We recently conducted a survey with our general consumer panel to explore consumer’s online decision-making process, in which over 320 respondents participated in the survey. The findings reveal that the majority of respondents find online review to be a critical piece to their purchasing decision.
Respondents who participated in the survey fall in the following demographic bracket:
– Male (44%), Female (56%)
– Millennial (22%), Generation X (40%), Boomer (31%), Silent (7%)
– Urban (55%), Suburban (34%), Rural (11%)
How do they surf the web?
In general, the most popular platform of web surfing is computer, as indicated by 63% of the respondents, followed by phone (25%) and tablet (12%). When cross-tabulated this particular dataset with age/generation data, we found out that phone usage, in terms of web surfing, declines by increase in age.
Interestingly, when it comes to surfing the web on tablet PCs, the data reveals that baby boomers were far ahead of other generations. This perhaps should be a sign for businesses to optimize their web pages for various mobile platforms, regardless of their customer base.
Do they trust online reviews?
98% of the respondents indicated that they generally trust online reviews, and they develop higher confidence with the product or service after reading 6 or more reviews, which are posted within a month. Millennials and Generation X respondents tend to read more reviews (11+) before making a purchasing decision.
Furthermore, when they were asked if they trust online reviews as much as peer recommendations, a striking 84% of the respondents agreed that they do.
Where do they read reviews?
42% of the respondents indicated that they find the reviews through major search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.), followed by Amazon at 28% and major social media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.) at 21%. Surprisingly, while Yelp is considered to be a popular business review resource, only 6% of our respondents indicated that they use Yelp for business review. Other sources included consumer reports and manufacturer websites.
92% of the respondents indicated that they find better deals as a result of reading online reviews. Our data revealed that social media sites ranked as number one places for discount deals, followed by Amazon and search engines.
Our findings is further illustrated in the infographic below:
qSample conducted a survey with its general consumer panel to gauge consumer’s behavior on the topic of “preventive health”. More than 314 respondents participated in the survey. We summarized the findings of the survey report in the infographic below:
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:
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):
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.
Market (and Marketing) Research is an odyssey of numbers and an epic of depth psychology. It’s commonly an intense road of discovery, and many who have traveled it tend to leave their wisdom for us.
We did say intense, which we’re sure most of you agree with when it comes to research. That hasn’t changed since ancient times.
For example, in the 7th century B.C., we have the story of philosopher Thales being so engrossed in studying the stars he didn’t notice a well and fell right into it. There is also the 3rd century B.C. story of philosopher Archimedes, famous for this cry of “Eureka,” who would not look up from his mathematical diagram when a conquering Roman general entered his tent wanting to meet the famous thinker; in a fit of rage, the Roman general killed Archimedes.
And it continues today, though with not so many painful endings. Researchers are as engrossed as ever, but again, when we pause from staring at the stars or mathematical diagrams of our projects we can find insights from seasoned thought leaders.
We’ve compiled a list of this wisdom in the form of 26 quotes, some sound and some quirky (also found in a more visual format at the end of this article in a SlideShare). We hope you can both applaud and laugh at yourself:
“If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?”
– Albert Einstein
“Bad news sells papers. It also sells market research.”
– Byron Sharp
“Research is about engaging in a conversation with a brand.”
“Telling a story remains one of the biggest challenges facing market research today.”
“Torture numbers, and they’ll confess to anything.”
“Research is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what nobody else has thought.”
“Research is the process of going up alleys to see if they are blind.”
“The bad news for our industry is that we periodically forget that people are notoriously bad at telling us the truth.”
“Asked about the power of advertising in research surveys, most agree that it works, but not on them.”
“Market research can be not just misleading, but disastrous for people who work on instinct.”
“Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.”
–Wernher Von Braun
“Traditionally, market research has not made a strong claim on the future. Its traditional methods… are inevitably limited to discovering how consumers feel today.”
–Dr. Rachel Lawes
“What is research, but a blind date with knowledge.”
“Research is four things: brains with which to think, eyes with which to see, machines with which to measure and, fourth, money.”
“Advertising people who ignore research are as dangerous as generals who ignore decodes of enemy signals.”
“The market research department is increasingly perceived as being not just responsible for the organization of research, but also for sharing and distributing knowledge and expertise in a credible and convincing way.”
“People are unlikely to know that they need a product which does not exist and the basis of market research in new and innovative products is limited in this regard.”
“He who asks is a fool for five minutes. He who does not ask is a fool forever.”
“The pressure on marketers to deliver faster advertising return on investment should be a good thing for the research industry because it forces us all to question some fundamental research practices.”
