Mobile News Mix

Why Market Researchers Shouldn't Stay Married - To Online Trackers

Posted by MFour on Nov 20, 2018 7:00:00 AM

Blog Marriage Stats Trackers 14Nov18

While market research continues to pop the questions it takes to gain consumer insights, young adults in the U.S. are becoming less and less likely to pop the question that sets couples on the path to marriage.

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 29% of today’s 18- to 34-year-olds are married, compared to 59% in 1978. The median age at first marriage is now 29.8 years for men and 27.8 years for women, continuing a steady climb that began in1950 and has accelerated since the Great Recession.

Meanwhile, 3.85 million babies were born in the U.S. in 2017, a drop of 2% in just one year, and a decline of nearly 7% from the number of U.S. births in 2009.

Economics is clearly a factor. Among the 71% of adults under 35 who are not married, only 20% earn at least $40,000 a year. For married young adults, the proportion earning at least $40,000 doubles to 40%.

Marriage, parenthood and the formation of households are, of course, of fundamental importance not only to people’s personal lives, but to their lives as consumers. Perhaps the most important message that market research can take from these powerful demographic developments is that big changes are afoot, even for enduring facets of life that many of us consider unshakable. In the face of great changes, it’s crucial for consumer insights professionals to be constantly alert and rapidly adaptable when it comes to the best practices for understanding how the consumer landscape is shifting.

Given these realities, does it make sense to accept longstanding common wisdom about research and its methods? For example, should long term tracking studies put such a premium on methodological consistency that they sacrifice accuracy for the sake of keeping all their data ducks in a neat row?  The acceleration of change should tell you that those ducks are probably waddling around in patterns that have changed considerably since the tracking study was launched.

If you’re committed to continuity in your online trackers, and worried that you’ll lose data continuity if you switch to mobile, it’s time for more flexible thinking. Mobile living is the way consumers live today. Their phones are always with them. The personal computers you’ve relied on for answers to online tracking surveys are now optional for many consumers, and they’ve become especially less relevant outside of white-collar workplaces and home offices.

So if you’re still holding out against mobile tracking data, maybe it’s time to reconsider whether that approach is really stalwart and steady-on. In a changing world, integrating mobile data into tracking studies isn’t the risky play. It’s the conservative move – if data accuracy and true consumer representation are the values you’re trying to conserve. In a time of flux, the riskiest behavior is to ignore fundamental changes and stand still. For better or for worse, it’s just a fact that young adults are postponing marriage. It’s also just a fact that consumers have gone mobile. To stay on track, trackers must move with them.

For more on how to integrate mobile into your tracking studies, just click here.

 

 

 

Topics: millennials, demographics, market research, surveys

Why Is `Why?' the Market Research Question Your Geolocation Provider Can't Answer?

Posted by MFour on Nov 6, 2018 7:00:00 AM

Blog Toddler Why 2Nov18

Toddlers do it incessantly. So why can’t virtually all of the location-research providers who’ve been trying to sell the market research industry on their ability to track consumers’ store visits?

We’re talking about being able to ask the fundamental question, “why?” As anyone who’s spent much time with little kids can attest, it’s never far from their tongues.

Why?

Because “for children, `why’ questions help them make sense of the world around them….These `why’ questions also help spur and accelerate learning,” says Rebecca Palacios, one of America’s most respected experts on early childhood education, in a Huffington Post article titled “Why Do Children Ask Why?”

So here’s our own “why” question of the day:

Why can’t those location-research tech and analytics providers let you do as a consumer insights pro what you did almost nonstop when you were knee high to a Great Dane?

Why won’t they let you ask the “why” behind the buy?

Here’s why: technology and data analytics providers don’t really know market research.

They know how to find undifferentiated people, and tell you how many of them have gone to a given location. They’re able to collect footprints, but they can’t help you connect with the actual human beings who are leaving them. They can’t help you ask “why,” the most important question when it comes to understanding and influencing consumer behavior.

Yes, footprint data can be illuminating to an extent as a standalone, but its most advanced use is to point you in the right direction in your quest to truly connect with consumers and understand the many whys behind where they go – and what they think, feel, see and do while they’re there.

