Mobile News Mix

Halloween Shopper Survey Reveals the "Why" Behind the Candy Buy

Posted by MFour on Oct 17, 2018 5:48:12 PM

 Blog Halloween Survey 16Oct18

It comes as little surprise that candy is the topmost item on Halloween shoppers’ lists. But it takes the right kind of mobile market research to get to the “why” behind the buy, and MFour’s recent survey of 1,800 U.S. consumers who plan to celebrate Halloween illuminates what really counts: even when the candy is presumably for little trick-or-treaters, adults are most likely to buy what tickles their own palates.

Fielded in mid-October, with the Halloween shopping season surging toward its Oct. 31 climax, the study located demographically representative natural shoppers in big box stores. All belong to the world's only all-mobile, first-party consumer panel, whose members participate via their smartphones, using the pioneering mobile research app, Surveys On the Go®.  

Results showed that 71% of respondents had bought Halloween candy within the previous 48 hours. But for many, candy-shopping was hardly over: 36% of respondents said they expected to buy more candy before the holiday arrived. As to the "why" behind the buy:

  • Among all respondents, 29% said their own personal preference is the most important factor in deciding which kind of candy to buy.
  • Other leading factors were “price,” cited as most important by 24% of respondents, and “value,” cited by 19%.
  • 16% said quality was most important.
  • Among parents, 20% said they primarily select their own favorite candy, and 20% said their kids’ tastes come first, and they pick the Halloween candy their children like best.
  • Among respondents who are not parents, 40% said they went for their personal favorite. Such are the sacrifices of parenthood, and the little indulgences that come with not having to placate one’s own little angels and monsters.

In all, 64% of the mid-October respondents said they still had some Halloween shopping to do in the remaining days before Oct. 31. That presents bountiful opportunities across several product categories – and a continuing advantage for retailers and brands that can quickly grab consumer insights that speak to Halloween shoppers’ preferences and motivations.

Among the most useful quick-turnaround approaches are mobile in-store surveys, such as the one MFour conducted to get those 1,800 fast completes over a single mid-October weekend.

In addition to the kinds of data exemplified by this study, marketers and consumer insights professionals can get a uniquely rich understanding of holiday shoppers and product-intenders by locating them in-store and then following them through the aisles.

Let them be your brand’s or your store's auditors, telling and showing you whether your products are shelved in the right places to maximize sales. Also, are in-store displays set up properly and having the desired impact? Are these validated shoppers satisfied with the store's layout, cleanliness and service?

Smartphone photo and video capabilities give you ironclad validation of what shoppers are encountering in the aisles. And by asking respondents to make “video selfies,” you’ll get the most vivid, in-their-own-words testimony to reveal the emotional context behind the “why.”

Mobile-app location studies are also your best safeguard against the recall decay that erodes the quality of online consumer research. Questions that begin with phrases such as  “thinking back on your last visit to a store…” are inherently at risk of failure due to distorted memories. The answers are far more reliable when you know exactly where and when that visit occurred, and gather responses during or just after the visit, before recall bias sets in.

In our Halloween survey, respondents received push notifications of a survey opportunity after they had been located as they entered a Target or Walmart store. They were required to answer within 48 hours to ensure against recall bias.

Among respondents who said they still had Halloween shopping to do during the coming two weeks:

  • As noted, 36% expected to buy candy.
  • 30% were still looking for costumes.
  • 24% intended to shop for pumpkins.
  • 22% were still shopping for decorations.
  • 16% were looking to buy materials for homemade decorations.
  • 10% were going to buy materials needed to make their own costumes.
  • 13% intended to buy alcoholic beverages for their Halloween celebrations.

Consumers in this group are not necessarily procrastinators. 84% of those who said they still had more holiday shopping to do also said they had, in fact, made a Halloween purchase during the same store visit in which they received the survey invitation. 70% said they had bought candy during that visit, 49% had bought decorations, 33% had bought costumes, and 31% had purchased pumpkins. Again, by requiring responses within 48 hours, the study decisively minimized recall bias. Typically, mobile surveys fielded via SOTG have a 25% response rate within an hour, and 50% within 24 hours. The result is data you can trust.

Asked where they intend to shop for those upcoming Halloween purchases, most favored big box retailers across the major Halloween product categories. 60% said they would shop big boxes such as Target or Walmart for candy, 58% for decorations, and 34% for costumes. 

The next most-favored stores were grocery stores for candy (12%), party stores for decorations (13%), and Halloween specialty stores for costumes (22%). Online shopping figured prominently for costumes (20% of respondents), but less so for decorations (6%). Only 3% of respondents said they most often buy Halloween candy from an online store.

We’ll throw in a few more fun facts from the survey:

  • About half of the survey participants said they planned to wear a costume as part of their Halloween celebration.
  • Witches of various kinds were the most popular (5%).
  • Next came cats (3.6%) and characters from the “Batman” franchise – Batman, the Joker, the Riddler and Cat Woman (3.5%).
  • Other favorites were vampires, zombies and pirates (2.4% each), and skeletons (2.2%).

Ten respondents said they would dress as current celebrities, including two each for Donald Trump and Britney Spears. Taylor Swift, Cher, Tom Cruise, Conor McGregor, Mike Ditka and children’s TV stars the Kratt Brothers also can expect to have doppelgangers moving about on Halloween.

