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The Hero Guide To Destroying The Death Star Of Procrastination

Man defying an exploding Death Star above him

 

I would like to think I put the “pro” in procrastination (maybe not the “fun” in funny, but alas). I relate well with what author Robert Mckee once said:

I hold Olympic records for procrastination. I can procrastinate thinking about my procrastination problem. I can procrastinate dealing with my problem of procrastinating thinking about my procrastination problem.

Mckee and I are surely not alone in being the masters of our procrastination domains. Statistics would agree, revealing that procrastination is a widespread malady. According to The American Psychological Association, an estimated 20% of Americans are chronic procrastinators, costing one trillion dollars a year for businesses.

Yes, Dr. Evil, that was one trillion and not one million (or even billion). Procrastination is a problem, as you can see, layered like Shrek and confounding like Donkey.

There are solutions, though. They involve realizing we’ve misdiagnosed and mischaracterized procrastination for far too long. It’s time to know the enemy even if the enemy is mostly us.

 

Procrastination Is Not About Time But Emotion

 

 

In The Atlantic article The Procrastination Doom Loop, Derek Thompson provides an extensive evaluation on procrastination. Thompson quotes several experts, one a prominent psychologist who declares that procrastination “really has nothing to do with time-management. To tell the chronic procrastinator to just do it would be like saying to a clinically depressed person, cheer up.”

In essence, we procrastinate because:

–  We delay action because we’re in the wrong mood to complete a task.
–  We assume that our mood will change in the future.

All of this results in what is called a procrastination “doom loop,” where that negative mood begins a continuous feedback of anxiety, guilt and anger, all due to the very notion of confronting a task.

Here is a doom loop diagram from the article:

procrastination doom loop chart

The Solution:

To combat the doom loop, Thompson’s research offers these remedies:

–  Schedule one-shot reminders as late as possible—even slightly after you were supposed to start the project. Last-second reminders tend to exorcise any negative moods and ignite our fight instinct.
–  Have others create deadlines for us. Deadlines imposed by outsiders tend to be more effective than personal ones, even from friends or family.
–  Fool yourself into thinking a task is enjoyable or leisurely. Procrastinators are more likely to complete a piece of work if they’re persuaded it’s not truly work.

 

Procrastination Is Not About Being Passive But Impulsive

 

This might seem like a surprise, but an insightful article in Lifehacker offers the Red Pill to this aspect of procrastination. It’s actually very logical.

The articles explains:

In reality, impulsivity simply means that you act immediately on your impulses. When the mood strikes you to do something, you do it. Your actions are largely dictated by whatever your most immediate desire is, regardless of the long-term consequences of that action.

Procrastination is not so much about choosing not to work, but choosing the easiest task first, that proverbial low hanging fruit. As an example, we might decide to check Facebook instead of starting a report. Also, unhinged impulsiveness leads to unhinged anxiety, shutting down productivity across all spectrums.

People with ADD and substance abuse problems are pathologically impulsive. They tend to make the wrong choices to experience instant gratification. For the rest of us, it’s just damn Daniel all the way as we struggle with facing our projects.

The Solution:

–  Practice mindfulness (even two minutes of meditation a day can assist in nurturing a poised mind).
–  Learn your red flags and plan around them (cursed be that “buy now” Amazon button!), as well as recognize your triggers and weaknesses.
–  Indulge in some productive procrastination. Scheduling some social media time at work can actually improve productivity, no matter what the HR people caw about in their memos.

procrastination meme3

Procrastination Is Not Fear of Beginning A Task But Fear Of The Big Picture

 

As research explains, for procrastinators a journey of a thousand miles starts with breaking down the journey into a thousand pieces. Both subconsciously and consciously, people may feel stupefying anxiety at visualizing an entire project—much in the same way the crew of the Millennium Falcon felt when they saw the Death Star in its entirety.

The solution:

A piece from PsychCentral states:

The whole may be too much to contend with, so the easiest way to overcome a tendency to put things off is to break a project or task into smaller pieces. Call them bite-size chunks.

Not only is the resulting amount of work more manageable, it doesn’t loom as overwhelming. Besides, once you complete the smaller pieces of the task, you can relish the feeling of accomplishment. This helps reinforce your determination to tackle other things on your list.

