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The following post was written by Maggy Stewart, Graphic Designer and Marketing Coordinator at RMS.

According to a recent poll of Central New Yorkers conducted by Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc. using the RMS ViewPoint panel, 62 percent of survey respondents plan to go to the State Fair one or two times this year. With 98 percent of Central New York respondents having been to the fair before, 77 percent typically purchase their tickets in advance. Although 40 percent are unsure of the dates they plan to attend the Fair, the most popular date visitors plan to attend is on Labor Day, also known as the Summer Send Off “Dollar Day.” More details, as well as the full infographic can be found below.

“In Central New York, the end of summer means the beginning of the Great New York State Fair,” said Zach Shaw, RMS ViewPoint Panel Associate. “The State Fair is a longstanding tradition throughout the entire region and is a great topic for a CNY survey.” Respondents surveyed were asked about favorite Fair attractions, preferred foods and Midway rides and games, spending habits, concert options and more. “Central New York continues to reign as a top test market in the country, and many brands and new products are exhibited at this highly anticipated and well-attended annual event,” said Sandy Baker, RMS Senior Director of Business Development & Corporate Strategy.

Drawing hundreds of thousands with a surplus of food, fun and entertainment, the New York State Fair attracts crowds locally and across the region. Sixty-three percent of respondents travel less than 20 miles to get to the State Fair, while 15 percent travel 21-30 miles, eight percent travel 31-40 miles, six percent travel 41-50 miles, seven percent travel 51-100 miles and two percent travel more than 100 miles. Respondents typically go to the Fair with one other person, and the average amount of time spent at the fair is 6.8 hours.

While spending a decent amount of daylight hours at the Fairgrounds, attendees have developed their own personal lists of “must see (and taste)” attractions and foods while visiting. When asked to pick all of their favorite Fair attractions, 75 percent of respondents yet again identified the Chevy Court as their favorite, followed by the butter sculpture (73 percent), Center of Progress Building (69 percent), sand sculpture (68 percent), Taste NY (57 percent), Horticulture Building (54 percent), beer/wine tent (45 percent), International Building (45 percent), art and craft exhibitions (38 percent), Midways rides and games (37 percent), Science and Industry Building (31 percent), and Iroquois Indian Village (29 percent). When it came to the Midway attractions, the Ferris Wheel came in as the favorite ride with 22 percent of respondents’ votes. Bumper Cars and Tilt-A-Whirl both followed with 17 percent. Also on the Midway, the water squirt race was voted the favorite game by survey respondents with 35 percent.

It’s no secret one of the biggest attractions at the State Fair is the enormous list of favorite fare and food vendors. When asked which Fair foods were favorites of respondents, pizze frite fried dough came in at number one with 49 percent, followed by milk (48 percent), Gianelli sausage (43 percent), potatoes (41 percent), BBQ (41 percent), ice cream (35 percent), Blooming Onion (34 percent), gyro (34 percent), funnel cake (29 percent), roasted ear of corn (27 percent), deep fried treats (25 percent), and fries (21 percent). Visitors spend an average of $121.36 while at the Fair, and aside from food and drink, respondents said they typically buy household items, jewelry/clothes and lottery tickets.

When asked which musical acts respondents were most excited to see this year, Chicago was top pick with 44 percent. Florida Georgia Line came in second with 29 percent, followed by Daughtry (28 percent), Keith Urban (27 percent), Air Supply (26 percent), ZZ Top and Gregg Allman (26 percent), The Commodores (21 percent), Culture Club (19 percent), Toto (17 percent), Flo Rida (15 percent), and Three Days Grace (13 percent).

When asked to describe the New York State Fair in one word, respondents’ top answers were “fun,” “awesome,” “tradition,” “interesting,” “great” and “exciting.”

The RMS ViewPoint poll was conducted from August 3, 2016 to August 10, 2016. A total of 1417 surveys were completed. Respondents consisted of RMS ViewPoint Research Panel members, as well as the general community. All respondents reside in New York State. For more information on RMS ViewPoint, visit RMSViewPoint.com.

Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS) is a full service marketing and market research firm located in Baldwinsville, NY. RMS provides an array of research methodologies that result in actionable analytics and recommendations for the client to enhance decision making. RMS is also home to QualiSight, a premier focus group and interview research facility, and RMS ViewPoint, a leading consumer research panel in Central New York. Visit our website at RMSresults.com.

NYS-Fair-Survey-infographic

 

The following post was written by Maggy Stewart, Graphic Designer and Marketing Coordinator at RMS.

millennial (2)

It’s a common question, we hear it all the time from clients: how do we market to (and actually captivate) millennials – the now largest generation in the U.S. workforce? Stumble upon any informative, well known business website today and you’re bound to see an article dissecting the new “It” generation: the millennials. According to Time Magazine, the notorious generation has finally taken over the American labor force, and is expected to surpass the Baby Boomers as the largest living generation in the United States. And with such a large target (75.4 million people, according to Pew Research), marketers figured they couldn’t miss. But as more and more millennials came into the market with impressive (and unnoticed) purchasing power, marketers struggled even more to understand them. But why the disconnect? A lot of brands out there are continuing to sell the traditional “get married, buy a house, start a family” agenda, because that’s what older generations based a lot of their spending upon. Those tactics aren’t hooking millennials, and that’s an issue because millennials are buying, they just buy differently than marketers are familiar with.

Not only are millennials’ spending habits different, but they’re so offbeat from previous generations’ that they’re completely misunderstood. This is mainly because they’re approaching adulthood in a contrasting way when compared to their older counterparts. So why the sudden shift? One reason is the economy and the scars left behind following the recession. Milestones of adulthood—purchasing a home, tying the knot, having children—are simply not as feasible anymore, hence the delay. In addition to the economic issues, millennials grew up in a truly evolving world where options for anything were endless, in turn paving the avenues for many “adulting” alternatives. Brand strategists and marketers need to consider the fact that this powerful generation was raised in a world of choice—some moved out of mom and dad’s years ago, but became adults based on their own terms, not tradition. This is the largest population to date and some of them just graduated high school. “Brands need to stop waiting for millennials to ‘grow up’ and fall in line with what past generations have done. A lot of them already have; it just looks different than it did in the past. Brands and marketers need to shift and adapt to this reality, instead of waiting for one that won’t come true,” warns Patrick Spenner, a Forbes Contributor.

So what’s a brand strategist to do? For starters, acknowledge their lifestyles and figure out how to “amplify their reality,” writes Spenner. Market the values that drive them, not the ones that deter them: focus on social groups, not life stages. You also need to consider the medium to which you’re trying to reach them. Eighty-five percent of millennials own smartphones (according to Entrepreneur), so naturally your most aggressive marketing strategy should come from a mobile platform. Optimize your landing pages, improve your loading times, be blunt with your call to action, and then get creative. And finally, you need to be engaging. Ninety-five percent of millennials cite friends as the most trusted source of product information (according to Entrepreneur). Build a customer base of brand evangelists and you’ll see your notoriety skyrocket more than it ever did with a print ad or Facebook post. “The best way to get your message heard among millennials is to have millennials themselves spreading the word,” writes Sujan Patel, Entrepreneur contributor. As a takeaway, consider these as preemptive tactics; even if millennials aren’t part of your target audience right now, they will be soon. Very soon. Adapt now, or forever hold your peace.

RMS is a full-service market research firm located in Syracuse, NY. If you are interested in learning more about our research capabilities, please contact Sandy Baker, our Senior Director of Business Development & Corporate Strategy at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422. Visit our website at www.RMSresults.com.

This blog post is a summary of a recent project completed by Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS).

Background: An organization that creates outdoor gardening products partnered with Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS) to conduct a product perception study. The client wanted to test the market perception of several new product concepts. The market research objectives were to (1) evaluate awareness of the product, (2) learn the shopping habits of target consumers, (3) measure the interest of each new product concept, (4) determine the anticipated price of each concept, and (5) obtain feedback regarding features that are most liked and/or features that need improvement.