“Traditional measurement has been so comprehensively attacked it is amazing it is still used.”
“Eighty to ninety percent of our behavior is determined by our subconscious mind. The problem market researchers face is that they communicate with the conscious mind of consumers.”
“Much of the discussion among marketers about the so-called “multi-channel” shopper has focused almost exclusively on the channel and hardly at all on the shopper.”
–Dr. Alan Treadgold
“To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism, to steal ideas from many is research.”
“USA Today has come out with a new survey – apparently, three out of every four people make up 75% of the population.”
“Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.”
“Some people use research like a drunkard uses a lamppost: for support, not illumination.”
Let us know if there are any quotes that inspire or warn you. In the end, we hope you can appease those angry Roman generals that are your clients when you’re too engrossed instead of fully engaged with a brand during a research project.
It is said youth is wasted on the young. According to a new qSample study, could it also mean that optimism is wasted on the young?
The answer is probably no, for college students have a focused, sober eye on economic issues and their incoming position in the workplace. Regardless of relatively uncertain economic and political times—that include student debt and soaring tuition—University students are mostly hopeful for their financial future.
The study was conducted using qSample’s college student sample, surveying more than 200 respondents on a range of social and economic topics. We surveyed respondents from our Campus Universe initiative—regularly utilized for varied studies for both academics and businesses.
College Student Views on Careers and the Economy
When asked about the future of the economy, 34% of college students held a positive view. Twenty-eight percent expressed a negative view, with 27% stating they were undecided. When asked how they would fare economically in comparison to their parents, 35% of respondents felt they would do better—with 29% feeling they would do worse and 12% not sure.
When asked about the most important issues of their times, here is how they responded:
College students also view the economy as the key issue when it comes to the upcoming presidential election:
1. The economy – 43% 2. Racial/equality issues – 26% 3. National security – 13% 4. Abortion/reproductive rights – 8%
College Student and Debt
One might think that college debt would be more at the forefront of the minds of college students. After all, the study revealed that a majority (25%) would owe between $50,001 and $75,000 once they graduated. Eighteen percent say they will owe less than $25,000 after graduating while 24% claimed they would owe no debt. Ten percent of college students stated they would owe more than $100,000 after graduation.
In a past qSample study, more than 30% of college students anticipated their loans to be paid off in 5-10 years, while 27% were unsure. Sixty-seven percent considered their amount of debt manageable, with the remaining students worried that their debt would become unmanageable amount.
In fact, 31% of participants indicated they worry “all the time” about the amount of debt are incurring while pursuing a higher education. Forty-eight percent of the college students worry “sometimes” and 21% “never” worry about their ability to repay their student loans.
One could surmise that college students are fixated on making enough money to show their debt was an investment. After all, it’s all business after graduation, according to the qSample findings. An overwhelming 71% of college students said their priority after graduation is finding work. Activism, relationship, traveling and other post-university goals all registered below ten percent in interest.
College Students and Social Issues
It’s not all Yuppiedom for college students. These are the rankings on how they would like to be viewed once leaving higher education:
1. A good moral/ethical person – 37% 2. Ability to make money – 29% 3. An activist for social change – 13% 4. A good spouse – 6% 5. A social person with close friends – 5% 6. A good father/mother – 3%
But who do college students look up to as they migrate into the workforce? When it comes to public figures, President Obama comes in first (35%) and Pope Francis in second (17%). All other public figures or celebrities scored less than ten percent, with the exception of Steve Jobs at 11% (who is no longer alive).
As for social media, the below graphic reveals college student attitudes towards social media in relation to society:
With a mind on money and a positive heart, the research should give hope to the country’s future. Millennials spend $600 million a year in the U.S. alone, with some estimates having them reach $3 billion in a decade as they begin to dominate the workforce. Thus, the economy should be in good hands, unless these graduates are hamstrung with the student debt and not enough salary growth.
Content marketing has become increasingly attractive to many businesses and brands seeking to expand their web presence. But what is content marketing and how does it work—beyond being a sleek buzzword in cyberspace? Can it work for those in the earthly construction industry?
In essence, content marketing is any marketing involving the creation and sharing of media content to help and inform customers—ultimately with the goal of acquiring and retaining them. It takes a variety of forms including news, videos, white papers, ebooks, infographics, how-to guides, and blog posts.
Content marketing is viewed as solely functioning on the internet, but that’s not necessarily the case. One of the primal forms of content marketing would be the famed Michelin Guide, published over a century ago.
And yes, content marketing can be beneficial to those in the construction industry seeking to expand their online branding and generate traffic.
