Archive for the ‘General’ Category
As cyber crimes continue to be an alarming trend, we at Observation Baltimore wanted to take a few minutes to confirm our commitment to ensuring that all information gathered for the purpose of conducting market research is properly safe-guarded as set forth in the MRA Code of Marketing Standards. (more…)
The Internet is prevalent now more than ever in many different types of communities and covers a wide variety of interests. For instance, let’s say you have a passion for Pogs (a game played with cardboard discs that was a popular fad in the early ’90s). If you took that passion for Pogs online, you’d find many other Pog enthusiasts. You’d even be able to find Pog dealers on eBay and some outside of eBay. And if you didn’t know how to play the game, there are plenty of sites for instruction. And that’s just scratching the surface.
The Internet, however, is not just about “brand fanatics” nor is it primarily just a place for technophiles. Its global reach is growing every year as more countries gain capability and access. There are over two billion people online; 845 million of those people have Facebook accounts. The Internet has a reach of over 60% in developed countries and is growing exponentially in countries like Asia, Latin America and Africa. Soon it will be able to reach anyone, anywhere.
These users, however, also have a choice of how they engage with the online world. For market research, it’s imperative to reach the hard-to-get groups that are sometimes required for focus groups or studies. Involving community members to join, return and share their lives with companies through online research creates valuable and useful insight because those online community members are choosing to engage and share relevant information that contributes to research that can be used to make decisions and compel companies forward.
One motivation for this type of online engagement is the feeling that participant is being heard by the research company. If the company cares, the participants will feel more obligated to trust them and give candid feedback that will truly make a difference. This feedback given by the interested participant or customer is helpful not only because it contributes to the objective of the researching party, but also because it has a chance to benefit the people being researched directly.
Any form of accepted truism about particular online communities aren’t exactly accurate for the purpose of market research. The truism that Millennials won’t stay engaged in one specific place for too long isn’t to be accepted as an actual truth. Communispace, a Boston research firm, found that a better way to understand these various groups is to “observe how particular groups behave in various kinds of settings.” They found that Millennials posted more and were more actively engaged on a consistent basis in communities that were designed specifically for people in their age group rather than other types of communities.
The usefulness of online communities and engagement in this new era of market research can’t be understated. Whether you want to find out what Pog fanatics think about your Super Bowl commercial or if they’d be interested in a new type of car loan you’re offering, the path is paved with nothing but the ‘net.
Focus groups made up of well-qualified respondents have the power to yield market research results that change or reinforce the way businesses interact with the consumer. Our research group facility, Observation Baltimore, can help you make the most of your market research. The research facility at Observation Baltimore is equipped with rooms designed to foster discussion between respondents, making the most of the support group format with expert moderation to glean deep insights. Those insights can be harnessed to propel our clients forward in the decision making process.
Some art, some science, Quirk’s Marketing Research
The video game market is a volatile one. It’s ever changing and growing by leaps and bounds every day. With the rapid expansion of mobile technology, video game marketers have found a new platform to cater to. Some video game companies get left by the wayside and some flourish. This is true even of Maryland, where Zynga, developer of the popular games FarmVille and Words with Friends, closed its Baltimore offices in March. The industry moves quickly, and given the speed of technological changes, it can be a difficult market to forecast for.
Market-research firm NPD Group estimated U.S. consumers spent $14.8 billion last year on video games, including smartphone games, and says that represents a 9 percent drop from the year before. A separate report from the consulting firm PwC suggested that global sales of console and PC games have fallen in recent years but growth in online and wireless game sales is more than compensating. PwC predicts that console-game sales will partially rebound when the next generation of consoles comes out.
Fifty-eight percent of North American developers are planning their next games for smartphones and tablets, as reported from a survey the Game Developers Conference conducted. The most recent attempt to measure the industry in Maryland was three years ago. A report for the state Department of Business and Economic Development said digital media, including but not limited to games, employed about 32,000 people in Maryland. That’s the closest local glimpse we can get into video games relationship to the state.
Since that measurement was taken, several game studios have folded. Among them was the unfortunately named Impossible Studios in Hunt Valley, which was closed by Epic shortly after a bold iPad game initiative tanked. Shortly after that, Zynga followed suit with its Baltimore office closure. Smaller studios are popping up all over Maryland, with game studios like Twofold Secret and Discord Games making local splashes that will factor into the next survey of the local video gaming market.
Mobile games are the fastest growing arena in the video games industry, especially since are mostly created by teams of 10 or less, and can be funded out-of-pocket for as little as $100. A typical independent mobile game costs up to $20,000 to make; some cost as much as $10 million. The statistics for mobile games are hard to pinpoint exactly, as budgets and projects can fluctuate dramatically. It’s a relatively new sector of the video game sphere, one that will definitely be an interesting one to watch for years to come.