To learn more about how to dress your research for success and end your reliance on data that's just masquerading as reality, just get in touch by clicking here

 

 

Topics: mobile app research, mobile surveys, consumer insights, geolocation, in-store surveys, point of emotion, market research

Press Release: MFour Teams with MarketSight To Innovate Display and Analytics of Premium Mobile Data

Posted by MFour on Oct 17, 2018 9:30:48 AM

October 17, 2018 - Irvine, CA. MFour Mobile Research, the leader in mobile market research, is partnering with data analytics platform leader MarketSight on a comprehensive, A to Z solution that gives users unprecedented quality, speed and customizable options throughout the research process, from data collection to visualization and analysis, to creating reports and presentations.

MFour and MarketSight’s joined capabilities address one of the most pressing problems businesses face in the Information Age: how to extract crystals of revenue-driving or cost-saving insight from mountainous slabs of raw data.

Clients who already turn to MFour for the industry’s most accurate, representative and revealing consumer data now can maximize its value by exporting it in SPSS or Excel form to the MarketSight platform. There, users can visualize their results in whichever formats will be most useful for tackling data analysis and data presentation. You’ll instantly create crosstabs, and just as quickly translate crosstabs into charts and other graphic representations. Whether a project is simple or requires customization, the same value proposition prevails: quality data, sorted and arranged rapidly and efficiently into its most readily understandable form.

“It’s natural for MFour and MarketSight to work together on behalf of mutual clients,” said Chris St. Hilaire, MFour’s co-founder and CEO. “We’re both completely committed to technical innovation, quality products and excellent service. We share the same core value of making consumer data more reliable, more intelligible and more useful.”

St. Hilaire noted that MFour and MarketSight’s combined capabilities will be especially helpful to users of MFour’s Path-2-Purchase® Platform. Path-2-Purchase® enables clients to harvest masses of location and survey data from pre-profiled mobile consumers whose buying journeys are tracked across 12.5 million U.S. locations, including all of the top 1,000 retailers.

At first glance, some researchers might wonder whether Path-2-Purchase® provides more consumer data than can easily be understood. But by exporting MFour’s data to MarketSight’s system, they’ll quickly see patterns emerge and gain a deeper understanding based on real, first-party consumers’ observed behaviors and survey answers. Additionally, the multimedia content  MFour collects for its clients gains even more utility when it’s displayed in easily searchable form on MarketSight’s platform. Instead of having to sift through footage bit by bit to find the most relevant commentaries that respondents have provided by making “video selfies,”, users can call up the most powerful moments of testimony in an instant. Those can go directly into presentations that stakeholders find more persuasive and tuned-in to consumer sentiment, because seeing is, in fact, believing.

For more information visit www.mfour.com or request a demo by contacting us at (714) 754-1234 or solutions@mfour.com.

About MFour
MFour serves major brands and advertisers who rely on us for high-quality consumer data obtainable only through innovative mobile research technology. More than 2 million users have downloaded MFour’s pioneering Surveys on the Go® app; their unique engagement and representation of the U.S. population give MFour its edge in a hotly competitive industry. Users enjoy the app’s smooth performance and respond with the honest, timely consumer feedback clients need for smart decision-making in the Smartphone Era. Learn more at https://mfour.com

About MarketSight
MarketSight offers a cloud-based data analysis and visualization platform and provides professional design services that empower researchers to discover and share key insights to drive business decisions. MarketSight seamlessly integrates with PowerPoint, Excel, and all major survey platforms and data formats. It is an intuitive and robust reporting solution that offers the unique ability to easily collaborate with colleagues and enterprises anywhere in the world. The company is headquartered in the Boston area and works with thousands of customers worldwide. MarketSight is part of the Reimagine group of companies. Learn more at https://www.marketsight.com

Topics: spss, excel, marketsight, partnership, press release, Path-2-Purchase™ Platform, mfourdiy

How To Watch Every Move Your Competitors' Customers Make

Posted by MFour on Oct 9, 2018 12:09:51 PM

Blog Competitive Intel 3Oct18 

The theme music for today’s consumer insights discussion is “Every Breath You Take” by the Police, which was the biggest hit of the year in both the U.S. and the U.K. back in 1983.

“Every move you make, every step you take, I’ll be watching you,” sang the trio’s front man, Sting. He was talking about following a love interest everywhere, to the point of obsession.

We’re talking about following your competitors’ customers everywhere, day by day, week after week and month after month, to gain the competitive intelligence that can help you turn them into your own customers.

How? Not by shadowing them step by step on foot or in a vehicle, but by tracking them remotely and round the clock with complete precision, by leveraging advanced mobile GPS location technology – and much more. Beyond the right technology, you need to track and know the right people – in this case, members of a validated, first-party, all-mobile consumer panel who have given informed consent and opted in twice to allow researchers to track their physical buying journeys in exchange for opportunities to participate in mobile location surveys and earn cash rewards.

  • Every move they make across 12.5 million U.S. retail locations is tracked and archived on MFour’s Path-2-Purchase® Platform.  
  • That includes almost every store of the nation’s top 1,000 retailer chains, amounting to about 750,000 store visits each day.
  • Each visit is archived in a Consumer Data Center you can tap into to gain context for observed journeys.
  • And every consumer who’s tracked can be surveyed at any time, to gain a clear understanding of what’s motivating his or her observed buying journeys – especially visits to the businesses you’re competing against.

Say, for example, that you’re conducting competitive intelligence research for a convenience store chain, and want to focus on Hispanic American Millennials who have incomes of $50,000 to $75,000.

First, you’ll plug in the name of the competing c-store chain(s) whose customers you’re trying to convert.

Then enter the characteristics of the people you want to track — in this case, the above-mentioned ethnicity, age, and income stratum.

