Market research in the digital age. 2015 trends.

Market Research Industry Highlights 2015. Infographic.

2015 has been another remarkable year for the market research industry. Due to digital technologies, new advancements have been introduced into the process of research. The number of businesses and organizations investing in market research has also grown this year, which led to an increasing data turnover in the industry.

The following infographic shows the main market research highlights form 2015. You will see:

  • Key market research industry stats;
  • Market research revenue trends;
  • Popular research methods;
  • The industry’s biggest challenges;
  • Predictions for the future.

According to leading market research experts like Dan Matthews from Raconteur and James Murphy from Dissident, businesses no longer want to only find things out, but they are seeking for in-depth understanding of how the data they reveal can help them to make their customers happier with the products/services they provide, and to succeed on the market; the present-day market research uses a combination of both old-fashioned and modern tools which help to bring truly deep insights altogether.

Infographic: market research industry trends and stats from 2015

The infographic has been prepared by Neil Cery, market researcher and founder of Surveygoo.

Surveygoo is a team of marketing specialists in the UK providing affordable and professional market research services and tools.

Click here to see the Top 5 Content Marketing Trends for 2016.

The Payoneer Freelancer Income Survey 2015 Report

Freelancers providing legal services make more money than other professionals on the market – Payoneer reports

Despite a widespread belief that Information Technology is the industry attracting all the big money these days, things are a bit different on the freelance market. Here, profiding legal services is the most profitable business, and freelancers in this category work harder and keep the second highest level of income satisfaction across industries.

According to “The Payoneer Freelancer Income Survey 2015” results reported recently, legal service providers charge an average of $31 per hour. They are followed by engineering & manufacturing ($24.6 per hour), design & multimedia ($22.6), finance & management professionals ($22.4). IT & programming specialists are at the bottom of the list with their $22 average hourly rate. Yet, writing & translation freelancers are the complete outsiders being paid something around $17-18 per hour.

How much money different freelancers charge per hour
Average hourly rates for freelancers by industry – “Freelancer Income Survey” by Payoneer, 2015

It is not surprising that the lowest income satisfaction level was registered among the freelancers providing writing & translation services according to the survey – 43%. However, legal freelance professionals appeared to be only the second best in this respect (45.6%). The first place belongs to IT specialists and programmers (48.7%). Alongside this, the average worldwide income satisfaction level for all freelance categories is 46%, which shows that more than the half of freelancers are unhappy with their earnings.

How satisfied are freelance professionals with their income level? Stats by industry.
Freelancer income satisfaction level by industry – “Freelancer Income Survey” by Payoneer, 2015

Both legal and engineering/manufacturing specialists are the most hard-working out of all freelance categories. On average, they spend 39.4 and 38.5 hours per week working respectively. On the contrary, writers and translators work an average of 31.6 hours per week, which is considerably lower. It is evident that these stats correspond with the total amount of income and the level of satisfaction.

Average working hours per week for freelancers by industry - "Freelancer Income Survey" by Payoneer, 2015
Average working hours per week for freelancers by industry – “Freelancer Income Survey” by Payoneer, 2015

Another curious fact: the Payoneer team discovered that the rate per hour depends even on the freelancer’s workplace and job situation. As stated in the report, freelancers who work from offices charge an average of $22 per hour, while the home-based ones earn $1 less. Independent freelancers charge $20 per hour against an average of $21 charged by professionals working as a part of a company.

Sign up for Payoneer account

Payoneer, the global online payments provider, surveyed 23, 000 freelancers from 180 countries. If you want to check out more survey results, download the report from the Payoneer’s blog.

Would you like to receive payments from thousands of companies worldwide or send payouts to any of the 200 countries, in 100 currencies? Sign up for your Payoneer account now and order a Payoneer Prepaid MasterCard® card to withdraw funds with no trouble, whichever your current location is. If you use this link for registration, you’ll be rewarded with $25 on your card!

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Facebook pages for business

How to generate more leads from Facebook pages using free tools for business

The number of companies using Facebook as a platform for their online presence keeps growing. Small and medium sized businesses alone amounted to 40 million Facebook pages in April 2015, compared to 30M in June 2014.

At the same time, only 2 million of SMEs advertise actively on Facebook. Considering the fact that organic reach for posts by pages was declined last year, it looks like the rest 95% of companies are either finding alternative ways of reaching more people or keeping their Facebook pages just in case.

Apart from just posting updates, promoting posts and buying likes or clicks, a lot can be done to turn a company’s Facebook page into a lead generation booster. Using a few simple tools, it’s easier to achieve more specific goals and increase the effectiveness of your promo campaign.

