Why Nike’s Colin Kaepernick Gamble Wouldn’t Work for Under Armour

This article was originally published on Marketing Land on 11.05.18. See the full article here.

Two weeks after Nike’s campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick debuted, the company’s online sales had risen a whopping 31 percent and its stock had climbed more than 6 percent to an all-time high. With Kaepernick, Nike clearly tapped into something powerful—but it didn’t come without risk.

Immediately after the ad debuted, it was widely reported that Nike’s brand favorability was down, its stock price dipped, videos of people burning their Nike shoes went viral and critics called for a wholesale boycott of the brand. So how did a gamble that violates the norms of branding and brand safety while creating a chorus of ardent critics ultimately lead to a wildly successful campaign?

In short, Nike found a way to connect with its customers on a visceral level. Its Kaepernick campaign went beyond shoes or clothing and instead tapped into the personal values that drive its customers in every aspect of their lives. That’s also why this gamble would have utterly failed for a brand like Under Armour, according to a recent Resonate analysis of customer personal values. Read our full analysis here on Marketing Land.

A Guide To Understanding And Engaging Today’s Auto Shopper

People shopping for cars usually take several months to make their decision, which presents a unique challenge and opportunity for marketers. Given the expense and overall weight associated with a new car purchase or lease, the automotive shopper’s decision-making process represents a fine blend of rationality and subconscious motivation. Thus, it is vital for marketers to not only know where to find people currently shopping for a car, physically and digitally, but also for them to be able to speak wisely to the underlying values that fuel these important purchases.

To better illuminate relevant audience insights for automotive marketers, Resonate tapped into its consumer intelligence platform to uncover the motivations, values, lifestyles and media habits of people who are likely to buy or lease a car in the next 12 months. The resulting audience profile revealed a dynamic group of people whose desire for self-fulfillment and lust for life are leading them to seek automotive purchases that align with these deep-seated values.

To call people who are in the market for a car “active” would be an understatement. Their desire to be on-the-go is reflected in both their top hobbies (visiting spas and resorts, going to the movies and watching pro sports live) and daily routines, which place a high value on athletic accomplishments and gym memberships. These hobbies and routines, all deeply rooted in the physical world, suggest that marketers should be building bridges between their real-world activities and their digital interactions.

Note: Index Value measures the strength of a consumer insight against the entire consumer landscape, with the baseline being 100.
Note: Index Value measures the strength of a consumer insight against the entire consumer landscape, with the baseline being 100.

When it comes to the top apps used by auto shoppers, it’s not surprising that their usage mirrors their hobbies and daily routines. Business tools and productivity apps are tied with travel apps when it comes to commanding the most attention from these individuals. Other top app categories include entertainment and lifestyle apps, as well as sports, finance, and food and drink apps.

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While the average auto shopper strongly values physical activity and social engagement, they’re also deeply embedded in the digital space, where they leverage content and platforms to facilitate their energetic and self-driven lifestyles. More than 60% in the market for a car are spending more than 20 hours online each week, with nearly a quarter of them spending more than 40 hours online.

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Auto marketers might be surprised to find that the in-market auto shopper’s most-frequented social networks are not Facebook or Twitter, but rather Reddit, Snapchat, Instagram and LinkedIn. This proclivity makes sense, however, in the context of this group’s top personal values and psychological drivers. Self-fulfillment, taking care of one’s family and learning and knowledge are the core personal values that motivate this audience, and the aforementioned networks are core to feeding these principles, not to mention their desires for social and professional achievement and overall excitement in life.

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From a media perspective, auto shoppers represent an eclectic bunch, with their top-watched TV networks and most-read magazines ranging from the informative to the entertaining. In terms of TV shows, this audience favors distraction and humor—as well as viewing through their personal devices such as tablets and phones.

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The time it takes people to make a decision on which car to buy requires marketers to take a meaningful, story-driven approach to connect with these valued consumers over time. By better understanding their online and offline habits, as well as the underlying values and motivations that drive them, marketers can begin to craft a consumer journey that aligns with this ever-important path to purchase.

Note: The insights in this article are included in Resonate’s latest research, “The State of the Consumer Report Q4 2018: Consumer Snapshots That Reveal How Values & Motivations are Shaping Today’s Evolving Shopper.”