The platform automatically shows daily visitation by the targeted group to each competing location, with a graphic visualization comparing it to your own visits on the same day or range of dates. You can see the nationwide competitive picture, or narrow it down to a single DMA. Among the consumer attributes and segments you can study are:

  • Brand loyalists: who regularly visits the competing c-store chain, but never comes to one of your own?
  • Brand agnostics: who’s going to multiple c-stores, marking them as consumers you can try to win over, if you can understand reasons for their c-store polygamy.
  • Frequent shoppers: who goes to c-stores every day, or nearly every day?
  • Daypart shoppers: who’s going in the morning, who at lunch time, and who on the way home from work?
  • Complete daily journeys: where were c-store shoppers coming from before making that stop? And where did they go next?

Observed location behaviors will tell you a great deal about your competitive landscape, but for the deepest insights you also need to understand the “why.” And for that, there’s no substitute for talking to the same consumers whose buying journeys you’ve been observing.  You can send them a notification of a mobile survey opportunity at any time. The ideal solution is to move from location-observation to location surveys. Respondents are detected when they enter your competitors’ stores, and receive a survey notification as soon as they exit. Response rates are typically 25% within an hour and 50% within 24 hours. The incidence rate can be as high as 100%, because you’ll always have certainty that you’re sending surveys to people who’ve are exactly where you need them to be.

  • Do your competitors’ loyalists have different motivations than your own loyalists (who you also can identify, observe and survey by using Path-2-Purchase®)?
  • Is there some pattern of attitudes, preferences and behaviors that differentiates your competitors’ customers from your own?
  • Or are they similar enough to be reachable and changeable, given the right messages or incentives?
  • What are the characteristics and motivations of brand-agnostic consumers who ping-pong between different stores? And how might they be susceptible to special offers or specially-targeted advertising? 

To sum up, there’s now a tool called Path-2-Purchase® that for the first time lets researchers combine observed location-tracking data with survey data. The data is ultra-reliable because surveys are answered by the same actual consumers whose location journeys you’ve already tracked and observed. The process gives you quality data from real, validated consumers who all take part in your research via Surveys On the Go®, the groundbreaking app that has harnessed the immense capabilities of smartphones for receiving and sending information.

This look at mobile-app location and survey research just skims the surface. For example, we haven’t mentioned how smartphones’ ability to display and transmit photos and videos can bring real-time survey data truly alive and make your reports all the more vivid and impactful. 

In competitive intelligence research, every move you make and every step you take should bring you and your decision-makers closer to the goal of prying away customers and market share from your competitors. To learn more about how Path-2-Purchase® and other mobile capabilities can bring more accuracy and intense meaning to your specific projects, just fill out the brief form below. 

 

Topics: competitive intelligence, mobile market research, Path-2-Purchase™ Platform, path to purchase

A Survey of Restaurant Customers Shows How Data Can Capture Emotions

Posted by MFour on Oct 2, 2018 6:00:00 AM

Blog fast food 28Sept18

Here’s a consumer insights finding from the world of quick-service restaurants (QSRs) that should resonate with marketers and researchers in other industries as well: it’s not just their wallets or taste buds that are driving consumers' choices. It's their emotions.

MFour fielded a mobile geolocation study and collected survey data from more than 2,000 GeoValidated® QSR customers of seven leading national brands. The results underscore how important it is for brands to understand the role emotion plays in propelling buying decisions.

Located and surveyed just after they'd left a QSR, respondents were asked their single most important reason for choosing that brand on that day. They were given 18 possible motivations, and picked just one. Having a “craving” for their choice's offerings – a completely emotional experience – was the highest-ranking answer. 

  • 23% chose “I was craving” [the brand].
  • 18% chose “it was the most convenient for me today.”
  • 15% chose “[the brand] is affordable.”

Respondents had been drawn almost equally from among the seven QSR brands, and were geolocated at a store. They were required to complete the questionnaire within 24 hours. 

Unlocking the emotional component of buying decisions – the cravings, sense of excitement, urgency, or other feelings that loom so large – requires these three indispensable inputs:

  • GPS-powered mobile geolocation technology that’s a unique capability of smartphones
  • An all-mobile, first-party consumer panel whose members can be located in the right places at the right time so they can respond to mobile surveys while emotions are still fresh.
  • A state-of-the art mobile survey app.

The Surveys On The Go® app gives you all three. If you’re ready right now to talk about how in-app mobile research capabilities can put you in touch with shoppers' emotions to gain the fullest understanding and achieve your brands' business goals, just click here. And if you'd like to take a deeper-dive into how it works, read on. 

A validated, representative mobile consumer panel is paramount.  More than 2.5 million U.S. consumers have download Surveys On The Go® (SOTG), motivated by the opportunity to take part in research while earning cash rewards. In-app mobile surveys gratify respondents' entrenched desire to have seamlessly engaging experiences on their smartphones.

  • Once they’ve downloaded SOTG, users give their informed permission to let the app access to their phones’ location services, so they can be tracked through all their buying journeys and qualify for location-specific studies.
  • Location studies such as the QSR survey track consumers' natural store visits and identify them as soon as they have arrived at a place that’s relevant to the research project at hand. 
  • Once detected in a desired location, consumers receive an in-app push notification alerting them to a survey opportunity.
  • The push can arrive while they're still in the store, or just after they've left; in-store surveys document the shopping experience prior to purchase, and after-visit surveys also capture the purchase itself.
  • Either way, researchers are reaching respondents at the Point of Emotion® at which buying decisions come to a head.
  • Expect response rates of 25% within an hour, and 50% within 24 hours -- compared to the industry norm of 1% to 5%. The differentiator is the unique mobile-app experience.