In other words, when it comes to procrastinations, seeing the trees and not the forest might be the best way to go on that journey of a thousand miles…or inside the Death Star’s trash compactor, when things don’t go well.

procrastination meme

 

Procrastination Is a Ritual That Can Be Destroyed By Rituals

 

Perhaps you should worship St. Expeditus, the patron saint of procrastinators. Expeditus was not the founder of Expedia Travel, but a Roman in the 3rd century who decided to convert to Christianity. Allegedly, the Devil appeared to Expeditus and urged him to wait until the next day to switch dogmas. Expeditus refused and faced his task that day. These days, one might see icons of St. Expeditus turned upside down like an hourglass.

Okay, St. Expeditus might not solve procrastination, but he might, when he’s seen as a representation of something greater.

The Solution:

Find rituals that work for you or at the very least entertain you. All that matters is that you believe these rituals. The examples are legion from notable figures—like poet Edith Sitwell lying in an open coffin before writing because she believed it increased her focus; or Charles Dickens placing ornaments on his desk in a specific order to help him concentrate on the task at hand.

If you’re just too secular-minded, there are more practical (albeit) extreme rituals you can incorporate into your existence. Here are some illustrations from famous individuals:

–  French novelist Victor Hugo wrote both Les Misérablesand The Hunchback Of Notre-Dame in his birthday suit. Being butt-naked meant he wouldn’t be able to leave his house. As an extra precaution, he also instructed his servant to hide his clothes.
–  Greek orator Demosthenes would shave half of his hair off, making him look ridiculous, but it forced to stay home and focus solely on his projects.
–  Herman Melville reportedly had his wife chain him to his desk while he struggled to finish Moby-Dick.

If you’d rather embrace more gentle and superstitious rituals, understand that some have compared rituals to mind algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result, and these can scientifically fight back impulsiveness, anxiety and other negative symptoms of procrastination.

procrastination meme2

 

Conclusion

 

 

These solutions are not necessarily meant to be employed collectively. Yet if you draw from this pool of procrastination-killers with healthy doses of self-knowledge, you will find some silver bullets to finishing projects.

It’s your onion and your Death Star. As a last piece of advice before you shave your hair and strip naked in the middle of the office, I recommend Steven Pressfield’s book, The Art of War. I’ll leave you with a quote from the book:

“Procrastination is the most common manifestation of Resistance because it’s the easiest to rationalize. We don’t tell ourselves, “I’m never going to write my symphony.” Instead we say, “I am going to write my symphony; I’m just going to start tomorrow.”

The problem is that tomorrow always seems to come, doesn’t it?

 

As a bonus, enjoy this time-management infographic:

4 Scientific Tips to Always Being on Time Infographic

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Millennials And Boomers: Two Sides Of The Same Marketing Coin

 

Millennials and Boomers. Two demographics separated by an ocean of time and the icebergs of Generation X. No way in this or any galaxy far away they could be similar.

Think again. Beyond the reality that both groups have a population nearing 77 million, they are oddly very similar. In fact, think hard again since Millennials and Boomers are two powerful consumer groups (as will be shown) whom deciphering could be a millennium boom for marketers.

As a company that manages both Millennial and Boomer panels for online research, we’ve noticed their similarities, and we are not alone.

 

Social Media and Technology

 

 

For starters, it’s no secret that Millennials are the sultans of social media. Yet qSample’s primary research reveals that Boomers are becoming extremely passionate about their Facebook or LinkedIn accounts. They may not dig Snapchat like Millennials, but more than 27 million Boomers possess a social media account (and other data claims that 65% of Boomers have a Facebook account). When it comes to smartphones, Millennials win this game, as approximately 85% own a mobile device (only 47% of Baby Boomers own a smartphone, but they’re catching up).

 

diblert comic strip

 

Someone who has extensively analyzed both Millennials and Boomers is Sara Bamossy, a strategic planning director for Saatchi & Saatchi LA. She explains, “Both generations value technology. Sure there’s been a delay in Boomers adapting, but they are.”

The difference, according to Bamossy, is that Boomers are more careful and less organic when it comes to technology, but in the end just as embracing.