This article was originally published on Salestechstar.com

Infographic: Consumer Insights for 2018 Holiday Shoppers

Did you know that nearly 80% of U.S. consumers choose retailers that carry cost-effective products? It’s not surprising that with so many consumers prioritizing cost this holiday season there are also 57 million consumers who wait for Black Friday and 50 million shoppers who wait for Cyber Monday to make purchases. Who are these shoppers and how can you attract them to your online and brick and mortar store this holiday season?

View the infographic below to learn more about these consumers and marketing tips to increase engagement and boost sales this holiday season!

Is It Time to Say “Good-bye” to the Soccer Mom?

How many times have you cringed at a marketing or ad proposal that targets “moms who want to delight their children”? Or can there possibly be one more article on how to market to “today’s millennial”?

In marketing and advertising, personas help us define who we’re selling to and in turn, guide us in creating the right kind of messaging to reach our target audiences. But many personas are based on a handful of vague attributes like age and marital status. “Soccer mom” emerged during the 1996 presidential election when Bill Clinton was accused by his opponent, Bob Dole, of targeting busy moms who cart their children to their sports activities. But personas like this don’t really help us understand and connect with consumers on a deeper level.

It’s time to throw out personas we’ve been using for the last 20 years that are simply based on vague demographics like gender and number of children, and start fresh with personas that are more detailed, accurate and paint a more complete picture of the consumer.


Soccer-Mom-Blog-mini-InfographicWe’ve all been guilty of using generational personas. The whole idea that people born within a certain date range could have all of the same traits is a fairly new thing, perpetrated by advertising, marketing and media.

We often think of millennials as being uber tech savvy and loyal sharing economy consumers. We label baby boomers as being leery of online shopping and loyal consumers of traditional media. We think of Generation X, once referred to as “slackers,” as being heavily focused on finances as they juggle children headed to college and aging parents. And finally, there’s generation z, who has completely grown up with technology and is heavily guided by online influencers.

The danger in creating messages geared to a whole generation is that you ignore people in this same age bracket who don’t have the same traits. For example, the common misperception about millennials is that they’re all single, young, unmarried and only rent apartments. But this misses a whole segment of people who fit in this same generation but are actually married with children and own a home.

A consumer insights platform can serve as an important tool for agencies in developing a deeper understanding of their client’s customers. Resonate distills what we call the Human Element. This is a holistic understanding of a person that starts with what makes us the most human—our values and motivations.

Personas are brought to life with the Resonate Human Element. It helps agencies provide dimension to their personas and ensure engagement that delivers performance for clients. For example, let’s look at the person who buys North Face products, which are geared to “athletes and the modern-day explorer,” according to the company’s website. We can assume that the North Face consumer’s top hobbies are hiking, camping and other outdoorsy activity. But Resonate’s dynamic insights paint a different picture. This segment actually spends their free time trading stocks, visiting spas and resorts and going to the movies. And they’re only 12% more likely than the overall U.S. population to spend their time hiking and camping. So when you’re developing messaging for a brand that sells outdoor active gear, think twice about turning to the traditional “hiker” persona—these folks are more indoorsy than outdoorsy.

Now let’s look at the working mom. You might assume her personal decisions, including working outside of the home, are driven by a desire to prove her competence and skills and getting recognition from peers. But Resonate’s consumer insights show working moms care even less about those attributes than the average U.S. consumer. Their everyday decisions are actually driven by living an exciting life and creativity.



Modern personas are about connecting with consumers in more meaningful ways. Connecting with people starts with understanding them at a personal level. Creating more accurate personas based on these actual person-level insights brings tremendous value to agencies in a number of ways:

  • RELEVANT OUTREACH: With more detailed and accurate personas, you can develop more targeted messaging that resonates with your client’s target audiences. Agencies using the Resonate Platform have already seen significant reduction in CPA costs.
  • STRONG CLIENT PITCHES: Imagine pitching your client with a completely new take on their personas. Show them that their existing personas can be enriched and expanded based on continuously updated and more accurate insights. Plus, the time spent doing research for client pitches drops from weeks to hours using the Resonate Platform.
  • BETTER OUTCOMES: Taking a more personalized approach to target audiences rather than a broad brush based only on a few attributes will help you create unbreakable relationships between your clients and their customers. Agencies are seeing a 32% increase in return on advertising spend (ROAS) compared to alternative data sources.
  • EXPANDED STRATEGY AND BRANDING: When you know your client and what makes their customers tick, you can give better advice about everything from media strategy and creative to product packaging and its charitable mission.

