Monthly Archives

August 2017

Three Auto Trends That Are Reshaping Marketing

By | Acumen Insights

Research by Think with Google examined shifts in the automotive industry using search and consumer survey data. The first shift that the researchers uncovered is that people who use car-sharing also buy cars. There has been great concern about the impact of car-sharing services on the auto industry. After all, according to Google query trends, searches for car-sharing services are up 59 percent from the previous year.

Respondents were asked about their car-sharing behavior. The results revealed that 22 percent of respondents that reported having used a car-sharing service within the past month planned to buy or lease a vehicle in the next year. In addition, 80 percent of the respondents who engaged in car-sharing behavior said they already owned or leased a vehicle. Of the consumers who had not used a car-sharing service, only 14 percent planned to buy or lease, and 71 percent already owned or leased.

The study also revealed another trend—that digital is leading the way when it comes to researching products. In the past, when on the market for a vehicle, many have read reviews in magazines, asked friends and family for advice, and visited various dealerships. However, today, consumers are leveraging search and YouTube for videos. This year, consumers spent an average of three hours more time researching than in the previous year. Approximately, 75 percent of this research has been conducted on digital. In fact, one in three adults in the United States watches auto-related content on YouTube at least once per month.

A final trend is that bold brands are thinking digitally. Brands such as Volvo, Tesla, and Jaguar tend to pursue the boldest, digital-first marketing strategies. For example, Tesla hosted a livestream of its Model 3 launch. This livestream logged over 300,000 online orders in the first week. Jaguar conducted homepage takeovers of, YouTube, Spotify, and others with its new F-Pace SUV. Volvo utilized Google Cardboard which provided a 360-degree viewing experience for their XC90 SUV months before the vehicle was in the showroom.

Shopper Profiles by Generation

By | Acumen Insights

Research by Yes Lifecycle Marketing surveyed over 1,000 individuals across generations to determine how to reach and engage shoppers. Centennials (under the age of 21) are digital natives that want authentic brand experiences across all channels. They value quality over price and convenience. When it comes to brand loyalty, over half (57 percent) of Centennials said that quality drives their loyalty to a brand more than any other factor, even more than price (55 percent). In terms of purchase drivers, half of the Centennials based their last purchase decision on product quality. This generation was also influenced by free shipping (59 percent), brand prestige (11 percent), and special experiences (4 percent). Approximately 28 percent described themselves as quality-first shoppers. With regard to marketing channels, Centennials prefer mobile apps (56 percent) and display advertising (56 percent) over email (46 percent) and social media (42 percent).

Millennials (ages 22 to 37) tend to stick with companies that they trust. When considering brand loyalty, Millennials remain loyal to a brand because of its loyalty rewards (22 percent) and a company’s reputation and philosophy (15 percent). When it comes to what influences purchases, 15 percent of Millennials said loyalty rewards points. In terms of shopping habits, a little over a third of Millennials consider themselves to be quality-first shoppers (34 percent) who consider price first (34 percent). For Millennials, email (67 percent), mobile apps (61 percent), and social media (50 percent) are important when making a purchase decision.

Generation X (ages 38 to 52) is comprised of deal seekers. They want bargains on quality products. With regard to brand loyalty, they place most emphasis on price (55 percent), quality (45 percent), and convenience (23 percent). As far as purchase drivers, 85 percent reported that discounts impacted their last purchase. A little under half (45 percent) said their last purchase was based on product quality. Generation X respondents described themselves as price-savvy (44 percent) and quality-driven (25 percent). When it comes to marketing channels, Generation X respondents value email (59 percent) over all other digital channels.

Baby Boomers (ages 53 to 71) are the most traditional consumers. They tend to shop brands that offer wide selections at discounted prices. Price (62 percent), convenience (30 percent), and product variety (21 percent) drive brand loyalty for Baby Boomers. As far as purchase drivers, convenience (36 percent) and whether a product meets their immediate needs (25 percent) were important considerations. Half (50 percent) of the Baby Boomers described themselves as price-savvy. For marketing channels, Baby Boomers prefer to be contacted via direct mail (59 percent) and email (59 percent). Only 19 percent said they value social media as a marketing channel.

Generational Receptivity to Ads

By | Acumen Insights

Research by Kantar Millward Brown examined generational differences in ad receptivity. The results revealed that individuals respond better to bite-sized bits of information in ads. The is particularly the case with Gen Z. Thirty-seven percent of Gen Z respondents reacted positively to ads ten seconds or less. Further, 34 percent of Gen Y and 33 percent of Gen X responded positively.

