December 20, 2022
Research practitioners have a lot on their hands when it comes to designing an effective survey instrument and ensuring quality is not affected during data collection. Another important point researchers have to consider is avoiding respondent bias. Biased responses lead to inaccurate data and can incorrectly prompt companies to make changes that they didn’t need to make while leaving the need for other course corrections unrecognized. Fortunately, there are ways that researchers can recognize and avoid response bias in their surveys.
What is Respondent Bias?
Respondent bias lies more with the questions in a survey, and not so much with the willingness (or not) on the part of the respondents to answer the questions. Respondents can give inaccurate answers to questions due to conscious and subconscious factors, so it’s important that questions are worded carefully in order to get the most accurate responses. Respondents might not even realize that they are giving untruthful or inaccurate answers, but it affects the outcome of the data collection just the same.
Never Lead the Witness
So how can researchers avoid respondent bias and get the highest quality survey answers? One crucial thing that researchers can do is ensure that their survey questions are not framed in a way that leads the respondent to answer a question in a certain way. For example, if a survey had a question that read “How awful are plant-based burgers?”, it could lead the respondent to think, “Yes plant-based burgers are awful.” A better, non-leading question would be “What do you think of plant-based burgers?”
Leading questions can also happen with scaled questions. For example, a question on a survey could ask a respondent if they were extremely dissatisfied, dissatisfied, or satisfied. Offering more options for dissatisfied answers is biased and leads survey respondents in that direction. It is also important to always offer the respondent the option not to answer a question. Providing a ‘Prefer not to answer” option in a survey, or even offering a way for survey respondents to opt out of participating is important to avoid bias. Researchers should also craft survey questions in a way that is dynamic– make sure to use language that is clear and transparent and that avoids negative terms, such as the word ‘not’.
Learn to Trade Places
Finally, an easy way for researchers to avoid respondent bias in surveys is to imagine themselves in the place of the survey participants. If they were taking the survey, what would constitute bias in the eyes of the respondent? It’s important for researchers to take a 360-degree view of their surveys in order to ensure the best possible outcome for quality data collection.
Eyes4Research has an intuitive and easy-to-use survey platform with over 22 million double opt-in panelists, making it easy for companies to find just the right audience for their surveys. Our panels are comprised of B2B, B2C, and specialty audiences ready to participate in your next research project. Learn more about our specialty panels here.
December 14, 2022
The global pet care business is expected to reach $241.1B by 2026. For pet product manufacturers, veterinarians are an integral part of their business model. Not only are veterinarians customers, but they are decision-makers and can recommend products (or not), to the pet owners who are their clients. It is necessary for manufacturers of pet products to know what will encourage veterinarians to choose their products.
In order to understand what is important to veterinarians, manufacturers will need to gather insights from this audience to gain an advantage over their competition. The data collected from veterinarians will tell manufacturers what is selling and not selling, what the market trends are, and what part, if any, of the brand story is resonating with the veterinarian audience. Learning how to market to veterinarians will help manufacturers learn what matters to veterinarians and help them hone in on unmet needs within the market. Here are 4 ways companies can effectively market to veterinarians.
Refine and Tell Your Brand Story
The foundation of a pet care company’s brand story starts with understanding its place in the pet care ecosystem within the context of the competition. That starts with market research. Dig deep into the data collected and learn exactly what competing brands are doing and why the veterinarian audience is loyal to them. Companies should also tap into the information that is gathered from other research involving veterinarians, like scientific trials, to integrate it into their own brand story and become experts in their space. When it comes to actually telling the story, nothing is more powerful than word of mouth, and pet owners are more than happy to sing the praises of a product that they love. Those stories are important when a veterinarian is considering a new product to recommend to their pet owners.
Advocate for Veterinarians By Listening to Them
Analyzing data and conducting research online with the veterinarian audience is important, but it is also equally important to add an additional layer to the research and actually talk to veterinarians. Gathering anecdotal information from veterinarians at trade shows, for example, can offer deeper insights from veterinarians about what they really need and what their challenges are, either with other products or in their practices. When companies position themselves as advocates for their customers, it can only make their products and their brand story better in return.
Foster Loyalty and Keep It
Tap into the power of training. It is common that veterinarians will often carry the same products they used during their training in school into their own practice and stay loyal to those products. Companies that establish those relationships with the veterinarian audience early on while still in school, will have a distinct advantage over their competitors.
Selecting a Reputable Panel Provider
Finding a quality veterinarian panel is not easy. Eyes4Research owns and operates one of the few veterinarian panels in the continental U.S. Companies should take the time to vet panel providers: Ask the providers if their panelists are certified; what type of profile information they keep on their members, such as the veterinarian school attended, year of graduation, the types of animals (small, large, or both) the veterinarians on the panels treat.