 

Social Issues and Transformation

 

 

Where Millennials and Boomers truly connect is in their altruism. Yes, both generations are lambasted for being egotistical, hence the titles of the “Me” and “Selfie” generations. That’s more of a myth, though. Our research has shown that Baby Boomers are extremely socially-conscious. As an illustration, 89% of Baby Boomers want to improve energy dependence while 84% feel it’s important to use green energy. As we’ve also reported, Millennials are just as socially-conscious, to the point it deeply influences their buying decisions.

Here is more information on Boomers and green technology:

boomers & green4

Beyond our data, here are some other similarities between Millennials and Boomers:

–  Both are deeply informed by the opinions of their family and friends (unlike Gen Xers, who just don’t care).
–  Both are loyal to the brands of their parents or family.
–  Both tend to be frugal, enjoying the thrill of bargain hunting and showrooming.

As for politics and civics, Millennials and Boomers are somewhat different (beyond the fact that one demographic looks like Bernie Sanders while the other supports him). This chart from the National Conference of Citizenship offers their differences when it comes to civic engagement:

 

millennial baby boomer political engagement

 

Why The Similarities?

 

 

One could draw parallels of Millennials and Boomers from the societal events in their respective times:

–  Both grew up in strong economic times (the 50s for Boomers, early 2000s for Millennials).
–  Both grew up during questionable wars and shadowy enemies (Vietnam War/Communism for Boomers, the Iraq War/Terrorism for Millennials).
–  Both face seemingly corrupt governments and financial institutions (too many to mention here).
–  Both, for some reason, possess nicknames that originate with the counterculture movement of underground Jazz and drugs, the beatnik worlds of Kerouac and Ginsberg (Hippy for Boomers and Hipster for Millennials). Yet both have a strong tendency to act more like Yuppies when it comes to careers.

These reasons are just speculation. In the end, this is subject for anthropologists and social scientists. When it comes to marketing research, what is most relevant is that both Millennials and Boomers are powerful consumer blocs. Boomers annually spend $3 trillion in the U.S. alone, while Millennials spend $600 million (but some estimates have them matching Boomers within the next decade). Both groups dominate 70% of disposable income.

 

Conclusion

 

 

Perhaps it would be wise for qualitative researchers to find out why Boomers and Millennials are similar in their spending habits. This would go a long way in streamlining marketing efforts, provide rich Venn Diagrams that could save budgets in advertising campaigns.

Hopefully, as the world caters to the dollars of Millennials and Boomers, someone will leave Gen Xers with some crumbs, like a few Nirvana albums or plaid shirts.

 

All About Millennials

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Ingredients To Surveys Consumers Will Actually Want To Take [Infographic]

Man holding smartphone with survey written on screen

 

Your survey will probably be ignored and hated. It might be hated more than Pharma Bro or the Star Wars prequels…unless you offer Jar Jar’s head on a platter with each complete.

Those are bold words, you might be thinking, and bringing in Jar Jar Binks is just hitting below the belt. Well, take a look at data on online surveys:

–  Survey cooperation rates have nosedived from 43% in 1997 to 14% in 2012. Online survey responses rates are even lower. Some studies have participation rates averaging 2 percent.
–  It seems everyone and their market research dog is entering the survey research game, including Google and Twitter. This has logically created more competition and more glut. Hence, respondent fatigue has settled over the population like a Fukushima’s reactor cloud. As illustrations, one survey firm, Mindshare Technologies, conducts 60 million surveys every year (at a startling 175,000 surveys a day); another company, ForeSee, conducts around a million surveys per month.

These statistics don’t even consider the barrage of information on consumers that has, in effect, shortened their attention spans and patience for survey research.

Worry not. Your survey can exact high participation rates. You just need to afford more care in writing questionnaires and delivering the survey. The “more care” is presented in the below infographic, based on our article 7 Hellish Ways You’re Burning Your Online Survey Respondents.

Really, don’t worry, and I promise not to mention the Star Wars prequels again. With the data from the infographic, you’ll be delivering online surveys resulting in the market research insights you deserve.

