Survata achieves Privacy Shield Certification

Privacy Shield

Survata is committed to protecting the privacy and security of our respondent data, which is why we welcomed the adoption of the new EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework providing another mechanism for the transfer of personal data from the European Economic Area (EEA) to the US.

We applied to be certified under Privacy Shield and are happy to announce that we have now received certification.

We will work hard to maintain our Privacy Shield compliance and look forward to the success of the program. To learn more about our policy, please visit our privacy page.

Online Ad Effectiveness Research Grows Up

“The days of giving digital a pass are over. It’s time to grow up.”
            -Marc Pritchard, Chief Branding Officer, Procter & Gamble, January 2017

When the CBO of P&G tells us to grow up, we listen. And after speaking with clients at last month’s Media Insights Conference, it’s clear that there’s consensus: online advertising research needs to get more sophisticated.

We’re here to help. IAB breaks research down into phases: design, recruitment & deployment, and optimization. We’ll walk through each phase and determine what’s most in need of “growing up.” We’ll also include questions to ask your research partner to help increase the sophistication of your ad effectiveness research.

Design

Let’s start by acknowledging that statistically sound online ad effectiveness research has not been easy to implement at reasonable cost until recently. As IAB notes, “Questions around recruitment, sample bias and deployment are hampering the validity of this research and undermining the industry as a whole.”

Just because perfect research design is challenging to achieve doesn’t mean that advertisers should settle for studies with debilitating flaws, leading to biased, unreliable results. In addition to challenges inherent to good research design, most ad effectiveness research partners have systematic biases due to the way they find respondents, which must be accounted for in the design phase. There has been innovation in this space within the past year using technology to reduce or eliminate systematic bias in respondent recruitment. 

Assuming you’re able to address the systematic bias of your research partner’s sampling, the major remaining challenge is how you approach the control group. At Survata, we think about this as a hierarchy:

Online Ad Effectiveness Research Control Group Framework

Using a holdout group is best practice, but implementing it requires spending some portion of your ad budget strictly on the control group. In other words, some of your ad budget will be spent on intentionally NOT showing people an ad. A small portion of people in the ad buy will instead be shown public service announcements to establish the control group. We love the purity of this approach, but we also understand the reality of advertising budgets. We don’t view holdout as a requirement for sound online ad effectiveness research. Smart design combined with technology can achieve methodologically sound control groups without “wasting” ad budget.

Along those lines, the Audience Segment approach has become de facto best practice for many of our clients. Basically, you create your control group from the same audience segment that you’re targeting in the ad buy. This isn’t perfect, as there could be an underlying reason that some people in the segment saw the ad but others didn’t (e.g., some people very rarely go online, or to very few websites), but it’s still an excellent approach. It’s the grown-up version of Demographic Matching.

Demographic Matching, in which the control group is created by matching as many demographic variables as possible with the exposed group (e.g., gender, age, income), is still a very common strategy. It’s straightforward to accomplish even using old online research methodologies. As online data has allowed us to learn far more useful information about consumers than demographic traits, this approach is dated.

Simply sampling GenPop as a control is undesirable. The results are much more likely to reveal the differences between the exposed and control groups than the effectiveness of the advertising.

Questions for your research partner

  • What are known biases among respondents due to recruitment strategy?
  • What is your total reach? What percentage of the target group is within your reach? Is it necessary to weight low-IR population respondents due to lack of scale?
  • What’s your approach to creating control groups for online ad effectiveness research?
  • For Demographic Matching, how do you determine which demographic characteristics are most important to match?
  • How do you accomplish Audience Segment matching?

Recruitment/ Deployment
 
Historically, there were four methods to recruit respondents / deploy the survey: panels, intercepts, in-banner, or email list. To stomach these methodologies, researchers had to ignore one of the following flaws: non-response bias, misrepresentation, interruption of the customer experience or email list atrophy. In our view, these methodologies are now dated since the advent of the publisher network methodology.

