The Past and Future of Ride-Sharing w/ Melissa Waters, VP of Marketing at Lyft

BrandKnew_Episode_2b

Brand Knew is a new bi-monthly podcast featuring interviews with marketing leaders of major national brands. Hosted by Austin Moorhead, the podcast will dive into how consumers are changing and what brand leaders are doing about it. Survata is proud to be the initial sponsor – check out their second episode below and be sure to subscribe for future episodes with marketing thought leaders.

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Brand Knew Ep. #2: The Past and Future of Ride-Sharing w/ Melissa Waters, VP of Marketing at Lyft

In 2017, Lyft expanded coverage in the United States from 54% of the population to 95% of the population. They also added their first international market, Canada. Along the way, the brand was updated. The pink mustaches are gone, but the friendliness is still there. Even with this growth, only 0.4% of miles driven in the US are ride-sharing miles, so there’s still plenty of open road ahead.

Self-driving cars are here. Lyft demonstrated their technology at CES this year. So what happens to the 300,000+ Lyft drivers when the cars can drive themselves?

On this episode of Brand Knew, listen to Melissa Waters, Lyft’s VP of Marketing, discuss how the brand has evolved with the changing ride-sharing market, and what’s going to become of all those those drivers.

Edited excerpts below:

Are you essentially managing two brands at Lyft? One for riders and one for drivers?

Our core brand opportunity is to ensure that we continue to take care of our drivers. What we found is that by taking care of drivers they took care of passengers. So this great flywheel happens: we take care of drivers, they take care of passengers, they provide a great experience, and then passengers say, “Wow, I loved my driver.” Technically we manage two audiences, but really we are one brand. We think about our brand in the intersection of the ride experience: two people getting into a car together.

How do you maintain a unique brand position when your competitors (i.e., Uber) start to emulate you?

I think the best way to do it is to talk about the fact that we’ve been doing it since day one. If we can build awareness of that story, that goes a long way. Our drivers know it. People who are just starting to try us on the passenger side may not know our origin point. They just think of us as “the pink one.” There’s still hurdles to make sure passengers are aware of our origin story, but that feels like a pretty defensible claim. We’ve been here since day one and we’re still operating the same way.

Based on a consumer survey I conducted, about 15% of riders would actually prefer a ride in a self-driving car. How do you manage that looming conflict, between riders who want a driverless car, and drivers who want to keep their jobs?

In a far future vehicle we believe it’s going to be a “car-like object” with multiple people in it, and you can imagine all kinds of situations in which you would need a steward inside that vehicle. You might need to load strollers, assist elderly people or somebody in a wheelchair. A certain amount of road miles will be driven by self-driving vehicles, but others will not be, such as highly dense traffic areas or outside of normal use cases. You’ll need drivers. Then very far afield when the majority of miles are self-driven, there’s still a role for people in vehicles. We think about those vehicles as potentially “the bar car,” “the nail salon on wheels,” all manner of different innovations.

Find Brand Knew Podcast on SoundCloud and iTunes and be sure to subscribe.

Amazon Takes 49 Percent of Consumers’ First Product Search, But Search Engines Rebound

Survata Bloomberg Amazon

As covered by Bloomberg, Survata’s Amazon study data powers some of the most important stats in business and brand intel.

Amazon Takes 49 Percent of Consumers’ First Product Search, But Search Engines Rebound
2017 Survata Study Finds 84 Percent in U.S. Expect to Buy Through Amazon This Holiday Season

A new study of 2,000 U.S. consumers by ad and market research firm Survata found that Amazon is still the top spot for consumers’ first product search, yet the company lost some ground to rebounding search engines like Google. Now, 49 percent of consumers turn to Amazon first when shopping for products online, with search engines taking 36 percent and retailers falling farther back at 15 percent. In 2016, a Survata study – previously commissioned by BloomReach – found Amazon at 55 percent, search engines at 28 percent and retailers at 16 percent.

Not only did search engines do better overall this year, but they also did very well – beating Amazon – when searchers were looking to be inspired and didn’t have a specific purchase in mind. Nearly 46 percent will start on search engines when they have no idea of what they want, with Amazon trailing at 39 percent. The remainder, 15 percent of U.S. consumers, said they’d start at a preferred retailer when they weren’t sure what they wanted. Related to specific product categories, electronics, apparel and home furnishings had the highest likelihood for consumers to start on a search engine over Amazon.

