Monthly Archives

February 2017

Male and Female Millennials View Retirement Differently

By | Acumen Insights

Schwab Retirement Plan Services, Inc. conducted a nationwide survey of 25- to 35-year olds who participate in a 401(k) plan. The results revealed that millennial men and women approach planning and saving for retirement very differently. When asked about if they are concerned about being healthy enough to enjoy retirement, 54 percent of millennial men said this was a large concern. Only 30 percent of millennial women were concerned about this. This is particularly surprising despite the fact that both millennial men and women reported being in good shape physically. Approximately 86 percent of millennial men and 84 percent of millennial women reported being in good health.

Millennial women were far more concerned than millennial men about having enough money to enjoy retirement. Seventy-nine percent of millennial women reported that this was a concern for them. Only 46 percent of millennial men reported this being a concern. Despite the significant differences, both millennial women and men reported being in a good financial health. Seventy-nine percent of millennial women and 77 percent of millennial men said they were in good financial shape.

Not knowing how much to save for retirement appears to be an issue for both millennial men and women, but more for women. A little over half of millennial men (55 percent) reported that they felt they were saving enough to retire when they wanted to.  Only 42 percent of millennial women felt this way.

The aforementioned numbers likely relate to confusion, uncertainty, and ambiguity regarding 401(k) investing. Specifically, 61 percent of millennial women and 44 percent of millennial men reported not knowing what their best 401(k) investment options are. Approximately 55 percent of millennial men and only 36 percent of millennial women reported feeling on top of their 401(k) investments. In addition, just over a third (35 percent) of the men and 42 percent of the women reported feeling 401(k) investing-related stress.

Millennial Fulfillment at Work Related to Feedback

By | Acumen Insights

A survey conducted by Clutch examined the role of feedback on employee engagement for 428 Millennials, 422 Gen X’ers, and 150 Baby Boomers. The research revealed that Millennials were less likely to be fulfilled at work than the two older generations. Specifically, 40 percent of Millennials reported not feeling fulfilled at work. This number was two times greater than Gen X employees and four times greater than Baby Boomers.

Millennials were also more likely to quit their jobs than the other two generations. About 32 percent of Millennials reported that they were likely to leave their jobs in the next six months. In contrast, only 11-12 percent of older employees reported that they were likely to quit in that timeframe.

Although Millennials love non-traditional work perks such as travel, flexible vacation time, and remote work, what seems to be most related to job fulfillment is immediate and consistent feedback from management. The research revealed that of the Millennials whose managers provide accurate and consistent feedback, 72 percent found their jobs to be fulfilling. In contrast, of the Millennials whose managers do not provide such feedback, only 38 percent found their jobs to be fulfilling.

The researchers also found that Millennials are not receiving the right type of feedback. Previous research has shown that informal/ad-hoc feedback is more effective than traditional forms of feedback. However, only 23 percent of Millennials reported receiving this type of feedback from their managers.

Is Brand Loyalty Truly Dead?

By | Acumen Insights

Research conducted by Facebook attempted to determine if brand loyalty is dead by surveying 14,700 adults in the U.S. The survey revealed that 77 percent of respondents continue to buy the same brands over and over. Of that 77 percent, 37 percent reported that they make repeat purchases and are loyal to a company (“Brand Loyalists”). The remaining 40 percent reported that they also make repeat purchases but are not necessarily loyal to a company (“Repeat Purchasers”).

Many believe that Millennials (age 18-34) are not at all loyal to brands. However, this is very inaccurate. Many Millennials want to be loyal to brands. In fact, they are 1.75 times more likely than Boomers to say they would like to be brand-loyal. Their loyalty to brands ultimately depends on industry. They tend to be less loyal in industries where experience and price play a large role, like Airlines and Hotels.

