Tag Archives: consumer insights

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 (5314 downloads)

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

 

Download this infographic.

Embed Our Infographic On Your Site!

A Practical Visionary: Success Insights From Netflix Founder Reed Hastings

 

Netflix is undoubtedly one of the premier brands today. The Los Gatos, California company is so culturally revolutionary it’s even made the action of abusing television something cool. The phenomenon of “binge watching” has become a clarion call for Millennials and often a mating call for Hipsters. The vast wasteland that was television is now a vast paradise of streaming on mobile devices.

Netflix has changed many perceptions as well as overcome many societal and economic shifts—remaining at the top of the brand food chain.

Much of the success of Netflix can be attributed to founder and CEO, Reed Hastings. The essence of this former vacuum cleaner salesperson and Peace Corps volunteer can be found in Scott Smith’s book, Extraordinary People. The work uses primary and secondary interviews to mine the synergetic history of Netflix and Hastings. It showcases Hastings as a complex visionary, yet at his core with a practical approach to improving the lives and experiences of those around him.

 

A Common Sense Visionary

 

 

In his book, Smith reveals that the conception of Netflix didn’t begin so much with market research but a mixture of common sense and anger—the kind many of us perhaps felt decades ago when being wallet-raped by video companies like Blockbuster. A Smith writes:

The genesis of Netflix came in 1997, when Hastings misplaced a rented videotape, Apollo 13, and was hit with a late fine of $40. Afterwards, on his way to the gym, he wondered why a rental service couldn’t work like the gym: a flat fee for members to use it as much as they wanted with no late fees.

This thought-process led to the creation of Netflix. In May 1998, Hastings offered a free trial to initial adopters of DVDs for $4 rental and $2 postage. Few signed up to pay. However, a year later, he experimented with a flat monthly subscription with no late fees. The tweak worked. By the end of 2000, Netflix boasted 239,000 customers.

The company exploded, but still needed to overcome many hurdles in those early years such as:

–  The dot-com bubble bust.
–  9/11 and the ensuing soft economy.
–  Fierce competition from giants like Amazon, Blockbuster, and Walmart.

Nevertheless, in 2002 Netflix started setting up regional warehouses to speed up DVD distribution and went public after reaching 857,000 members by the end of the year. By 2004, membership ballooned to 2.6 million.

Eventually and not too long ago, Blockbuster went out of business. In retrospect, that Apollo 13 video Hastings rented might be the most expensive video in history.

 

A Daring Visionary

 

 

In 2007, inspired by the rise of YouTube videos, Hastings made a concerted effort to make Netflix into a streaming service. He saw the writing on the proverbial wall, but unfortunately missed a step when it came to execution, and the fall was hard. To this day, many Millennials and Hipsters must shudder when thinking of the disaster, which happened as follows:

Soon after being hailed the 2010 Company of the Year, being the U.S. Postal Service’s biggest customer, and being the largest source of Internet traffic in the evening—Netflix announced it was going to restructure its DVD business as a subsidiary called Qwikster. Customers who had been receiving disks and streaming movies under the same subscription would be forced to buy the services separately with higher prices. This business shift was done to accelerate the transition of Netflix from a company renting DVDs to a streaming service.

The reaction was vastly negative. The company’s stock dropped from its all-time high of $305 the day before to $64 in November of 2011. Close to a million customers cancelled subscriptions.

“I screwed up,” Hastings admitted soon after in a blog post. “If our business is about making people happy, then I made a big mistake. I slid into arrogance based on past success.”

He also called off the plan.

We all know how the story ends, of course (binge-watching reigns supreme). Fast Company called the turnaround “the biggest comeback in entertainment history.” And here we are, with Netflix being one of the most innovating, expanding and successful companies in the world.

 

A Company Culture Visionary

 

 

Beyond good ideas and reputation management, Hastings’ other achievement is creating a “culture of entrepreneurship” in his company. Netflix is notorious for paying and treating its employees well.