Approach: The study consisted of a five minute online survey sent to RMS ViewPoint Research Panel members. The RMS ViewPoint Research Panel is representative of both the United States population and Central New York in particular, an area with a long history as one of the nation’s top test markets. The RMS Analytics team developed the 31-question survey in consultation with the client. The survey covered various topics which gauged shopping habits, current product awareness, new product interest, anticipated price, and most/least preferred features. Survey results allowed the RMS team to identify key consumers and segment the data by consumer group throughout the report. Fieldwork lasted approximately two weeks, with a total of 487 responses collected. After the completion of fieldwork, RMS provided the client with an in-depth report that included a dashboard, executive summary, data tables which highlighted responses from key consumers, as well as next steps and recommendations.

Results (A few highlights of the study’s findings):

  • As a result of survey responses provided, the RMS Analytics team identified target consumers as those who currently own products similar to those tested and are likely to make purchases of comparable products in the future.
  • The data revealed which product was favored by respondents and why that concept was more preferable than the other concepts tested.
  • Features that were most and least preferred were identified to provide the client with the insight needed to make design alterations and message enhancements before producing the product.
  • The research revealed an anticipated cost to determine a competitive price point for each new product concept.
  • Overall feedback was gathered and analyzed which provided the client with the direction needed to produce the ideal product and market it effectively.

RMS is a full-service market research firm located in Syracuse, NY. If you are interested in learning more about our research capabilities, please contact Sandy Baker, our Senior Director of Business Development & Corporate Strategy at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422. Visit our website at www.RMSresults.com.

With summer in full swing, the banking and finance industry is not taking a vacation as it continues to find ways to leverage new technology and satisfy customers. Below are three emerging trends in the industry to watch as we continue to move through the second half of 2016.

 

blog-banking-trends-2016

     

     1. Refreshing Customer Experience

Creating an effective customer experience strategy is not a new topic for the banking and finance industry. As new technology develops, banks may adopt new customer-centric practices or opt to redesign its customer experience strategy entirely. Simplicity, efficiency, and responsiveness are three key principals that drive effective customer experience. Best practices show successful organizations carry these three principals through all facets of the brand. Additionally, the brand’s customer experience should yield the same results both online and offline (e.g. customer services reached via a mobile application versus over the phone). This creates a streamlined effort among the organization as a whole, which sets the brand up to appeal to a wide variety of consumers. To ensure success, organizations must evaluate its strategy and presence to meet the needs of consumers.

     2. Expanding Mobile Payments

As the demand for fast and simple digital solutions rise, many consumers are turning to mobile payment services (also known as digital wallets). Currently, there are a variety of providers in the market ranging from well-known technology industry leaders (e.g., Apple Pay, Android Pay, Google Wallet, etc.) and others that primarily focus on digital payments (e.g., PayPal, Venmo, etc.). These types of mobile payment services provide a digital means for transferring money rather than using the traditional cash or check. Since the process is easy and at your fingertips, advocates for mobile payments suggest that it’s the ideal way to transfer funds. Although there are still user concerns regarding security, digital payments continue to show advancement both in the industry and the mind of consumers.

     3. Leveraging Big Data

While the term may still seem intimidating to many companies, big data is more commonly being used by banks and financial institutions to learn more about its customers, as well as the brand itself. Many companies are collecting massive amounts of user/customer data, but are unsure of how to use it. Digging into big data may point to gaps in service offerings, identify key customer demographics, or lead to deeper consumer insights. As consumers’ expectations rise, it will be important for banks to use big data to set actionable strategies to compete.

All of the trends above have an impact on the customer experience. To remain competitive in the marketplace, many banks and financial organizations are seeking assistance from researchers to inform strategic initiates which will deliver a cutting-edge customer experience. If you are interested in learning more about our research capabilities, please contact Sandy Baker, our Senior Director of Business Development and Corporate Strategy at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422. Visit our website at www.RMSresults.com.

