Thanksgiving Dinner – Marketing Survey Data Analysis

Thanksgiving Dinner Marketing Survey Data Analysis

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Objective
  3. Data Analysis
  4. The Result

1. Introduction

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’ve decided to perform an analysis on a Thanksgiving day meal survey that was conducted a few years ago.

The Data

The data comes from the article Here’s What Your Part Of America Eats On Thanksgiving, published on fivethirtyeight.com in 2015. Fivethirtyeight.com often shares data and code from some of their posts, such as political forecasts and sports predictions.

2. Objective

This is a lighthearted project done in the spirit of Thanksgiving. I am using the data set as an opportunity to show how surveys can be used to support marketing ideas.

Marketing Surveys

Marketing surveys have serveal business benefits:

  • Customer feedback – obtain information about consumers to retain existing customers and help support new customers.
  • Customer inclination – gather information to determine whether customers will spend a certain amount of money for their products/services, upcoming features or products, and thoughts on competitor products.
  • Enhance products and services – survey buyers with the purpose of improving existing products and analyze customer satisfaction levels.
  • Informed business decisions – to reduce the risks involved in making important business decisions.

The Thanksgiving Meal Survey

I have to admit that I do not know the purpose of the Thanksgiving survey. The survey could have been created as a fun holiday activity, or used in a more comprehensive marketing strategy.

However, my objective is to perform a survey analysis to generate marketing ideas that can be used as part of a marketing strategy.

3. Data Analysis

This section is designed to give you insight into the survey responses. I have selected analysis topics that are most insightful to the data.

Celebrating Thanksgiving

7% of respondents do not celebrate Thanksgiving. These observations have been removed from the data set.


Survey Demographics:

980 – Number of Respondents after removing those who do not celebrate Thanksgiving.

Age Range

Takeaway: There is a good distribution of survey respondents across each age group.

There is a good distribution of survey respondents across each age group.

Gender

Takeaway: A close to even distribution of gender means analysis results should evenly represent both categories.

A close to even distribution of gender means analysis results should evenly represent both categories.

Income

Takeaway: Income is not related to the Thanksgiving theme, but is likely part of the survey as a way to determine the buying power of the audience. More on this in Business Value.

Income is not related to the Thanksgiving theme, but is likely part of the survey as a way to determine the buying power of the audience.

US Region

Takeaway: Half of the survey respondents are from the east coast.

Half of the survey respondents are from the east coast.

Thanksgiving Dish Analysis:

What is the typical main dish at Thanksgiving?

Takeaway: It’s not a surprise that Turkey is the most popular main dish. I will filter some of the analysis by Turkey to get a sense of what the majority of people are saying.

It's not a surprise that Turkey is the most popular main dish. I will filter some of the analysis by Turkey to get a sense of what the majority of people are saying.

How is the main dish typically cooked (for Turkey)?

Takeaway: Roasted and Baked are close to even as the preferred way to cook a turkey. Interestingly enough, I ran the same analysis across all main dishes, and the preferred way to cook has almost the same distribution.

Roasted and Baked are close to even as the preferred way to cook a turkey.

Type of Stuffing

Takeaway: Bread-based stuffing is the most common by far.

Bread-based stuffing is the most common by far.

Gravy

Takeaway: The majority of people use gravy. 

Cranberry Sauce

Takeaway: Canned cranberry sauce is the most common, followed by homemade.

Canned cranberry sauce is the most common, followed by homemade.

Popular Side Dishes

5 is the average number of sides for a Thanksgiving meal.

Below are the most popular combination of sides. Note the popularity is the same for turkey and non-turkey meals.

Green beans/casserole     Mashed Potatoes    Rolls/Biscuits   Yams/casserole

Corn  Green beans/casserole  Mashed Potatoes  Rolls/Biscuits Yams/casserole

Popular Desserts

Takeaway: Surprisingly, nearly 1/4 of respondents don’t have dessert at all.

Surprisingly, nearly ¼ of respondents don't have dessert at all.

Popular Pies

Takeaway: For the pie lovers, pumpkin, apple, and pecan are the most popular.

For the pie lovers, pumpkin, apple, and pecan are the most popular.

Thanksgiving Fun Facts

49% – of respondents say the kids’ table cutoff age is 10 years and older

25% – have attended a Friends-giving

21% – shop on Black Friday. — Younger respondents are closer to 30% likely to shop.

4. The Result

4a. Business Value

Value of the Thanksgiving Day Survey

The Thanksgiving Days Survey is valuable for customer demographics. The survey is holiday inspired, including food-related questions, yet is also comprised of demographic and socioeconomic questions.

The demographic and socioeconomic questions are purposefully used to gather customer information to help understand buying power and interests based on age and location.

As a marketing strategy, I would recommend publishing the survey every year.

The survey can be used as a fun, annual activity to promote audience engagement. Each year the survey can be altered based on feedback from the previous years. For instance, removing survey options with low selection rates.

The survey results should be published as a well-designed infographic that can easily be shared across social media. This will attract people to the website and encourage audience engagement.

Lastly, the survey demographic and socioeconomic questions should be carefully balanced. Not too many to annoy respondents, but specific enough to benefit business objectives. For instance, if Fivethirtyeight.com wanted to write about an article on polarized politics, one of the questions could be, “Do you avoid talking politics on Thanksgiving?” The question would provide a statistic for the article and also continue to build on the persona of their audience.

In conclusion, a marketing survey should be carefully crafted to benefit the audience and the business. Use survey results to inform business decisions, gain customer feedback and enhance products and services. Each of these will assist in moving the business closer to what their audience desires.

4a. The Perfect Thanksgiving Meal

Based on the survey results, let’s create the Perfect Thanksgiving meal.

This represents the most popular main dish, the most popular combination of sides, and the most popular desserts.

The perfect thanksgiving meal

Follow this meal plan, and you’ll have a high chance of pleasing your guests.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Founder of Sure Optimize

Sure Optimize is a digital marketing agency specializing in SEO, digital marketing research, and analytics.

Our agency focuses on ROI to ensure your investment is returned as we help your business increase website traffic and convert visitors into customers.

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