One of the main reasons content marketing is beneficial is because it’s currently seen as an essential aspect of any internet marketing and its continual paradigm changes. After all, it was marketing guru, Seth Godin, who said, “Content Marketing is all the marketing that’s left.”
Those are bold words, but these are bold online times. As examples, 88 percent of B2B marketers in North America already use some form of content marketing, while 76 percent of overall marketers are increasing investment in content marketing in 2016. All trends point to the financial rewards of content marketing.
Centering on the construction industry, a prime example of content marketing success can be found in a case study by Delta Marketing Group involving commercial contractor company, North Country Mechanical Insulators (NCMI). By using a sound inbound marketing strategy, NCMI increased its organic web traffic by an astounding 200 percent, as well as rank in the first page of Google under its preferred keyword (“mechanical insulation”). NCMI achieved this by optimizing its pages for local keyword search, rebranding its online persona via content as an “energy advocate,” and escalating its social media presence, among other strategies.
Adding to this, our research reveals that only 26 percent of general contractors utilize any form of online marketing. In other words, the internet is wide open to fill with traffic-generating content.
Content marketing is the future now, and construction companies should further pay heed for these three reasons:
1. CHANGING CONSUMER PSYCHOLOGY
It’s no secret that everyone is flooded with more information than ever before. The average American is bombarded with five times more information than he or she saw 15 years ago. It is more of a secret, though, that consumers have become anesthetized to unwanted information. Furthermore, mobile technology has shrunk the space to advertise in and Ad block technology has made it easier to expel intrusive advertising from screens.
Look at it this way: Once banner ads were ubiquitous across the internet, and the investment paid off for many companies. That’s no longer the case. According to recent data from marketing company HubSpot, the average click-through rate of display ads is merely 0.1 percent.
Content marketing is the answer to this, bringing the buyer down the sales funnel by adding value, education, and entertainment in their purchasing journey.
2. THOUGHT LEADERSHIP
Just as consumers have become more nimble at avoiding traditional marketing, they have also become more cynical as they navigate a vast field of brands wanting their attention on the internet. It’s just not enough for companies to explain how great they are—they have to show them.
This is where thought leadership comes in. Company heads can highlight their knowledge and expertise via articles, videos, infographics, and other elements of content marketing. This not only improves a brand, but it also assists and educates consumers—ultimately making them more grateful, trusting, and potentially closer to the contact form when it comes time to make a buying decision.
Search Engine Optimization remains key in any form of internet marketing. A good construction company craves the highest possible ranking on Google and other search engine providers (and the case study mentioned above made it a reality with NCMI). One way to rank is to spend inordinate amounts of money to remain on the first page of a search engine. The other is to utilize content marketing.
Content marketing is, at its core, about creating relevant content. The more valuable content created with relevant keywords, the higher the chance a website has of being indexed by search engines. Furthermore, more videos created can be noticed on YouTube, more infographics drawn can be shared on Social Media, and more guides published can be downloaded from a site into the hard drive of potential customers.
BEYOND THE CONTENT
Beyond the mentioned, content marketing is useful for branding, public relations, and even networking. This type of marketing is traditionally more cost-effective than other internet marketing, although distribution depends on a company’s needs (AdWords, Social Media displays, etc.). A construction company does not need an agency to successfully content market—simply a dedicated staff and owner that want to share their insights and passion with the industry.
At the end of the day, content marketing benefits consumer needs and forges a bond between brand and customer. That’s never a bad form of marketing …
During an exchange between members of our veterinary panel and some clients, a friendly online discussion started on how to address veterinarians. Are veterinarians doctors? In the traditional sense? What is the traditional sense of a doctor anyway?
As it happens often, the answers were definite, but couched in nuanced context.
First and broadly speaking, a doctorate can be awarded in any field. A lawyer, for example, holds a doctorate; he or she is a juris doctor—a doctor of laws (although some argue that one with a Doctor of Juridical Science should always be called a doctor). An individual with a PhD or some other terminal degree can earn the title of “doctor.” However, outside of medicine and college campuses, “doctor” is rarely used as a title.
The word “doctor” has its roots in the Latin word for “teacher.” The term is originally a religious title from medieval times. A person with a doctorate has been, in essence, instilled with enough knowledge on a particular subject to teach at a collegiate level.
It should be noted that not all doctorates require a thesis—as in the case of physical therapy, law and medicine. Finally, some doctorates are not earned through academic achievement, but by altruistic actions or lifetime accomplishments.