Agencies are competing against more players like consulting firms and smaller, more nimble shops and dealing with major industry shifts like new pay structures and more privacy regulations. Being able to offer clients a new view of personas can be the key differentiator.


Resonate’s easy-to-use SaaS platform provides a unified view of the consumer. It’s continuously updated, so personas evolve to adapt to peoples’ dynamic lives.

With this level of accuracy and timeliness, agencies can build personas that consist of real-time attributes, rather than static demographics. The Resonate Platform also helps provide insights into the several layers that make up a human, from the top actions they take every day to their psychological drivers.

So yes, it’s not surprising that a working mom buys most of her groceries online to save time and prefers retailers with loyalty programs. But there’s a lot more to her shopping behaviors. For example, they’re also 32% more likely than the average consumer to shop online and then pick up in store. And they’re big Black Friday shoppers but stay away from Cyber Monday and Amazon’s Prime Day.

There are several layers to humans, making it vital to tap into the Human Element to help frame more relevant personas. So can we once and for all stop with the “soccer mom”? She’s moved on and we should too.

Hear more on relevant and fresh personas in my recent webinar with AdWeek: “Uncover the Human Element of Data Targeting: Go Beyond Cardboard Personas.”

Want to wow your clients at the next pitch meeting with a better understanding of their actual personas? Let us show you how.

Your Campaign Can Influence Voter Behavior by 30%. Here’s How.

In December 2017, Democratic candidate for Senate, Doug Jones, implemented a revolutionary targeting tactic that influenced the online behavior of tens of thousands of voters a week before the election.

During the lead up to the election, Resonate’s data science team identified 250k voters who predominately engaged with news and reporting from conservative sources. Collectively, the constellation of sites and publishers comprising this conservative media bubble proved to be a formidable shield, and prevented the Jones campaign from courting the non-traditional voters necessary to win in too-close-to-call elections.

That reality changed when the Jones campaign took action and leveraged Resonate data to infiltrate the conservative media bubble and deliver a message to voters that was otherwise completely absent from their digital lives. These voters were served a pro-Jones video in the week leading up to Election Day. Amongst the 80,000 video engagers, we observed a 30% increase in liberal news browsing relative to untargeted voters inside the media bubble.

Fast forward – we’re 4 weeks out from the midterms and Resonate data scientists have identified targetable media bubbles (conservative and liberal) in districts and states throughout the country. This is voter targeting 2.0. Launch a sophisticated targeting campaign with Resonate that puts your messaging right in front of these voters. Impact the recommendation algorithms of just 2% of voters and you can drastically influence the actions they take now and on November 6.

Let’s take a look at some real life examples of digital media bubbles in battleground Ohio. Specifically, we’ll look for voters trapped in these bubbles who are sympathetic to the opposition based on relevant insights in the Resonate platform.

Ohio Conservative Media Bubble
Full audience size: 1.9M online adults

  • Identify as Democrat: 19% (361,000)
  • Support raising the minimum wage: 37% (703,000)
  • Voted for Clinton: 19% (361,000)

Ohio Liberal Media Bubble
Full audience size: 1.2M online adults

  • Identify as Republican: 26% (312,000)
  • Oppose Obamacare: 39% (468,000)
  • Voted for Trump: 25% (300,000)

The above audiences identified, numbering in the hundreds of thousands, are receiving the majority of their election-related news from partisan sources that dominate their feeds. A sophisticated digital campaign that moves a small percentage of these voters could be a major difference maker in races throughout Ohio and other key states and districts this cycle.

Are you ready to incorporate this strategy into your voter targeting efforts and begin driving real, impactful changes? Contact our Campaign Hotline today. Our models are pre-built, dynamically updated, and ready to launch immediately.


How Today’s Auto Marketers Can Connect With Tomorrow’s Self-Driving Car Owners

Today’s automotive marketers face a unique challenge: They need to market cars to a growing audience of consumers who are eagerly anticipating the day that they no longer have to drive cars.

As more self-driving car pilot programs take to the streets, the promise of this category of vehicle is rapidly taking hold with many of today’s car shoppers—despite the fact that such automobiles have yet to become commercially available.

To connect with these forward-thinking consumers, automotive dealers and brands today need to be fundamentally repositioning themselves. They must seek a deeper understanding of the consumers they intend to attract.

