First, let me say, “Happy March Madness” to all of our followers as the men’s NCAA basketball tournament kicks off today. We’re all in the office working today at Corona—still settling into the new space—but that doesn’t mean we can’t talk about the tournament every once in a while, right?
Here’s a graph from ESPN.com that I found interesting for today:
Nationwide, we see that ESPN.com users overwhelmingly feel that the University of Kentucky is the #1 seed most likely to win the national title. With over 93,000 completed surveys across the country, we can probably assume that more people in your office pool are picking Kentucky than any other team. That is, unless you live in North Carolina, Michigan, or New York.
Survey respondents in those three states—which are home to the other three #1 seeds—selected their home team as the one they thought would win it all. Do they have a bias? Sure, they’re cheering for their team to win!
This is perhaps an oversimplified way of showing how survey responses can vary by audience and how their responses can become swayed. What’s important to note here, though, is that it’s not always this easy to spot these types of differences in survey responses. Sometimes, little nuggets of information and even key points are overlooked. That’s where having a team like Corona (no pun intended) on your side can come in handy.
As Meredith mentioned in a previous post, stay tuned for some stats from Corona’s March Madness office pool, and good luck to all! Predictions are more than welcome in our “Comments” section.
For over two years now, Corona Insights has been providing races around the country with a standardized way of surveying their athletes. This process was developed by Corona as an innovative process for race directors to get feedback and see how their races compare to other races. Since the survey’s inception in early 2010, over 17,000 athletes total (in 35 different states and in Canada) have taken the time to provide their feedback about the race they completed.
As an incentive for people to take the survey, Corona offered the opportunity to enter into a $500 sweepstakes drawing. We recently selected the winner at random, and we would like to officially congratulate Amy A. of Valencia, California. Amy competed in the Santa Clarita Marathon on November 6th and had this to say about winning the prize:
- “The 2011 Santa Clarita Marathon was my 5th… and most difficult. It may be Southern California, but it was only 42 degrees with a steady rain! Though I run for the personal satisfaction it gives me, this $500 makes that tough race even more worth it!”
Congratulations, again, to Amy for winning the prize, and we’d like to thank all of the race directors around the country who helped make this survey a success. For more information about the Corona Insights Race Survey and Rating System, contact us.
You know the surveys on the back of fast food receipts? I called in to complete one the other day and thought I’d share my experience.
It first asked the six digit store number and then had me verify it was correct. This was followed by a question if I used the drive-thru or dined in. Next, I was asked how many days ago I visited the restaurant, what time I placed my order, and if it was AM or PM. After keying in this background information and confirming it was all correct, I got to the one and only experience-related question: “Would you recommend this restaurant based on your most recent experience?” Yes, it’s essentially The Ultimate Question, but was that one question enough? Even if the results were cross-tabbed with the previous questions?
To be fair, I was given the option to leave a voicemail for management or staff at the end, but I still had to wonder if the company really maximized my call. (I presume the register already tracked I was at the store that day, and drove-thru at 5:43 PM). All in all, I’d say I spent about two minutes giving the store information it already had (or should have had), and about ten seconds about my experience.
While I appreciate a quick survey as much as the next guy, if a person is ready, willing, and able to complete a survey for you, stay mindful of the simple things like making every second count and asking questions that provide real value.
Oreo has long been known for its tagline of being “America’s Favorite Cookie” (and more recently the “World’s Favorite Cookie”) but now it has the data to say it is also the most “liked” cookie. This past Tuesday, the company completed its social media campaign to set the Guinness World Record for most Facebook “likes” to a post in 24 hours—officially making it the most “liked” cookie, as well. The brand has over 16 million people in its Facebook community, and it also used its website and Twitter page to drive even more people to Facebook during the 24-hour campaign. The initial goal to make this a legitimate Guinness World Record was 45,000, and the final number for the day came to 114,619. However, once rapper Lil Wayne and his digital manager became aware of Oreo’s record attempt, the record was quickly broken thanks to the 20 million plus fans in the rapper’s Facebook community. Lil Wayne’s total “likes” in a 24-hour period: 588,243. So what’s the key takeaway from this? Oreo was able to integrate all aspects of its social media to leverage its online fan base enough to set a new Guinness World Record. But, Lil Wayne has no doubt done a better job engaging his online fans over time—meaning they were much more likely to respond to a Facebook post. How do you engage your online audience?
2010 marked the inaugural year of the Corona Insights Race Survey and Rating System. Having several runners on staff, and noticing that many races do not gather feedback from race participants, we decided to create a standardized system that race directors can use to improve their services, and that marketing directors can use to promote their runs. In 2010, races in 33 different states signed up and well over 6,000 runners nationwide participated in the survey.
As an incentive for runners to provide their feedback, we allowed them to enter their names into a $500 sweepstakes drawing at the conclusion of the survey. We recently selected the winner at random, and we would like to officially congratulate Josefina C. of Los Angeles on winning the prize. Josefina competed in the 10th Annual Say No To Drugs Race Holiday Classic on December 5th.
