Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Press Releases

The Great Reset: WH inc. Releases Primary Market Research Around Active Explorer Audience


Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.

May 26, 2021 (Seattle, WA) – Without exception, the past year has had a major impact on marketers and consumers alike – especially the 77 million within the Active Explorer (AE) audience. To provide a snapshot of these experiences, WH inc. has released two survey reports, the Active Explorer Market Research Report and Active Explorer Consumer Research Report. Using data collected through online surveys of both marketers and Active Explorer consumers, these exclusive reports detail findings useful for brands and agencies alike. 

“The Active Explorer has a soul that will not be shut down for any reason; pandemic or not, they remain active…just in new ways,” said Marc Williams, Owner & President, WH inc. “Despite the chaos, brands and marketers now have a unique opportunity to renew their value to consumers. We think of these reports as an important resource in understanding the state of the Active Explorer audience and guide on tapping into this important market of consumers.” 

WH inc.’s key takeaway from this latest round of research is that these consumers did not limit themselves, even while living through a pandemic. Findings suggest that AE’s are a unique and highly motivated audience to appeal to coming out of the pandemic. On average, AE’s indicated that their level of optimism for 2021-22 as 7.2 on a scale of 1-10. As AE’s will continue to expand their interests and invest more money into their new hobbies, WH Inc. encourages brands and agencies to authentically participate in the value exchange with this audience. Emphasis should be placed on delivering marketing that speaks to the values brands can represent genuinely and be heard over residual, performative noise. 

Lockdown had varying effects on this audience. Despite AE’s being a more active group than other consumers, 77% reported an increase in activities like watching TV and streaming movies, while nearly half of respondents said they had gained weight in the last year. This isn’t to say AE’s didn’t find new ways to occupy themselves, 57% of respondents noted an increase in activities like cooking, while 37% of respondents continued doing socially-distanced outdoor activities. 

Chaos being a common theme throughout the industry in 2020, the Active Explorer Marketer survey conveys a sense of optimism as to how marketers are adapting to change for 2021. This survey found that marketers are taking a critical approach in auditing pre-pandemic business practices, while implementing newer practices that are nimble, proactive, and focused on consumer value. Key findings show that 43% of marketers are targeting new audiences this year, while additional data from the report suggests a trend in the investment of digital resources for the purposes of consumer engagement and data analytics to help drive decision making. 

WH Inc. has found that AE like to learn, experience and discover. Our research shows that as consumers they value authenticity in a brand and do more product and brand research, while making purchase decisions based on a quality-value scale. Brands and agencies should note that this audience is not so easily persuaded by typical advertising and promotions. 

WH inc. has been conducting research on this audience since 2010 and the primary research for both reports was conducted in the Spring of 2021 with 300 Active Explorers and 60 brand marketers. This was compared to research WH inc. conducted in the Summer of 2020 with 240 Active Explorers. Key findings from both reports’ bare insight into how marketers and consumers have learned from experience, and that their desire to get back to normal is in fact a whole new way of moving forward.

About WH inc.

Founded in Seattle, WA in 1969, WH inc. is a full-service marketing, communications and PR agency with a focus on inspiring and engaging the healthy active lifestyle audience. Over its 50 years in business, the agency has worked with a wide range of global brands and holds a deep passion for the products it represents. To learn more, visit WH1969.com.