Millennials have unique barriers to brand loyalty, and these barriers depend on industry. When compared to Boomers, Millennials were more likely to say that a move in location was a barrier to brand loyalty for auto insurance. For the grocery industry, they were 2.5 times more likely to cite a store’s hygiene as a barrier to brand loyalty. Further, Millennials were 2 times more likely to cite a lack of healthy options as a barrier for restaurant loyalty. With regard to airlines and hotels, Millennials were 2.33 and 2 times more likely than Boomers to report difficulty in reaching a contact as a barrier, respectively.

Finally, social media seems to play a large role in brand loyalty. The research revealed that individuals who use Facebook more than five times a day were 1.25 times more likely to be Brand Loyalists than those who only used the site at least once a month. This is also the case for Instagram. Individuals who use Instagram more than five times a day are 1.26 times more likely to be Brand Loyalists than those who used it less.

Cracking the Digital Habits of the Millennial Male

By | Acumen Insights

Research conducted by Videology examined media consumption patterns of men aged 18 to 34. The research revealed that millennial men are incredibly digital. Many of them reported that they either no longer rely on cable or will not be relying on cable in the future. Approximately 53 percent of them have already “cut the cord” and disconnected their cable services. An additional 14 percent reported that they plan to “cut the cord” in the upcoming year. Only about a third (33 percent) of millennial men plan to continue paying for cable in the upcoming year. Further, millennial males said they would prefer to give up cable than to give up streaming. Three-quarters (75 percent) reported that they would rather give up cable, whereas only a quarter (25 percent) said they would rather give up streaming.

When it comes to watching movies, streaming is king. Approximately 61 percent of millennial males said that they stream movies. Of this 61 percent, 27 percent reported streaming on a computer or mobile device. A little over a third (34 percent) said that their primary way to watch movies is through a connected device.

When it comes to TV shows, there was a relatively even split across modes. About 17 percent of respondents said that they prefer watching TV shows on a computer. Another 27 percent said that they prefer watching TV shows on TV when they air. Further, 26 percent reported that they prefer watching through a connected device.

For news, millennial males prefer to go online. Approximately 43 percent reported going on a website and 21 percent reported going on social media for news. Only 13 percent of respondents said that they watch TV news and only 5 percent read printed news.

Millennials Highly Educated but Struggling with Low Wages and Debt

By | Acumen Insights

According to research by the Economic Innovation Group (EIG), Millennials are a highly educated demographic group. Approximately 21 percent of millennial males have completed a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 18 percent of Gen X males. Further, 27 percent of millennial females have earned this degree, whereas 20 percent of Gen X females have.

Despite these higher levels of education, Millennials are bringing in less income and suffering higher levels of unemployment than other generations. The millennial household income at ages 18-33 is also less ($61,003) than Gen X when they were the same age ($63,265).  At this age, 78 percent of Gen X males were employed compared to only 68 percent of millennial males today. About 69 percent of Gen X females were employed at that age, whereas 63 percent of millennials females are.

Millennials are highly concerned about their debt. When asked if they were worried about being able to afford to pay back their student loans, 59 percent said they were really worried or somewhat worried. Only 36 percent said they were not worried or only somewhat worried. Of full-time, part-time, student, and non-working Millennials, students expressed the most concern in terms of paying off their student loans. Specifically, 72 percent of millennial students said they were really worried or somewhat worried about paying back debt. Approximately 56 percent of full-time, 57 percent of part-time, and 53 percent of non-working Millennials reported feeling this way.

Millennial Perceptions of Discrimination and Advantage in the Workplace

By | Acumen Insights

GenForward, a joint survey between the Black Youth Project at the University of Chicago and the AP-NORC Center, examined discrimination and advantage from a sample of 18- to 30-year-olds. Of all the racial/ethnic groups, young African-Americans were most likely to report being discriminated against professionally. Approximately 48 percent said they were discriminated against while looking for a job and in the workplace. About a third of Latinos/as and Asian-Americans reported being discriminated against in these two contexts. Only 10 percent of Whites reported these types of discrimination.