The rebound for search engines to 2015 study levels as consumers’ top choice could be attributed to the growing proliferation of mobile devices and traffic, coupled with the improvements in mobile search. Mobile commerce has grown rapidly in the last few years, and online-shopping traffic via mobile this holiday season is expected to account for more than half of retail visits for the first time. Search engines like Google have prioritized mobile search, and a previous study by Google found that search was the primary and most often used mobile-shopping tool.

However, with Amazon still having the advantage on search engines overall and a stranglehold on retailers, Survata also wanted to know why Amazon had that edge. Surprisingly, the study found that price was not the most common main factor consumers started on Amazon.

    -28 percent of consumers credited Amazon’s experience and easy-to-use navigation.
    -27 percent cited Amazon’s product variety and selection as their primary reason for starting there.
    -25 percent named prices as the reason, coming in a startling third place.
    -17 percent said Amazon’s shipping capabilities gave them the edge.

Amazon’s dominance over retailers was even more bleak as it related to holiday shopping. Conducted in the heart of this year’s record-setting holiday-shopping season, Survata’s Amazon study found that 84 percent of U.S. consumers expect to buy a gift on Amazon this year, with nearly half planning to spend at least 50 percent of their holiday budgets through Amazon.

How and where consumers choose to search for products online have significant implications on brand advertising, especially as the competition for advertising dollars between Google and Amazon stays hot. Survata’s Amazon study found that Amazon’s ads were slightly more trusted than Google’s, though not overwhelmingly. Approximately 31 percent of consumers felt that Amazon’s ads were better for finding trusted brands, compared to almost 22 percent for Google. Nearly half, 47 percent, felt that neither was better. A September analysis of 1,000 U.S. consumers by Survata found that 44 percent reported clicking on at least one sponsored product ad on Amazon, versus 46 percent who hadn’t. Approximately 10 percent said they didn’t use Amazon.

ABOUT SURVATA
Survata is a fast-growing technology company that provides brand intelligence to the world’s leading brands and agencies. Clients use Survata’s platform to talk to consumers after every touchpoint, from ad impressions and site visits to purchases and offline behavior. Survata integrates with the leading Data Management Platforms to enable powerful ad research, customer research and market research. The company is headquartered in San Francisco and backed by leading Silicon Valley venture capital investors, including YCombinator, SoftTech VC, PivotNorth Capital, IDG Ventures and Bloomberg Beta. Learn more at www.survata.com

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Survata is Proud to Sponsor the Brand Knew Podcast

Brand Knew is a new bi-monthly podcast featuring interviews with marketing leaders of major national brands. Hosted by Austin Moorhead, the podcast will dive into how consumers are changing and what brand leaders are doing about it. Survata is proud to be the initial sponsor – check out their first episode below and be sure to subscribe for future episodes with marketing thought leaders.

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Brand Knew Ep. #1: Discovering Fashion Consumers with Aimee Lapic, former CMO of Banana Republic

In the past five years, online consumer attention has shifted dramatically. In 2012, consumers spent 4.3 hours a day online, with 36% of that on their mobile devices. Today it’s 5.6 hours a day, with 54% on mobile [Source: Mary Meeker Internet Trends] That requires a shift in the marketing strategies of fashion companies, as consumers discover fashion inspiration in new places.

While consumers were changing, so was the competition, with the emergence of subscription model fashion companies such as Stitch Fix and LeTote. These companies try to combat high return rates by predicting what their customers will decide to keep – an approach that may eventually be their undoing.

On this episode of the Brand Knew podcast, Aimée Lapic reveals how she responded to these challenges as CMO of Banana Republic, and provides perspective on the challenges facing the new model fashion companies. Excerpts of Aimée’s interview below:

On the Banana Republic customer:

“I found out that Banana Republic, at the time, did not know who their customer was. They thought that the customer really was looking to Banana for fashion guidance and advice and inspiration. And instead the customer had moved beyond that and was more about expressing themselves through fashion. They were very self-confident people. They did not dress for one occasion versus another – they dress to accentuate their personalities and what they were looking for in a brand such as Banana Republic is a partner in that.”