Lead generation tools on Facebook pages for business
Facebook page lead generation tools

Call-to-action button

This agile tool allows to direct potential customers to any desired landing page right from a company’s Facebook timeline or any other page tab. After adding a call-to-action, it is displayed right of the Like button. Facebook provides 7 standard calls to action, any of which can be selected and edited anytime:

  1. Book Now – best to use for online event- or ticket reservation.
  2. Contact Us – link this call-to-action with the Contact us page on your website.
  3. Use App – promt your visitors to download a mobile app right away. Also shown when your app is listed in Facebook App Center and associated with the page.
  4. Play Game – this button is displayed on app pages of both canvas and mobile games listed in Facebook App Center. Optionally, it may be added to any other type of a Faceook page.
  5. Shop Now – send Facebook visitors right to your online store.
  6. Sign Up – perfect to grow your mailing list or take visitors to a campaign-specific landing page.
  7. Watch Video – drive more traffic to your YouTube channel or let your Facebook page visitors learn more about the product/service you’re promoting with video testimonials, guides and reviews. If you’re running a pre-launch promo campaign for your app, service or product, link the button with a video teaser.

Call-to-action buttons also work in Facebook’s mobile app and mobile web version. What is more important, it’s easy to figure out which call-to-action works best on your page with statistics for button clicks during the last 7 days.

Edit call-to-action button menu on a Facebook page
Edit call-to-action button menu on a Facebook page

Special offer custom page tab

Tabs are a wonderful tool to take your Facebook page to a new level. If you want to promote your special offer even more effectively on Facebook, you’ll definitely need to extend the limits of standard page tabs. Years ago, custom tabs used to be built with FBML (Facebook Markup Language). Now, displaying custom contet is carried out with the help of an iframe, which loads any web page developed and hosted outside of Facebook within a specific page tab. This works similar to a web app on Facebook and lets you use basically any functionality, any design elements you want. Read more about the process of creating custom page tabs in this tutorial.

Note that custom tabs will only work in the desktop version of Facebook. However, with tabs you are able to run very specific promo campaigns. Supposing, you’ve created a special offer landing page you’d like to direct visitors to and generate leads with (your landing page must have a contact/sign-up form). Here’s an idea how Facebook page tabs can be useful in this respect:

  1. Create a special offer tab displaying the content of your landing page.
  2. Go to Facebook Ads Manager and create a new ad campaign. Choose the objective for your campain: Promote your page.
    Promote your page - new Facebook ad campaign
  3. Set up targeting options for your audience, specify budget and scheduling, choose up to 6 images (see the Facebook Ads Guide). Then, expand the Advanced Options section and select the desired landing view. It allows you to set a specific page tab which will open after a person clicks on the ad. In this particular case, you’ll need to send people to your Special Offer tab:
    Select landing view for your Facebook ad
  4. In Ad preview and placements, remove the Mobile News Feed, as custom tabs on Facebook apply to the desktop version only. There’s no need to pay for irrelevant likes which will not follow the special offer tab clicks.
  5. Remove mobile news feed ads on Facebook in the new campaign menu

  6. Provided your campaign is optimized for likes (check the Budget & Pricing section in the new campaign menu), you’ll only pay when a person likes the page. But you won’t be charged for clicks on your ad, which happen more often than likes. Clicks will lead users to your custom tab where they can get detailed information regarding your offer and sign up if they’re interested. Even if an ad click doesn’t result into a page like, but the lead is submitted via the special offer tab, you will reach your business goal. This means that you can receive many of your leads from such type of an ad campaign for free.

Posting offers on the page timeline

Here’s another awesome tool to promote your unique proposal. An offer is a special post format which appears on the page timeline and in the user newsfeed. It can be created from pages for local business and places with at least 50 likes.

Offer created from a facebook page

There are pretty many ways to customize the offer. Facebook allows to add the following information:

  • Title;
  • Description;
  • Image;
  • Start & expiration dates;
  • Claims limit;
  • Online redemption link;
  • Terms and conditions.

Check out the Creating Offers Guide in Facebook Help Center.

Creating an offer menu on a Facebook page timeline

The best practice is to enable offer online redemption via the special offer landing page or online store. After a customer clicks on the Get Offer button, he or she receives an offer confirmation email. Customers’ details are not shared with the publisher, that’s why it’s necessary to provide them with a clear instruction how to redeem the offer, and prevent them from frustration. The easiest way to do this is to specify a link which they can follow to let you know they’d like to use the special.

Just like other types of posts, offers are displayed on both mobile and desktop. Besides, you can pin the offer to the top of the page timeline to give it more exposure. Then, any visitor that gets to your page will see the offer at once, whichever device type he or she is using.

Offers can be created not only from pages, but from Ads Manager as well. When creating a new ad campaign, it’s possible to use a special advertising format in order to get more people to claim your offer.

Get more people to claim your offer with Facebook ads

Optimizing the ad campaign for offer claims helps to increase its effeciveness for your business and save marketing costs. You won’t be charged for clicks which don’t produce leads.

Optimizing Facebook ads for offer claims

WhatsApp: 5 years on the mobile market. Infographics.

WhatsApp Infographics: Instant Messenger’s 5 Years on the Mobile Market

In November 2014 WhatsApp celebrated it 5th birthday. It’s a cross platform mobile instant messaging app that allows to transfer text, images, videos, audio, share locations with contacts, etc. WhatsApp runs on iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry smartphones, as well as Nokia S40 and Symbian mobile devices.