As Smith writes in his book, Netflix emphasizes the qualities it seeks in employees upfront in the hiring process:

1. Judgment—You identify root causes and get beyond treating symptoms.
2. Innovation—You keep us nimble by keeping things simple.
3. Impact—You focus on great results, rather than the process.
4. Curiosity—You contribute effectively outside of your specialty.
5. Communication—You listen well so that you understand before reacting.
6. Courage—You make tough decisions without excessive agonizing.
7. Honesty—You only say things about fellow employees you would say to their face.
8. Selflessness—You share information proactively.
9. Passion—You inspire others with your thirst for excellence.

Lastly, Extraordinary People presents real life lessons for all us lesser mortals who never swore revenge on a video store:

–  Imagine your industry in 10 years and work towards that vision.
–  Deliver a high-quality customer experience no matter what. For most companies, that’s a slogan on a wall trumped by political infighting and treating front line workers as the least important.
–  Screen recruits for personality and values, not resume and technical skills. The specifics of a business can be learned by smart outsiders.
–  Don’t be afraid to admit mistakes quickly and learn lessons to prevent future errors.
–  Have a passion for whatever you do—making money is not a sufficient motive to get you through tough times.

 

Conclusion

 

 

Not everyone can be Hastings, and not everyone will work for a company like Netflix. However, everyone can use common sense marketing to find the needs of customers; and every company should understand that treating employees exceptionally more often than not fosters exceptional employees.

Stream that, Blockbuster.

 

10 Iconic Products Originally Invented For Something Insanely Different

Old coca-cola advertisement, promising body numbing

 

There comes the idea. There comes the vision. There comes the sound market research to ensure a virgin good takes its place in the hallowed pantheon of world-changing products.

Oy vey! There comes a product that ends up employed for something completely different from its original intention. The product still changed the world, people got rich, but what the heck…

More than a comedy of errors and that fool of fate vibe, we think you will find some powerful lessons from these products on determination, insight, adaptability and other vital characteristics of entrepreneurship.

 

1.   Coca-Cola

 

 

CocaCola-ad-from-1800s

America’s favorite soft drink started out as anything but soft. Coca-Cola’s original purpose was to combat anxiety, headaches and drug dependence. John Pemberton, a pharmacist and Confederate veteran suffering from morphine addiction, invented the primordial Coca-Cola in the late 19th century. He named the drink Pemberton’s French Wine Coca, and it started out a sweetened alcoholic beverage infused with coca leaves.

As it grew as a brand, Coca-Cola was gradually honed with carbonation and non-narcotic sweeteners to give the world its most famous soda.

 

2.   Kotex & Lysol

lysoldouche8_0

I place these two products together because they reveal the plight of women wading in the torrid currents of marketing. On one hand, Lysol began as a feminine douche and contraception, failing on both accounts and being downright dangerous to women’s health. Marketing campaigns even accused women of being deficient spouses if they didn’t use the product. Mercifully, research and politicking mutated Lysol into what it is today: a cleaning and disinfecting home product.

If you don’t believe me or the header graphic, check out this old ad found in Mentalfloss:

lysol advertisement

Sickening.

On the other hand, Kotex started out as a surgical dressing. Perceptive Red Cross nurses discovered another use for it due to its absorbent material: feminine hygiene. After the war, Kotex discovered a new market.

 

3.   Play-Doh

 

 

play doh

No, this product wasn’t created for your toddler to make your carpet crusty, even if it buys you a break. Soap manufacturer Cleo McVickers first invented this salty clay-like substance in the 1930s. Originally, McVickers believed he’d discovered the ultimate wallpaper cleaner. He didn’t get rich for this, but 20 years later his son Joseph remarketed the product for kindergarteners. The rest is messy history.