In the case of the QSR preferences study, respondents were required to complete the survey within 24 hours of their visit. There’s little point in asking a QSR customer the most important reason for his or her visit more than 24 hours after the fact. By then, the Point of Emotion® is long gone, and any response will be rife with recall bias. Ask yourself whether you can remember your most recent visit to a QSR, and state your most important reason for choosing it. If you're not an extremely loyal, extremely frequent customer of a particular brand, you might struggle to answer.

To sum up:

The only way to get a fully-recalled, emotionally-informed understanding of consumers’ preferences and motivations is in-app mobile research with an engaged, first-party mobile panel.

If you have a craving for this kind of data, let's talk. Just click here.

Topics: consumer experience, quick serve restaurants, consumer insights, geolocation, market research, mobile surveys

Competitive Retail Insights from Margaritaville: Who's Winning Florida's Alcoholic Beverage Battle?

Posted by MFour on Sep 25, 2018 6:00:00 AM

Every consumer insights study should tell a story, and there’s quite a story market researchers could tell about a classic retail competition between two beer, wine and spirits chains that are fighting it out in Florida.

It’s the story of ABC Fine Wine & Spirits, which was founded in 1935 and operates only in the Sunshine State, versus Total Wine & More, which opened its first store in Delaware in 1991 and now operates in 23 states.

Telling this or any other consumer insights story requires the right tools. And the only one that really can do the job for competitive research is Path-2-Purchase® Platform. Created by MFour, it gives marketers and market research pros unprecedented, day-by-day, at-a-glance data on which validated consumers are visiting which retail locations. One of its most important uses is visualizing and understanding how competition in a given business category is playing out among retailers across the United States.

The battle between ABC Fine Wine & Spirits and Total Wine & More is particularly intriguing because of the two companies’ differences.

  • One is home-grown and indigenous to Florida, while the other treats Florida as an important market, but only part of a nationwide growth strategy.
  • ABC’s stores tend to be smaller, averaging 8,000 to 12,000 square feet and carrying 3,000 wines, 1,000 beers, and 2,900 spirits, according to the company’s website.
  • Total Wine & Spirits calls its locations "superstores," typically stocking 8,000 wines, 3,000 spirits, and 2,500 brands of beer. It advises prospective real estate partners that the “optimal” store size is 20,000 to 25,000 square feet.

Users of Path-2-Purchase® can get a quick overview of this and any other retail competition by calling up a visualization of all visits made by real, first-party members of the world's largest all-mobile consumer panel. Depending on your needs, you can look at nationwide totals, or break data down by state or DMA. In an instant you'll see visitation patterns segmented by age, gender, income, education, ethnicity and dozens of other variables.

So how did this summer's battle for alcoholic beverage shoppers go between ABC Fine Wine & Spirits and Total Wine & Spirits? Let's look at the Path-2-Purchase® data. 

  • ABC had one of its busiest day of the summer on July 4, while at Total Wine it was just another Wednesday.
  • Having discovered that data point on Path-2-Purchase®, an interested researcher could have quickly fielded a survey to ABC’s validated July 4 visitors to ask what had brought them in.
  • A quick look at the Path-2-Purchase® dashboard shows that over a 90-day period through Sept. 17, ABC drew 61% of the two chains' combined foot traffic, to 39% for Total Wine & More.
  • But looking at weekends only (Fridays through Sundays), Total Wine & More raised its share of combined foot traffic to 43%.

Path-2-Purchase® also reveals that something happened in mid-summer that shifted the competitive dynamic.

  • From late June through July, the battle for weekend foot traffic was closely fought. ABC accounted for 53% of weekend visits, to 47% for Total Wine.

  • But from August through mid-September, ABC gained 7 percentage points, increasing its share of combined visits to 60%, while Total Wine's share slipped to 40%. 

Having observed this shift on Path-2-Purchase® Platform, a researcher could target and survey validated store visitors to discover the "why" behind this observed reality. Did ABC Fine Wine & Spirits introduce special discounts that led to the August-September boost in traffic? You'd be able to ask the exact consumers who could tell you the story. For example:

  • ABC shoppers who had visited earlier in the summer, but visited more frequently after August 1.
  • Total Wine shoppers whose Path-2-Purchase®  journeys showed they had switched to ABC.
  • ABC customers who hadn't shopped at either store before August 1. 
Here are some additional at-a-glance Path-2-Purchase® data points that researchers could use to visualize the competition between the brands:  
  • ABC’s average weekend visitation rose 9% after Aug. 1, while Total Wine’s traffic didn’t budge from earlier in the summer. Again, what had ABC done to boost its performance?
  • Because Total Wine saw neither a gain nor a loss during weekends after Aug. 1, was it keeping its customers while ABC grabbed market share from other alcoholic beverage retailers, such as C-stores, groceries, and smaller, independent liquor stores?
  • When it came to per-store foot traffic, Total Wine’s “superstore” model gave it an advantage. It attracted  slightly more than twice as many visits per store as ABC. But ABC had strength in numbers, with more than three times as many Florida locations as Total Wine.
  • For ABC, 55% of visits were from customers with incomes under $50,000, compared to 49% for Total Wine (the 104% visitation total includes brand-agnostics who shopped at both stores – a group you can identify, track and survey with Path-2-Purchase®).
  • The most pronounced income differential between the two brands' visitors was among shoppers earning $25,000 to $34,999. ABC received 21% of its visits from that group, compared to 11% for Total Wine.
  • Total Wine received 15% of its visits from consumers earning $100,000 or more, compared to 10% for ABC. 
  • There was little racial/ethnic difference between the two brands' clientele. Whites made up 64% of ABC’s consumers, and 60% for Total Wine. Hispanics accounted for 14% of ABC’s foot traffic, and 18% at Total Wine. And 14% of customers were African American at both retailers.