4 Ingredients to a Good Survey

 

 

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12 Sage Tips To Optimize Mobile Surveys [Infographic]

Smartphone bursting with information and symbols

 

Video may have killed the radio star, as song goes, but mobile might be killing the PC star. Mobile is certainly killing it when it comes to consumer attention, something important to bear in mind as marketing researchers. The Mobile Era is here and it’s more like a conquest.

I could go on all day about mobile, toss in several more analogies and metaphors. Instead, why not present some sound data:

More Americans use mobile devices for web browsing than they do PC’s
– Online surveys completed from mobile devices will approach 50% in 2016
– 60% of cell phones are smartphones
– Worldwide mobile advertising revenue will expand by 3.5 times its present size in 2016
– 74% of mobile Boomers use their phone while shopping (yes, that’s boomers, just think of Millennials and Generation X’ers)
– More Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including Japan and the US

See the writing on the wall? Even you, PC star?

Thus, it’s imperative to make market research mobile-friendly, a notion that many experts feel hasn’t happened fully. As one marketing thought leader said about 2016 market research trends: “Finally, we’ll continue to muck up mobile research and bludgeon unwitting respondents with interminably lengthy surveys.”

Let’s not do any of that. To assist in mobile research, our latest infographic provides several tips to ensure your next survey is mobile-friendly. Or, at the very least, as another marketer said, that your surveys are “device agnostic and optimized for mobile by design.”

Here you go:

 

Infographic with list of tips to optimize mobile surveys

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The Top 5 Market Research Trends In 2016 (Infographic)

 

The Holidays are over, the decorations are coming down, and the weather isn’t getting tropical anytime soon.

That doesn’t mean festivities need to be done, though. Marketers have much to celebrate with potentially game-changing trends paving the way for a bright new year. We can go right back to the future of energetic research. Enter our infographic, based on the data and tea leaves from our two recent articles:

2016 Tech That Will Make You A Market Research Blade Runner

Market Research Trends To Follow In 2016 Or Die

This year certainly seems a time when the balance of technology and human experience, paired with the blurring of quantitative and qualitative research, become major themes in market research.

As always, this or last year, we hope you find the infographic useful in your quest to become a market research Dr. Who. We also hope to hear from you if you have any feedback on these predictions or anything else.

infographic with a list of market research trends in squares

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The Lifestyle of Ivy League Graduates (Infographic)

Man in business suit riding a bicycle very happily

With a median household income of over $190,000 and a median net worth of $900,000, Ivy League graduates are an influential demographic that ought to be appealing to various marketers. Yet assuming “Ivies” are prosaic and entrenched in their fiefdoms is somewhat wrongheaded, particularly when data reveals the opposite.

Ivy League graduates’ lifestyles are in many respects as dynamic and pioneering as those of Millennials. This is what qSample presents with its latest infographic, based on its EDU Intelligence series that can be found in The Growing Idealism of Ivy League Graduates.

Ivy League graduates enjoy new and unknown travel destinations, experimenting with cutting-edge medicine, and intimately giving back to the community. And more.

If you’re wondering if they’re into skinny jeans or beard wax, that might have to wait for our EDU Intelligence study.

In the meantime, please take a look and let us know what you think:

infographic on Ivy League Graduate consumer habits

 

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Time To Permanently Demolish The 40-Hour Work Week

Picture of Narrator in Fight Club looking at boss from Office Space

 

The 40-hour work week. The 8-hour work day. Ah yes…

These two measurements are staples of the American workforce, entrenched memes in most industries and positions. One size fits like a first world glove.

But do these schedules really make sense? Is that the best way to work to remain competitive before the arriving robots take our jobs? Is there a better way to work?

The answers aren’t blowing in the wind, even if Bob Dylan disagrees, but the data could lead to liberating answers in your professional and even personal life.

 

How did the 40-hour work week begin, though?

 

In his popular article for Buffer, The Origins of the 8-House Workday and Why Should We Rethink It, Leo Widrich offers the history of the modern workweek. He explains that today’s work hours are certainly better than the 19th century’s six days of 10-16 workday hours—all to leverage the busy Industrial Revolution.