MFour creates location technology, but we do it in the specific context of perfecting it for the sake of market research. We pioneered building location capabilities for market research, and we’re the only company to have simultaneously built an all-mobile, validated first-party panel for that technology to track.  (with their double opt-in informed consent).

You’re in the business of obtaining a 360-degree view of consumer behavior, and so are we. Not just the “where,” but the “why.”

  • Why did a consumer we located as he passed in view of a billboard for Target visit a Target store three days later? 
  • Was it attributable to the ad exposure, or just a coincidence?
  • Why do some consumers alternate frequently between Target and Walmart – as reflected in their location footprints?
  • Why are some big box shoppers loyal to one while completely rejecting the other?

The moral of this post is that you should never let any market research provider sell you short by not permitting you to unleash your inner three-year-old. Don’t settle for footprints and algorithmic models that can’t begin to give you the “why” to questions like the ones above.

Always insist on the “the why” behind the buy.

Why?  Because you can’t afford not to.

To learn more about how to target, track and survey mobile consumers by using MFour's Path-2-Purchase® Platform, just click here

 

Topics: consumer survey, mobile research, geolocation, market research, Path-2-Purchase™ Platform, surveys, mobile app research, in-store surveys, consumer panel, mobile consumer panel

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

Don't Underestimate what Mobile News Consumption Means to Market Research

Posted by MFour on Aug 23, 2018 7:00:00 AM

Blog mobile news 22Aiug18

Should the news that news consumption is overwhelmingly mobile matter to marketing pros and the market research industry? Should it matter to skiers whether there’s snow on the mountain?

For good reason, news organizations are scrambling to meet consumers on mobile, because that’s where news consumers have gone. Those who’ve been able to offer a great mobile product are gaining readership and revenue, while those who can’t seem to get mobile right continue to fade. Similarly, amid industry-wide malaise in market research caused by falling survey participation and crumbling data quality, it’s past time to go all-in with mobile data-collection and get it right. There’s simply no other way forward.

Pew Research Center’s most recent checkup on the state of news consumption underscores that it’s no longer news that mobile has taken over in nearly every phase of life. Skiers who are trying to stay upright during a downhill run may be among the few identifiable groups who are certain not to be using their smartphones at any moment. Or so one hopes.

As snow is to skiers, mobile is to the job of trying to understand consumers. It’s simply the medium in which information activity occurs. Without snow, there’s no skiing. Without mobile news publication, there’s no audience. Without mobile consumer data, there’s no way to understand consumers. And without a way to understand consumers, the news about market research and the businesses that depend on it for smart decision-making probably won’t be good.

Here are key data points from Pew’s study, which was conducted in 2017.

  • 58% of U.S. adults often consume news on mobile, compared to 39% on personal computers.
  • Mobile news consumption rose 176% from 2013 to 2017, compared to an 11% increase over the four years in news access via laptops and desktops.
  • Younger news audiences are even more heavily invested in mobile: 71% of 18- to 29-year-olds say they often get news on mobile, as do 67% of 30- to 49-year-olds.
  • In fact, among 17 demographic segments Pew focused on in its summary, spanning age, gender, race, income, education and political party, just one group, respondents over 65, said they most often used PCs rather than mobile to get the news.

To make a long story short, consumer insights pros and the decision-makers who depend on them for data they can trust need to focus on three key words: “GET MOBILE RIGHT.”

Start with that as your motivation, and we’ll help you get where you need to go. To set up a productive conversation about how to get mobile right as you seek solutions to your projects’ specific needs (including adding mobile to trackers), just click here.

Topics: mobile research, market research, consumer insights, data quality, surveys, consumer experience

How To Visualize the Past, Present & Future of Consumer Journeys

Posted by MFour on Jul 11, 2018 7:00:00 AM

Time Machine Blog 6July18 

There’s an intriguing suggestion for consumer insights professionals in the July issue of Quirk’s Marketing Research Review: “Consider measuring the future to inform the present."

Research data that can accomplish this feat, we're told, can help brands “proactively change [consumers'] present behavior” in ways beneficial to future bottom lines.