They must harness the “why” behind their consumers’ buying behaviors—the values and motivations that influence their opinions and drive their purchases in the auto industry.

In a recent study, we tapped into our consumer intelligence marketing platform (covering more than 10,000 attributes across 185 million people in the U.S.) to better understand the values and motivations that drive today’s car buyers.

A key segment that emerged in this research was an audience defined by its inherent comfort with the concept of a  self-driving car. Here is an overview of the defining characteristics of this compelling group of consumers, as well as advice for connecting with them for current and future marketing and sales efforts.

Consumers comfortable with self-driving cars

Self-driving car consumers represent a promising group for car companies, with a wide age range between 18–44. They are also a wealthy group, many with a household income of more than $150,000. In addition, they’re willing to spend anywhere between $25,000 to $75,000 on their next car purchase.

When shopping for a car, they do so with an eye toward innovation. For these consumers, features such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and navigation aren’t just conveniences—they’re must-haves.

In addition, this eye toward innovation extends to their own purchasing habits, as many would consider making their next car purchase online.

Not surprisingly, these consumers say that self-driving cars would have versatile applications in their lives. These include getting to and from work, getting home after drinking alcohol, taking long trips, running errands, and taking their children to and from activities and daycare.

When making car purchases, these consumers look for cars that not only enable them to express their individuality, but also create memories with other people. Both of these desires must be taken into consideration by today’s dealers and auto brands.

When buying a car, these consumers are highly likely to be sharing their experiences online as they go. Perhaps the only noteworthy caveat about this wealthy, forward-thinking group is that it would also be willing to get rid of its cars if it were practical.

This is likely due in part to the relatively high level of environmental awareness among these consumers, because most say they feel guilty when considering the impact of their driving habits on the world around them.

How marketers can connect

Auto marketers looking to engage with tomorrow’s self-driving car owners should do so with messages of authenticity. These consumers value straightforward information over vague showmanship.

Likewise, marketing that focuses on a car’s role in allowing drivers to enjoy experiences with others is likely to resonate strongly. Messaging to this group should also focus on the underlying value of cars themselves, as many of these consumers would not own a car if they had the option.

Reminding them that personal car ownership can aid in their connections with those around them is a theme that will speak to these individuals.

In addition, because these consumers are so likely to share their car-buying stories online as they go, auto marketers must be exceptionally cognizant of the experiences they create for consumers. One bad encounter is likely to be broadcast well beyond that individual consumer.

The upside, however, is that when one of these consumers selects an automobile, he or she becomes a spokesperson for the dealer and brand to a broader sphere of potential car shoppers. Auto marketers would be wise to give these consumers some added assistance in telling their tales.

Note: The insights in this article are included in Resonate’s forthcoming “The State of Consumer Audiences” report, which provides an in-depth look at the consumer values and motivations that drive purchases in today’s most important vertical markets. The full report was released in late September. Please go to www.resonate.com for more information.

This article was originally published on DealerMarketing.com. 

Get to Know 37M Organic Food Shoppers

Do you really know who your best consumer segments are? We do! Imagine having incredibly deep insights on who’s purchasing your products in various channels and why. This is what Resonate is doing at massive scale for our CPG clients.

One frustration I often hear from fast-moving consumer goods companies is the lack of easily accessible information and insights on WHY consumers do what they do. Most brands have plenty of sales, distribution, market share, brand health and consumption patterns data, but not much actionable information on the Human Element – the psychographics, motivations, daily habits and values on the people within their most important segments.

Companies that leverage relevant and actionable Human Element insights are 23x more likely to acquire new consumers and 6x more likely to gain new ones, according to McKinsey.

The best way to achieve similar results is to have the best consumer-centric insights at your fingertips. This empowers brands to create content and creative that makes a difference in consumers’ lives and begins to build a lasting and deeper relationship with their products and company.

Let’s look at some of the insights in Resonate’s consumer insights platform for guidance on the ever-changing organic consumer. The Resonate Platform has insights on 37 million people who buy organic food.

At a high level, we start to see an interesting picture of this consumer:

  • About half have kids, and over 60% are married
  • They buy food based on nutrition and incorporate fitness into their daily routine
  • They also reward themselves by visiting spas and enjoying art and music


By looking at their demographics in more detail, we see that 44% of organic consumers are between the age of 25 and 44. Diving deeper into these 16.4 million consumers reveals unique insights that help drive more meaningful segment level insights, ultimately leading to higher engagement, loyalty, consumer acquisition and sales.