These incredibly long work days weren’t sustainable, at least for some. A brave (or maybe lazy) man named Robert Owen started a campaign to have people work no more than 8 hours per day. His slogan was “Eight hours labour, eight hours recreation, eight hours rest.”

working too many hours 2

Owen’s calls took a while to find ears, but in 1914 Ford Motor Company not only adopted the 8-hour workday it doubled the pay of its workers. The result was an increase in employee productivity and double profits within two years.

The business world figured out then that treating workers better actually benefited a company, and this 8-hour day became a standard across western society.

 

But are 8-hour work days necessary?

 

Obviously, we live in a different times, a world of technology, automation and shared economies. Does the 8-hour workday/40-hour work week really “work” in the Information Age?

Needless to say, many proponents exist for fewer work hours, contending they result in more productivity (just as Owen did). One could spend 40 hours on Google surfing for the arguments for shorter work schedules.

One of the leading proponents would be Tim Ferriss, who makes the case in his bestseller, The 4-Hour Workweek. The book mostly focuses on being a nimble entrepreneur, but it does contain insights on the bulkiness of working an 8-hour day.

Another example would be Ryan Sanders, cofounder of the HR software maker BambooHR, who instituted an “anti-workaholic policy” in his company. None of his 130+ employees is allowed to work more than 40 hours. Sanders believes that “Burning out is bad for the employees, bad for their families and bad for business.”

On the other hand, many worry that we’re actually regressing to Industrial Revolution levels of work. As Business Insider reports, Americans are staying longer on the job, where “58% of managers in the US reported working over 40 hours a week.” (We work harder than the Chinese yet less than Mexicans).

 

working too many hours 3

Research says longer work hours are hurting productivity across the board, and the Business Insider piece agrees. As a matter of fact, the standard workday is not even that productive. Research from American Online and Salary.com found that “the average worker wastes about two hours every eight-hour workday, doing stuff like making personal calls or surfing the web.”

More time is not the solution, but better time.

Working 40 or more hours is also creating a culture of dishonesty. As Quartz reports on a study from Market Probe, Americans pretend to be busy, even when there is no reason for it except for being at work, because the feel busy equates with success. The article states:

The report’s authors suggested that our tendency to lie about how busy we are comes from our belief that being busy is equivalent to “leading a life of significance” and not wanting to be “relegated to the sidelines.” This belief, they found, was paramount in countries that applaud hectic lifestyles, such as Germany and the US, whereas countries known to value leisure above work, like Italy and Belgium, are less convinced that keeping busy is a good thing.

Emotional intelligence expert, Dr. Travis Bradberry, writes that this obsession with being busy is detrimental to our jobs, quoting several studies:

They found that the belief that busyness is a sign of success and hard work is so prevalent that we actually fear inactivity. A recent study coined the term idleness aversion to describe how people are drawn to being busy regardless of how busyness harms their productivity.

 

working too many hours3

So what happens next?

 

Eliminating the 40-hour workweek will not be easy. After all, part of the reasoning behind standard work schedules is to be fair to all employees (although Henry Ford himself admitted that he lowered work hours not out of fairness or compassion, but so that his employees might have more time to buy products like his cars!).

As Forbes’ Jayson DeMers explains:

Giving all your employees exactly the same schedule and exactly the same number of hours may seem like a “fair” system, but it’s ultimately illogical. Real life doesn’t adhere to such fixed standards, and trying to compartmentalize the natural flow of work can lead to serious problems in individual and company-wide productivity.

Fairness may seem right but it’s ultimately not right for a productive company. Yet it’s hard to argue against fairness.

 

Blueprints to work less than 40-hours a week

 

For employers, as DeMers advices, the key is to create a more “project-based” office environment instead of an “hour-based” environment. Meeting deadlines should reign over counting the minutes.

Beyond this, many companies are already experimenting with these options to the 40-hour workweek:

Four-Day and Three-Day Workweeks
Flex-Time (or self-schedule)
Working From Home
Employee Votes (letting workers decide hours on a rotating basis)

Again, these schedules are based on a “project-based” system where results are more important than clock management. Of course, these options would not work in many industries such service or health.

In truth, other countries are now finding success with experimentation of shorter workweeks. Danish workers average 33 hours per week . Sweden is testing a 6-hour workday. One Swedish executive stated that the change “hasn’t really made a major difference in how people work.”