Ad receptivity is also heavily impacted by timing. Gen Z respondents are more receptive to ads during the afternoon—when others may be at work. Between 12 noon to 3 pm, 21 percent of Gen Z’ers were receptive to ads. Meanwhile, 17 percent of Gen Y’ers and 15 percent of Gen X’ers were receptive at this time. Similar trends appear between 3 pm to 6 pm. Gen Z’ers (24 percent) were more receptive to ads than Gen Y’ers (18 percent) and Gen X’ers (16 percent). In contrast, between 6 pm to 9 pm, more Gen Y’ers (30 percent) and Gen X’ers were receptive to ads than Gen Z’ers (27 percent).

The researchers also took a closer look at what types of ads were more positively perceived. Gen Z respondents (69 percent) had more positivity towards skippable ads than Gen Y (60 percent) and Gen X (56 percent) respondents. Gen Z also had more positivity towards closeable ads than the other generations. Forty-eight percent of Gen Z respondents reported feeling positivity towards ads that can be closed. Forty-one percent of Gen Y respondents and 34 percent of Gen X respondents reported feeling this way. Gen Z respondents also exhibited more positivity than the other two generations towards ads in which you can vote for something to happen (31 percent), choose a favorite option among several options (28 percent), take decisions (29 percent), and interact via an assignment (17 percent). Finally, Gen Z respondents had more of a preference for ads in music (39 percent) and movie (38 percent) contexts than the other generations.

Mobile App User Habits

By | Acumen Insights

A comScore survey examined mobile trends of respondents over the age of 13. The research revealed that people are not downloading a lot of mobile apps. In fact, nearly half of all smartphone users do not download any apps in a month. Of the individuals who do download apps during the month, the average number of apps downloaded is 3.5. The total number of apps downloaded is highly concentrated; 13 percent of smartphone owners account for over half of all app download activity within a month. These individuals are considered “heavy app downloaders”.

“Heavy app downloaders” are those individuals who try out at least three new apps a month. Heavy app downloaders seem to demonstrate certain demographic characteristics. They are more likely to be between the ages of 18 to 44, male, and Hispanic. This group is also more likely to play mobile games. Further, they are more likely to reside in the following cities: Houston, San Francisco, Miami, and Los Angeles.

The research revealed that most individuals do not want more than four screens of apps. For this reason, the heaviest downloaders are more likely to organize apps into folders. Overall, 7 in 10 smartphone users tend to keep their most used app on the home screen. One in 10 keep their most used app in a folder.

The home screen is valuable to respondents. Seventy-five percent purposely moved apps to their home screen—they made effort to customize the home screen. Various factors impact whether an app gets moved to the home screen including: how often the app is used (59 percent), easier access (56 percent), need to access app quickly (40 percent), interest in that app (27 percent), and look of logo on home screen (12 percent).

The research revealed generational differences in how respondents physically use their smartphones. Baby Boomers (35 percent) were six times more likely than Millennials (6 percent) to use their smartphone with two hands. Only 16 percent of Gen X’ers reported operating their phone with two hands. Millennials were more likely to engage in single-handed smartphone usage. Millennials (61 percent) were also more likely to position apps on their phones based on “thumb reach” than Gen X’ers (59 percent) and Baby Boomers (46 percent).

Is There Truly a Gender Gap in Car Shopping?

By | Acumen Insights

The Hypothesis Group conducted a survey to better understand behavior while shopping for a car. The sample consisted of 3,129 individuals (male and female). Overall, the researchers found that men and women do not differ greatly when it comes to purchasing a vehicle. The research revealed that both men and women are heavily involved in the research stage of the car buying process. Sixty-five percent of women said that they like to research everything, so they do not miss a thing. Sixty-nine percent of men said the same.

Men and women seem to spend a similar amount of time on websites and view similar numbers of pages. In terms of median dwell time per session, women averaged 58 seconds while men averaged 66 seconds. With regard to page views, women averaged three page views while men averaged four.

Both genders also partake in the same pre-buying activities to a similar extent. Both genders equally research used and new inventory. Women are only slightly more likely (1 percent more likely) to conduct general searches, look at photos, and conduct dealer research.  Men are slightly more likely to conduct research on tools (1 percent more likely), read articles (2 percent more likely), examine pricing and reviews on used (2 percent more likely) and new (4 percent more likely) cars.

Men and women reported being relatively confident at the dealership.  Sixty-nine percent of women said they were confident while browsing at the dealership, while 80 percent of men said they felt this way. Sixty-one percent of women said they knew exactly what they were there to look at, while 63 percent of men said the same. In terms of emotions while test driving, 65 percent of women said they were calm whereas 76 percent of men said the same. Further, 66 percent of women said they can take their time test driving, while 70 percent said this.

Men and women both felt self-assured during the buying and negotiation process. Seventy percent of women and 74 percent of men felt self-assured. Further, 67 percent of women and 72 percent of men felt empowered. And finally, 56 percent of women and 64 percent of men felt exhilarated.

