts. Evan Spiegel, CEO of Snap, Inc., responded to the backlash saying, “…one of the complaints we got was, ‘Wow, I used to feel like this celebrity was my friend and now they don’t feel like my friend anymore.’ And we’re like, ‘Exactly. They’re not your friend!’ …”

Snapchat isn’t the first social media company to upset users. When Instagram changed its logo two years ago from the classic polaroid-inspired icon to its current prismatic, abstract logo, it was largely panned by users and critics alike. Facebook encountered similar backlash when they unveiled the News Feed, leading CEO Mark Zuckerberg to draft a blog post titled “Calm Down. Breathe. We Hear You.”  

Despite the complaints, the re-design’s rollout lead to a surge in the U.S. app store charts. It went from No. 7 to No. 2 in the days after the re-design’s debut. Snapchat is making a big bet that users want to hear more from their friends than celebrities or brands (an algorithm both Facebook and Instagram have incorporated as well). And it will be interesting to see if the gamble pays off.

QuestionPro Audience provides our clients with access to more than 20 million active consumer respondents, who are pre-screened and qualified candidates for high-quality data collection. 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.

Apple HomePod: Worth the Steep Price Tag?

HomePod

Apple’s HomePod has arrived. On February 9, 2018, the $349 HomePod debuted in the US, UK and Australia. Apple, who is used to being the first on the technology scene, is the late-comer to the voice assistant speaker market, launching three years after Amazon’s Echo.  And as the first consumer reviews come streaming in, whether it was worth the wait is up for debate.

While Apple CEO Tim Cook insists the HomePod isn’t competing with those other voice activated speakers (Amazon Echo, Google Home, Sonos One), it’s hard for consumers not to compare them. According to Cook, the speaker is meant to fill the void in the market of a quality audio experience. And it seems to do that well; with an Apple A8 chip, a large woofer (a loudspeaker designed to reproduce low frequencies) and seven tweeters, by all reports, the HomePod does provide a good home music speaker.

Now for it’s drawbacks. First, and perhaps most importantly for consumers, is it’s price. At $349, it’s the most expensive voice activated speaker on the market—by far. Amazon Echo costs $180, Google Home is $129, and a Sonos speaker is $199. Are consumers willing to pay almost double for the HomePod? Apple’s argument is that the HomePod is worth the cost because it combines smart features and great sound, but the jury is still out. Second, the only music service supported by the HomePod is Apple Music. You can rig it to work with Pandora or Spotify, but it won’t respond to voice-based commands to manage those services. Third, —and a big selling point for the other voice activated devices on the market—is the inability to order pizza, hail an Uber, or even make a phone call.

According to a recent study conducted by QuestionPro Audience, 54% of smart speaker users are concerned about security and privacy. iPhone Siri has the capability to understand only the owner of the phone, but that technology was not transferred to the HomePod. HomePod Siri will respond to anyone who speaks to it, which may cause potential privacy issues if someone else asks to listen to the owner’s messages. On the other hand, both Amazon and Google store your audio data for a period of time, but the HomePod anonymizes your data, so it cannot be traced back to your device.

Consensus: the HomePod definitely isn’t for everyone, but for those who are already tied into the Apple ecosystem, and are looking for a great sound system to play Apple Music, the HomePod won’t disappoint.

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.