On the shift from traditional advertising to digital:

“When I inherited the role about 80% of our media was focused on what I call traditional media, print magazines out-of-home advertising, even radio. And quickly I changed that structure to be 90% focused on digital marketing and about 10% focused on still the traditional marketing because that’s where the customer was looking for fashion inspiration. For example, something like 30% of customers at Banana Republic received their inspiration from social media websites.”

On which fashion companies are winning ecommerce:

“I do think there are smaller companies that are willing to take risks in how they go to market and how they meet customer needs that seem to be winning. For example, like a Stitch Fix. According to public information they are close to a billion dollars now in sales which is a super-fast growth rate. I think what makes them win in this ecommerce space is the idea that they’ve taken the risk out of not being able to try on clothes having easy returns for different customers. They’ve put a lot of focus on the data algorithm that allows them to really understand what customers need in terms of fit and styling and types of clothes they like over time.”

On the challenges of a Stitch Fix or LeTote:

“I frankly think the biggest issue for the subscription based businesses over time is retention of customers. The reason the customers are signing up for a Le Tote or a Stitch Fix is because they want to try new things. They want new things in their closet without a lot of risk. Over time, does Stich Fix or LeTote represent new things anymore or does it become part of what their norm is? I think the reason people are attracted to them in terms of innovation may be their undoing over time unless they can continue to keep it really new and different.”

Join us for our next episode where we will be talking to Melissa Waters, VP of Marketing at Lyft, about the past and future of ride-sharing.

Find Brand Knew Podcast on SoundCloud and iTunes and be sure to subscribe.

Survata Ad Study Shows Platform Weakness with Young Consumers

As covered by MediaPost and Marketing Dive, Survata recently released a study showing which ad platforms rank highly for trust, relevancy, buying, and discovery by consumers.

Digital advertising is one of the hottest markets across any vertical in the world, and is one of – if not the – best ways that brands large and small connect with consumers. However, at the same time, 2017 has proven that the market also is undergoing significant volatility in the news. From Facebook to YouTube to Google to Twitter, hardly any has been immune, and the others have faced questions about their advertising potential.

Market and Ad Research firm Survata wanted to know where and how consumers put their trust and faith in the major ad platforms. So, Survata had 1,000 consumers – broken out equally among age groups – evaluate the top ad platforms Facebook, Google, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and Pinterest against each other in arguably the most important measure of “trust” along with four other key advertising categories. The categories included:

    1. Trust: Which platform are consumers most likely to trust?

    2. Experience: Which platform provides the most natural ad experience?

    3. Relevance: Which platform presents the most relevant ads?

    4. Commerce: Which platform are consumers most likely to buy something through an ad?

    5. Discovery: Which platform’s ads help them discover businesses that they wouldn’t otherwise?

Google and Facebook assuredly flexed their muscles in each category, but the study found that the youngest adult buyers gave significantly less favor to both – especially Facebook. Trust was not the social behemoths strong point. Google bested Facebook for most trusted overall by a reasonable margin, but data from the youngest group (18-24) showed that Facebook dropped precipitously in “trust” to its lowest ranking in any category or age group at fourth.

In fact, in every category, the youngest group was around half as likely to select Facebook compared to all other age groups. The drop off even seemed isolated to the this up-and-coming demographic, as it was the only age group that was dramatically different for Facebook compared to the other groups. The next-youngest age group (25-34) generally fell in line with the overall rankings, which signals that Generation Z not only presents a challenge for the duopoly, but also an opportunity for others.

THE FINDINGS
Ages 18-24 vs. Ages 25 and up

TRUST

BEST AD EXPERIENCE

MOST RELEVANT ADS

COMMERCE

DISCOVERY

The full findings were not all bad omens for Facebook and Google, though. Generally, the platforms that usually picked up the slack among the youngest demographic were Instagram and YouTube, subsidiaries of the formers respectively.