Finally, at the end of the process, women were only slightly more assured that they made the best choice. Eighty-two percent of women and 80 percent of men felt like they were a winner. Eighty-one percent of women felt happy, whereas 77 percent felt this way. In terms of being sure if they had made the best choice, 79 percent of women said they had while 75 percent of men said the same.

Understanding Millennial Snackers

By | Acumen Insights

Research by FutureCast examined snacking behaviors across generations. The research revealed that snacking is popular amongst most Americans. Specifically, 94 percent of Americans reported snacking at least once per day. Snacking now accounts for 50 percent of all eating.

Snacking is even more prominent amongst Millennials. They are considered the largest group of snackers in the United States. Of all generations, they are most likely to snack. In fact, one in four Millennials are considered to be “Super Snackers”. “Super Snackers” snack four or more times in a day.

Why do Millennials snack? Many do so for functional reasons. Seventy-eight percent reported that they snack because it keeps them full between meals. Sixty-four percent said that it is an affordable way to replace meals. Additionally, 14 percent of Millennials snack because they are too busy for traditional meals.

Many Millennials reported that they snacked for health-related reasons. Approximately 56 percent reported that they snack to satisfy cravings. An additional 39 percent said they snack for energy. Twenty percent of Millennials believed snacking to be healthier than eating three large meals daily.

A smaller of percentage of Millennials reported snacking for other reasons. A little under a third (29 percent) reported snacking because snacks are easily available. A similar percentage (27 percent) said they snack because they are bored. And finally, 17 percent reported snacking for emotional reasons—because they are stressed.

How Does Gen Z Shop?

By | Acumen Insights

Euclid Analytics conducted a study to examine trends in brick-and-mortar and online shopping, likes and dislikes about in-store shopping, and the impact of smartphones on the in-store shopping experience. They surveyed 1,500 smartphone users in the United States. Survey respondents differed in age, region, and income.

Both Gen Z and Millennials have grown up around smartphones. Yet the two groups differ with regard to what motivates them to shop in retail stores. Gen Z (53 percent) respondents reported that they are more motivated with free guest Wi-Fi than Millennials (41 percent). In contrast, Millennials (40 percent) were more motivated by retail apps with order-online, pick-up-in-store function than Gen Z (30 percent).  In addition, 26 percent of Gen Z respondents reported being motivated to shop in-store by free charging stations. The same percentage of Millennials reported being motivated by a scan-as-you-shop gadget.

Gen Z respondents (57 percent) were more likely than all other shoppers (53 percent) to use their phones while shopping.  Gen Z shoppers were more likely to share their shopping experience with family and friends than the general population of shoppers (42 percent versus 31). Gen Z shoppers (43 percent) were also more likely to take photos of products than all other shoppers (37 percent).

Gen Z shoppers seem to be slightly less price conscious than other generations. Fifty-one percent of Baby Boomers and 49 percent of Millennials reported comparing prices online. Meanwhile, 43 percent of Gen Z respondents reported engaging in this behavior.

Compared to other shoppers, Gen Z ones are much more likely to use social apps and features while shopping in retail stores. Although texting is popular amongst all generations, it is far more popular with Gen Z (50 percent) than the other generations (39 percent). What truly separates Gen Z shoppers is their extensive use of Snapchat. Over 40 percent of Gen Z respondents reported using Snapchat while shopping in a store compared to only 15 percent of other respondents.

Gender Differences in Technology Use for Shopping

By | Acumen Insights

Euclid Analytics conducted research to analyze the relationship between gender and the use of in-store technology while shopping. They conducted two separate surveys of 1,500 U.S. consumers. For the first survey, the gender breakdown was 49 percent men and 51 percent women. The gender breakdown for the second survey was 43 percent men and 57 percent women.

The research revealed that women and men use mobile devices differently while shopping. For women, shopping seems to be a social and interactive activity. Women (57 percent) are more likely than men (47 percent) to call, email, or text someone while shopping. Women (41 percent) are also more likely to check email promotions than men (29 percent). Further, they are more likely to take pictures of products (42 percent of the women versus 30 percent of the men). Finally, they are more likely than men to get advice from friends/family regarding purchases (37 percent of the women versus 24 percent of the men). Men (41 percent), on the other hand, are more likely than women (37 percent) to do online research in store. They are more interested in getting into a store and getting out with what they came for. They are less likely to get a second opinion about their purchases from a third party.

Both men and women are open to enhancing the in-store experience through smartphone engagement, although women are more so. When it comes to deal alerts, 47 percent of women preferred smartphone incorporation while 40 percent of men had this preference. Further, 36 percent of women reported wanting to use a smartphone to save product information for later while 26 percent of men wanted this feature. Finally, both men and women (a quarter of each) reported wanting the ability to ask a store associate for help via smartphone.