Co-founded by Jan Koum (who was born in Ukraine and moved to the United States as a teenager) and Brian Acton in 2009, WhatsApp messenger gained 600 million monthly active users and 50 million messages processed daily, as of August 2014. WhatsApp’s founders rejected $10 billion acquisition offer from Google, and not long after the company was purchased by Facebook for $19 billion in cash and stock.

A digital marketing agency DPFOC collected infographics that illustrate “The WhatsApp Story” – how a startup turned into a revolutionary instant messaging app with hundreds of millions of active users worldwide.

The WhatsApp Story

Big Fish Games - Logo

Breaking: Big Fish Games Sold for $885 Million to Churchill Downs

Game publishing giant Big Fish Games and Churchill Downs Inc. have agreed Big Fish acquisition deal for $885 million.

Churchill Downs Inc., which is a parent company of Churchill Downs, holds racetracks, casinos and online gambling business.

In his speech, Big Fish founder and CEO Paul Thelen stated that Churchill Downs is a “great cultural fit for us.”

churchilldownsincorporated“We are extremely proud of the company we have built over the last twelve years,” Thelen said. “Churchill Downs is a company with a commitment to interactive entertainment and a track record of growth and performance. We believe Big Fish is now positioned to become an even greater force in the casual, mid-core and social casino mobile and online games industry.”

On the surface, it may seem peculiar that Churchill Downs is gobbling up Big Fish.

But the famous race track operator, which employs more than 4,500 and has 10 offices across the country, actually maintains a large online horse racing wagering business called TwinSpires and runs slot-machine gaming and video poker machines at some of its racetracks. Big Fish sells a number of casino-oriented games, everything from Vegas Penny Slots to Mystic Palace Slots to Gallop for Gold, a horse racing-themed casino game. Its Big Fish Casino was the top revenue producing social casino app on iOS last year, and the company’s casino games ranked 4th in total market share in the category behind Zynga, IGT/DoubleDown and Caesar’s Interactive.

Social casino games are estimated to be worth roughly $2.7 billion worldwide, according to a report from Eilers Research.

gallopforgold
Gallop for Gold

With the acquisition of Big Fish, Churchill Downs obviously wants to get into the race.

The companies declined to make executives available for comment in advance of a conference call Thursday morning. The news release makes no reference to the status of Big Fish Games’ ongoing operations in Seattle, but a spokeswoman tells GeekWire that the operation will remain intact and all 622 employees wordwide will remain once the deal is finalized. (Editor’s note: This post has been updated with more current information).

Big Fish raised $83 million from Balderton Capital in 2008, and it had been discussed for years as a possible IPO candidate. But the company never produced a big hit in the mobile or social gaming realm, passed by companies such as Zynga (with Farmville) and Rovio (with Angry Birds). That didn’t seem to bother executives at Churchill Downs.

“They have never had the mega-hit game, and we actually like that,” Churchill Downs CEO William Carstanjen said in Thursday’s conference call.

Missing out on a huge blockbuster game has allowed Big Fish to build a sustainable and diverse business over time, with Carstanjen singling out the “seasoned” management team and “consistent” results. Gross bookings at Big Fish stood at $278 million last year, and Thelen is poised to make a $50 million “founder bonus” if he can grow the company to $1 billion in gross bookings by the end of 2016.

“Mobile and online games is a large, competitive and sophisticated segment,” said Carstanjen. “Scale matters. Game development expertise matters. Distribution scope matters. Marketing analytics and experience matter. We don’t think we could expect to be successful dipping a toe into the water, and we felt we needed to go big and start with scale, team and with more expertise and experience.”

Big Fish was founded in 2002 by Thelen, a former RealNetworks employee who holds an MBA from Stanford and an electrical engineering degree from the University of Washington. By 2011, the privately-held company reported $180 million in revenue and boasted about 700 employees. Thelen resumed the CEO post in 2012, attempting to launch the company’s streaming gaming efforts. However, by 2013, Big Fish had pulled the plug on the cloud games business and announced a number of layoffs, including the closure of facilities in Ireland and Canada.

The acquisition marks one of the biggest in Seattle’s vibrant gaming community, joining the ranks of IGT’s purchase of DoubleDown Interactive for as much as $500 million in 2012 and EA’s purchase of PopCap Games for up to $1.3 billion in 2011. It also helps cement Seattle’s role in the social casino gaming space.

bigfishgames-111“Seattle has long been a major center for casual game development,” said Derrick Morton, the CEO of Seattle gaming startup FlowPlay and, like Thelen, a former RealNetworks employee. “The sale of Big Fish Games to Churchill Downs is just another example of how Seattle game companies are building valuable businesses. We often don’t get the credit we deserve in comparison to Silicon Valley, but it’s clear that, while we don’t get the buzz, we definitely attract the benjamins.”

Susan Lusty, a spokeswoman for Big Fish, said that Churchill Downs plans to retain all employees. Big Fish employed 495 workers in Seattle as of last week, not including 47 contractors. It employed 622 people worldwide, including offices in Oakland and Luxembourg.

Source: Taylor Soper & John Cook via GeekWire