Mobile News Mix

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

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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