Other Insightful Findings:

    1. While relatively new to the ad game, Snapchat saw its best performance among the youngest age group. Its best-performing category by a wide margin was among 18-24-year-olds who named it as the most natural ad experience (14 percent).
    2. As previously noted, the 25-34 age group slightly favored Facebook. Facebook won every single category (even those that Google performed better), except for experience which went to Google.
    4. Instagram’s favor dropped precipitously after age 44.
    5. While it was expected that discovery and commerce were to be most closely linked, and the same for relevancy and trust, it was exactly opposite. The platform most likely to promote buying was surprisingly aligned with most likely to be trusted, and the converse was true for discovering new businesses and relevancy. Best ad experience was the outlier, as it was also the most competitive overall.

To learn more about Survata’s Ad Research solutions, please contact us.

How Survata Clients are Shaping Markets

You read them in your daily life. You react to them to define your strategies. You use them to make your business case to customers in almost every marketing and sales effort. And, you may not even know that Survata was powering them.

Statistics powered by surveys are shaping and mapping business for every single market – whether it’s consumer or B2B. Survata is a leader in survey-powered thought-leadership, and many of our clients are driving the narratives.

We want to be your partner to help you seize the conversation. See how Survata clients have made waves in June in their respective industries.

*Public Relations: “Influencers Make Difference in Cause Marketing Campaigns” — O’Dwyer’s PR
Key Stat: 35 percent of adults engage with a cause because of an influencer

*Small Biz: “40 percent of small businesses have had cash flow issues within last year” — Small Business Trends

*E-Commerce: “Online Shoppers Deserve Better Than a Duopoly” — Bloomberg Opinion
Key Stat: 55 percent of online shoppers start on Amazon

*Personal Finance: “How Many Americans Are Living Paycheck to Paycheck” — CNBC
Key Stat: 49 percent of Americans are living by each paycheck

Start your own industry-defining study today by clicking here.

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.

Which Tech CEO Would Make the Best President?

With under 18 months remaining until the election, 2016 presidential hopefuls are announcing their bids. At the same time, the spotlight on the CEOs of technology companies has never been brighter. We decided to ask America which technology CEO they believe would make the best president. We surveyed 1503 voting age Americans, asking them to select the CEO they would be most likely to vote for in a presidential election. Their choices were Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and Google CEO Larry Page.*

Here’s what we found:

Survata asks America to choose the best presidential candidate of tech CEOs

To see the full results, head to the Survata Public Dashboard.

* NOTE: We did not consider eligibility requirements for the US presidency, such as country of birth, in this survey. Read more about the rest of our methodology.

Join the discussion on Hacker News.

What will health nuts eat on Super Bowl Sunday? Nuts!

Super Bowl Sunday is generally a write-off day for most diets, as football fans commonly indulge in everything from a few brews to something called a Bacon Explosion.

Given the public discourse on Super Bowl snacks, we at Survata decided the event presented a good opportunity to gauge how people perceive some of the most popular snack food brands. We came up with a list of 39 food items, including popular brands of chips, crackers, cookies, snack bars, and fruit snacks. We showed over 1300 respondents five randomly chosen snacks from our list, and asked them to to rank the snacks in order from what they perceived to be the most healthy to the least healthy (we avoided the debate of what “healthy” actually means; respondents’ definition of “healthy” may of course vary).

We calculated an average ranking for each snack by assigning a numerical value based on each placement it received (1 for healthiest, 2 for second healthiest, etc.). Based on that total, Kashi Go Lean Bars had the highest overall rank, with an average score of just under 2. Planter’s Nuts and Nature Valley Granola Bars were a close second and third respectively. We found that Oreo was the least healthy snack (the snack with the lowest average ranking), followed by Cheetos and Little Debbie snacks. See what consumers chose as the healthiest and least healthy below, and check out the full results here.

Survata_Snacks

There are obviously a number of ways to cut the data, including the percentage of times each snack was ranked healthiest or least healthy, but we found the results to be mostly consistent across all major metrics.

Our Take

While the highest and lowest ranked snacks came as no surprise, some puzzling results were found toward the middle of the list. Popchips, which has an ad campaign posturing the snack as a healthy alternative to potato chips, did not seem to resonate with the public, as the brand was nowhere near the highest ranked option. On the contrary, Welch’s Fruit Snacks ranked surprisingly high, beating out other snacks with relatively healthy reputations like Quaker Chewy Bars and Chex Mix. While we hope this report offered some interesting brand insight, we should add that we personally do not condone bringing health food to a Super Bowl party.