 

4.   Bubble Wrap

 

 

bubble-wrap-wallpaper

In 1957, engineer Al Fielding and Swiss inventor Marc Chavannes thought they had a hit by designing the ultimate wallpaper—plastic sheets with air bubbles. Needless to say, the idea went over like a lead bubble. Fielding and Chavannes attempted to market their invention as a greenhouse insulation, and that approach failed as well. The product found its purpose (and was saved) by an idea from a marketer at Sealed Air, who used in 1959 as the wrapper for IBM’s 1401 computer. Is there anything computer technology can’t do?

The material was quickly dubbed Bubble Wrap. Today it’s a $4 billion a year in sales product. The home decorating industry is eternally grateful.

 

5.   Viagra

 

 

Viagra-heart-health-study

Not everything is about sex in society, and Viagra is a perfect illustration. At first, the med was conceived as a treatment for symptoms of heart disease. However, in Phase I clinical trials researchers discovered that the drug was a failure for its intended purpose. However (again), researchers noticed that male subjects were hardening not in the arteries but other places. Voila! A heavenly product “erected” from a failed drug, and now Viagra rakes in an estimated $1.9 billion dollars a year.

 

6.   Listerine

 

listerine-uses_5

Over a century ago, Listerine was invented as a surgical antiseptic. It didn’t quite catch with the medical community, and later was employed for these purposes:

–  A cure for gonorrhea
–  Treatment for sweaty feet, soft corns, and toe crust
–  An additive for cigarettes
–  Treatment for dandruff

Sometime in the 1920s Listerine found its destiny as a cure for stinky breath. Thus, if you’re ever booted from Shark Tank, know that you can come back many times with the same product and different marketing.

 

7.   Post-It Notes

 

Arthur Fry

Arthur Fry

Talk about the greatest failure becoming the greatest success. In 1968, Spencer Silver was working for 3M trying to create super strong adhesives for the aerospace industry. Instead, Silver created the opposite: an extremely weak, pressure-sensitive adhesive. Interestingly, the substance left little residue and could be reused several times. As with the other products mentioned, marketing and market research attempted to find a use for it to no avail.

Years later, another employee of 3M, Arthur Fry, used the adhesive simply to keep hymnal papers together when he was singing at church. One sticky thing led to another sticky thing, and the Post-It Note came to the market in the 1970s, floundered for a while, and finally became an American staple (or replacer) in the 1980s. And no airplanes had to fall apart either!

 

8.   St. Patrick’s Day

 

C253C146670788C8B09B0B2D378BA557

I know. It’s not a product, but it’s still is a brand. Moreover, St. Patrick’s day reveals that some celebrations are steeped in fiction and lies, but that doesn’t make them any less meaningful. As we reported, St. Patrick’s Day was originally a day of devotion lacking in parades where the government outlawed liquor consumption in pubs; and that American activism and thirst for equality is what truly inspired the holiday’s modern variation.

Oh, and leprechauns aren’t real either, if you were wondering.

 

9.   Super Glue/Krazy Glue

 

soldats-americains-guerre-vietnam1

Everyone’s favorite repair hack was once utilized as an emergency wound-sealer in combat situations, specifically the Vietnam War. That’s not how it started, though. These glues are composed of a substance called cyanoacrylate. Harry Coover invented cyanoacrylate in 1942 for Kodak Laboratories—in an attempt to create a special extra-clear plastic suitable for gun sights. That intention didn’t work, and neither did other uses such as plastic for airplane canopies. After years of tweaking, cyanoacrylate found a temporary home on the battlefield as makeshift would sealer that prevented soldiers from bleeding to death before being taken to the hospital.

The invention saved many lives, but the Food & Drug Administration never allowed it for the general public. This version of cyanoacrylate made its way to consumers for home repair, although some variations are employed in orthopedic surgery and dental procedures.

 

10. Saccharine

 

Süßstoff_Saccharin_Zucker-Museum

This product was a joint stumbling of both men and women. In the late 19th century—around the time Pemberton was getting high on Coca-Cola—chemist Constantin Fahlberg thought he had almost perfected a coal tar derivative. During that discovery time, when at home after work, he noticed that his wife’s biscuits tasted much sweeter than usual. Fahlberg discovered that the reason for those sweet-ass biscuits had to do with him not washing his hands after work and getting the residue of the coal tar derivative on the food.

