Monthly Archives

December 2015

Millennials Trade Loyalty for Engagement

By | Acumen Insights

The Loyalty Program Report from Crowdtwist found Millennials (born between 1981 and 1997) expect brands to offer compelling incentives for joining their loyalty programs, as well as engaging activities for earning rewards. The study found 83 percent of Millennials are motivated to join loyalty programs to save money, while 72 percent are motivated to join to receive rewards. Eighty-three percent of Millennials said discounts or coupons are an important benefit in a loyalty program, 64 percent said cashback or credit is desirable, and 55 percent said they would like free products.

Nearly 60 percent of Millennials would like to earn points for engaging with a brand beyond spending. This includes earning points for: visiting a website and/or watching a video (45 percent), opening and reading emails from a brand (43 percent), and taking surveys (74 percent).

The study found several reasons a brand might design its loyalty program around millennial preferences. Millennials are 24 percent more loyal to their favorite brand compared to Gen X, and 21 percent more likely to want to earn points for engaging with a loyalty program.

Hottest Buzz Words in Food Marketing

By | Acumen Insights

A Harris Poll examining the latest trends in food marketing found the term “handmade/handcrafted” tops the list as an indicator of quality, with 59 percent of adults saying it strongly or somewhat communicates a product is high quality. “Artisan/artisanal” and “custom” are the next best messengers of high quality with 46 percent of adults saying both communicate quality, followed by “craft” at 44 percent and “limited edition” at 41 percent. Just 31 percent say the same of “small batch.”

When asked to estimate how much influence each description wields over their purchasing decisions, “handmade/handcrafted” shows the strongest potential sway with 48 percent estimating it has some or a great deal of influence on their decisions; 37 percent say the same for “limited edition,” 36 percent for “custom,” and 36 percent for “artisan/artisanal.” Just 32 percent of adults estimate that “craft” has at least some influence, while “small batch” again trails the rest of the field with 25 percent saying it has some influence on their purchases.

Interestingly, when it comes to the perception of these terms, key differences exist between generations. Millennials are more likely than their older counterparts to say “handmade/handcrafted,” “craft,” and “small batch” communicate a product is high quality.

Affirmation Drives Teen Social Media Use

By | Acumen Insights

Analysis from as reported by PR Newswire found the biggest drivers of social media usage for teens are the fear of missing out and a need for affirmation. The top three motivators to post to their favorites are:

  1. Whether specific friends, a crush, or a boyfriend/girlfriend will likely see the post (45 percent);
  2. How they will be perceived – e.g. cute, funny, sexy, etc. (43 percent);
  3. How many likes or comments they think a post will receive (40 percent).

One-third (33 percent) of American teens check within minutes to see if their posts generated comments, and 38 percent feel disappointed if they don’t get responses quickly.

However there are scenarios in which teens prefer to remain more anonymous. Forty percent say being anonymous online makes it easier to talk about difficult topics, while only four percent say they would talk about those same issues under a profile tied to their identity. More than half of teens (51 percent) say being anonymous online allows them to share new ideas without worry of being made fun of, and 47 percent say it allows them to share their real feelings.

More Millennials Boomerang Back Home

By | Acumen Insights

The Pew Research Center found the share of 18- to-34 year olds living with family, rather than establishing their own households, has increased since the Great Recession. In the first third of 2015, 67 percent of Millennials were living independently compared with 69 percent in 2010 and 71 percent in 2007. Most of the decline in independent living since 2007 can be attributed to more young adults living in their parents’ homes; 26 percent of Millennials lived with their parents in 2015, 24 percent in 2010, and in 2007 only 22 percent.

As of the first four months of 2015, 42.2 million Millennials lived independently. This is no different than the 41.9 million 18- to-34 year olds who were living independently in 2010 and just below the 42.7 million young adults who lived independently in 2007. College-educated young adults are more likely than those without a college degree to live independent of their parents. As of the first third of 2015, 86 percent of college-educated 25- to 34-year-olds lived independently of family compared with 75 percent of 25- to 34-year-olds with no more than a high school education.

How Do Teens Communicate?

By | Acumen Insights

A report on teens ages 13-17 from the Pew Research Center found texting is the dominant mode of communication between friends. Almost 90 percent of teens texted friends occasionally and 55 percent did so daily; 59 percent used video chat but just 7 percent used it daily. Seventy-nine percent of all teens communicated with friends via social media (23 percent daily) and a surprising 64 percent used email—but only 6 percent used it daily.

Among the various communication tools 49 percent of teens said text messaging (including messaging apps) was their first choice for communicating with their closest friends, and 20 percent said social media was their first choice. Thirteen percent said phone calls were their preferred method and just six percent said they used video games for talking with their closest friends. Girls are more likely to use text messaging as conduits for conversations with friends; 62 percent of girls spend time with friends every day via texting compared with 48 percent of boys.