When considering your marketing strategy for the veterinarian audience, keep in mind that they are looking to elevate their careers and improve their practices and their relationship with their clients. They want products to help them in that endeavor, and market research helps achieve that goal.
Partner with Eyes4Research for everything you need to collect high-quality insights from veterinarians. Our panels are made up of B2B, B2C, and specialty audiences ready to participate in your next research project. Learn more about our specialty panels here so that you can make your product the product of choice for veterinarians.
December 7, 2022
Who are General Contractors?
In the construction industry, a general contractor is a person who is responsible for overseeing a construction project. Typically, property owners will hire general contractors to make sure a construction job is completed safely, on time, and according to specifications. General contractors also referred to as GCs, are important for both complex commercial construction as well more straightforward residential projects. However, a general contractor is likely needed for any project that requires coordinating several stages or multiple tradespeople to complete the job. The contractor is essentially the liaison between the property owner and all of the people involved in the construction of the building, including the tradespeople, vendors, and materials suppliers. They are also responsible for providing all of the building materials, labor, tools, and construction vehicles as well as all of the services needed for the project.
The responsibilities of the general contractor depend on what is needed for the project. If there is a design component involved, the contractor might manage both the design, as well as the construction of the project. On a more traditional construction job, the general contractor would manage only the construction itself, after the architect has already set the design and specifications. They will take complete control of a construction project and are responsible for hiring specialists and subcontractors. The general contractors will then schedule and plan out the different stages of the project.
The Types of Projects Builders Work On
A licensed, experienced builder is able to handle and manage a wide variety of tasks on a construction site. In general, they scout and accept jobs that involve everything from basic remodeling projects to supervising the construction of a new home or an office building. If the job is large enough, the general contractor can find themselves directly working on carpentry, roofing, painting, foundation or earthmoving work, and electrical, or plumbing work. The type of work that the general contractor can do depends on the limits of their specific licenses.
How General Contractors Impact the Construction Industry
As mentioned earlier, general contractors bring their established relationships with other people working in or in support of the construction industry to the projects that they work on, having a direct impact on the industry. In order to complete their jobs, they need vehicles, materials, people, and tools, which contribute to the construction industry in terms of spending and job creation. In 2019, the global revenue generated by general contractors was approximately $473B. Between 2020 and 2030, construction and extraction occupations are expected to gain more than 400,000 new jobs in the U.S. Contractors are also adopting new technologies, like wearables in order to reduce workplace-related injury claims, and software to improve efficiencies and profitability.
Benefits and Challenges When Targeting Builders and General Contractors for Research
For a market researcher, general contractors are a difficult target to survey. They are unlikely to just be sitting at their desk waiting to take a survey. They work long hours and spend their time out on job sites, and only have a very limited amount of time to participate in surveys. But there are a few things that market researchers can do to improve the participation of general contractors in surveys.
Keeping Contractors and Builders Engaged
So how can a researcher keep the attention of a general contractor while they are conducting a survey or an interview? Making sure that surveys are relevant to them and their profession, goes a long way. As does keeping the surveys short and sweet to be considerate of their time. Meeting with contractors for in-person interviews on job sites is an effective way to get real-time feedback on new tools, like a drill, which will also allow them to compare that drill to other drills they have used. An enticing incentive like being able to keep the drill will help boost participation rates.
General contractors are an important part of the construction industry, touching many different areas of projects, big and small. Getting their insights is more challenging than some other audiences, but with planning and foresight, it is possible to boost participation in surveys for research.
Read more about the construction industry on the Eyes4Research blog. Eyes4Research also has everything you need to collect high-quality insights from general contractors. Our panels are comprised of B2B, B2C, and specialty audiences ready to participate in your next research project. Learn more about our specialty panels here.
December 5, 2022
Not Just for Kids
The video game industry has evolved quite a bit since the first video game was invented in 1952. Due to the limitations of technology at the time, and perhaps also cultural factors, gaming remained a niche activity mainly for young people for its first few decades. But as with many things in society, trends change and eventually the niche of gaming grew into a world-wide industry. The video game industry has come a long way from just something for the kids, growing into a global industry that is estimated to have a market cap of $314.4 billion in 2026. A look into the current gaming industry reveals that the future looks quite bright for the industry, with the companies that understand these trends, and what the consumers are looking for, are poised to reap the most benefits.
But before examining the future of the gaming industry and what it means for consumers and investors, it’s important to understand what the word “gaming” entails. The simple definition of gaming involves any game that’s played digitally on a console system, home computer, or mobile device. The type of games that can be played are diverse in style and genre, ranging from role playing to first-person shooters. It’s likely that you’ve played or watched others play electronic games, and as gaming increases in popularity, going beyond the niche of “kids games,” its importance in our economy and society will continue to grow.