Sometimes bad hygiene can lead to vast riches, as well as pink packets on every restaurant table.

 

Conclusion

 

 

As you can see, the line to success is rarely straight, and often seeming mistakes can be transformed into vast opportunities—just as good intentions and aggressive marketing can cause massive damage (as with Lysol). Also, what starts as something base can evolve into sophistication for consumers. The key with these inventors and entrepreneurs is that they kept their eyes and ears open, accepted failure as a bridge to triumph, and simply never gave up…stoned out their minds or not.

 

old advertisement

 

 

15 Free Market Research Tools & Resources When You Need A Hack

Lady holding umbrella underneath falling numbers

 

Market research is a discipline of precision. It’s also an industry that—if it could—would melt into the essence of numbers themselves. There are occasions, however, when a researcher might need some ad hoc statistics or data to support a project during nascent stages. Also, with market research budgets tightening across the business world, sometimes a researcher just needs a hack to gain a sense of perspective.

We’ve compiled a list of some free market research tools for the mentioned occasions. These can work from business development to brand analysis.

 

Economic & Financial Data

 

 

For mining the business and consumer landscapes, certainly start with FreeLunch. Moody Analytics provides the data, centered on capital markets and risk management. You can acquire data on an astonishing 180 countries that represent roughly 93% of the global GDP.

For sources with a little lighter scope, we recommend Quartz’s Atlas. This resource doesn’t exactly extracts profound insights, but it does provide sensible data in the form of charts and graphs you can embed in your documents or presentations.

 

American Demographics Sample

 

 

Our own government’s The American FactFinder allows you to search for any chunk of data related to any geographic location in the country. Gain access to documents such as demographic qualities, population estimates, housing valuations and business statistics. All data you find can be segmented further into age, sex, race, location and more. The US Census Bureau manages the search engine, which is a huge asset both for both exploratory and later-phase market research.

To understand a specific area’s lifestyle habits, you can then take advantage of Nielsen’s MyBestSegments. This platform offers tools to discover which areas would be most receptive to a brand campaign or launch—as well as nearby competitors and shifting shopping trends.

 

Brand Competition

 

 

With Upfront Analytics, you simply provide your company information and two competitors. The company then collects market research data through app games instead of traditional surveys—just to navigate biases and traditional response rates. In a few days, data returns to you with a national representative of the population as well as brand awareness statistics for your company.

As a companion, utilize Business Dynamics Statistics, which allows you see economic data on job creation, startups and shutdowns, business openings, expansions, and closures.

If you need assistance in where exactly to stay away from competition, there is ZoomProspector, a nifty tool allowing you to identify the optimal locations for startups, relocation or expansion of your or a client’s business.

Lastly, if you want to know how market research is evolving (and competing with itself), you can never go wrong with Greenbook’s GRIT Report.

 

Surveys and Focus Groups

 

 

If you want “free,” then obviously these tools are certainly quasi-scientific, at least in their no-cost levels. Nonetheless, they may present a snapshot of a brand or feedback on a product.

There are many and popular “free” survey platforms. We recommend the services of our sister company, QuestionPro, for their overall agility and intimate service (as they aren’t one of the mammoth survey providers). For an even simpler hack, Twitter and Facebook now provide polls if you happen to have a vibrant social media community for a quick data portrait.

Obviously, we recommend enterprise online surveys, which comes down to well-managed and highly-engaged panels. If you’re going the route of generic sample, use a free sample calculator to get closer to scientific.

As far as focus groups, Google Hangouts or a Skype group conversation is the way to go. Again, nothing scientific but certainly insightful or even stimulating.

If you really, really need brand analysis, try Userlytics—which provides a platform to test mobile apps, videos, display ads and more. It presents both a webcam and a screen recording of participant engagement. Afterwards, you can compare user answers with their reactions on video to understand how people are truly interacting with your brand. (Userlytics is not free, but it’s inexpensive, and that’s sometimes as good as free when you need a hack).