Baltimore is not only the new hot place for the burgeoning video game scene, but is also one of the best cities to conduct market research in. Observation Baltimore is Baltimore’s premier focus group facility, consistently ranked “One of the Top Focus Facilities Worldwide,” by Impulse Survey. Learn more about the research facility Observation Baltimore: call us at 410-332-0400 or click here! If you’d like to participate in one of our focus groups, please sign up at www.observationbaltimore/getpaid.
Not all fun and (video) games, The Baltimore Sun
Get your green out or get ready to get pinched: St. Patrick’s Day is this week. Whether you celebrate with shamrock-colored beer and eggs at breakfast or corned beef and cabbage, there’s no doubt Americans love celebrating the luck ‘o the Irish. Makes sense, since, as the maxim goes, “There are only two kinds of people in the world, The Irish and those who wish they were.” Here are a few fun facts and statistics about St. Patrick’s Day to get you jigging to the tune of the Celtic music that’s bound to start playing soon.
- Nearly half of adults living stateside intend to celebrate St. Patty’s Day: 46%
- Many of those participating in festivities plan to practice moderation: only 20% of adults plan on having a drink
- Speaking of drinks – what’s the beer of choice on St. Patrick’s Day? Nothing Irish. The top three beers on tap are Sam Adams, Budweiser, and Bud Light!
- Feel like parading around in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day? You’ll be one of 10% who plan to go to a St. Patty’s Day Parade
St. Patrick’s Day was originally established in Ireland as a cultural and religious holiday meant to commemorate the life and death of the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland, St. Patrick. Enjoy the festivities as you celebrate this weekend, and please, stay safe as you drive – even if you think you have the luck of the Irish on your side! Happy St. Patrick’s Day from Observation Baltimore!
Learn more about the research facility Observation Baltimore: call us at 410-332-0400 or click here! If you’d like to participate in one of our focus groups, please sign up at www.observationbaltimore/getpaid.
You sported your purple pride and cheered as loudly as you could, whether you were in the Denver football stadium or watching the Ravens play the Broncos from behind a television screen. And it was not without avail: Baltimoreans everywhere are itching with excitement as their beloved NFL team prepares to once again contend with the New England Patriots for a ticket to the Super Bowl. While we wait in anticipation for AFC Championship game, here are a few fun facts and statistics about the Super Bowl:
- Last year, 3% of American employees planned to take a “sick day” on Super Bowl Monday, and 9% used a vacation day to recover after the big game.
- The average cost to run a 30 second commercial during the Super Bowl in 2012 was $3.5 million. This year, CBS has sold ads for up to $4 million. Does it pay off to invest in advertising during the Super Bowl time slot? Apparently so. Last year, 42% of social media conversations were centered around those commercials.
- Pizza and beer are the classic food combo for game days, and in 2012, Americans spent $10.8 billion on brews, according to saveonbrew.com. What about those slices of cheesy deliciousness? Dominoes anticipated selling $11 million worth of pizzas – about 80% more than their sales on a normal Sunday.
- The face value for tickets to the 2013 Super Bowl range in price from $850-$1,250.
For more information about the Research Group Facility Observation Baltimore and the services we offer, please contact Barbara Gassaway and the market research specialists at Observation Baltimore today by calling 410-332-0400 or click here! If you’d like to participate in one of our focus groups, please sign up at www.observationbaltimore/getpaid.
Turns out the Mayans were wrong and the end of the world isn’t upon us, but the end of holiday season certainly almost is. So put down the wrapping paper, stop fretting over whether you’ve gotten everyone on your shopping list the perfect gift, or if you’ve planned an impeccable menu for your guests. Feast in the company of friends and family, fill yourself up on quality time and good company. May your New Year be a veritable buffet of delightful experiences and accomplishments. Happy Holidays from Observation Baltimore!
Market research is a necessary tool for the risk averse: it assists CEOs, CFOs, and company managers in determining the most effective course of action for product and brand development, improvement, marketing, and selling by gathering and analyzing data about markets and consumers.
Consumer attitudes and insights are utilized by marketers around the globe to fine-tune the ways in which companies both portray their image and conduct business. This week, we yet have another great infographic compiled by Cint, the savvy software company that emphasizes market-leading innovative research products. It offers up some interesting information on how market research is used by marketers around the world!
Click this link to see the visual representation on the ways in which market research translates into business strategies for companies everywhere.
Would you like to voice your opinions on a particular subject matter as a consumer? Sign up directly for one of Observation Baltimore’s focus groups by visiting www.observationbaltimore/getpaid.