One of the many unique insights revealed was that these consumers are significantly less likely to purchase based on price. This insight could have a significant impact on the brand’s trade strategy and save the company millions in unneeded price promotion.

Deeper Human Element insights are available to help organizations move beyond sales data or static custom research to a dynamic world of real-time consumer insights that help define the WHY behind consumer actions and dramatically increase engagement.

Want to learn deep insights on several other consumer segments? Check out our new State of the Consumer Report Q4 2018.

Ready to get started? Reach out for a demo.

CDPs: Yet Another Acronym That Lets Marketers Down

CDPs, or customer data platforms, are the latest venture capital darling. Unfortunately, they’re not going to help marketers connect more meaningfully with consumers. Andy Hunn, Chief Operating Officer, Resonate tell us why 

The newest acronym taking our industry by storm is CDP. And unfortunately, this one isn’t going to help marketers connect more meaningfully with consumers either.

CDPs, or customer data platforms, are the latest venture capital darling. Their big promise, the one that sounds so sweet on paper, is a single view of customers across multiple devices, largely built around a brand’s first-party data. New players are coming out of the woodwork, and existing acronym players are rebranding as CDPs as fast as their marketing teams can revamp their web copy.

For marketers who are seeing the “CDPs Are Our Industry Savior” headlines and struggling to understand where they fit within the current industry acronym soup, let’s have a history lesson.

The Evolution of the Acronyms

CRM. Customer relationship management (CRM) systems represented the first major investment wave focused on better knowing and understanding customers. CRMs represented a huge step forward in customer data management. However, these systems typically connected only to a company’s direct marketing and transactional data.

TMS. Then there was the tag management system (TMS). Tag management systems took a step forward by enabling marketers to easily deploy tags on their websites. Some tags were for measuring things like performance, and other tags were for anonymously identifying a user across the digital web. In short, observed tag audiences represent first-party data sets of anonymous groups of people that engaged with a brand, and could hopefully be re-engaged — with targeted advertising, for example. Google decimated this market with a free offering, forcing a transition among the companies in this space. This gave way too…

DMP. Being able to target groups of people who engaged with a company directly was nice, but marketers also wanted to be able to combine those first-party groups with third-party data that is known about those individuals. Enter the data management platforms (DMPs), which were created to meld two main sources of data for marketing purposes: CRM data of known customers and observed tag audiences who visit a brand’s website or interact with its messaging in some way (just like the TMS before them). DMPs anonymize CRM data into digital IDs that can be used to reach those customers online and enable marketers to advertise to other observed segments defined in the DMP as well. That’s it. DMPs were built to deliver ads to anonymous IDs that are relevant to a brand. DMPs didn’t care about anything happening offline because that’s not why they were built. They were built to retarget online ads to customers and people who visit a company’s website. Which also left marketers wanting. So now…

CDP. Here come the CDPs. They say they’re different because they unify the CRM customer data (the PII — such as name, address, email — of the customer) with the anonymous digital ID world. And they observe first-party (i.e., the brand’s own) customer transactions in both the digital and offline worlds. That’s nice. But a game changer? No.

When you strip all the nonsensical nuances away from these companies — the CRMs, the TMSs, the DMPs, the CDPs — they’re all one simple thing at their cores: identity companies. Yes, they leverage different IDs, but at the end of the day, they are simply IDs that represent a person and their devices. Now, is scaled identity useful to marketers? Absolutely. But let’s be honest: It’s all just plumbing. Plumbing is a necessary evil, but it is only a means to an end — identifying a customer — and it shouldn’t be sold as anything more than that.

Where All the Acronyms Fail

CDP is just the next acronym for LMD: Letting Marketers Down. Despite all the grandiose claims that have been made about how these acronyms will change a marketer’s world, they all fundamentally fail on three key fronts:

Identity isn’t everything. Knowing the identity of a person is not the same as knowing that person. Yes, it’s useful to be able to identify a consumer consistently and across their various devices. You can retarget ads to them until they die or buy your product. But the core questions marketers today want to understand are, “Why is this person interacting with me? What is it about my brand, my product, my offer, or anything else that caused them to engage?” The fact that a browser-based cookie and mobile phone ID are connected does not answer those pressing questions.