 

Conclusion

 

 

For a truly real free market research tool, we probably should have mentioned Siri or Cortana, but perhaps you already used them. That’s a bit of an exaggeration, as either platform is a close as rolling the dice as you can get. But you never know, right? In the end, there are more free market research tools available in cyberspace, but the ones we mentioned can move your research forward even as budgets and timelines move backward.

 

Poor survey data driving you crazy

How Virtual Reality Is Transforming Market Research

 

Certain trends seem to surge and sputter, and then surge and sputter. Two examples might be 3D movies and Ska. The most recent instance is virtual reality, which surged at times in the 90s and 2000s but then sputtered without adhering to mass culture. Virtual reality is back again, with somewhat of a vengeance, highlighted by such technologies as Facebook’s Oculus and Samsung’s Gear VR.

Will virtual reality stick this time? Only time will tell, but it’s already influencing market research and could potentially inform survey research.

In a GreenBook article, editor-in-chief Leonard Murphy makes a strong case that virtual reality is now valuable for market research. Some companies are presently investing heavily on its benefits. Murphy’s findings are largely based on research by Rutgers, and here are his main takeaways:

Approximately 70% of brand decisions occur when consumers are already inside a store. Many consumers wait until the last minute to make a decision. Therefore, no amount of market research preparation can fully overcome the mentioned percentage, except for virtual reality, which can simulate buyer’s journeys in a store in real-time and in-depth behavior.

–  Virtual reality seamlessly incorporates into already-proven technologies like eye tracking and heat maps, in order to gain a comprehensive view of the consumer subconscious desires. As an example, Cadbury has combined these technologies with virtual reality to decipher product shelf placing.
–  In virtual reality shopper simulation, multiple scenarios can be executed. This ultimately may be cost effective for businesses in research projects.
–  Virtual reality focus groups cost 50% less than traditional focus groups, and yield the same accuracy of data.

The pixel-sky is the limit. Virtual reality can be employed beyond just the shopping experience— such as new product concept testing, customer experience model testing and restaurant menu optimization/pricing.

Contrary to some market research Luddites, it should be mentioned that being placed in a virtual world (or The Matrix) is not detrimental to providing accurate responses. As a recent report from a market research company explained, nearly a quarter of consumers feel that virtual interactions are as good as “being there.” The numbers are higher for millennials. Thus, the future implies that virtual scenarios do not pose a problem for researchers.

Nevertheless, could virtual reality pertain to quantitative research? Of course. Google Glass may have been a failure, but it taught that individuals are capable of inputting data while simultaneously interacting with the “real world.” Questionnaires, then, can flash before respondents in virtual settings and completed in real-time. Moreover, the trending issue with widespread consumer rejection of surveys (which we reported on) could also be solved as surveys become far more entertaining and engaging at the same time.

Virtual reality surveys are basically an actual reality, as seen by this graphic from the Lieberman Research Institute:

virtual reality in online surveys

Again, the pixel-sky is the limit. The question remains on whether virtual reality will remain as more than an ephemeral fashion. One figure who is publicly skeptic about virtual reality is computer genius and tech entrepreneur Walter O’Brien (television show Scorpion is based on him). During a recent interview on the Tim Ferris podcast, O’Brien bemoaned the fact that virtual reality has not evolved that much from its 90s incarnation. The technology still needs much more of a “wow” factor, according to him.

Even the buzz on virtual reality appears nonexistent, perhaps due to the past incarnations of the technology. As recent Horizon Media study found that two-thirds of Americans are either unaware of uncaring about having virtual reality.

Following the money trail says otherwise, though. As Murphy explains in the GreenBook article, virtual reality is estimated to generate $30 billion in revenues by 2020. Much of this is due to the increasing reliance of market research projects for this technology.

In essence, market research has time to embrace virtual reality, and those in survey research can get excited at presenting some exciting surveys that improve overall data quality.

Even Ska could be played in the background…