Millennials, Teens and Kids Abandon TV

By | Acumen Insights

TV networks lost significant viewership over the past year especially among younger viewers. Looking at live programming, viewership of Millennials ages 18-34 years old on 11 TV networks declined 14 percent or 1.2 million viewers according to MoffettNathanson Research, as reported by MediaPost. Teens 12-17 declined the most (16 percent) followed by kids 2-11 (10 percent decline). For the entire year TV networks sank seven percent in overall total average viewership, a decline of 3.4 million.

Losses for young adult viewers at Fox were 17 percent, and Viacom was down 19 percent. NBCUniversal, among all its TV networks, lost 18 percent and A&E Networks slipped 21 percent.

Millennials Are Messaging the Most

By | Acumen Insights

According to the Pew Research Center, messaging apps (e.g. WhatsApp, Kik, iMessage) are especially popular among young adults. While 36 percent of all smartphone owners report using messaging apps, 49 percent of smartphone owners ages 18 to 29 use them. Among all smartphone owners 17 percent use apps that automatically delete sent messages (e.g. Snapchat, Wickr), but 41 percent of 18 to 29 year olds use this kind of app.  Comparatively, just 11 percent of smartphone owners ages 30 to 49 and four percent of those 50+ use these automatically deleting apps.

The study also found fully 72 percent of adult Internet users are Facebook users, with the highest usage (82 percent) among 18 to 29 years old. In this age group only 37 percent use Pinterest and 32 percent use Twitter, but 55 percent use Instagram.

Millennials Have Weak “Generational Identity”

By | Acumen Insights

A report from the Pew Research Center found most of those ages 18 to 34 do not actually identify with the term “Millennial.” Just 40 percent in this age bracket consider themselves part of the “Millennial generation” while another 33 percent consider themselves part of the next older cohort, Gen X.  For example, 43 percent of Millennials ages 27 to 34 consider themselves Gen Xers while 35 percent in this age group identify as Millennials. Yet even among younger Millennials (ages 18 to 26), just 45 percent consider themselves part of this generation. By comparison, generational identity is strongest among Baby Boomers (ages 51 to 69) with 79 percent considering themselves part of the Boomer cohort.

Boomers also tend to have favorable impressions of their generation, while Millennials are far more skeptical about their positive traits. Millennials are more likely than older generations to attribute negative traits and stereotypes to their own age cohort. While 59 percent of Millennials describe the members of their generation as self-absorbed, only 20 percent of Baby Boomers say the same about their age group. Furthermore, 49 percent of Millennials say they are wasteful and 43 percent describe their generation as greedy; only 20 percent and 19 percent, respectively, of Boomers ascribe these negative descriptions to their generation.

Convenience Wins Over Screen Size

By | Acumen Insights

A report by AOL found people watch videos on the most convenient device, rather than the device that would provide the best viewing experience. While 45 percent of respondents said they watch videos on their smartphones because it’s most easily accessible, just 12 percent said a smartphone gives the best viewing experience. Similarly, 42 percent said they watched videos on a tablet but only 23 percent said the tablet offers the best viewing experience. Nonetheless screen size doesn’t seem to impact enjoyment of a video; respondents rated both computers and tablets a 6.8 out of 10 and smartphones a 6.7 for overall enjoyment when watching the same video.

The report shows the majority of video viewing happens at home, no matter the device. Eighty-four percent of computer views occurred at home, while 76 percent of tablet views and 73 percent of smartphone views occurred at home. And mobile users watch just as many short clips as they do long form videos (30 percent vs. 29 percent of viewing time).

AOL reported mobile video advertising can be just as effective as desktop; 48 percent of computer users and 48 percent of smartphone users claimed to be more familiar with a brand after viewing an ad on the these devices. Across the devices, viewers want the same thing from video advertising; 42 percent of computer viewers, 40 percent of tablet viewers and 45 percent of smartphone viewers said they want video ads to entertain them.

Advertising That’s Good at Grabbing Attention

By | Acumen Insights

In a study assessing consumer perspectives on marketing, Fractl and Moz found 58 percent of respondents were using some form of ad-blocking software. The study found traditional advertising (TV, radio, billboards and print ads), promotional emails, and social media ads to be the most effective at grabbing attention. Over 50 percent of respondents rated traditional advertising high for grabbing attention, while 41 percent said in the past week a promotional email grabbed their attention and 36 percent said the same about social media ads. In contrast, the ad formats that weren’t particularly attention grabbing include sponsored story ads, mobile app ads and PPC (pay-per click) ads, grabbing the attention of just 18 percent, 17 percent and 10 percent of respondents, respectively.

The study found online search to be the primary mode through which people learn more about a company or product. Over 88 percent of respondents used online search for this purpose, and 93 percent said they have used this method within the last week. Just over 85 percent visited a company’s website, 82 percent read customer reviews, and 85 percent were positively influenced by consumer reviews. Notably, customer reviews were two times more likely to positively influence buying decisions than traditional advertising.