The publisher network works by offering consumers content, ad-free browsing, or other benefits (e.g. free Wi-Fi) in exchange for taking a survey. The survey is completed as an alternative to paying for the content or service after the consumer organically visits the publisher. In addition to avoiding the flaws of the old methodologies, the publisher network model provides dramatically increased accuracy, scale, and speed.

Questions for your research partner

  • What incentives are offered in exchange for respondent participation?
  • What are the attitudinal, behavioral, and demographic differences between someone willing to be in a panel versus someone not interested in being in a panel?
  • What are the attitudinal, behavioral, and demographic differences between someone willing to take a site intercept survey versus someone not interested in taking a site intercept survey?
  • How much does non-response bias affect the data?
  • Are you integrated with the client’s DMP?
  • How long to get the survey into the field, and how long until completed?
  • How does the vendor ensure that exposure bias doesn’t occur?
  • How does the vendor account for straight-liners, speeders, and other typical data quality issues?

Optimization
 
An optimal ad effectiveness campaign returns results quickly, so that immediate and continuous adjustments can be made to replace poorly performing creative, targeting, and placements with higher performing ones. We call this real-time spend allocation. It’s analogous to real-time click-through rate optimization, as it relies on solutions to the same math problem (known as the multi-armed bandit).

By integrating with DMPs, ad effectiveness research can be cross-tabbed against even more datasets. The results will yield additional insights about a company’s existing customers.

Questions for your research partner

  • Are results reported real-time?
  • How much advertising budget is wasted due to non-optimization?
  • How can DMP data be incorporated to improve ad research?

Conclusion

Flawed research methodologies can’t grow up, they can only continue to lower prices for increasingly suspect data. For online ad effectiveness research to grow up, new methodologies must be adopted.

Survata Presents “The Next Generation of Ad Effectiveness”

Media Insights Conference

Join Survata at the Media Insights & Engagement Conference 2017 on January 31st for an exclusive presentation on The New Generation of Ad Effectiveness. The event will take place at 5:30 PM at The Ritz-Carlton in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Our CEO Chris Kelly, will explore new ways marketers can conduct ad effectiveness studies using a new “publisher network” methodology. This can be utilized to increase response rate and representativeness while decreasing user experience interruptions. See a full description below:

Media Insights teams have previously been limited to panels, in-banner surveys, and on-site intercepts to measure ad effectiveness. Yet all these have well-established shortcomings. Fortunately, a new “publisher network” methodology can be utilized to increase response rate and representativeness while decreasing user experience interruptions. Also, most major media companies utilize a Data Management Platform (DMP), but ad effectiveness is run outside of the DMP. That is now fixed: Survata will explain how they integrate with major DMPs to expand ad effectiveness capabilities while simplifying execution.

We will also be an exhibitor so find us January 31st until February 2nd in the main Expo hall. To learn more about our ad effectiveness, visit our Retargeted Surveys product page.

See Survata at the Quirk’s Event in Orange County

Quirks Event

Survata is proud to return to the Quirk’s Event this time in Irvine, CA. See our CEO Chris Kelly give an exclusive presentation on the power of Retargeted Surveys and how organizations can still collect insights while protecting the consumer journey.

The presentation will happen Wednesday, March 1st, 2017 at 3:15 PM. We will also be in the main Expo Hall in booth 711 – come and say hi!

See below for the full description of our Quirk’s presentation:

Retargeted Surveys: Collecting Insights While Protecting Customer Experience

Using annoying pop-ups or mass e-mails that end up in the spam folder? There is a more efficient way to survey your customers online without impeding their digital experience.

Retargeted Surveys is the approach of tagging your customers (whether from a site visit, CRM integration or DMP integration) then surveying them later across the Web. This means you no longer need to roadblock your customers with site intercept surveys or hit their inbox with requests for feedback. This leads to a more representative slice of your audience while respecting the customer experience. Plus, whatever you already know about the customer can be used to target the specific questions they see.