The thing to remember is that Path-2-Purchase® Platform truly is a platform – a comprehensive, constantly updated database that captures the observed purchasing journeys of a validated, first-party consumer panel. By visualizing journey patterns, some researchers will identify important new consumer segments they may not have been aware of before. Many will design and field surveys that will efficiently capture responses from precisely the consumers they most need to understand. And still others will append observational data from Path-2-Purchase® to existing survey results, providing the context they need to bring their reports and presentations alive with the most compelling storytelling.

For a productive discussion about how Path-2-Purchase® can meet your projects’ specific needs (and perhaps earn you a special, congratulatory champagne toast from your colleagues and stakeholders), just click here. Until then, Salud!

Topics: competitive insights, Path-2-Purchase™ Platform, data visualization, geolocation, in-store, passive data, market research

Your Competitive Intelligence Goldmine: Know What The Other Guy's Customers Are Feeling Before They're Done Shopping

Posted by MFour on Sep 24, 2018 3:14:25 PM

Blog Consumer Emotions 24Sept18

“An understanding of consumer purchase behavior must be based on knowledge of human emotion and include the paramount influence that emotions have on decision-making.”

That’s the fundamental takeaway from “How Emotions Influence How We Buy,” an article in Psychology Today. It carries direct significance for consumer insights pros, especially those who gather competitive intelligence. To understand why people buy one brand over another, or shop one store over another, you have to connect with them while their feelings about a shopping experience are still running high. We call it the Point-of-Emotion®. To accomplish this you don't need to stand with them physically, side-by-side. Instead, you join them by leveraging advanced mobile market research technology that lets you find and survey shoppers through their smartphones.

Here's how it works:

When your targeted consumers naturally enter a store – yours or a competitor’s – they automatically receive a survey invitation on their phones, via an in-app push notification. Invitees respond far more quickly and attentively to pushes than to the old method of requiring them to check their email for a link to an online survey.

  • You can ask shoppers to take a survey while they’re still in a competitor's store, for feedback on experiences they’re having right now with product placement, selection, promotions, service and overall shopping atmosphere. You’re meeting them at the crucial Point-of-Emotion®.
  • Or you can hold off while they're still inside the store, and invite them just after they've left. Within minutes, survey responses will start streaming in, telling you what your competitors' customers experienced in the aisles and at checkout, while it's still fresh in mind. 
  • After-visit surveys get response rates of 25% within one hour of notification, and 50% within 24 hours. Nothing else gets you as close to the moment of purchase and the Point-of-Emotion®.
  • To get the most intense emotional feedback, you can ask respondents to make “video selfies” on their phones, in which you’ll see the emotional impact of their experiences on their faces, hear it in their voices, and listen as they put their experiences into their own words. 
  • When it’s time to present your findings and recommendations to decision-making stakeholders, mobile video puts them, too, at the customers' Point-of-Emotion®. Seeing and hearing opinions  from actual consumers grabs their attention and makes the consumer story you're telling more real.
  • Smartphone capabilities also give you reliable validation of purchases. Just ask respondents to photograph or make screen shots of receipts, or take pictures of the products.

Follow Consumers All Along the Path-2-Purchase®

In competitive intelligence, as in other forms of consumer insights research, you can't afford to ask people about shopping experiences they had more than a day or two after the fact. By then, recall has faded and answers turn unreliable. Commonplace screener questions such as “Have you shopped at Target in the past 90 days?” or “Recalling the last time you bought toothpaste, which of these brands did you consider?” will get you recall-biased data that is mainly just guesswork on the respondents' part.

Until now, the research industry has settled for guesswork instead of data because there was no better alternative. But thanks to Point-of-Emotion® mobile geolocation research, the guessing game is over.

Now you can start your competitive intelligence projects by instantly visualizing your targeted consumers’ actual journeys to more than 12.5 million commercial locations in the U.S., including the top 1,000 retailers.

You’ll see their validated visitation data on Path-2-Purchase® Platform, a unique tool that identifies who shops at your competitors’ stores, how often, on what days of the week and times of day, and for how long.

Path-2-Purchase® tracks members of a demographically and geographically representative, first-party consumer panel of more than 2.5 million U.S. smartphone owners, ages 13 and up.

They’re all strictly validated, because they’re all being tracked on mobile. Every member has joined by downloading Surveys On The Go® (SOTG), the definitive mobile research app, to his or her phone. All research activity, including location tracking, takes place via the app. Consumers have opted in to allow tracking, in exchange for the location-specific survey opportunities you'll be sending their way.

It’s been said that a big part of success lies in just showing up. By applying in-app mobile solutions to competitor insights, you'll show up when and where it matters the most -- standing next to your competitors' customers, asking questions at the Point-of-Emotion®. To learn more about how to connect at the right place and time for the most accurate, most revealing competitive intelligence insights, just complete the form below.


Topics: competitive intelligence, market research, point of emotion, location based survey, geolocation

It's No Fantasy: Online Research Is Like a Player Who Has Hung on Too Long

Posted by MFour on Sep 19, 2018 6:00:00 AM

Blog Football Player 13Sept18

If you're a Fantasy Football player, you probably have been researching yards gained, touchdowns scored and interceptions thrown in your breaks from your main research agenda as a consumer insights pro. Assuming that your Fantasy League hasn't taken over as your main research agenda.

Chances are that one of the research questions you faced was how to evaluate aging stars against emerging young guns. Are Tom Brady, Philip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger and Eli Manning still Fantasy-worthy, their advancing age?

Or would you be better off suiting up one of the new guys -- Sam Darnold, Deshaun Watson or Josh Allen, for example?

