Monthly Archives

November 2016

In Bed or In The Bathroom, Email Is Everywhere

By | Acumen Insights

A study from Adobe found Americans are practically addicted to email, checking it around the clock no matter where they are or what they are doing. In fact, more than half of Millennials check email from the bathroom! On average, survey respondents reported using email six hours a day, or 30+ hours a week. Nine of 10 respondents said they check personal email at work and work email from home, and more than one third reported having multiple personal accounts. Email is a cornerstone of workplace culture as well as a powerful tool for productivity and collaboration; thirty five percent said they prefer communicating with colleagues via email, putting it on par with face-to-face collaboration. The study found that outside of work, Americans most commonly check their email while watching TV (70 percent), from bed (52 percent), on vacation (50 percent), while on the phone (43 percent), from the bathroom (42 percent) and even while driving (18 percent). Millennials are more mobile and frequent users of email than any other age group. They are more likely to check work email outside of normal work hours. Eighty eight percent use a smart phone to check email, and they are more likely than any other age group to check email from bed (70 percent), from the bathroom (57 percent), or while driving (27 percent).

The survey revealed respondents have a complicated relationship with email. Although Americans are using email more than ever, many also experience email fatigue. Twenty four percent of respondents said they check email “way too much,” and 34 percent reported having had to create a new email address due to an overwhelming amount of spam. Most tellingly, four out of 10 reported going on self-imposed ‘email detox’ programs, avoiding their inboxes for an average of five days.

Millennials Spend More on Needs Than Wants

By | Acumen Insights

Research from Gallup showed that the millennial generation spends an average of $85 per day and accounts for 28 percent of all daily per person consumer spending in the U.S. This number is expected to climb as high as 35 percent over the next 15 years. The U.S. economy has been recovering at a slow pace, with young adults’ spending hit hardest. Gallup’s report showed that in 2008, Americans aged 19 to 35 spent an average of $98 per day. Today, in that same age group now, average daily spending has fallen by $13. Among older Americans, spending is close to—if not on par with—2008 levels. Perhaps because of their lower wages and higher amounts of student debt, Millennials have been unable to catch up to 2008 spending levels, while older generations are less likely to have those constraints.

However, there is positive spending momentum among Millennials. Across all generations, fewer than four in 10 Americans (37 percent) said they are spending more than they were a year ago, but a larger proportion of Millennials (42 percent) said they are spending more. It is worth noting, though, that Americans—Millennials included—are spending more on things they need than on things they want. More Millennials reported spending more on nondiscretionary categories such as: groceries (52 percent), utilities (37 percent) and healthcare (35 percent), while fewer reported spending more on discretionary purchases such as leisure activities (33 percent), travel (26 percent) and dining out (26 percent).

Old Cars Are Part of the Family

By | Acumen Insights

The findings of the Aging Car Force survey from eBay Motors showed today’s aging vehicle owners are personally invested in their cars. One in four owners of older vehicles actually names their cars. Nearly a third (32 percent) of female respondents and nearly 40 percent of Millennials name their car.  The most popular names among all owners with aging vehicles were: Betsy, Ol’ Faithful, Baby, Bessie and Bob.

The study found that with new fitment capabilities, purchase protection plans and general convenience, more and more consumers purchase parts and accessories (P&A) online. In fact, on eBay, three P&As are sold every one second. P&A is also the top priority for aging vehicle owners who plan to spend money, specifically tax refunds, on auto related items. Approximately 50 percent of males expect to spend their tax refund on auto parts and accessories, while more than half (51 percent) of Millennials expect to do so. Additionally, more than half of aging vehicle DIYers purchase parts and accessories online, while more than one fourth of respondents exclusively purchase P&As online.

All Ages Agree on Positive Effects of Retail Therapy

By | Acumen Insights

Ebates, an online cash back shopping platform, conducted a shopping survey that found 96 percent of adults and 95 percent of teens admit they participate in retail therapy. When it comes to which items Americans choose to buy when indulging in retail therapy, adults (56 percent) and teens (68 percent) agreed that buying clothing makes them feel the happiest. After clothing, 42 percent of adults said entertainment purchases make them the happiest, while 51 percent of teens said the same about electronics.