We would also like to thank all races and runners for their participation in 2010, and we look forward to continuing our efforts to help races around the country get feedback from their runners.
For more information on the Corona Insights Race Survey and Rating System, click here.
Consumer spending habits can change rather quickly, and what worked in the past for businesses might not necessarily work today. To stay ahead of the game, savvy companies evolve to make the most of consumer trends by listening to their target markets (not just their current customers) to truly understand what people want.
A company very familiar with spending habits, American Express, recently reported the emerging trends (pdf) that businesses are becoming more and more mindful of. These stood out to me because they really show the value of listening to the consumer voice:
- “Rurbanism” – Meaning urban consumers are shifting more toward wanting local, rural products. Several nationwide retail stores like Macy’s are already seeing success by adding local niche goods to their stores, and national grocery-chains like Whole Foods are taking advantage of this trend by buying local produce.
- “Commsumption” – That is, “community consumption” such as Groupon. The recession has sparked a huge interest in group purchasing, and WalMart has even launched an initiative called CrowdSaver – its own group-discount page through Facebook.
- “Give-a-nomics” – Meaning consumers want their purchase to also have a secondary purpose, such as helping the community or preserving the environment. As an example, Target advertises that it allocates 5% of its annual income to its Target Foundation to support families and communities.
- CiCo (Check in to Check out) – Consumers have a desire to stay connected with peers, so many stores are partnering with CiCo applications like Foursquare to let consumers “check in” to the store via their mobile phone to receive discounts and let others know where they are.
- COBs (Co-Created Own Brands) – Consumers now more than ever want control over what they buy. Nike originally led the way with its NIKEiD, but now companies like Keds are giving customers not only more customization options, but also the ability to wholesale their designs through the website.
Consumer trends will continue to change with new technology and a shifting economy, and proactive companies will continue to listen to their markets. What trends are you seeing in your organization?
Being so ingrained with uncovering facts and figures around here, we’ve always got our eyes open for interesting market research stats.
Social Media Today recently released an article discussing 50 different market research and social media studies done across the country in 2010. We took a look at the studies and pulled out a few of our favorite stats below:
- There are roughly one billion searches performed on Google every day — more than ten times the number just four years ago.
- 96% of Gen Y’ers have joined a social network.
- 87% of Americans said they were “familiar with” Twitter in a poll taken earlier in 2010, versus just 5% in 2008.
- Twitter adds 300,000 new users and gets 600 million searches daily.
- 80% of Twitter use is on mobile devices.
- If Facebook was a country, it would be the third-largest on earth.
- 50% of mobile Internet traffic in the U.K goes to Facebook.
- LinkedIn has more than 70 million members worldwide — including executives from every Fortune 500 company.
- YouTube now hosts more than 100 million videos and is the world’s second largest search engine.
- It would take 1,000 years to watch every video currently posted on YouTube.
We’ll leave you with one final social media stat from a recent Mashable post. It highlights the success of Pepsi’s latest social media campaign, The Pepsi Refresh Project, where the company is giving away millions of dollars to fund ideas submitted and voted on by consumers. The campaign was launched just 8 months ago, and more people have already voted for projects pitched to Pepsi Refresh than voted during the 2008 Presidential Election.
Ever since KFC launched its “Unthink” campaign, I’ve wondered what effects it may have on the company and its franchisees – for better or for worse. If you’re not already familiar, the campaign was developed to promote KFC’s grilled chicken they introduced in April 2009, rather than the original fried chicken the company is so well-known for. It’s now been almost a year and a half since the company added its “unfried side” to the menu and it turns out that overall sales are down and many franchisees are frustrated with the new company strategy.
Of course, it’s easy to say in hindsight that this campaign wouldn’t work as well as planned (and, to be fair, other factors play in to declining sales – not just the new strategy), but it’s possible the company strayed from its core business too much by encouraging its customers to “Unthink KFC.” This story reminds me of Oldsmobile’s “Not Your Father’s Oldsmobile” campaign, where the company attempted to reinvent itself in the late 1980s. Oldsmobile decided to rebrand itself as a new generation of car but in the process neglected its historic brand and its most loyal customers, which some say played a large part in the regression of the company. KFC is now at a similar crossroad with the decision to either promote newer, healthier options to reach a new market or promote its tried-and-true fried products to maintain its core group of consumers.
Several franchisees have already expressed concern about how the marketing strategy may confuse customers and hurt the brand (KGC, anyone?). A recent Businessweek article states how the company now faces lawsuits from these disgruntled franchisees who state that KFC unwisely turned its back on its Southern fried heritage, resulting in lower sales and therefore less income for store owners.
The KFC and Oldsmobile case studies not only serve as good examples of how important branding can be, but also how important research can be. I’m curious as to what types of market research KFC conducted before its “Unthink” campaign was launched, and I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how the company moves forward with its marketing strategy from here on.
What do you think? Is KFC going down the right path by offering healthier options to attract new customers over time, or should it stick more to its brand and focus on its traditional consumer base?