Brands don’t have a complete understanding of their customers. The various acronymed solutions assume that a brand has a perfect understanding of who its customers are, and if it could just tie that understanding to identity, all problems would be solved. But based on 10 years of speaking with CMOs, I can tell you that they don’t have a perfect understanding of their customers. Far from it. And slapping a CDP into place doesn’t solve that problem. Sure, brands have some CRM data on their customers — PII, demographic attributes. Hell, maybe they’ve even unified that information with past product purchase history. That’s great. But the reality is that marketers have used and exhausted the value within this data. They’ve squeezed every drop of blood from that stone. They’re yearning for real, substantive additions to their understandings of their customers.

Behaviors without motivations teach us nothing.  Marketers have been asked to do the impossible. They are asked to look at observed actions and touchpoints and to derive meaning about the person behind those actions. Someone clicks on an ad. Or browses the watches section of a website and then browses the jewelry section. Look, just like identity, knowing these actions is better than nothing. But marketers want to know why people are taking those actions, why they’re traversing the website at all, why they’re engaging with the brand. These are not the kind of questions the acronym soup answers.

To complicate things further, a marketer’s need for understanding goes beyond their existing customers. Marketers also need to understand the motivations and values that are driving the prospective customers who are showing up every day on their websites. Furthermore, they need to deeply understand their competitors’ customers in order to best identify their most fertile conquesting ground.

None of the acronyms get marketers any closer to this understanding. This is why DMPs are languishing in the Trough of Disillusionment right now and why CDPs will eventually suffer the same fate.

To date, our industry has been focused on building tools that capitalize on the infinite observability and targetability of people online. It’s driven immense gains in efficiency and ROI for performance marketing. But that’s no longer enough.

Our industry’s legacy approach doesn’t solve the most essential challenge that marketers face: understanding the person behind the unified device identities, and why that person is engaging. The good news is that the tools now exist to develop this deep customer understanding — above the level of individual marketing execution channels and above the level of the plumbing. Our vast access to consumer data and data science can now be used to make marketers smarter.

Once marketers have a deeper understanding of consumer motivations, all these acronyms and the plumbing they represent can be put to good use by delivering on a marketing strategy that is informed by a richer understanding of the “why” behind the consumer. But until then, the CDP is just three more letters in the same acronym soup.

This article was originally published on Martech Advisor – 7.19.20

Read Forrester’s Future of Marketing Insights report to learn about how Innovative CMOs are building strategies to understand the “why” behind the consumer.


Bad to the Bone – How Good Surveys Produce Bad Data

Imagine doing an online survey to get a better handle of your target audience and throwing out 20% of the responses. Crazy? Well actually if you’re not throwing out about that much, you’re probably using bad data.

Resonate conducts many surveys per year and uses a proprietary “fraud score” to throw out 10-20% of what is scoring as “bad data.” It’s really the only way we’ve found to ensure that the insights we’re providing are the closest measure of consumers.

As is true across the industry, we rely heavily on surveys to measure audience behavior. To understand humans and how to connect with them in an impactful way, we must ask them directly about their buying habits, their daily routines, how they choose which stores to shop at, what kinds of values go into their buying decisions and what their motivations are when pursuing a happy, productive life. But humans are not perfect and there are many factors that can affect the way they answer surveys that ultimately impact data quality.

So, what goes wrong exactly? Well for starters, if you ask someone their political affiliation and they mark Republican but they’re really a Democrat, how are you supposed to know? People provide poor answers for a variety of reasons. Of all the reasons, the most likely is that you’ll have respondents who do lots of online surveys and they blow through the answers to get paid. You’ll also get people who reduce their mental effort while they’re taking the survey to keep their stamina up.

Getting these bad responses has terrible implications for a company seeking high-quality survey data, including skewing data and throwing off compositions used in business decisions. Also, we estimate that about $3 billion-$4 billion is wasted annually on this bad data.

There are a few techniques for identifying bad survey responses but they all have their flaws. Straightlining is a commonly used technique where people choose answers like “agree,” “disagree,” “no opinion” on big matrix questions. People who straightline will just check off the same response all the way down the row. But we’ve actually found that many respondents straightline on these but on all other questions provide high quality data. Consistency checks can be helpful, but they, along with attention checks, can actually cause additional bad data. Extreme timing does catch bad actors, but in general, unless it is used with other techniques, it turns out not to be overly helpful.