Believe it or not, you face similar choice when you're wearing your market research hat instead of your Fantasy Football GM's cap. Can you eke out another project with legacy data from online surveys? Or is it time to recognize that your longtime warhorse has worn out, and its time to jump to the speed, range and versatility of mobile data? If you make the wrong decision, you won't just lose a Fantasy League membership fee. You'll bring in suspect data that could undermine multi-million dollar business decisions.

Our advice as you decide whether to stick to comfortably familiar online studies is to consider Bret Favre, who was one of the greatest -- until he hung on just a bit too long to get the job done. There's no sentimentality in business, so you need to be sure about the data quality you're getting.

Favre had an epic career that lasted 20 seasons – including more than 17 straight seasons in which he set an all-time NFL record by playing in 321 consecutive games (playoffs included). No quarterback in pro football history threw the ball more (10,960 attempts) or completed more passes (6,781). Along the way, Favre won three straight Most Valuable Player awards in the 1990s, and quarterbacked his Green Bay Packers to two Super Bowls, winning one.

Online research also has had its time of glory. For about two decades it was the most prolific survey mode in the consumer data game, and it provided many most-valuable insights. But as was the case with Brett Favre -- and just about every other great athlete -- time and change take their toll. Online research is in its twilight now, its performance and capabilities greatly diminished from its prime.

The statistics show that Favre hung on one year too many: in 2010, his last season, he threw nearly twice as many interceptions as touchdowns, had the worst quarterback rating of his career (69.9, down from peak years when he was always above 90), and suffered a sprained shoulder and a concussion that kept him out of three games, ending that mighty streak of consecutive games played. Meanwhile, the Packers had moved on, trading Favre to clear the way for Aaron Rodgers, who quickly established himself as a great, Super Bowl-winning quarterback for a new generation.

And so it is with online research as it stands today. Quality completes are harder to come by, projects are being routinely intercepted by fraudulent survey bots, and doubts have set in about online’s ability to deliver a demographically representative consumer panel. Increasingly, we see online providers resorting to Hail Mary tactics such as routing, river sample, and multi-source panel-blending -- and sometimes even claiming that approach is a virtue. But the result is compromised data and widespread discontent with project results. 

Meanwhile, the game has moved on to its next dominant player, in-app mobile research conducted with a validated, first-party consumer panel. Brands and major market research firms are becoming increasingly aware of what it can accomplish. To have a productive conversation about how in-app mobile can help you effectively tackle your projects' specific needs, just click here.

Topics: pro football, consumer insights, mobile research, market research

11 Tips for Uninterrupted Connections with Mobile Black Friday Shoppers

Posted by MFour on Sep 18, 2018 7:00:00 AM

Black Friday 12Sept18

Steely Dan has spun many a memorable tune in a pop music career that earned it a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and one of them is right on target for every marketing and consumer insights pro who's gearing up for the big Thanksgiving shopping weekend: “When Black Friday comes, I’m gonna stake my claim.”

Steely Dan released its song, “Black Friday,” in 1975, when the title evoked disaster, not the biggest shopping day of the year. When Black Friday comes, brands and retailers need to claim as much market share as they can, and that means high stakes for the researchers whose data and analysis feeds product and marketing strategies.

A new report from Salesforce underscores why it’s especially important to make your research fast and flexible to obtain data day-by day-during the holiday shopping season. The key takeaway is that consumers will be using their smartphones moment-by-moment to shop and buy, just as they use them moment-by-moment for nearly everything else related to accessing, creating, and exchanging the information that drives most aspects of most mobile citizens’ economic and personal lives. Among the findings:

  • 71% of consumers will use mobile devices while shopping in a brick-and-mortar store this holiday season, according to Salesforce.
  • That’s a significant increase over the 62% who used phones in-store in 2017.
  • In-store smartphone use will rise to 83% for consumers in the key 18- to 44-year-old age demographic.

Those uses will vary – from buying on mobile for future delivery, rather than plucking a product from a shelf or rack and taking it to the checkout stand, to researching products, to calling mom for advice on whether striped or solid is the way to go for dad’s new shirt.

To keep up with today’s fast and flexible mobile consumers, consumer insights pros need to be fast and flexible themselves.

Think of shopping as a process that used to run on a monorail from physical store to physical store, but now runs on two train tracks, mobile shopping and brick-and-mortar stores, that continually overlap. To maximize success on Black Friday through Christmas Eve, retailers and brands need to keep close watch on consumers’ movements along both tracks. And to fill that need, MFour created Path-2-Purchase® Platform.

For the first time, clients are observing mobile consumers’ physical journeys through 12.5 million U.S. locations, including all stores of the top 1,000 retailers and restaurant chains. At the same time, they’re aligning seamlessly with the new reality of smartphones as consumers’ most important shopping tool at every step along the path to purchase, whether in-store or lying on the living room couch.