The survey revealed shopping to be an emotionally positive experience; 85 percent of American adults and 86 percent of teens admitted it makes them feel better. More than one third of American adults said shopping makes them feel better, followed by working out (36 percent) and eating ice cream or other sweets (34 percent). Teens responded similarly, choosing shopping over eating ice cream or other sweets (37 percent), working out (36 percent) or pizza (35 percent). American adults (66 percent) and teens (75 percent) agreed that it is a great cure for boredom. Almost half of adults (41 percent) and one third of teens (36 percent) also admitted to shopping while watching TV or while they have insomnia (24 percent of adults and 31 percent of teens). Approximately 75 percent of American adults shop online when there is something specific they need or when they find a great deal they cannot pass up (69 percent). Almost two thirds of American teens admitted to shopping when they find a great deal (64 percent) or when there is something they need (63 percent).

Health Consciousness of Gen Z Reflected In Beverage Preferences

By | Acumen Insights

Gen Z college students take healthy choices seriously when reaching for beverages. A survey from industry consultants Beverage Marketing Corporation (BMC) and Fluent, a college marketing and insights agency, found practicality and natural products are preferred, while artificial ingredients and crazy fads are out of favor. Bottled water is the top beverage purchase for this age group, with 43 percent who consume this product seven or more times per week. Other preferred drinks include: iced or hot coffee (22 percent), brewed tea (12 percent), and beer (nine percent). The survey found key beverage purchase drivers for Gen Z include what is on the label and recommendations from friends. Students read labels; 43 percent do so regularly and 38 percent do so at least sometimes. The top three descriptors influencing purchase are “all-natural” (52 percent), “low-calorie” (37 percent), “organic” (36 percent), “vitamin-enhanced” (31 percent), and “zero-calorie” (27 percent).

Around half of all students said they try to avoid artificial sweeteners, flavoring, preservatives, and high fructose corn syrup. The sweetener they are most accepting of is cane sugar (55 percent). What are the top reasons they try beverages? Students said recommendations from friends (52 percent), health benefits (49 percent), free samples (37 percent), interesting flavors (36 percent) and sale/promotions (25 percent). With regard to alcohol, 74 percent of respondents said they consume alcohol and 81 percent of those drink beer on occasion. Asked what they prefer most, beer had a slight edge, followed by wine and spirits. When it comes to mixers, students reach first for soda (37 percent), then juice (35 percent), followed by seltzers (10 percent).

Millennials Prefer Streaming Services Over Pay TV

By | Acumen Insights

According to a study from TDG Research, when forced to choose between pay TV and streaming services, dual-service users reacted differently according to their age. The younger the adult, the more likely they were to choose TV streaming services over pay TV, and vice versa. According to the results, 18 to 24-year-old dual-service users chose streaming services over traditional TV by a two to one margin (66.3 percent versus 33.8 percent), with 25 to 34-year-olds showing a similar skew towards streaming services (61.8 percent versus 38.2 percent). For the 35 to 44 age bracket, 61 percent chose their traditional pay TV service over streaming services, compared to 39 percent who chose their streaming service. This is in opposition to the 25 to 34 group, which suggests quite a cultural gap between Millennials and Gen Xers when it comes to TV viewing. That gap exacerbates with age, with each successive age group preferring traditional TV to streaming services by a larger margin. Indeed, more than three in four respondents aged 65 and older chose pay TV over streaming services.

The survey asked respondents aged 13 to 54, each of whom had viewed a full-length streamed program within the prior 6 months, where they go most frequently when they want to watch a TV show. The first choice for all age groups was the Netflix streaming subscription, garnering 33 percent share of all responses, though cited twice as often by young Millennials (18 to 24) than Boomers aged 50 to 54. The next most cited source is a TV channel during its original air time (16 percent), followed closely by DVR or TiVo service (15 percent). Not surprisingly, these were much more commonly cited among Gen Xers and Boomers than teens and young Millennials, but still failed to match Netflix in any age group. Additionally, 17 percent of teens (13 to 17) specified YouTube as the place they go to most frequently when they want to watch a TV show, equal to a TV channel during original air time (11 percent) and DVR or TiVo service (six percent) combined. Fifty one percent of younger Millennials turn first to Netflix, more evidence of their affinity for streaming.

Millennial Geeks, and Why Your Brand Needs Them

By | Acumen Insights

Interests that once might have been considered the domain of geeks only (e.g.., superheroes, fantasy, space, etc.) are now major media moneymakers, and cultural mainstays. Research by Ypulse and Imgur examined how Millennials have embraced being geeky. This may require brands to adjust their perceptions of what it means to be a geek. The research found being a geek today does not mean what it used to years ago. Compared to only 38 percent of Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, 60 percent of Millennials considered themselves to be geeks or are into geeky things. Eighty two percent of millennial geeks said the geek label was not necessarily a bad thing, compared to 71 percent of Gen Xers and Boomers.