Resonate finds bad data through a proprietary approach we call ‘fraud score,’ which is based on a few factors:

  • We look at the likelihood of certain answers given the respondent’s other answers. Someone saying they didn’t like their phone all that much means that they probably wouldn’t recommend it to friends. But answering the opposite of that could be a red flag.
  • Some questions prompt responses that together can give useful insight into a person’s thinking. For example, if asked for the color of your mother’s living room carpet and their political affiliation, those two answers don’t provide much information about each other. But if someone is asked for your political affiliation and their stance on abortion, their answers provide mutual insight.

We use fraud scoring because it’s an absolute measure that considers mutual informational relationships and is scaled by unconditional likelihoods. Also, when someone fills out a survey, we can tell you how much pure information they gave us. In the end, we throw out at least 15% of the data responses to get the most accurate insights.

I recently presented Resonate’s fraud detection process at the Advertising Research Foundation’s 13th Audience Measurement conference this month. Take a look at my presentation slides to get more details on how we avoid bad data.



The Buzz and the Buyers: iPhone X vs. Galaxy Note 8

Resonate’s Senior Analytics Manager, Kevin Shea, takes a look at the data behind the highly anticipated iPhone X release to see how it’s really stacking up in the market compared to its Samsung rival.

In late August and early September Samsung and Apple announced new versions of their flagship mobile devices, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and the Apple iPhone X. With Samsung reporting record sales numbers for the Galaxy Note 8 and Apple banking on the iPhone X to make up for disappointing sales figures for the overlooked iPhone 8, the two rivals are set for a head-to-head showdown.

But talk is cheap, so we wanted to do our own investigating and see how these two phones were really stacking up in the marketplace and learn if we could unlock who will come out on top.

The Buzz

There’s been no shortage of media flurry promoting both launches. And while Apple and Samsung are both touting marketing success, we wanted to take a look at how consumers were actually engaging with Galaxy Note 8 and iPhone X content online in the weeks before and after their product launches.

iPhone X and Galazy Note 8 Content Hits

Without a doubt, the Apple-hype machine was and continues to be alive and well. Views of iPhone X-related content on the day of the launch dwarfed the Galaxy Note 8 and continued to be higher even after the Galaxy was publically available. After a brief lull, iPhone X engagement surged again as the pre-order finally began 45 days after Apple’s product announcement. However, the claims of record sales from Samsung, despite the consistently low level of engagement online, may speak to an incredibly loyal Andriod following.

The Buyers

At a high level, the iPhone X may be generating significantly more interest than its competitor, but that’s only half of the story. Who are all of these potential iPhone X and Galaxy buyers (who clearly aren’t scared away by a $1,000 price tag)? And how do they compare to each other?

Well, not too surprisingly, both phone shoppers skew toward a younger male demographic. Galaxy Note 8 and iPhone X shoppers are both approximately 75% male, with 60% of shoppers between 25 and 44 years old. While both groups trend to be higher-income individuals, it’s worth noting that the Galaxy Note 8 attracted a much greater proportion of shoppers making less than $50K per year.

 Househol Income - iphone vs Galaxy

Now demographics are great to give us a baseline understanding of consumers, but here at Resonate we like to dive a little bit deeper and look at the personalities and drivers of these buyers. From a personal motivations and purchase perspective, iPhone X and Galaxy Note 8 buyers showed some differences in four main areas:

Psychological Drivers - Iphone X vs Galaxy 8

When it comes to choosing their next phone, iPhone X and Galaxy Note 8 customers share the same top three considerations:

Top product considerations - Iphone vs Galaxy

However, iPhone X shoppers highly rate “Cross-Device Content Sharing,” indicating they may already own or plan to purchase other Apple devices while Galaxy Note 8 shoppers are more concerned with hardware features like “Camera Quality” and “Storage & Memory” options. What makes things more interesting in this rival showdown is that the extended iPhone X ad touts many of these new hardware features which could attract greater numbers of Android shoppers than a typical iPhone release.

The Verdict Is Still Out

The iPhone X did generate considerable buzz in the immediate days following its announcement and in the last two weeks as pre-orders started and the doors burst open this morning to long lines of waiting customers. Given that the two rival phones have similar target audiences, there still remains a strong potential to poach customers. But we’ll all find out over the next few weeks if the long wait between announcement and release date dampened expected sales for Apple, or if buzz and dollars equate, giving Apple its continued reign in the smartphone market.