  • With Path-2-Purchase® you’ll target the consumers you need to understand, you’ll track their movements from store to store, and you’ll survey them at critical moments during or after a shopping visit. You also can reconnect with validated natural purchasers for in-home product use-tests. 
  • You’ll also gain unique context by appending extensive historical data that reveals your targeted consumers’ location journeys stretching back in time.
  • Besides knowing exactly where they’ve gone, you’ll get a head start on knowing who they are, thanks to extensive profiling surveys that the 2 million-plus consumers who have downloaded the Surveys On The Go® mobile consumer research app have answered. You’ll see who fits the consumer profiles you need to understand, and target your research accordingly.
  • For example, to prepare for Black Friday, you could start by identifying validated, first-party consumers who are observed regular visitors to your stores. No need to ask them whether and when they have visited relevant locations, because with Path-2-Purchase® you’ll have seen where they’ve been and know who they are.
  • When consumers in your chosen audience enter or exit any of your relevant research locations, they’ll be identified through mobile GeoValidation® and you’ll push them a survey notification on the spot.
  • If you need speedy data, you can expect a 25% response rate in one hour and 50% within 24 hours. Or you can stagger fielding if that’s the way to go, assured that the completes will arrive on schedule.
  • Ask about the shopping experience your consumers are having right now, or just had. Ask about their plans for Black Friday shopping. Ask whether they plan to shop for a shirt for dad, or any other product or category that’s relevant to your research.
  • Are your respondents already making a list and devising a strategy for holiday gift shopping? Who’s discount-oriented and planning to batter down doors or tap and scroll starting at 12:01 a.m. on Black Friday? Who hates fighting crowds and would rather shop when it’s less hectic, even if it costs more? If price isn’t their foremost motivator, then what is?
  • Now field a location-based survey asking the same kinds of questions – except this time targeting your competitors’ observed shoppers. Knowing them gives you your best chance of prying them away from the competition.
  • Once the holiday shopping season begins, you can keep a finger on consumers’ pulses by using quick-turnaround research options that will help you spot trends or address shopper-satisfaction issues in time for your stakeholders and decision-makers to press an advantage or correct a problem on the fly.
  • You can visualize and identify audiences for your study with Path-2-Purchase®, then execute a quick-turnaround project with MFourDIY®, the only all-mobile do-it-yourself research platform (and the only one where “DIY” is a bit of a misnomer, because you can count on prompt, live support when you need it, from an MFour staff specialist).

For more ideas on fast-turnaround research that connects you to validated, first-party mobile consumers in the mobile and physical spaces they inhabit, and in time to make a real difference in sales, you can take a look at a holiday-specific case study by clicking here.

And for a productive talk about how Path-2-Purchase® Platform and other mobile-app research tools can power your specific projects, just click here.

When Black Friday comes, you’ll stake your claim to the advanced, fast-reflex mobile research approaches you need to understand consumers whose mobile and physical worlds haven’t just collided, but melded into one.

Topics: holiday retail, black friday, mobile research, path-2-purchase, Path-2-Purchase™ Platform, consumer insights

Will Super-Fast Consumer Data Be There When You Need It Most?

Posted by admin on Sep 13, 2018 10:02:28 AM

Blog dinosaur crisis data 5Sept18 

What killed off the dinosaurs, and what does that have to do with market research and your job as a consumer insights professional?

The question is prompted by a recent magazine cover story in The Atlantic. Headlined "The Nastiest Feud in Science,it’s a fascinating account of an ongoing battle between paleontologists who stick to the long-accepted theory that T-Rex and company were done in by the climate effects of a huge asteroid crashing into the ocean just off Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, and rivals who say that the catastrophe was brought on by repeated volcanic eruptions in India.

The connection with your job as a marketer or market researcher is that you need to be prepared to carry out high-speed crisis research, because there’s always a risk that some unforeseen, unfortunate happenstance will come crashing down on your brand. When it happens, corporate higher-ups will be looking to you for ultra-fast consumer data. Without knowing the actual and potential damage, hour by hour, the chances of suffering extinction, or at least a significant loss of market share, will continue to mount. Without fast, accurate data, there can be no timely, effective action plan to prevent or reverse a slide in consumers’ esteem for an embattled business. 

A public relations industry news source, Bulldog Reporter Daily, gives a brief rundown on what to do if that figurative asteroid hits and jeopardizes a business. The article, “5 tips for dealing with a crisis from a PR perspective,” emphasizes preparedness and the ability to reach out in an instant to understand what consumers think of your brand in light of a potentially harmful event.

One of the five tips is “Listen to feedback from others.” As writer Jeremy Sutter advises, “listen to what the public is telling you…you can tell what they are thinking if you literally just ask them what is on their mind.”

And that’s where advanced mobile market research capabilities come in. There’s no faster way to get a read on consumer opinion than to field a mobile survey to measure an eruption’s impact – not just on the general public, but on the most relevant segments whose reactions can help a suddenly challenged business navigate to safety. 

Our tip for researchers is to connect with Path-2-Purchase® Platform for regular, day-to-day fast data. It'll relieve deadline pressure that can seem like a daily crisis, even if it's part of your routine. And it will mean you're prepared in case bad stuff happens. Being connected to consumers through Path-2-Purchase® gives you the rapid deployment research capability you'll need to advise stakeholders during a crisis as they rush to prevent or minimize damage to your brand. Here, briefly, is how Path-2-Purchase® works:

  • Members of the largest all-mobile consumer panel have consented to have their daily buying journeys tracked, creating a detailed record of first-party consumer visits to 12.5 million U.S. locations, including the top 1,000 retailers and restaurant chains.
  • If a crisis hits, a quick look at the platform lets you identify your consumers in an instant – including loyalists who visit regularly, and brand-agnostics who, in a crisis, could be high risks to become your brand-rejectors and your competitors' brand loyalists.
  • If it’s a specific product that has come under fire, the brand can similarly locate consumers at major retailers where it’s sold, and send out a survey to consumers in the product’s category, and to those who have purchased the product in the past.
  • Survey notifications go out in an instant, reaching consumers while they’re still in a store, or just after they’ve left.
  • Additionally, you can cast a wider net with a general population survey, which would be extremely useful to understanding awareness and brand perceptions among the public at large. 
  • How fast is crisis-mode fast? You can expect response rates of 25% in an hour and 50% in a day for any advanced, in-app mobile study, compared to industry averages under 5% for online surveys. Path-2-Purchase® is built to give you the highest speed and data quality in any research situation, whether it's routine or a red alert.

