Monthly Archives

April 2016

Millennials and Tech Not Always Good Mates

By | Acumen Insights

Could smartphones too much of a good thing? Millennials say maybe. A Bank of America mobile trend study reported by CBS News shows nine out of 10 Millennials (age 18 to 24) check their phones at least one an hour, if not constantly. Millennials are more likely than any other age group to sleep with their phones next to them in bed, and nearly 80 percent admit to using their phones in the bathroom. Yet the study shows Millennials are not particularly happy about how much time they spend on their phones; more than half of respondents actually think they would be happier if they used their phones less.

In general Millennials feel dubious about the impact of technology, both in their personal and professional lives. While 88 percent of Millennials say technology has brought them closer to friends and relatives who live far away, fewer than half think new technology will allow them to maintain deeper relationships in the future; 77 percent believe in 10 years, relationships will be less authentic because of reliance on digital communication. While 90 percent of Millennials believe over the next decade the Internet will provide them with more access to jobs they are suited for, 83 percent worry that if they fail to keep up with new technologies they will be less employable (compared with 77 percent of adults across all age groups).

No Daily Shave for Millennial Men

By | Acumen Insights

Research from Mintel reveals facial hair has grown more socially acceptable with 41 percent of all U.S. men who use shaving products not shaving daily rising to 50 percent for men age 18-24. What’s more, nearly 22 percent of men agree that facial hair, including beards, is fashionable. For the 31 percent of men who don’t feel well-groomed without a shave, 27 percent use a professional service, such as a barber.

Among men age 18-34 who use shaving products, 50 percent report an interest in subscription shave services versus 40 percent of men overall. The convenience of subscriptions is equally matched by the appeal of saving money with bundled product packages; half of all men who use shaving products are interested in razors and shaving cream sold in bundles (53 percent), with interest highest among men age 18-34 (63 percent).

Gen Y Distrusts Large Food Manufacturers

By | Acumen Insights

Research from Mintel reveals 43 percent of U.S. Millennials (age 21-38) do not trust large food manufacturers compared to 18 percent of non-Millennials, and 74 percent of Millennials wish food companies were more transparent about how they manufacture their products (versus 69 percent of non-Millennials). And 59 percent of Millennials will stop buying a brand’s products if they believe the brand is unethical, while 58 percent agree where one buys groceries reflects personal values compared to 28 percent of non-Millennials. They also seek to avoid buying processed foods (58 percent versus 51 percent of non-Millennials), and 57 percent (versus 30 percent) say they only shop the fresh sections of grocery stores (e.g. produce, meat and deli).

Millennials don’t just steer away from processed fare, they consider themselves foodies (62 percent) and are willing to splurge for locally produced foods with high-quality ingredients; just 50 percent say it’s important to make food purchases that fit within their budgets compared to 61 percent of non-Millennials.

Millennials Connect With Travel

By | Acumen Insights

The Global Business Travel Association says Millennials feel positive about business travel because they have found convenient ways to stay connected to their personal and professional commitments while traveling. For example, Millennials are far more likely to rely on social media to meet up with friends when traveling than Baby Boomers (46 percent to 17 percent). And the theme of remaining connected extends to the types of travel amenities Millennials find most desirable. When asked to choose only one amenity, Baby Boomers strongly prefer no checked bag fees (47 percent compared to 34 percent of Millennials), while Millennials want free Wi-Fi (30 percent compared to 17 percent of Baby Boomers). Furthermore, while almost one half (48 percent) of business travelers want free Wi-Fi at the airport, this is more important to Millennials (54 percent) than Baby Boomers (44 percent).

Teen and Tween Media Time

By | Acumen Insights

Common Sense Census finds teens (age 13 to 18) average nine hours of entertainment media daily, excluding time at school or for homework, and tweens (age 8 to 12) use an average of six hours daily. Media consumption is highly mobile for these ages with mobile devices accounting for 41 percent of all screen time among tweens and 46 percent among teens (24 percent of tweens and 67 percent of teens have their own smartphones).

The Census found stark differences in the habits and preferences of boys and girls with the biggest difference in console gaming; 27 percent of teen boys say playing video games is their favorite media activity, while only two percent of teen girls say the same. Teen boys also average 56 minutes a day playing video games, compared with only seven minutes for girls. Teen girls spend more time on social media, about 40 minutes more per day than boys, and girls spend significantly more time reading; an average of 33 minutes a day compared with 23 minutes for boys. Additionally, 37 percent of girls say listening to music is their favorite media activity, compared to 22 percent of boys.

For a generation often defined by its use of social media, this type of use just doesn’t get the same devotion that listening to music or watching TV do. A significant number of teens say they use social media “every day” (45 percent), but that’s far less than the proportion that listens to music (66 percent) or watches TV (58 percent) daily. A third of teens (36 percent) say they enjoy using social media “a lot,” but that is substantially less than those who say the same about listening to music (73 percent) or watching TV (45 percent). Only 10 percent of teens choose using social media as their “favorite” media-related activity, compared with 30 percent who choose listening to music.

