31
Aug

Auto Manufacturers’ Response to the Takata Airbag Recall

Auto Manufacturers’ Response to the Takata Airbag Recall

By Greg Deinzer, Research Director

If you are like 62% of Americans, you are aware of the largest-ever U.S. auto recall by Japanese company Takata Corporation for defective airbag systems. The recall affects tens of millions of vehicles and dozens of vehicle manufacturers/brands, and has expanded dramatically over the past six months. Findings from Morpace’s July 2016 Omnibus survey of 1,000 U.S. respondents provide consumers’ opinions and feedback on this critical concern.

According to media reports in May of this year, at least 10 deaths and more than 100 injuries have been linked to the airbag problem worldwide. Additionally, the recall is expected to take place in phases over the next 2-3 years, and a few auto manufacturers are still equipping their new vehicles with the type of Takata airbags that are currently being recalled. Here’s hoping the other 38% who are unaware of the recall stay off the road for the next three years.

Somewhat surprisingly, those aware of the recall have about the same impression of the auto industry as those who are unaware, with more than one-third rating it “Good” or “Excellent”, over half rating it “Fair”, and only 1-in-10 rating it “Poor” or “Very Poor.” Ratings are higher for those on the recall list and for drivers who have been notified by the manufacturer or have had their airbags replaced. Even so, one-fourth of those who heard about the recall before this survey have a somewhat lower or much lower opinion of the auto industry in general.

Honda/Acura and Toyota/Lexus automobiles account for over half of the vehicles mentioned by survey respondents as being on the recall list. Although 6-in-10 vehicles on the list have already been replaced, 82% of those who are still waiting for replacement airbags have not been given an estimated time frame for their repairs.

Dealer Manufacturer actions chart

Seventy percent of those who are still waiting for replacement airbags are driving their vehicle as usual. That is, they are not taking any additional actions or precautions such as driving the vehicle less often, or not allowing anyone to sit in the front passenger seat. Likewise, in over one-fourth (28%) of pending recall replacements, the dealers or manufacturers are not providing any amenities to those who are waiting.

On the other hand, many companies are taking steps to alleviate or correct the situation by installing airbags from another supplier, providing a rental car, or deactivating or removing the airbags altogether until they can be replaced.

Some feel that mistakes happen and that recalls are inevitable. As one respondent put it, “auto manufacturers should not be blamed for the defects of one supplier.” Yet others hold vehicle manufacturers to a higher standard and expect quicker notification, an action plan, and replacement in a shorter period of time.

Many hold a more negative view—that automakers are willing to cut corners at the expense of safety. One respondent referenced an ironic fact: “a safety airbag manufacturer that manufactures unsafe equipment.”  Still, in relation to the airbag recall, only 7% do not feel at least moderately safe driving their vehicle.

Consumers are split on their feelings of how Takata is handling the recall. Thirty-four percent are “Very” or “Completely Satisfied”, 33% are “Moderately Satisfied”, and 33%are “Not Very” or “Not at all satisfied.” Auto manufacturers receive higher satisfaction ratings. Almost half of respondents are “Very” or “Completely Satisfied” with the way their vehicle manufacturer is handling the recall.

This illustrates the importance of open communications by suppliers and OEMs in clearly disseminating information and warnings to the public even if your hands are tied for months or even years. In this case, and probably many others like it, the public is likely to be more forgiving when transparency is used with consumers.

More
21
Mar

Google/Apple Have Little Impact on Consumer Interest in Autonomous Vehicles

apple_google_2

By: Mike Scott, Marketing Director; Sara Beauchaine, Marketing Associate

Would you trust an autonomous vehicle? More importantly, would you purchase an autonomous vehicle today?

Technology giants Google and Apple have strong brands and are among the most recognized companies in the world. Yet even when these brands are attached to questions asked of consumers about autonomous vehicles, our January Omnibus revealed that consumers are not only hesitant about “trusting” autonomous vehicles, but about purchasing them as well.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise. There are various stages of progress that will need to occur long before consumers would be comfortable taking a “cat nap” while their self-driving vehicle transports them from point A to point B. At this point, there is a curiosity that consumers have around the topic but not a clear understanding of what defines “autonomous.”