A classic instance of a brand responding quickly and effectively to a crisis was Johnson & Johnson’s handling of a nightmarish episode in 1982, in which an unknown killer caused deaths by injecting poison into boxes of Tylenol capsules on store shelves. As this detailed account  from Fortune magazine shows, consumer opinion surveys played a key role in helping J&J executives understand the dimensions of the crisis and formulate strategies for resolving it and building the brand back up.

Today, Path-2-Purchase® Platform is the rapid-response data solution for any circumstance. Let’s have a productive conversation about how it can meet your current projects’ specific needs, while providing a security blanket that frees you from having to worry about how to respond to consumer data needs during a crisis. To schedule a close discussion of your needs and MFour's solutions, just click here.

 

 

Topics: consumer insights, crisis management, mobile research

Pro Football Survey: 80% of Fans Are Watching Regularly, but the Youngest Adults Are the Least Committed

Posted by MFour on Sep 11, 2018 6:04:37 PM

 

2018 Football Survey

The good news for professional football and the networks and advertisers who invest heavily in the games is that its viewing audience is extremely loyal. A survey of 600 fans who watched at least once during last weekend’s season-opening round of games found that 80% plan to follow pro football regularly, compared to 20% who said they’ll only watch occasionally.

A less reassuring data point for the pro football industry is that the younger the fan, the less likely they are to be a regular viewer. The 21- to 24-year-old bracket expressed the least loyalty, with 72% saying they’d watch regularly, compared to 82% among 25- to 34-year-olds and 85% for ages 35 to 44.

Still, among fans who watched during the opening weekend, 41% of all respondents said they expect to watch more pro football this season than they did in 2017, and only 4% said they’ll watch less often – with younger viewers matching the overall averages.

Amid widespread speculation that pro football’s command on American sports fans is slipping a bit, as reflected in TV ratings, MFour fielded a survey the morning after the season’s first long weekend had ended. The respondents were the sport's core demographic - males nationwide, ages 21 to 44.

One major change affecting sports viewership is the advent of streaming services that are seizing a share of the audience from cable, satellite and terrestrial carriers.

  • 15% of the fans surveyed said they were streaming NFL games instead of using a legacy viewing platform.
  • The average football streamer reported using two different services; the favorites were YouTube (41%), the NFL App (37%), Amazon Prime (30%), and Hulu with Live TV (21%).

The television set hasn’t lost its hold on viewers, with 90% reporting that they watched a game on a TV. But survey results underscored how we’re living in an age of multiple devices for individual consumers – and that the younger they are, the more device-diversified they are likely to be.

Here’s a comparison of 21- to 24-year-olds vs. the primarily Gen X audience in the 35 to 44 age bracket. Figures for the younger adults, including 21-year-olds who the U.S. Census Bureau categorizes as the leading edge of Gen Z, are stated first:

  • TV screens: 89% vs. 93%
  • Mobile phones: 36% vs. 23%
  • PCs: 32% vs.12%
  • Game consoles: 22% vs. 8%.

The older the respondent, the more likely he’d be watching at home: 87% of the Gen Xers, 76% of Millennials ages 25 to 34, and 69% in the younger-adult group. The inverse was true of watching games in a bar or restaurant, frequented by 13% of fans under 35, and 7% among those 35 to 44.

Watching football was a solitary pursuit for 21% of respondents; at the other end of the spectrum, 13% said they’d watched with 7 or more other people; 38% watched in groups of two or three.

Also of interest:

  • Nearly half the fans (46%) said they had fantasy football wagers riding on players’ performances. 
  • 61% of the fantasy players said they were enrolled in two or more leagues.
  • 12% are playing in at least four leagues.

Pro football Sundays (and Thursdays and Mondays) provide excitement for providers of food and drinks as well as the fans who consume them.

  • 72% of respondents said they had snack foods such as chips and dips during a game, 62% ate hot food, and 53% imbibed alcoholic drinks.
  • Beer and football go together like touchdowns and points after: 87% of those who drank said they’d had a beer.
  • 45% downed liquor or mixed drinks, 16% went for flavored malt beverages, 10% sipped wine, and 9% had hard cider. So there was a whole lotta mixin’ going on. The survey did not query respondents about post-game stomach distress. 
  • The most-favored beer brands were Bud Light (consumed by 35% of the survey's beer-drinkers), Corona (28%), Coors Light (21%), Budweiser (21%), Miler Lite (19%), Blue Moon (19%) and Heineken (17%).

As for the Super Bowl, the biggest event of the season for watching and consuming, 31 of the 32 NFL teams got votes when asked who would win. 

  • The Tennessee Titans (no votes), Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals and Tampa Bay Buccaneers were voted the least likely to succeed, each picked by fewer than 1% of respondents.
  • If you believe in the wisdom of crowds (which, after all, is the fundamental tenet of consumer research), the smart money, as usual, is on the Patriots (17%), followed by the Rams (11%), Packers (9%) and Eagles (8%).

Methodology: The 24-question survey was fielded Tuesday, Sept. 11 to U.S. males ages 21 to 44 who use MFour's proprietary mobile research app, Surveys On The Go®. 600 completes were collected within 3 hours. Qualifying respondents stated they are interested in the NFL and had watched at least one televised or streamed game during its opening weekend. 

Interested in on how you can achieve fast, accurate and representative quick-turnaround research data of your own? Just get in touch by clicking here.

Topics: pro football, surveys, mobile surveys, consumer insights, market research, surveys on the go

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