Millennial geeks are today’s influencers and trendsetters. For example, 89 percent said they learn about things before the rest of their friends and 82 percent said their interests grow in popularity after they get into them, compared with 65 percent of non-geeks. Ever wonder who is making memes and online content go viral? It is most likely millennial geeks; 67 percent said they know about things before they go viral, compared to 48 percent of non-geeks. In addition, they are much more likely to spread memes and create the kind of content that gets shared online. Millennial geeks are also influential; 84 percent said people look to them for advice on a topic, compared to 60 percent of non-geeks. But they are wary of brand messaging; 76 percent said they use ad blockers and 32 percent said they feel like brands cannot relate to them.

Text Wins Over Talk

By | Acumen Insights

Research from Open Market demonstrated when it comes to phone communication, younger consumers greatly prefer texting over talking on the phone. When given the choice between only being able to text or call on their mobile phones, 75 percent of Millennials chose texting over talking. The same preference applies to communication with companies. Seventy five percent of Millennials said they prefer to receive texts over calls from companies because texts are more convenient and on their own schedule.

Sixty three percent preferred receiving texts because they are less disruptive than a voice call, while 53 preferred receiving texts because they simply like to communicate via text rather than phone. Additionally, 19 percent preferred receiving texts because they never check their voicemails.

On top of being a convenient way to communicate, texts can be extremely helpful for Millennials. Although 75 percent of Millennials found text reminders helpful, only 30 percent received them regularly, showing there is an excellent opportunity for companies to engage with their customers via texting. Millennials were more interested in texting over other forms of communication for a variety of reasons: 76 percent said they prefer texting because it is less invasive than other forms of messages, while 19 percent said texts are more personal. Fourteen percent said texts make them feel valued by the company.

The Pursuit of Personalized Content

By | Acumen Insights

Consumers want content that is meaningful, helpful and valuable to their specific needs and interests, but equally important is their desire to seek it out themselves. Research from Rapt Media found that beyond the ability to seek it out, content needs to be personalized in a way that allows consumers to customize, navigate, click and control it. Sixty one percent said even if content is customized, they still prefer to find it on their own. Furthermore, 46 percent said content they find on their own influences their purchase decision, while just five percent said ads influence their purchasing decisions.

Millennials show an even greater mistrust than other generations for pushed content: 57 percent of Millennials block ad content because it is too pushy compared with 38 percent of those over 54. Forty two percent of Millennials said they would spend more time reading or viewing content if they could tailor it to their interests versus 28 percent of those over age 45 who cite the same reason. Similarly, 30 percent of Millennials said they would tell friends about a brand or company compared to just eight percent of those over 60. Sixty percent of Millennials said they would be more likely to make a purchase after spending more time engaging with content, versus 44 percent of those over age 30.

Brands That Are Gaining Momentum With Millennials

By | Acumen Insights

Accounting for 24 percent of the U.S. population, Millennials’ purchase power is substantial, making it critical for marketers to understand how this group spends their money. Research from Nielsen on millennial shopping habits demonstrated that though many are just beginning their professional careers, Millennials already spend about $200 billion each year, and they are willing to spend on the things that matter to them. For example, Millennials are 38 percent more likely than their older counter parts to buy natural and organic products. Millennials also make fewer shopping trips than their older counterparts, but spend more dollars (i.e., $54 compared to $43 for Baby Boomers).

The research examined how Millennials see brand momentum (i.e., whether brands are “on the way up,” “holding steady,” or “on the way down”). The data showed 68 percent of the top 50 brands that were “on the way up” one year show gains in overall brand equity two years later, demonstrating the importance of perceived brand success. Of the top 10 brands ranked “on the way up” by Millennials (i.e., EOS Lip Balm, Kind Bars, Wonderful Pistachios, Chobani Flip Yogurt, Naked Juices, Downy Unstopables In-Wash Scent Boosters, Chobani Oats Yogurt, Essie Nail Polish, Tide Pods Laundry Detergent and Dove Men Care Deodorant), 83 percent have experienced sales gains in the past year, with 57 percent posting double digit growth.