The key, according to the executive, is to ensure employees work efficiently and without distractions such as social media.

Until you find yourself in the right company or the right labor-shift paradigm, many experts (including Ferriss) contend you should just worry about your own time management. In other words, become a one-person “project-based” employee, if anything to maximize whatever hours lie ahead at work.

As Widrich explains in the Buffer article:

Human minds can focus on any given task for 90-120 minutes. (Then it’s time for a small break). Thus, the thinking should not be about what can be accomplished in eight hours, but what can I get done in a 90 min session.

This attitude makes the work hours less impactful and the day more manageable.

Just as important, champion the idea that the mind requires breaks and these breaks reward the mind with more productivity.

As Michael Cho writes in Entrepreneur:

Research discussed in the landmark book Creativity and the Mind showed that regular breaks significantly enhance problem-solving skills, partly by making it easier for you to go through your memories to find clues.

Focusing only on your work for four or five hours straight limits your chances to make new, insightful neural connections, which won’t help you when you need to be creative.”

To wit: tackle projects before you, take breaks, and recycle this schedule throughout the day.

Samuel Beckett by Qsample on Success for WordPress

 

Oh, and as most experts agree, including Widrich, Ferris and Bradberrry, distractions and multitasking are destroyers of productivity and accumulators of needless work hours. Multitasking may make us feel good, but as we’ve researched, it’s damaging to the mind and results in the U.S. economy losing $650 billion a year.

I hope this humble and brief article sparks the beginning not so much as a movement but a movement to a better work life for you. I hope you haven’t been multitasking while reading it. I hope…

Oh, boss coming around…I better look busy…

 

The Negative Effects of Multitasking

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Consumers Not Jolly About Shopping This Holiday Season (qSample Study)

Santa Claus asleep by a pile of gifts

 

It’s getting to look a lot like Christmas…at least in the minds of retailers eager to race into the black as the Holiday Season gears up. With a seemingly improving economy, many businesses expect a robust increase in sales this year.

Will their Yule wishes be granted?

Not likely, based on qSample’s syndicated study. Christmas shoppers appear to be stuck in neutral from 2014, in many ways. The primary research was conducted utilizing our general population online panel. More than 300 respondents participated. The findings agree with the National Retail Federation, which sees holiday sales tepid in 2015 (even if it’s estimated that Holiday sales will total $630 billion).

Almost half of surveyed respondents (49%) claimed they would spend the same amount on gifts as last year. Twenty percent said they would spend more, while 24% plan to spend less in 2015. As the National Retail Federation forecasts, holiday sales will only increase by 3.5% from the previous year, the lowest raise since 2010.

That’s a “Ba Humbug!” if it holds true.

 

Reasons why consumers are resistant to spending

 

Why holiday spending seems to be sputtering could be due to a negative perception of the economy. However, that doesn’t conform with the study’s results. Thirty-seven percent of respondents claimed to be positive about the economy this Holiday Season. The same margin of respondents (37%) felt that the economy was the same this time last year, with 25% stating they felt negative towards the economy.

The data could reflect a “what and see” attitude for consumers, who are neither excited nor concerned about economic realities or opportunities. It will likely mean more work for vendors to entice shoppers once Black Friday comes and goes. That will be a hard task, it appears, as 40% of respondents plan on spending between $100 and $500 on gifts, while only 20% will spend more than $500 during the Holiday Season.

 

Other difficulties for sellers

 

A further startling takeaway is the notion that tech will rule the Holiday shopping world. It doesn’t seem to be the case, or the vision of expensive iPhones and Samsung Ultra’s flying off the shelves. According to the study, devices such as smartphones, tablets, computers and tech accessories come in sixth place for all preferred gift categories. Other technology like televisions or home appliances ranks even lower. Here is the breakdown:

1. Clothing (21%)
2. Gift Cards (19%)
3. Toys (14%)
4. Cash (13%)
5. Home decoration/products (11%)
6. Mobile technology (9%)
7. General technology (televisions, home appliances, etc.) (7%)
8. Other (6%)

As for shopping preferences, a majority in the study (37%) plan on using both online and stores as their preferred method of shopping (with 25% shopping online and 29% going to stores exclusively). Less than one percent said they would use catalogs to buy gifts.

