How many households purchase allergy preventions or treatments? How do consumers across the country differ with regard to these allergy season purchases? And just how effective are all those allergy medication commercials that bombard your TV during spring? Field Agent* was itching to know the answers to these questions, so we recently surveyed over 500 consumers to understand their allergy season purchases. We now share these 4 important insights with you.
A survey is only as good as its locational awareness. After all, many purchases—whether ice-cream, chainsaws, or flood insurance—are affected by local factors such as climate, culture, and demographics. We wouldn’t necessarily expect consumers in every part of the country to purchase the same amount of ice-cream, for example. Location can greatly influence what consumers buy, when they buy, and how much/often they buy.
This is particularly true for the many products serving allergy sufferers. The allergy season is experienced quite differently around the country. Consequently, to understand the purchases of allergy sufferers, which Field Agent set out to do, it’s imperative to account for the location of consumers.
This happens to be the forte of mobile market research. GPS positioning allows Field Agent to know the precise location of survey respondents, and even enables us to target specific locations with our clients’ surveys. Such capabilities make it possible to draw more informed, more meaningful conclusions about consumer attitudes and behaviours. When it comes to survey research, location is key.
Consumer Insights: Allergy Season
- 86% of respondents reported purchasing (or plans to purchase) at least one allergy prevention and/or treatment for the 2015 allergy season.
The survey offered several options for consumers to choose from: antihistamines, decongestants, eye drops, natural remedies, pain relievers, sore throat/cough medications, and even air purifiers/humidifiers. We then asked respondents which, if any, they purchased or planned to purchase for the 2015 allergy season. Across the country, regardless of region, households showed strong purchase behaviours or intentions toward allergy preventions and treatments.
- Antihistamines (e.g, Telfast, Claratyne) easily topped decongestants, pain relievers, eye drops, and sore throat/cough treatments as the most prevalent allergy prevention/treatment across the country.
In our survey, antihistamines earned top spot among allergy preventions and treatments, as 63% of respondents reported buying at least one this year.
Decongestants (44%) and pain relievers (42%) took second and third place, respectively. Consumers in the American Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, and Southwest displayed similar antihistamine usage levels, while Westerners said they purchased or plan to purchase antihistamines somewhat below the national average (see point #3).
- Westerners in our sample purchase noticeably less medicine to combat allergies.
For three categories, antihistamines (86% of the national average), decongestants (70%), and pain relievers (89%), consumers in the western United States report usage rates somewhat below other parts of the country. Compare this to Northwesterners, who purchase decongestants (e.g., Robitussin) at 128% and pain relievers (e.g., Panadol) at 111% of the national average.
- 24% of respondents said they have purchased at least one allergy medication over another as the direct result of an advertisement.
Of course, consumers don’t always know when they’ve been influenced by an ad. Advertising may work unconsciously—persuading someone to buy, or simply raising brand awareness, without their conscious attention. But for this study, 24% reported knowledge of a time they were influenced by an advertisement to purchase one allergy medication over another.
And because some respondents were conscious of advertising’s influence on their allergy purchases, we asked these to tell us exactly why a specific advertisement had prompted their selection of one medication over another. Their responses varied widely.
Some mentioned they were convinced by the situations portrayed in the advertisement. By way of example, a 50-year-old woman from Snellville, Georgia said, “The commercial showed situations that directly affect my life.“
A 61-year-old woman from Austin, Texas commented on the sheer volume of advertisements run by a particular brand. She said, “I found the…commercials influential because allergens are everywhere and can affect anyone.”
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*Survey conducted by Field Agent USA. Participants of the study are based in the US. Some drug brand names have been changed to suit the Australian market.