Thus, physicians are doctors of medicine. The same can be said of veterinarians, who hold a DMV (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine). The DMV in the U.S. is the same awarded in many countries including Bangladesh, Canada, Ethiopia, Hungary, Iran and South Korea, Thailand and many more.
In most industries, formality and addressing are key for success. The “doctor” label tends to vary depending on the industry. Calling an attorney a doctor is not necessary and even seen as odd. In the medical industry, physicians are referred to as “doctors,” even if members of the nursing, administrative or pharmaceutical staff hold doctorates (not uncommon). This formality reduces confusion for patients in hospitals. College professors certainly have their own and often idiosyncratic preferences on how to be addressed.
Okay, but what about veterinarians?
The answer is that one most certainly should address veterinarians as doctors in a professional setting. As mentioned, they hold doctorates in a medical field.
Veterinarians are doctors in a different field of specialty. In fact, the veterinarian curriculum is more diversified than human medicine because of the amount of different species and physiologies we have to study. Many veterinarians, especially general practitioners, take on many responsibilities as surgeon, pharmacist, diagnostician, radiologist, behaviorist, dentist, orthopedic surgeon … and provide comfort to both patient and owner.
Veterinarians certainly parallel physicians in many ways, as our syndicated studies have shown: The majority work more than 40 hours a week; their education cost and fees have skyrocketed in the last generation; and they regularly work under extreme duress. Both veterinarians and physicians also save many lives and alleviate sickness.
Regardless, now you know that veterinarians are doctors in all senses, as we learned in a research project with our veterinary panel. You also know how to address your veterinarian the next time you’re at the clinic with your pet or pet project.
– 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.
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.
In these divided days of political campaigns and social upheaval, one event that always brings the country together is the Super Bowl. It’s a marketing and celebration bonanza surrounding the two best teams in the National Football League, this year being the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos. More than a cultural phenomenon, the Super Bowl is a chief bellwether of American consumerism.
Moreover, the Super Bowl seems to be an increasingly family affair unaffected by past NFL scandals. These are just two of the findings from a joint study by qSample and QuestionPro, surveying more than 300 panelists from a general population sample. Nine-nine percent of respondents claimed they would watch Super Bowl 50, another exclamation point to the popularity of this quasi-holiday.
Nevertheless, the Super Bowl is famed for being an extravaganza stew of sports, entertainment and advertising. Why are people tuning in primarily on Super Bowl Sunday, then? It appears the game itself still dominates the country’s attention span, according to the data:
1. The game (39%) 2. To enjoy a social event (22%) 3. The commercials (7%) 4. The half time show (1%)
It should be mentioned that 33% of respondents claimed they were participating in the Super Bowl for all the reasons mentioned above. Only 18% of these said they were avid football fans who typically bought NFL merchandise. A majority (48%) stated they were casual fans, with 28% being avid fans that rarely bought merchandise.
As far as interest levels, one ought to wonder if the halftime show might garner more significance if an American or more blue-collared act than Coldplay was performing. As far as commercials, the low percentage may not bode well with advertisers spending a record $377 million for Super Bowl 50.
Will bars and restaurants fare better, even if the winter weather is more clement on Super Bowl Sunday? According to the study, ranking on location preference of the game, not likely:
1. Athome (78%) 2. A party (12%) 3. At a bar/restaurant (6%)
As with other extroverted, national celebrations like New Year’s Eve or St. Patrick’s Day, it seems Super Bowl is becoming more of a home festivity instead of a going-out occasion.
Supporting this, most respondents said they will spend the night with family members (53%), followed by friends (32%). Eight percent will watch the Super Bowl alone (and unfortunately Coldplay as well). A vast majority (91%) will watch the game on television.
With the Super Bowl becoming a family event, does this mean that this year it might lose viewers due to the recent NFL controversies like Deflategate and the Ray Rice video? That doesn’t seem to be the case, according to the study, when ranking respondents’ view of the NFL as a brand, as shown in this graph:
Along with bars/restaurants and passionate interest in commercials, social media is not a main player during the plays of Cam Newton and Payton Manning. The exception is Facebook. With 47% of respondents claiming they will be active on social media during the Super Bowl, 41% of those will be on Facebook. All other social media channels receive less than ten percent. This percentage includes Twitter, once the primary social media channel for real-time cultural events, revealing the deepening trouble with the company.
Of course, these findings do not mean social media is irrelevant during the Super Bowl. Last year, Facebook saw 265 million posts, likes and comments during the game, the most measured for any Super Bowl. At the same time, Twitter generated over 28 million global tweets, making it the most tweeted Super Bowl ever. What it does mean is that engagement on social media is potentially not as high as brands would desire.
