Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

Happy holidays from Observation Baltimore. May your holiday season be filled with peace, love, and joy.

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Online Communities: A New Source for Market Research

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

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.

For additional information, 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.

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Source:

Some art, some science, Quirk’s Marketing Research

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Video Game Industry in Baltimore: Setting Difficulty to “Hard”

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

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.

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Sources:

Not all fun and (video) games, The Baltimore Sun

Games market in turmoil as developers move to mobile, Newsday

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Shamrocks and Saints: A Few Statistics about St. Patrick’s Day

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

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.

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Sources:

St. Patrick’s Day Statistics

17 Things to Know About St. Patrick’s Day

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A Victory for the Baltimore Ravens and Some Super Bowl Statistics

Friday, January 18th, 2013

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.

Observation Baltimore will be rooting for the Ravens as they fight for their spot in the Super Bowl – we can’t wait to see how far they go!

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.

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Sources:

Super Bowl statistics: Ad spots, sick days and supermodels

Super Bowl ads rise in price, frequency

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Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

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!

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How Do Marketers Make Use of Market Research?

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

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.

To learn more, please contact Barbara Gassaway and the market research specialists at Observation Baltimore today by calling 410-332-0400 or click here!

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Source for Infographic

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Mobile Devices and Market Research

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

As smart phones and tablets continue to make traditional cell phones and landlines defunct, market researchers are seizing opportunities to interact with consumers who use these devices daily to communicate and stay connected.

Social Media has crossed seamlessly onto the screens of our iPhones and Androids, and in so doing, these platforms have become a meaningful way of collecting qualitative data by offering opinion opportunities  consumers can access from anywhere – even at points of purchase as people interact directly with products. This means that while customers shop – either as they evaluate goods, enter the store, or make their final selections – they can document their attitudes and experiences.

But point of purchase and product evaluation aren’t the only ways in which market researchers are targeting consumers to collect their thoughts conveniently with the assistance of mobile devices. Here are just a few additional methodologies that are taking full advantage of digital technologies:

  • Product barcode scanning using scanner apps or cameras during shopping
  • Pulling data from larger sample groups while using smaller data sets for each individual
  • Data mining to gather small bits of information at several different points in the decision making process, ultimately drawing them together via data warehousing
  • Integrating qualitative approaches by use of the built-in cameras for pictures, videos, and sound clips to enhance an otherwise quantitative project
  • To encourage behavior; for instance, by supplying respondents who have addictive habits with a stream of motivational messages and distraction techniques

Market researchers who make use of online polling and consumer interaction techniques have come to embrace mobile technology as an additional means of collecting data from respondents – with the benefit of being able to do so in real time. This enriches data sets by adding location information, media capture, and immediate feedback to the research at hand. In so doing, the accuracy of the research conducted increases, no longer relying on a consumer’s recollection of experiences, but rather, capturing their feelings in the moment.

To learn more, please contact Barbara Gassaway and the market research specialists at Observation Baltimore today by calling 410-332-0400 or click here! And if you are interested in participating in a future focus group, sign up at www.observationbaltimore/getpaid.

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Sources:

Is mobile market research finally living up to the hype?

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How Do Consumers Perceive Surveys Released by Businesses?

Monday, November 12th, 2012

They’re popping up everywhere: on Facebook, business websites, blogs, and in your inbox. Surveys are being issued more and more by small and large companies alike in attempts to engage their consumer base and garner insights about the products and services they offer. Though these surveys reveal consumer perceptions about the companies at hand, is it possible to measure consumer perceptions on the process itself of taking surveys?

The clever industry experts over at Cint, a privately owned software company specializing in market-leading, innovative research products, recently sought to find out just that: the company conducted a survey on surveys. Click this link to take a look at this compelling infographic they released with the resulting data to see how impactful surveys actually are!

Interested in offering up your own opinion as a consumer? Sign up directly for one of Observation Baltimore’s focus groups by visiting www.observationbaltimore/getpaid. To learn more, please contact Barbara Gassaway and the market research specialists at Observation Baltimore today by calling 410-332-0400 or click here!

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Source for Infographic:

the impact of surveys

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The Polls are in: Election 2012 Statistics

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

You’ve cast your ballot and the results are in for the 2012 presidential election: Barack Obama will continue to don the seven hats as the head of the United States government. Despite the complaints about long lines at polling places and word of a few glitches in electronic voting systems, millions of Americans turned out to exercise their right. Here’s a few facts about the election process:

The Basics

  • Number of Americans eligible to vote: 206,072,000
  • Number of Americans registered to vote: 146,311,000
  • Number of Americans who voted in the 2012 election: 118,000,000

The 2012 Campaign

  • As of Wednesday morning, Obama had secured 303 electoral votes; he needed 270 for reelection
  • Republican candidate Mitt Romney secured a total of 206 electoral votes in the race for the White House

The Demographic

  • 71% of Latinos voted for Obama, while 27% cast their ticket for Romney
  • 90% of African Americans voted to elect Obama, with only 10% rallying for Romney
  • 89% of Romney’s votes were received by white Americans, compared to 56% by Obama
  • 53% of the national vote came from women, 47% from men
  • 55% of Obama’s votes were made by women, in contrast with Romney’s 43%

The Social Media Buzz

  • On election day, Obama garnered a whopping 396,372 additional “likes” on Facebook
  • Twitter reached its peak number of tweets per minute – 327, 452 – after the major networks announced Obama’s win
  • President Obama’s tweet “four more years” accompanied by a photo of him hugging his wife was retweeted 764,267 times and favorited 267, 711 times (and counting!)

From a record year for women with a historic number of females in the Senate, to the close call between presidential candidates, it’s been an enthralling election to follow. We hope these statistics are a helpful recap of the 2012 race for presidency.

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Sources:

Voting Statistics

Election Day 2012: By the Numbers

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