The K-12 education environment has faced a fair share of upheavals over the last several years, and 2016 has proven to be no different. We’re noticing a shift towards student centered learning standards, a focus on personalized teacher professional development, and a realignment of curriculum to address the changing work environment. More details on each trend are included below.

  • Student Centered Learning and Measurement

Many states are redefining the way they define student success upon graduation, and it’s caused a sweltering debate regarding the effectiveness of implemented changes. Regardless of how you feel about the changes (and we won’t debate them here), there has been a shift in focus towards project-based learning and student exhibitions in an attempt to empower students with a choice in how they learn. School systems are trying to design curriculum around “not yet proficient” students while offering appropriate support to nurture those who are meeting or excelling standards. The trend towards student centered learning has grown alongside the growth of personalized learning plans (PLPs) such as Flexible Pathways, which allow the secondary school student to demonstrate his or her knowledge by completing tasks that interest them. Advocates of the approach suggest it enhances the student’s college readiness. Some districts are asking for parental and instructor feedback on the newly implemented and evolving instruction and learning standards.

  • Personalized Teacher Professional Development

For some school districts, the models of teacher professional development have moved away from Administration-dictated approaches to those which allow the instructor to identify their own learning goals and associated training. By playing a larger role in co-designing their own professional development, teachers are often receiving a combination of online learning, workshops with hands-on instruction, and service-based learning.  Micro-credentialing is also gaining in popularity, which provides credits for professional development that count towards licensure and certification during the following decade. It will be important for school districts to monitor the effectiveness of various professional development approaches in order to continually refine and improve the learning process for instructors, based on the changing learning and work environment that students need to be prepared for upon graduation.

  • Curriculum Realignment

We’ve all probably heard about the Common Core debate, and the growing movement against the standards and tests involved with the approach. The “opt-out” rates for common-core tests has been growing over the last couple years, with parents opting to have their children sit the test out, and teachers refusing to administer some or all of the tests. Beyond the individual protests of the approach, one third of the originating states in the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) Testing Consortium have decided to opt out of the Common Core aligned testing for various reasons.

School districts are also realigning curriculum to meet the changing workforce needs, with a rising focus on robotics and computer programming. The growing demand for individuals with proper training in technological fields had led educators to believe that learning should begin earlier than post-secondary education. To ensure success, it will be crucial for school districts to ensure that the realignment of curriculum meets the needs of local employers.

RMS is a full-service market research firm located in Syracuse, NY. If you are interested in learning more about our research capabilities, please contact Sandy Baker, our Senior Director of Business Development & Corporate Strategy at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422. Visit our website at www.RMSresults.com.

This blog post is a summary of a recent project completed by Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS).

Background: An organization that provides services to K-12 school districts recently partnered with Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS) to conduct a customer satisfaction survey. The client wanted to better understand satisfaction and perception of services provided by the organization. The market research objective was to provide decision-making insights needed to determine whether the organization is meeting the needs of clients, and where they may be able to improve service offerings.

Approach:  The RMS Analytics team collected data from stakeholders via an online survey. To hone in on the customer satisfaction with the services provided by the organization, RMS created an online survey script which was reviewed and approved by the client. Questions focused on how the respondent rated the satisfaction with particular services, customer service perceptions, timeliness of project completion, among other items. Fieldwork lasted approximately three weeks, a longer data collection period than normal, in an effort to obtain a very high completion rate. Through an extended fieldwork period, RMS was able to obtain a 91% response rate. Following the data collection and analysis period, a comprehensive report was delivered to the client, which included a visual dashboard of the findings, as well as next steps and recommendations.

Results: Here are some highlights of the study’s findings:

  • The research identified the areas where the organization excels in serving its customers, including the friendliness and helpfulness of staff.
  • Areas of opportunity where the organization could improve the customer experience included the perceived value for the cost of the service, the ease of receiving an answer to a question, and timeliness of the service.
  • For areas of opportunity, RMS researchers probed deeper beyond what needed to be improved to determine how the organization can best improve the customer experience. This led to action items that the organization can address, in an effort to capture more of the market share.
  • Overall, more than 80% of respondents stated a very high level of satisfaction with the organization.
  • The research identified high-level perceptions by asking what comes to mind when thinking about the organization. Services offered and positive attributes were most commonly mentioned.