Speaking of engagement, there are social critics who propose that the Monday following any Super Bowl should be a national holiday. The argument has merit. The study found that 26% of respondents will not go to work after the game. Furthermore, it’s estimated that last year 1.5 million people missed work the day after Super Bowl (at a loss of roughly 12 million hours of productivity for that Monday), while 4.4 million workers showed up late to their jobs.
What about the game itself? Is there a favorite team to win the Super Bowl, according to the study? Indeed there is, with respondents giving the edge to the Broncos over the Panthers (45% to 41%).
But as they say: that’s why they play the game and on any given Sunday. On Super Bowl Sunday it will be clear who wins, not just the team, but also consumers, marketers, work bosses and perhaps even Coldplay.
January is the month of awards shows, football playoffs and navigating Jack Frost. For businesses, January is commonly the month of recapping the previous quarters and auguring the new year. We’ve scribed our crystal ball at qSample when it comes to market survey methodology trends; but please allow us to present our top articles of 2015. None of these may get an Oscar—unless Steve Harvey replaces Chris Rock as the host of the Academy Awards—but you might find some actionable marketing insights in your Mad Max research adventures.
Being transparent is an integral part of any firm wishing to survive in the panoptic internet era. The same goes for being mobile. The article proffered the perils and opportunities of mobile surveys. From smartphones to tablets, from GPS benefits to millennial tendencies, we covered ample data real estate before marketers consider mobile survey for research. With estimates having mobile surveys nearing 50% in 2016, these findings should not be ignored.
Everyone wants that magic bullet for a clickable email subject line. This article provides that within the context of how to write a survey invitation email. It’s not a short piece, fortunately, providing specific examples and expert insights into getting noticed in a world that sends and receives approximately 108 billion emails a day.
Sure, this is the golden age of the internet, but light must cast shadow throughout the cosmos of cat memes and listicles. This content provides the latest research on the negative effects of being constantly plugged into social media—from emotional addiction to mental fragmentation. Some of the alarming findings employ qSample’s primary research—like the disturbing reality social media users earn less than those who mainly socialize in meatspace. The post also offers solutions to the dangers of hyperconnectivity.
Outside of academic tomes, few bona fide market research books can be found online or otherwise. That’s one reason this evergreen post remains popular. We deal with market research from historical, theoretical and actionable perspectives, hoping it has made marketers better because by this. If not, we also presented The 7 Best Market Research Podcasts.
Another article on the significance of transparency. However, it doesn’t exactly show the negatives aspects of online surveys, but more like what best practices to conduct when involved in internet quantitative projects. Let’s face it: it’s a competitive industry with a glut of online surveys (some statistics have survey participations rates at a paltry two percent). This kind of information is vital for market research in 2016.
qSample has worked with many great universities on many great projects, the Ivy League members being a meaningful one. In data we trust, as we say here, and the data led to the reality that Ivy League Graduates are as altruistic as they are holistic. With a median household income of over $190,000 and a median net worth of $900,000, marketers should always pay heed to Ivy League graduates as they do Millennials and Baby Boomers.
We cherish our pet owner and veterinary proprietary panels, almost as much as the world cherishes their pets. The article throws it all together for intriguing insights into the world of pets and their owners. We even afford an infographic with Garfield and Odie as your hosts.
No, it wasn’t David Bowie or Alan Rickman, as much as we miss them. It was a Canadian academic who during the 60s was a genuine hippy celebrity in the same vein as Joseph Campbell or Andy Warhol. This individual’s pioneering research prophesized our current digital world with scholastic and philosophical accuracy. He also coined the terms “surfing” (in the context of media) and “Global Village.” Click and find out who this cat was, and no, it wasn’t Glen Fry either.
The perennial confrontation between two popular pets is more gripping than that of Aliens versus Predators or Brady versus Manning. Not only did we present a nice visual, but a SlideShare was included to maximize a very important debate. On what side you find yourself on might depend on what’s in your market research wallet.
It’s hard not to get caught up in buzzwords, especially if they make us look good during meetings, conferences or blog posts. Marketers tend to take these terms to dizzying heights, and it gets annoying. The piece offers warnings for those who would “leverage” too many seemingly “robust” words in their efforts to “partner” with their clients for sales. Just stop it.
qSample is proud of its content, but only satisfied if it serves our readers and clients. This list hopefully does just this and more. We shall continue to bring you even better content in 2016, even as we “leverage” more transparency and market research insights. And win Miss Universe along the way…
Latest insights and trends on market research and surveys