Survata will explore how researchers leverage this technology to study their customers. Hear the benefit to brands, e-commerce sites, media companies and more.

The Quirk’s Event will be held February 28-March 1, 2017.

Are Snapchat and Instagram Regional Apps? Surprising Stats Reveal the App Each Coast Prefers

From goofy distortive filters to controlled amounts of time people can view photos, Snapchat offers users an outlet for quick and raw photo sharing. Instagram, on the other hand, focuses on perfected images, allowing users to set their desired saturation points, highlights, and sharpness. Additionally, Instagram’s shifted focus to ad-based material creates additional barriers compared to Snapchat’s selective and avoidable ad-capabilities. Survata interviewed users of both apps and asked them to choose which they would keep if they could only continue using one. Overall, 57% of respondents chose Instagram, but when split up by demographic, some results are surprising.

Overall Snap vs. Insta Breakdown

Given millennials’ ever-growing technology usage, assumptions would lead to the conclusion that younger people would move toward Snapchat. However, it looks like older generations feel more dedicated to Snapchat than millennials; 52% of users ages 45-65 say they would rather keep Snapchat if given the choice.

Perhaps millennials are slowing down and beginning to like the ease of peacefully scrolling through their respective feeds. The added memories feature on Snapchat could make it more appealing to older generations, who may prefer to avoid expending energy keeping up with the Facetuned and edited perfection of America’s youth in posts.

Age Preferences

While the overall majority chose Instagram as the frontrunner, the regional breakdown of Snapchat vs. Instagram preference displays an East vs. West disparity. With Snapchat’s hub in LA, and the tech industry centered in Silicon Valley, we were not surprised that the West showed more interest in pursuing this newer app.

Regional Preferences

Interested in measuring your own consumer preferences? Try a Survata survey now and start seeing data today.

Methodology Details
This survey was commissioned by Survata and conducted by Survata, an independent research firm in San Francisco. Survata interviewed 600 online respondents between July 07, 2016 and July 18, 2016. Respondents were reached across the Survata publisher network, where they take a survey to unlock premium content, like articles and ebooks. Respondents received no cash compensation for their participation. More information on Survata’s methodology can be found at survata.com/methodology.

Come See Us on Stage at ARF’s Audience Measurement Conference

It has been an exciting few weeks for us at Survata, featuring product launches and partnerships that are unlocking new ways for marketers to conduct research. While we have enjoyed the great reactions from across the ad industry, this is just the beginning of what is going to be quite a busy summer. Next up is ARF’s Audience Measurement conference, where our CTO, Jim Warner, will take the stage to explain how Survata’s Retargeted Surveys™ have enabled our online media clients to reinvent their audience profiling processes.

As the name implies, this conference is all about media audiences — measuring engagement, reaching the right groups, getting feedback, and more. Survata’s pixel retargeting technology allows this research to be done with more flexibility and accuracy than ever by combining the power of pixel tracking with the reach of our publisher network, meaning our clients can get better data without compromising their own site’s user experience.

Tag Now, Ask Later™

This ability to profile audiences without having to use pop-ups or panels has been of particular interest to many of our clients. Pierre Bouvard, CMO at Westwood One, said the following about this capability:

Media companies need to survey their consumers without interrupting site experience. The solution? Survata’s innovative ‘Tag now, ask later’ approach. This is the future of media research!

With great client feedback like this, we are confident everyone with audience profiling needs will find something to love about Survata’s capabilities. At ARF, Jim will walk you through the full story, from how we built our technology, to what exactly it can do, and finally to some cool ways current clients are using it. Check out the video preview below:

Of course, this will not be your last opportunity to see Survata on stage this summer – we’ll also be presenting at Greenbook’s IIeX conference the same week! We will keep you posted on other upcoming events as they draw closer. In the meantime, we hope to see you in the audience on Monday!