RMS is a full-service market research firm located in Syracuse, NY. If you are interested in learning more about our research capabilities, please contact Sandy Baker, our Senior Director of Business Development & Corporate Strategy at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422. Visit our website at www.RMSresults.com.

Summer’s here and the time is right: Central New Yorkers are ready to face the music, RMS ViewPoint Poll Shows. 

According to a recent poll of Central New Yorkers conducted by Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS) ViewPoint, 83 percent of individuals plan to go to a concert this summer. Thirty percent of Central New York respondents are planning on attending at least two concerts this summer, 21 percent are preparing to go to three concerts, and nine percent are planning on attending eight or more concerts this year. The average respondent plans to spend $76 to $100 per concert, and will travel 21 to 50 miles for a concert this year. When it came to choosing the concert respondents were most excited about, the Dave Matthews Band concert at the Lakeview Amphitheater was the most anticipated by Central New Yorkers, followed by Keith Urban, Zac Brown Band, Journey and Hall & Oates.

“Everybody loves music, and that is especially true in Central New York,” said Zachary Shaw, RMS ViewPoint Panel Associate. “Not only are there are so many great music venues in the area, but there is such a wide variety of music that you’re able to experience as well.” Respondents surveyed were asked about favorite music genres, listening habits, preferences, venues, and concert spending behaviors. “Because CNY is a top test market in the country, media companies continue to test new programming and music services in this area,” said Sandy Baker, Senior Director of Corporate Strategy.

With the summer concert season officially underway, CNY residents spend lots of time prepping for upcoming shows. Thirty-nine percent listen to ten or more hours of music per week. Almost half (48 percent) listen to music the most while in their car, while 21 percent listen at home and at work. And it’s no secret that Central New Yorkers love their local radio: 62 percent typically listen to music through traditional AM/FM radio. Forty percent typically purchase their music and another 40 percent stream through Pandora. Twenty-seven percent listen to music with satellite radio, 23 percent listen through YouTube and 14 percent stream with Spotify.

When it comes to a favorite music genre, classic rock stole the show with 76 percent. The other top categories followed with rock at 67 percent, and close behind was pop at 64 percent, country at 48 percent, R&B/soul at 36 percent, and hip hop and rap at 32 percent. When asked if they could see anyone in concert, the top response was Adele. Beyoncé came in second, followed by “The Boss” Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney and Garth Brooks.

Central New York offers many live music venues, each with unique qualities that tend to draw locals depending upon their music preferences. According to respondents, the favorite local concert venue is the Chevy Court Pavilion at the Fairgrounds. The Lakeview Amphitheater came in second, followed by Turning Stone Resort and Casino as third favorite venue.

A detailed infographic depicting the full survey results is included below. If you would like to participate in upcoming RMS ViewPoint polls and surveys, please visit RMSViewPoint.com to sign up.

Music survey

The RMS ViewPoint poll was conducted from May 25, 2016 to June 5, 2016. A total of 501 surveys were completed. Respondents consisted of RMS ViewPoint Research Panel members, as well as the general community. All respondents resided within the 6-county CNY area (Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego). For more information on RMS ViewPoint, visit RMSViewPoint.com.

About RMS

Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS) is a full service marketing and market research firm located in Baldwinsville, NY. RMS provides an array of research methodologies that result in actionable analytics and recommendations for the client to enhance decision making. RMS is also home to QualiSight, a premier focus group and interview research facility, and RMS ViewPoint, a leading consumer research panel in Central New York. Visit our website at RMSresults.com. If you are interested in learning more about our research capabilities, please contact Sandy Baker, our Senior Director of Business Development & Corporate Strategy at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422. Visit our website at www.RMSresults.com.

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