Officially, Apple hasn’t announced that it is in the autonomous vehicle business, but Google has. Our recent Morpace Omnibus found that a total of 31 percent of consumers “somewhat” trust or “completely” trust an autonomous vehicle with Google technology. Another 31 percent don’t trust the technology, leaving the largest percentage–38 percent–undecided.

In addition, only a minority of consumers are willing to purchase an autonomous vehicle at this time. Price could be a factor, but it’s likely that trust plays a role in the answers we received as well. Overall, 58 percent are “unlikely” or “extremely unlikely” to purchase an autonomous vehicle with Google technology, compared to 59 percent for an autonomous vehicle with Apple technology.

Finally, there was little separation between the price consumers are willing to pay for autonomous vehicles powered by Google versus Apple. Eight-in-ten consumers are not willing to pay more than $40,000, which is the base price for some higher-end standard powertrain SUVs in today’s market. The average price most consumers are willing to pay is less than $28,000, with virtually no difference in the median value for Apple versus Google autonomous vehicles.

As it turns out, we may have found one thing that the powerful brands of Google and Apple can’t directly impact—consumers’ perceptions on autonomous vehicles. Discussions and media reports surrounding autonomous vehicles are becoming more prevalent, and it is clear that education needs to be developed before a majority of consumers feel comfortable enough to drive or purchase a “self-driving” vehicle.

There is a long learning curve ahead for consumers before the autonomous technology “war” among the industry giants, not to mention the automotive OEMs, can begin in earnest.

More
2
Mar

New Partnerships, Collaboration, and the Concept of ‘Fail Fast’ Among the Themes at Our Recent Internal Marketing Meeting

Man in suite at a business meeting making notes on a table

By: Sara Beauchaine, Marketing Associate

When the final day of our 2016 internal Marketing Meeting had concluded, our company leaders walked away with several interesting messages you may not often hear from researchers. For example, “failing fast” can be a positive way to encourage innovation, and knowing how to improvise can help in being more supportive of clients and colleagues. But then again, this annual meeting evolved into something much more than qualitative versus quantitative.

The Marketing Meeting is a two-day conference where Morpace managers from all of our global offices meet once a year in Detroit to hear about industry trends from experts, share plans for new products and research solutions, and collaborate on ways to better meet the needs of our clients.

This year we invited Chad J. Willett, a former actor and professional speaker, to present as our keynote. Chad shared how aspects of his acting career can translate into helping “Corporate America” be more innovative, creative, and productive.

Four main concepts were emphasized during his presentation, titled “Smash the Box”: say “yes, and…” to facilitate continued conversation and ideation; embrace mistakes to keep moving forward on the road to success; make statements, as these create better relationships between coworkers and clients; and defer judgement of other ideas.

Go Comedy!, a local improv theater group from metro Detroit, performed during the meeting and shed light on the importance of using improvisational techniques as an effective way to communicate. By bringing some of our team members on stage, they also made us realize the importance of active listening, which can make us all better communicators.

Also on the agenda were presenters sharing more in depth information on recent partnerships which have recently developed with Keller Fay for Word of Mouth research and Qualtrics, a technology provider with particular expertise in CX and Employee engagement. Also discussed was the expansion of our syndicated products, and a “Big Data” product to expand our Commercial Vehicles practice.

Now that this year’s meeting has passed, we can sit back and let the many takeaways of the conference soak in. I was particularly struck by a concept that was presented by our CEO and President, Duncan Lawrence: “Fail Fast”. Duncan encouraged us to embrace the fact that we could fail because the payoff for taking a risk is so much greater. He noted that it is better to fail fast at something, rather than ride out an idea or concept that is bound to fail eventually. After all, failure isn’t avoidable or unacceptable; it is a necessary component of success.

The Marketing Meeting’s overarching theme of exploring new frontiers leaves us with a bright perspective of not only who we are now, but what we will become in the months and years ahead. Perhaps most importantly, we left with a sense of motivation that there is room for us to simply be better, and that we are all an integral part of planning a roadmap to help us get to where we want to be.

