News and notes on marketing and marketing research 

••• pet care research

Portrait of a pandemic pet adopter

pet toys and food in bowlAs people settled into working from home with their newly adopted pets during COVID-19, dog control products – such as bark control, harnesses and gentle leads – saw a 113% increase in sales compared to pre-COVID, according to a survey conducted by digital media and promotions technology company Quotient.

The survey showed that of the people who adopted pets during the pandemic, 52% were male and 48% were female. Furthermore, the survey revealed that Millennials (aged 24-42) were the most likely to adopt during the pandemic, with 43% contributing to the fur-baby boom. While Millennials mainly adopted pets for children/other family members who had been wanting one (40%), 32% of Gen Z (aged 18-23) adopted a pet to boost their mental health.

When asked where they usually shop for their dog and/or cat, pet superstores received the greatest number of responses (48%). Of Baby Boomers (aged 55-73), 39% shop at pet superstores the most but they also enjoy the shopping experience that big-box retailers provide (31%). Millennials preferred local, boutique pet stores (24%) more than any other generation.

••• employee research

HR’s got my back

Eighty-three percent of workers surveyed say they trust their human resources (HR) manager or department to protect their interests, according to a survey of 1,000 full-time workers in a range of industries conducted by tech firm Elements Global Services. 

hand on blocks with human silhouettes painted on

However, a few industries have not established such trust consistently. Around 50% of people working in media and 69% working in hospitality say they don’t trust HR. Additionally, entry-level female employees are the least likely to say they trust HR to protect their interests (68%), versus everyone else (79%). On the other hand, entry-level male workers (83%) have a nearly equal expectation that their interests will be protected as do senior-level women (84%).

While a majority of people say they trust HR, that doesn’t mean they find HR effective or that they don’t harbor other concerns when they consider making formal complaints. Two-thirds of workers say they’ve neglected to report something to HR because they didn’t think HR would fix the issue. The most frequently cited problems were: having too much work, a personality clash and bullying.

A reluctance to make reports is not just about the specific nature of the issue or the employee assuming that HR won’t act. There’s also a fear of retaliation to contend with – 49% of workers who have neglected to report something cited this fear.