The numbers all indicate that the gaming industry will continue to grow in the coming years, which has a number of potential repercussions for the consumer. Consumers can expect better games, with higher degrees of playability and realism, while also having a wider array of choices as more companies attempt to enter the industry. Investors will also have plenty of opportunities, but perhaps the greatest benefits for consumers will come as gaming is influenced by other recent tech trends, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR), which have the potential of making life easier and giving gamers a more enjoyable experience. So let’s examine how gaming came to be, where it is today, and what investors and consumers can expect in the future.
The Birth of Video Gaming
The video and computer gaming industry has become such an ubiquitous part of our lives that most people don’t consider its inauspicious origins, or how old it really is. Today, many consider engineer Sandy Douglas to be the father of modern gaming, as it was his computerized version of tic-tac-toe – OXO – that became the world’s first computer game in 1952. OXO was certainly a far cry from Fortnite in terms of graphics and playability, and the average consumer didn’t even have access to the game, but it marked the beginning of a process that eventually gained plenty of momentum.
Despite the leap made by Douglas, gaming lagged until Steve Russell created Spacewar! in 1962. Designed for the PDP-1 microcomputer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Spacewar! featured two spaceships shooting at each other. Although the game was simple by today’s standards, it eventually caught on and was adapted for home computers and the Atari 2600 console system in the 1970s, making it the earliest mass marketed video game and the first true video game in the eyes of many purists. And as Spacewar! found a popular audience, the gaming industry expanded exponentially into Americans’ living rooms.
The first era of console systems – computer systems that are dedicated exclusively or nearly exclusively for gaming – was born when engineer Ralph Baer developed the Magnavox Odyssey system in 1971. The Odyssey went on the market in 1972 and sold more than 130,000 units in its first twelve months, offering such “riveting” titles as Pong, but as the novelty of the system wore off after a couple of years, consumers began looking for better alternatives.
The gaming industry was disrupted once more when Atari’s 2600 system hit the store shelves of K-Mart, Sears, and other popular retailers of the era in 1977. The 2600 was far ahead of the other systems, featuring things that the Odyssey and other first generation consoles didn’t have, including: joysticks, color graphics, sound, and most important, interchangeable cartridges. Other companies followed the 2600’s lead by creating new systems, such as Intellivision and Coleco, but the oversaturation of the market led to the Video Game Crash of 1983 and a reset of the market.
Video Gaming Today
The gaming industry reemerged in the mid-1980s with new companies and consoles. The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) became the console of this era, but by the late 1990s the Sega Dreamcast, Sony PlayStation, and Microsoft X-Box captured sizable chunks of the gaming market. Some of these systems, such as the Dreamcast, were actually a bit too far ahead of their time and failed, leaving Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft to dominate the console market.
The technology of current console system has continued to develop and evolve, with one such notable advance being the PlayStation 4 the first to offer 4K video in 2016. And as technological advances were made in the gaming industry, making the games more realistic and fun to play, sales greatly increased. Today, Microsoft and Sony are the number one and three gaming companies in market cap size respectively, at $1.978 trillion and $102.74 billion, but much of their profits are from non-gaming, or not exclusively gaming hardware and software. If solely game companies are considered, then Activision Blizzard has the top spot at more than $61 billion. And as these numbers are expected to steadily increase, investors and consumers should be aware of some of the trends that are currently taking place.
There’s no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way people work, invest, and play. The lockdowns devastated a number of sectors of the economy, namely “mom and pop” service businesses, but the gaming industry benefitted tremendously. There was a 37% increase in sales in the US alone, and globally the market size reached over $203 billion in 2020. As more and more people of all ages have found gaming to be an enjoyable pastime during the lockdowns, gaming has moved beyond consoles.
One of the most important trends taking place in the gaming industry is the move from console gaming to home computers and mobile devices. The emergence of social media has brought gaming to demographics that normally wouldn’t have played electronic games. Companies such as Rovio – which created the popular Angry Birds game that later became a media franchise – understand that consumers today who would never consider themselves “gamers” can be enticed to play certain games, if they are accompanied by social media and played with the convenience of a mobile device.
In fact, successful gaming companies are learning that how games are played is often just as important as what games are being played. Many people don’t want to pay hundreds of dollars for a console that they may only rarely use, but they can be persuaded to buy games for their personal computers. Most popular console games are also sold for PCs and many who consider themselves gamers actually prefer playing on their PCs. A survey conducted by Eyes4Research with gamers shows that more than 26% of gamers prefer to play on their PCs as opposed to more than 39% who prefer console gaming. Perhaps an even more interesting revelation of that survey is that more than 35% of the respondents preferred gaming on their mobile devices. These numbers clearly indicate that there is a consumer trend toward mobile gaming and gaming brands that realize this will be better positioned to be successful.