The hospitality and airline industries might not fare better than retailers in 2015. Sixty-eight percent of respondents claimed they would not travel during this Holiday Season, while 54% said they plan on going out for celebrations and parties at the same rate as 2014.

Everything could be stuck in neutral this Holiday Season, even stress levels. Forty-nine percent of those surveyed said that they feel the same levels of stress during any given Holiday Season. The largest source of stress are finances (27%), with shopping itself coming in second (20%) and family in third(15%). Dieting was considered the least source of stress (six percent), but it’s reasonable to think that number will go up as the new year approaches.

 

Conclusion

 

Clearly, these numbers could shift as the Holiday Season gains more velocity and retailers get creative (and desperate) in their marketing efforts in the latter part of December. However, it seems that, like the economy, Holiday shopping will be neither good nor bad in monetary terms.

Yet when it comes to retailers across the country, average usually equates with having coal in a stocking.

Holiday Shopping Infographic 2015

 

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Baby Boomers Love Social Media And Tech (Video & Infographic)

Elderly couple using smartphone for a selfie

One of the enemies of market research could easily be conventional wisdom. Perception becomes reality often in the public flow, but that reality is far removed from accurate data. That is how we got the Edsel, Pepsi Clear, Robin Thicke and other poorly-researched products that at one point just seemed…conventionally wise?

At qSample, our research has combatted conventional wisdom for the betterment of clients. Our research showed, before its release, that the Apple Watch would flounder. It also revealed that Millennials are an economic yet altruistic force, today’s college students are not that stressed out, and Ivy League graduates are quite idealistic.

No, we don’t have a preference for the younger generation. Our many specialty panels prove this. As a matter of fact, this week we move into the golden years and focus on baby boomers. Since they make up 42% of the adult population, market researchers should evermore pay heed to their consumer needs.

When it comes to embracing these modern times, baby boomers are far from Sophia in Golden Girls. Here are some examples:

 47% own a smartphone
–  72% have broadband in their homes
  27.4 million engage in some form of social media
  They prefer LinkedIn the most, with Facebook coming in second (don’t even worry about this, Snapchat)
 82% research wellness and health information online

Baby boomers are also very socially-conscious. But talk is cheap and conventional wisdom is seductive, so we the skinny on baby boomers in both video and infographic.

Enjoy, and let us know if you need one of our specialty panels for that accurate data needed in your market research or Robin Thicke playlist. Here is the video:

And here is the infographic:

http://blog.qsample.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Baby-Boomers-Go-Green-1-Final.png, http://blog.qsample.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/4-Senses-of-Buying-Decisions-3-1.png

what makes consumers buy green products graphic

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Infographic: The Mental Dangers of Being Online (too much…)

Not a month goes by without some study on the hazards of surfing the stormy online seas. The warnings go that being online may be as damaging as the abuse of alcohol, sugar or Netflix.

But is it true, or as with caffeine the pendulum will swing in scientific studies?

Neither. The internet is a medium, and thus it’s intrinsically neutral. It all depends on how it is approached or utilized. As our findings relate, the internet is more of an amplifier of present emotions and less of a slaughterhouse of future emotions.

One thing is for certain: the internet is also a hurricane of information continually blasting the shores of our brains that were never meant to handle such force. As an illustration, 100,500 words or 34 gigabytes is the amount of information we consume outside of work on an average day.

It gets even more startling in our infographic, based on qSample’s primary and secondary research found in Why Being Continually Online is Like A Bad Acid Trip.

There are academics that feel that the only solution to coexisting with the internet is the notion of inserting electronics into our skulls. This is contended as basically the next evolutionary step for humanity (also known as transhumanism).

qSample doesn’t go that far, not ready to jump on yet the bandwagon of the Borg, the Dalek or Johhny Depp in Transcendence. But we do offer some solutions to the negative effects of continually being online in our infographic.

We hope the information makes for a pleasant cyber-sailing in the future instead of navigating those stormy online seas:

 

The Mental Dangers of Being Online Too Much

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