Teens Trust Female YouTubers

By | Acumen Insights

They’re called influencers for a reason. YouTube stars, especially the female ones, carry a lot of clout with their audiences—even more than their traditional Hollywood counterparts. Female YouTube stars scored seven times higher than female mainstream celebrities when it comes to female empowerment, according to a study reported by AdAge. Teens perceive YouTube stars generally to be 90% more genuine, 17 times more engaging, and 11 times more extraordinary than mainstream celebrities.

Facebook Not Cool, But Teens Still Use It

By | Acumen Insights

MarketingCharts reports YouTube (80 percent), Snapchat (79 percent) and Instagram (78 percent) are considered “cool” by the largest share of U.S. online teens (12-17) who are monthly users of the platforms. While Facebook (65 percent) isn’t considered to be cool by as many teens, it does have the largest share of “hyperusage” of any platform. In other words, compared to users of other platforms, teens using Facebook are the most likely to say that they’re on the site “all the time.” Teens consider Facebook important for keeping in touch with friends (66 percent) of its teen users, behind only Instagram (70 percent) and Snapchat (74 percent).

Millennials Out Eat Everyone

By | Acumen Insights

Morgan Stanley examined the eating habits of young people and found Millennials (18-34 years old) were slightly more likely to eat out at restaurants than older consumers, with 53 percent of Millennials eating out at least once a week versus 43 percent for the broader population. Specifically, 96 percent of Millennials ate at quick service restaurants (QSR) at least once in the last three months, 80 percent at casual diners, and 69 percent at fast casuals. Millennials nonetheless are less likely to recommend QSRs to friends and family; they recommended McDonalds the least and Chick-Fil-A the most among QSR’s, and Chipotle among fast casuals.

Study data showed whether 18 or 80 years old, the three most important attributes for diners were taste, value and quality. But attributes such as natural, organic, or less processed were more important to Millennials. Consumers who said natural food played an important role in restaurant selection were younger than average (27 years old versus 39 years), resided in costal states (18 percent in California versus 11 percent, and 11 percent in New York versus 8 percent) and were employed (68 percent versus 56 percent). Unsurprisingly, Millennials were the most mobile engaged consumer group, with an average of 2.3 restaurant apps downloaded while Gen X had 1.9 and Baby Boomers had 1.1.

Gen Y Expects Meaningful Messaging

By | Acumen Insights

NewsCred found 62 percent of Millennials (born 1980-2000) say online content drives their loyalty to a brand, but just 32 percent find today’s brand communications helpful—and  45 percent don’t find today’s content marketing compelling enough to share. The study believes the solution is better understanding the audience; 54 percent of Millennials say they respond positively to content when it is tailored to their age, 55 percent say they respond positively when content is tailored to their location, and 63 percent say they respond positively when content is tailored to their cultural interests.

Millennials are so inundated by marketing messaging they can be choosy about paying attention. Thirty percent refuse to read content that doesn’t either entertain or educate, while 31 percent are more likely to buy if the brand delivers interesting content that teaches them something. Sixty-one percent will share content only if they think it is thought provoking and intelligent, and 70 percent say their main reason for sharing content is that it makes them laugh. Facebook is the most popular sharing platform with 76 percent of the vote, but Google is the top place Millennials search for content (72 percent) with Facebook close behind (65 percent).

Apps and Browsers: A Mobile Marriage

By | Acumen Insights

The interplay between mobile apps and mobile browsers is an important dynamic for marketers to understand. Millward Brown Digital found 61 percent of smartphone users access browsers on their mobile at least once a day and spend an average of 31 minutes in total on the browser. While over half of smartphone users have 40 to 70 apps installed, 91 percent overall use only one to seven apps a day.  Among the 30 top mobile properties, browser and app visitation is nearly identical with 59 percent of total unique visitors accessing via browser versus 60 percent via apps.

Apps dominate browsers for industries where consumers regularly engage with the brand: 73 percent say they mostly engage with online banking through apps versus 27 percent via browser, 64 percent prefer an app for retail, and 61 percent prefer an app for wireless accounts. For industries where research and brand comparisons inform a purchase, consumers are more inclined to use browsers:  73 percent mostly use a browser for auto research versus 27 percent who use an app, and 61 percent favor browser to research hotels. The top reasons for preferring apps for shopping activities include “my username is saved in mobile apps which makes it easy to log in” (43 percent), and “mobile apps are easier to navigate (38 percent); the top reasons for preferring a browser are “I can browse different shopping sites without downloading apps” (37 percent) and “mobile browser is easier to navigate” (34 percent).