Monthly Archives

September 2012

Men Still Love Beer

By | Acumen Insights, Blog | One Comment

In the modern age, there are a lot more options for men than there were when our fathers and grandfathers were coming up in the world. As Acumen has learned in some soon to be released research, men today realize they can get married and start a family early or late or not at all; they can dress like Don Draper or Jack White or Dwyane Wade; they can drive a gas-guzzling Ford F-250 or the earth-friendly Toyota Prius or simply ride a bike.

 

This freedom extends to alcohol. Whereas in the old days a man might be restricted to a high-end Scotch on the rocks or a low-end Budweiser, we are now free to drink what we please. Everything from fine wine to complicated cocktails to margaritas is fair game-provided a man orders confidently. But as the editor of Made Man, I’ve learned that even with the vast array of booze out there, most guys would rather order a beer.

 

How did I come to this conclusion? By studying visitors’ reactions to Made Man’s content. Just witness the titles of some of our most popular Food & Drink stories: 5 Beers All Men Over 35 Should Drink, 11 Reasons Beer Is Better Than Wine, and 5 Beers That Will Make Your Mom Blush. And in the YouTube realm, one of our all-time most viewed original videos is called How to Open a Beer With Anything (even a dollar bill or spatula). One could argue that it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, but we have published stories on mixed drinks and various spirits as well, and while they’ve gotten a good response, they just don’t bring in the same number of eyeballs or generate comparable Facebook Likes and Shares.

 

Now, that doesn’t mean we modern men are drinking the same half-dozen brands our forefathers tipped back in the day. The stories mentioned above reference beverages with names like Oskar Blues Mama’s Little Yella Pils and Maui Brewing Co. Coconut Porter. The vast array of microbrews now available to us present ample opportunity to pursue our individual tastes while still valuing the magic that happens when barley, hops and the fermentation process get together.

 

So yes, we do things differently than our fathers and grandfathers did, and we are willing to search widely and spend freely in order to consume just the right canned or bottled elixir to suit our desires. But when it comes right down to it, men young and old, for the most part, echo the sentiment of one Frank “The Tank” Ricard: “It’s so good. Once it hits your lips, it’s so good.” Enough said.

Retraining Resistance

By | Acumen Insights, Blog | No Comments

A person’s willingness to adapt to a changing economy by changing professions usually requires going to college or getting some job retraining, but men are far less willing to do this than women reports the New York Times. “Men are not doing as well as women in keeping up with the demands of the global economy,” says Michael Greenstone, an economist at M.I.T. who has done significant research on men and unemployment. “It’s a first-order mystery for social scientists, why women have more clearly heard the message that the economy has changed and men have such a hard time hearing it or responding.”

 

The resistance for some men may be tradition. One man interviewed in Madison, Alabama said, “We’re in the South. A man needs a strong, macho job. He’s not going to be a schoolteacher or a legal secretary or some beauty-shop queen. He’s got to be a man.” Another said, “I was born in the South, where the men take care of their women. Suddenly, it’s us who are relying on the women. Suddenly, we got the women in control.”

 

While millions of manufacturing jobs have been lost over the last decade, jobs in health, education and services have been added in about the same numbers. The job categories projected to grow over the next decade include nursing, home health care, child care, teaching, cleaning services and customer service — professions long dominated by women. As such, these are not the highest-paying jobs but they provide a reliable source of employment and a ladder up to the middle class.

 

Some men unwilling to retrain are finding hope in the so called “artisan economy.” In this realm, they use their skills and knowledge of the local landscape to do work that can’t be easily ordered from China or executed by machine. However artisan products can be highly susceptible to economic downturns, and thus may land these men back where they started.

Men More Mobile Minded

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Consumers show significant interest and participation in mobile advertising, according to a new survey by Hipcricket. The survey found:

 

  • 46% of smartphone owners have viewed a mobile ad;
  • 64% have completed at least one purchase as a result of mobile advertising;
  • 45% of respondents have referred a product or service to a friend as a direct result of mobile advertising.

 

Although women expressed more interest in receiving mobile coupons (44% vs. 40% for men), men were more likely to redeem mobile coupons (35% vs. 27% for women) and more likely to make a purchase as a result of a mobile ad (68% of men vs. 58%). Men also were more likely to refer a friend as a direct result of a mobile ad (52% of men vs. 37%).

 

However, an overwhelming 74% of all survey respondents said their favorite brands have not advertised to them on their mobile devices, representing significant missed opportunities for marketers.

Mobile’s Influence Goes Beyond the Internet

By | Acumen Insights, Blog | No Comments

When it comes to mobile, many retailers focus primarily on sales made via mobile devices.  But research by Deloitte Consulting indicates these direct sales do not tell the entire story. Mobile directly influences and drives sales in 5% of all retail sales in the United States—which translates to $159 billion in sales for 2012. That far overshadows the $12 billion forecasted for direct mobile sales in 2012, and Deloitte anticipates mobile’s influence will grow to 17%–21% of total retail sales by 2016.

 

Smartphones drive in-store conversion and in-store average order size, with smartphone shoppers 14% more likely than non-smartphone shoppers to convert in-store.  And once consumers start using their smartphones for shopping they tend to use them a lot—typically for 50%-60% of their store shopping trips. The percent using their smartphones for in-store shopping varies by product category, from 49% in electronics to 19% in convenience stores.

 

  • Electronic/Appliances                      49%
  • Department/Warehouse                  46%
  • Clothing/Shoes                                   38%
  • Food/Beverage                                    35%
  • Books/Music                                        33%
  • Home Improvement                           31%
  • Sporting Goods/Toys/Hobby           30%
  • Health/Personal Care/Drug             27%
  • Furniture/Home                                 24%
  • Misc/Office Supplies                          22%
  • Convenience/Gas Station                  19%