25 Million Verizon/AT&T Subscribers Up for Grabs in Next Six Months

Verizon and AT&T are the dominant US wireless carriers, with over 70% of subscribers between them. T-Mobile just announced a good quarter driven by new customers, mostly poached from AT&T. We wondered, how many people are going to abandon AT&T and Verizon this year?

We asked AT&T and Verizon wireless customers – specifically those who pay the bill or whose spouse pays the bill – if they intend to switch wireless carriers in the next six months. As you can see below, the majority of people aren’t interested in switching carriers – but there’s a sizable portion of contracts up for grabs.

survata tracks AT&T and Verizon customer loyalty

Combining subscribers “somewhat likely” and “very likely” to switch equates to 14.5 million AT&T customers and 10.5 million Verizon customers up for grabs in the next six months.1

Where are subscribers likely to leave AT&T and Verizon going? 78% of switchers will stay in the top 4 (Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint), while 22% will move to smaller carriers.

Click here for full results.

1. Taking margin of error into account, at 95% confidence interval, the range of customers up for grabs is 9 to 20 million for AT&T, and 6 to 15 million for Verizon.

One Third of Midwestern Smokers Smoke at Least a Pack Per Day

According to the CDC, the percentage of American adults that smoke cigarettes is at its lowest point since they started tracking (currently about 17% of American adults smoke). That seems good. But we wanted to dive a little deeper. Are American smokers also smoking fewer cigarettes per day? It turns out, no. In November 2015 and February 2016, the distribution of smokers was nearly identical between periods. So while the percentage of American smokers may be going down, the amount of cigarettes smokers consume is steady.

We did notice differences in cigarette consumption among regions, as you can see in the chart below (which includes both the November 2015 and February 2016 periods of the survey).

survata tracks smoking

30% of smokers don’t agree that smoking is bad for your health. This group is ten times as likely to agree with the following statements about smoking: “It’s not as bad for your health as most people think” (18% vs 2% of those who agree that smoking is bad for your health) and “As long as you have the right genes, it’s not bad for your health” (12% vs 1% of those who agree that smoking is bad for your health).

Check out full results here, including the percentage of smokers who do it to reduce stress.

Millennial Intent to Cut Cable Doubles

The young continue to cut the cord on cable. By our measurements, 27% of Americans age 18 to 34 don’t pay for cable or satellite TV service, and another 8% intend to join them in the next six months. That’s an accelerating rate, as you can see in the chart below.

survata tracks Airbnb usage

Of those intending to cancel cable/satellite TV, 55% cite the high cost as the reason. What are cord cutters watching? Here are their subscription numbers: Netflix (54%), Amazon Prime (24%), Hulu (19%), and HBO Now (5%).

You can see full results here.

How Many Travelers Consider Using Airbnb?

According to investors, Airbnb is worth $25.5 billion. What? Marriott just agreed to purchase Starwood for half that amount. This seems crazy. Here at Survata, we conduct consumer research. We don’t have a stake in Airbnb’s success, we were just curious: How many people even consider Airbnb when they book travel accommodation? Turns out it’s a small number, but it’s growing fast.1

survata tracks Airbnb usage

Most people who consider Airbnb for personal travel are young: two thirds are age 18 to 34. Hardly any business travelers consider Airbnb when booking business travel. Of the 2,015 respondents across both periods of the survey, only 30 reported considering Airbnb for business travel (1.5%).

55% of Airbnb’s US revenue comes from just 5 markets that hold 30% of active units (New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, & Boston). Our data shows a similar over-representation of those five cities for personal travelers: they make up 15% of our respondents but 29% of Airbnb customers. There’s likely a local network effect going on – people hear about their friends hosting on Airbnb, then decide to consider it when they leave town.

You can see full results of our Airbnb tracking survey here.

Footnote
1) One statistical qualifier: the margin of error on personal travelers is 3.2%. Perhaps December was a little low, and March was a little high, and in June this trend won’t seem so alarming!