Is your brand sending the right messages? Try Survata and find out.

Footnotes for our fellow data geeks

  1. We interviewed 1,319 online respondents from January 28 to January 30, 2014.
  2. You can download the underlying data here.
  3. You can analyze the underlying data in Statwing here.

Tech Trust Index shows consumers trust Google and Amazon but not Sprint and AOL

It’s no secret that tech companies amass vast stores of user information, from tax records to snapshots of pumpkin spice lattes. What’s more ambiguous is how this personal information is used. And while major Internet companies like Google, Yahoo, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft publish transparency reports to distance themselves from NSA spying paranoia, companies like AT&T and Verizon are decidedly more opaque.

Given the public discourse on information gathering and transparency, we at Survata were curious to see which tech companies have garnered trust among consumers. To do so, we used our consumer survey tool to ask 3,175 online respondents to rank a group of companies in order from their most to least trusted.

In tech we trust

To rank the companies, we showed respondents five companies randomly drawn from our list of 20, and asked them to rank the companies from “most trusted” to “least trusted” with personal data. We found that, at 47%, Google was ranked as the most trusted company most often, followed by Amazon and Apple at 43% and 38%, respectively. AOL, Sprint, and Snapchat were ranked as the most trusted company least often.

There are of course other ways to cut this data. When ranking the companies by highest average placement, Amazon, Google, and Apple again earned the top three spots. Snapchat, Intuit, and AOL had the lowest average placement.

Snapchat is potentially an outlier in our group of 20 companies; because it doesn’t have the massive user base of a company like Apple, Google, or Yahoo, a lower percentage of respondents would have used it. Snapchat also (perhaps unfairly) has a well-documented reputation for exchanging particularly sensitive content (read: “sexting”).

Our take

We found it interesting that Google, which arguably holds the largest quantity of information on the average tech consumer, has maintained such a high level of popular trust. Further, we were surprised to see AT&T and Verizon among the top half of most trusted companies, considering they are bucking the trend of data sharing transparency. However, we expect this index (together with the technology of the companies themselves) to rapidly evolve.

Curious if consumers trust your company? Try Survata and find out.

Footnotes for our fellow data geeks

  1. We interviewed 3,175 online respondents from December 5 to December 8, 2013.
  2. You can download the underlying data here.
  3. You can analyze the underlying data in Statwing here.

Global warming? 46% believe recent extreme weather an effect of climate change

Sunday marked the deadliest November tornado outbreak in Illinois history, as storms ripped through much of the state killing six and injuring many more.

The storm, notable for its huge scope and unusual seasonal timing, came soon after one of the most powerful typhoons in history devastated the Philippines, displacing an estimated 4 million people. Many refuse to believe that the two catastrophic weather events are coincidental, and instead attribute the extreme weather events to global climate change.

We at Survata were curious if the public would make a similar connection, and whether they even view global climate change as a viable concern. To find out, we used our consumer survey tool to ask 1,255 Americans if they believe Typhoon Haiyan and the recent tornadoes in Illinois are the result of global climate change. We found that 46% answered “Yes,” 25% answered “No,” while 29% are unsure.

Are humans to blame?

Our results show that 52% of respondents believe that human activity is primarily responsible for global warming, while 22% do not and 26% are not sure. Respondents who believe that climate change is caused by human activity are almost three times more likely than non-believers to think it’s the cause of recent extreme weather events. See the full breakdown below:

Cause for concern

We found that 29% of respondents are “very concerned” about global climate change, compared to just 16% who are “not at all concerned.” Unsurprisingly, we found that those who are “very concerned” are eight times more likely than their “not at all concerned” counterparts to attribute recent extreme weather events to global climate change.

Our take

It’s been shown that concern about global warming increases after catastrophic weather events, so the fact that our survey coincided with the aftermath of the Illinois tornadoes and Typhoon Haiyan represents a caveat. We also expect this month’s UN climate summit to affect public opinion, as the latest scientific findings disseminate.

Want to discover what your customer base cares about? Try Survata today.

Footnotes for our fellow data geeks

  1. We interviewed 1,255 online respondents from November 18 to November 19, 2013.
  2. You can download the underlying data here.
  3. You can analyze the underlying data in Statwing.