More
10
Dec

Hospital Patients Have an Opinion About Patient Surveys

couple reviewing

By: Debra Fin, Vice President; Jennifer Brown, Research Director

Hospital patients who have had a recent inpatient stay have something to share about the patient satisfaction surveys they receive.

Change the methodology please!!!

How do we know?

Morpace conducts a monthly random survey of the American population 18 years and older exploring consumer preferences and trends across all 50 states in our Omnibus Survey. A minimum of 1,000 individuals from our online panel complete a variety of questions and share their demographics with us. From April to September 2015, we collected more than 6,000 responses and got an interesting viewpoint from the population who has had a recent hospital inpatient stay.

Survey Participation is High

12% of 701 people shared that they had been a hospital inpatient in the past six months. A whopping 69% (482 people) of those had been asked to conduct a patient satisfaction survey! More than half, 53%, completed a paper survey they had received through the mail.  This is not surprising since this has been the traditional way to solicit opinions from discharged patients for decades. Our data suggests that online surveying appears to be growing with more than 20% reporting completing a survey via computer, tablet, or mobile phone.

Online Surveys Are Preferred

Hospital patients are very clear in their preferences of how they would like to complete a survey. If given the choice on what method to use to give feedback to a hospital provider, more than 59% of the total sample would choose to complete a survey online with a computer, tablet, or mobile phone. A mail option garnered less than a third of the preference vote. Moreover, 14% would really rather not be surveyed!

HC Survey admin

Those respondents showing higher preference for completing an online survey are white females in higher income brackets with insurance through their employer or spouse. Hispanic and African American respondents indicated a stronger preference for mobile surveys. When we looked at the 65 plus population, they too indicated a preference for online survey completion versus mail (55% vs. 43%).

Back To The Future….

When we looked at combining response choices for administering surveys before discharge, we saw something very interesting.  Almost one quarter of respondents would prefer to complete a survey before discharge! The most popular choice was still a paper survey with a computer or tablet coming in second. It would be interesting to pilot administering patient surveys before discharge using a variety of methods.

Most of us fill out online surveys for other things we consume, why not healthcare services?  The times they are a’changing…

More
8
Dec

Mobile Fitness Apps – Adoption Not so Healthy

mobile-fitness

By: Debra Fin, Vice President; Jennifer Brown, Research Director

Given all the advertising, you would think that everyone, and I mean everyone, is using a fitness or health and wellness app to organize or track his or her every step, pill, or healthcare encounter. Not so much.

In fact, much of that advertising seems to be heard by one distinct segment.

How do we know?

Morpace conducts a monthly random survey of the American population 18 years and older exploring consumer preferences and trends across all 50 states in our Omnibus Survey. A minimum of 1,000 individuals from Morpace’s online panel complete a variety of questions and share their demographics with us. From April 2015 to September 2015, we collected more than 6,000 responses to questions about health and wellness apps and got an interesting view of the population who has used a mobile app.

The NOs Have It

A full six out of ten of all respondents have not used an app for health and fitness activities in the last six months. These individuals are likely to be Caucasian males, 55 years or older and have an annual income of $50,000 or less. They are likely to have Medicare or no health insurance coverage.

HC app use 1

Of the total sample, only 18% are using apps to track their exercise/activity level and/or calories burned.  Those tracking weight (13%) and calorie (12.9%) intake come in a close second and third.

When we asked if our respondents would use a mobile app in the future for healthcare related activities, we got a similar picture. Over half (58%) did not see themselves using a mobile app for healthcare related tasks in the future. A significantly higher proportion of these respondents are the same group that has not used one—older white males. This group is known to be highly resistant to health related behavior change.

The Sweet Spot

So who is using these apps?

Females 18-34 years old are those likely to use a mobile app for health care related tasks. A significant proportion of these women has a household income of $100,000 or more and has insurance through their employer or spouse. These individuals are likely already engaged in health and wellness activities and have the financial and lifestyle means to pursue activities supporting fitness, including smartphones, club memberships, fitness gear, and such.