Women of all racial/ethnic groups and African-American men were more likely to report experiencing gender discrimination in the workplace than White men.  Just over a third (33 percent) of African-American women and men reported experiencing discrimination. In addition, 25 percent of Asian-American, 26 percent of Latina, and 33 percent of White women reported experiencing discrimination. Asian-American (12 percent), Latino (14 percent), and White (10 percent) men were the least likely to report gender discrimination in the workplace.

In terms of advantage, women are most likely to report that men have an advantage when it comes to getting ahead economically. This finding was consistent for all racial and ethnic groups. Women, regardless of racial or ethnic group, also reported that their gender makes it harder for them to succeed.

Many of the individuals surveyed also reported that they believe wealthy individuals have an economic advantage. This was the case with 90 percent of Whites, 83 percent of Asian-Americans, 83 percent of Latino/as and 80 percent of African-Americans. Younger individuals were more likely to perceive that the wealthy have an advantage than to perceive Whites or men having an advantage.

Facebook Remains Top Social Media Platform

By | Acumen Insights

Pew Research Center conducted a study of 1,520 adults to examine their social media habits online. The research revealed that Facebook continues to be America’s most popular social networking platform by far. Approximately 79 percent of online Americans (eight in ten) now use Facebook. This differs drastically from Twitter (24 percent) and Instagram (32 percent).

Facebook continues to be popular among many demographics. Young adults are using Facebook at high rates. However, the number of older adults that are joining Facebook is increasing. In fact, 62 percent of online adults aged 65+ now use Facebook. This number has increased by 48 percent from the previous year. Although both women and men use Facebook, women use the platform slightly more than men. Approximately 83 percent of female internet users use the site and 75 percent of male internet users use the site.

Although about a third (32 percent) of online adults use Instagram, this number is highly skewed amongst younger adults. Approximately six in ten adults (59 percent) aged 18-29 reported using Instagram, whereas only 33 percent of 30- to 49-year olds used the platform. Similar to Facebook, female internet users (38 percent) use this platform more than male internet users (26 percent).

Twitter is the least popular of the social media platforms with only a quarter (24 percent) of online adults on this platform. Younger individuals are more likely to be on Twitter. Approximately 36 percent of online adults aged 18-29 were on Twitter, whereas only 10 percent of online adults aged 65 and older were on the site. Twitter appears to be most popular amongst the educated. Specifically, 29 percent of internet users with college degrees use Twitter, compared to only 20 percent with high school diplomas or less.

Messaging Apps Changing the Way We Communicate

By | Acumen Insights

A consumer survey conducted by MetrixLab revealed how messaging apps are changing the way we communicate with one another. Metrixlab surveyed 4,000 smartphone users across four countries—the US, the UK, France and The Netherlands. The research found that messaging apps are replacing texts and phone calls. When it comes to text, this trend is most prevalent for Generation Y—67 percent of them reported using messaging apps as a replacement for text messaging. Approximately 63 percent of Baby Boomers and Gen X’ers also reported replacing texts with messaging apps. Messaging apps are also replacing phone calls—with 67 percent of Generation X and 66 percent of Generation Y reporting that they use messaging apps as a replacement for calling others.

In terms of most installed messaging apps, Facebook is leading the way. A total of 63 percent of respondents reported that they have it installed on their smartphone. WhatsApp comes in a close second with 61 percent. Both Skype and iMessage are in third place with 27 percent of respondents reporting to have installed it. And finally, Snapchat is the least installed messaging app with only 27 percent saying they installed it. Of all the messaging apps, Skype appears to be the only one to have universal appeal across all three generations: Generation Y (32 percent), Baby Boomers (29 percent), and Generation X (27 percent).

When it comes to security, respondents perceived Snapchat as being the least secure app. Only 26 percent of respondents reported feeling that their data was secure with Snapchat. Respondents perceived WhatsApp as being the most secure app with 48 percent saying that they thought their personal data was safe. Approximately 37 percent of respondents felt that their data was secure with Facebook Messenger.