Is this a suggestion that market research take cues from time-travel film scripts such as “Twelve Monkeys” and “The Time Machine?” Nope. It’s a piece of intriguing, out-of-the-box thinking from the Quirk’s article,“Going Beyond Self-Report,” by Jason Martuscello of BEESY, a marketing intelligence company grounded in behavioral science.

After getting our attention with his future-leaning vision of market research, the author makes it clear he’s talking about brands finding a way to influence today's consumers by asking about their expectations for tomorrow and beyond: “how they expect to feel” and where they “want to go.” Martuscello contrasts this eyes-forward approach with how “most research uses the past and present to passively predict future behavior.”

The article evenhandedly summarizes biases and limitations of self-report survey research, as well as biases and limitations of biometrics and other “new implicit [data] methodologies” that aim to supersede traditional surveys by probing for presumably more reliable non-conscious indicators of consumer sentiment.

But Martuscello also defends the value of self-reported consumer feedback – with the caveat that the surveys eliciting those responses must be well-designed.

“With concepts like cognitive biases and human irrationality taking center stage recently, it’s worth noting that people are real and can provide accurate answers to well-designed and structured surveys," he writes. "Tremendous business value can be exacted….People who claim self-reports are unreliable sources of information typically are misusing them,” or have partisan reasons for dismissing surveys as simply passé. 

The most trustworthy self-reported data about consumer sentiment and intentions, Martuscello adds, is that which demonstrates what he calls “stability,” “persistence” and “durability.”

“When intentions are stable (e.g., same over time) they are resistant to change and are better predictors of behavior.”

MFour's own method for overcoming recall bias and predicting consumer behavior emphasizes observing the actual buying journeys of real respondents from a first-party consumer panel, and using those observed journeys as a springboard to better-targeted and better-designed surveys that allow consumer insights professionals to  understand the “why” behind the "who, what and where." 

These consumer journeys, as visualized on the new Path 2 Purchase™ Platform, can be thought of as bringing together the past, present and future of real, validated consumers. Researchers get to follow  doubly opted-in members of the largest first-party, all-mobile panel of U.S. consumers as they move through time and space. The result is a way to influence future behaviors with data that helps decision-makers draw reliable conclusions about how and why current actions and attitudes came to be. 

The Path 2 Purchase™ process begins with targeting carefully profiled consumers who have been tracked and geolocated at a relevant retail location in real time. They then can be surveyed in-store or shortly after their visit. But instead of capturing an isolated event that is already receding into the past, Path 2 Purchase™ makes it possible to turn the survey encounter into a point on a continuum.

  • Researchers can look backward at the journeys that preceded the survey, illuminating the answers given at that specific moment.
  • Then they can carry on their studies into the future by watching the same consumers' ongoing journeys. If they stated an intention or a preference in the survey, did they follow through on it?
  • For example, you can interview a consumer at an auto dealership at an early stage in his or her car-shopping journey, and then see how many other dealerships, and of what makes, the same shopper subsequently visited.

This is why we say that Path 2 Purchase™ encompasses the future, as well as the present and the past. The result is a holistic view of validated consumer behavior along an ongoing continuum, rather than just a glimpse of a snapshot from a single point in time. 

And, thanks to the unique multimedia capabilities of smartphones and the advanced mobile-app surveys that take full advantage of their data-producing potential, you can literally see consumers as they are making their journeys. For example, by asking them to submit open-ended  “video selfie” responses that bring emotions and motivations fully to life. A further advantage of video responses: ironclad protection against data fraud, as you watch and listen as real people who are truly engaged with your questions give you their honest feedback.

To repeat a key passage from Jason Martuscello in his Quirk’s essay:

"It’s worth noting that people are real and can provide accurate answers to well-designed and structured surveys. Tremendous business value can be exacted….People who claim self-reports are unreliable sources of information typically are misusing them….”

For a productive demo and discussion of how you can get reliable location and survey data that helps you rise to the challenge of looking ahead and not just behind, just click here.

Topics: mobile market research, market research, path-2-purchase, consumer insights, surveys

Post a comment

Subscribe to Email Updates

Recent Posts

Posts by Topic

see all