The Future of Gaming
A look at current gaming trends will help us understand where the gaming industry is going in the near future and how that relates to consumers. Online services such as Steam and Twitch, where gamers can download games, will continue to grow. Steam had 132 million monthly users in 2021 and sold $4.3 billion in games in 2017, while the younger Twitch had fifteen million users in 2020. Expect the trend of downloading games to continue, but consumers can also look forward to new technologies that go beyond gaming.
Consumers can expect a new genre of games known as “mixed reality,” which combines virtual and augmented reality, to hit the market in the coming years. This potential development is contingent upon VR headsets becoming more popular, but experts have pointed out that currently the headsets are too bulky and expensive for most gamers. One industry expert believes that for consumers to adopt VR headset gaming in greater numbers, gaming companies will have to develop games that are enhanced by specific sensations. For examples, players will feel the ammo they load into their guns, the wheel of the car they are driving, or even the punch from an opponent in a fighting game.
The emergence of AI will also provide new innovations that consumers can expect to enhance their gaming experiences. Although the role of AI in the games themselves remains limited, and will likely continue to be the case in the near future because studios don’t want games to have “emergent behaviors” that could take a game outside its intended concept, AI is already being utilized in some aspects of gaming. Cloud based gaming, block-chain based gaming, voice recognition games, and even “wearable” games are all presently gaming realities, and as all of these technologies expand in other fields, look for them to present new, more in-depth experiences for gamers.
The final future trend of the gaming industry to consider is the disruption it will bring to the greater entertainment industry. The fact is that after Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft introduced 3D games in the late 1990s, the entertainment industry was immediately impacted. The advances in video game graphics, playability, and storylines meant that consumers had more options concerning how to dispose of their disposable incomes: better storylines and acting in video games has the potential to cut even deeper into the film and television industries and become a rival cinema of sorts. Although this trend is not really new, with the late Ray Liota playing the part of the primary character in the 2002 game, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, expect the games to become more “epic” and involve more A-list actors in the future.
The gaming industry has evolved quite a bit from its inception in the 1950s, to its commercialization in the 1970s, and finally to where it’s at today. As gaming continues to evolve, brands that understand consumer trends and sentiments – such as the rise in popularity of gaming on mobile devices, and the growing connection between gaming and social media – will be poised for success. Additionally, gaming companies that understand the role the emerging technologies of VR and AI will play in their industry, and how those technologies will give consumers a better experience, will also find success, because ultimately the gaming industry is truly driven by consumers.
December 1, 2022
3 Problems With Online Surveys and How to Solve Them
The internet has been useful for companies conducting research to learn more about their customer’s likes and dislikes, and how to offer products that meet their customer’s expectations. And while online surveys have their advantages, such as ease of collection of data, convenience for the respondents, and flexibility in the design of the surveys, there are some specific problems with online surveys that companies should have front of mind when conducting their own research projects.
When thinking about how much online traffic is generated by bots, both helpful and harmful, it’s no wonder that bots have infiltrated online surveys. Bots damage the accuracy of the panels participating in online surveys when they are used by people who are after the monetary compensation that is offered to the survey participants. That compensation is often provided digitally, making it easy for bad actors to grab the incentives for themselves. The ease of obtaining bots to take these online surveys makes the problem even more insidious.
Professional Survey Takers
The internet has made data collection from online surveys much easier, but it has also given rise to what has been called ‘professional’ survey takers’. These survey takers are people who regularly seek out online surveys to take in exchange for money, rewards, and other incentives for completing the survey. There are even sites and blogs that point people in the direction of online surveys that offer compensation of some sort. The problem with these survey takers is that if they are not representative of the population you intend to target with your research, the findings will be useless in the end.
Another issue that researchers encounter is online survey takers becoming tired, bored, or otherwise disinterested while participating in the survey. Called survey fatigue, which can affect the quality of the responses. This can happen in two ways: first, respondents can become overwhelmed by the number of questions on the survey before they even begin taking it, and decide to opt-out, leading to a low response rate. Second is the fatigue that sets in during the process of completing the survey when the survey itself is overly long and the questions are not applicable to the respondent.
So what can researchers do to avoid these problems in their online surveys? What are the solutions that can be employed to increase the quality of both respondents and responses?
Eyes4Research also has everything you need to collect high-quality insights from specialty panels. Our panels are comprised of B2B, B2C, and specialty audiences ready to participate in your next research project. Learn more about our specialty panels here.