HC app use 2

The Kicker

Improving health…it is about knowing and doing those things that contribute to better health. It is all about behavior change. If mobile apps are to be a part of the solution to better health, then they have to be attractive enough to encourage wide scale adoption.

You can lead a horse to water…but can you get them to use mobile fitness apps?

More
14
Oct

Revealing Modern Truths About Fantasy Football

Fantasy-Football

By Greg Deinzer, Research Director

(With input from Chris Winkler)

I love watching football, but haven’t been involved in a fantasy league for 25 years. Back then, there was no online assistance to research or draft players, or to keep track of everyone’s weekly stats.

After all, that was the job of your league’s ‘commissioner’ who conscientiously entered data into a Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet and then kept all the important information to himself. That’s why he always won the $100 money pool year after year.

Nowadays, it seems everyone and their mother is in a fantasy football league. So, being the good market researcher that I am, I was curious to find out more about why fantasy football is still so popular. Findings from Morpace’s September 2015 Omnibus survey of 1,001 U.S. respondents help reveal some interesting truths about fantasy football leagues.

It turns out that only 13% of all respondents are involved in one or more season-long NFL Fantasy Football leagues this year. Of those currently participating, one-half are playing in one league, over one-fourth in two leagues, and 1-in-5 is in three or more leagues.

One-in-seven people who are currently in a league are participating for the first time. (Welcome…to the jungle!) And, about one-fourth have been involved for seven or more years. (Watch it bring you to your knnn knne knees, knees.) (Guns N’ Roses ca. 1987).

More women are joining season-long fantasy football leagues than when I participated. According to our Omnibus, over one-third (36%) of those currently playing in a league are female, and one-half of them are in their first or second year.

Surprising to me is that the top reason for joining a fantasy football league isn’t to win the prize pool. Three-out-of-five play because they like the competition and one-fifth want to do something together with their spouse/partner (which defeats the whole purpose in my opinion. Maybe that’s why I’m divorced).

There are fewer musty basements to meet in anymore. All of the fantasy football leagues are now hosted online, and well more than one-half of the participants draft their team online from various locations. Bars and restaurants even advertise each summer the reasons why your fantasy football draft should be held at their establishment.

Fantasy football leagues are also not as costly as I remember. The median total spent, according to our Omnibus, is $50 including entry fees, reference books, magazines, advice, parties, etc. However, close to one-third of fantasy managers subscribe to DirecTV’s NFL ticket, and if you’re like me and also subscribe, you know that this package can sometimes require a second mortgage. That may be why the mean total spent is $196 and $347 for first and second year participants.

In total, players admit to spending an average of 5.5 hours per week managing their team(s). Combine this with the two-thirds of fantasy managers who watch 3 or more games per week (at least one-half’s worth of the game) and we have a lot of time spent (or wasted) per week.

Three-fourths of those employed admit to checking on their fantasy football team at work, averaging 3.5 hours per week ‘managing’ their teams. I think we can double that average and add a few more hours and still not be close to reality.

Like me, 7% are not currently in any fantasy leagues, but have been in the past. Unlike me, about one-half of those people ‘Have other things to do’. Five percent even admitted that they quit because it interfered with their job. Hey, whatever happened to multi-tasking?

With the barrage of commercials for “one week” fantasy games and the amount of money you can win, the 5% of all respondents and one-third of current season-long participants who report playing the weekly contests seems low. But, because of illegal use of insider information, weekly games are probably only fun and profitable for the people who work at the websites who host them.

Oh, and if you are wondering who is going to win Super Bowl 50, 12% of all respondents predict the New England Patriots will repeat as champs. Seven percent pick the Green Bay Packers. Another 7% feel that the Seahawks will come through, barring a last second interception. And a whopping 47% chose a team that I’ve never heard of – ‘Don’t know/Don’t care’.

This likely isn’t information that you will use to help your company become more profitable, but the data from this Morpace Omnibus may help you to sound smarter than your fellow fantasy football league owner. And if anything, it tells us that America’s love for football is not going anywhere (that is, if you disregard the one-half who ‘Don’t know/Don’t care’).

More