FEBRUARY 10, 2014

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Social Media
Want A Reader to Share Your Content With More People? Make Him or Her Look Good
New research out of the University of Pennsylvania and published by the Marketing Science Institute found that people are more likely to share content with a wider network if it places them in a favorable light. To reach their conclusion, researchers investigated the relationship between audience size, sharer focus (self/other) and content type (self-presentation/utility) during a series of experiments. What they found is that when someone broadcasts content to a wide audience that message carries a sense of self-presentation, such as being in the know on a trendy clothing line or hot restaurants. Conversely, when someone narrowcasts or shares with a few people or just one they are more likely to be providing content that would be useful to their recipients based on their tastes or interests, such as tips for skincare or information on a special event they may want to attend.
So what? The research presented here makes sense intuitively. People naturally default to protecting their own image when more is at stake, or in this case -- more people are listening. When in smaller settings, people are more likely to provide value to their audience rather than attempt to make themselves look good. Since Condé Nast sites host a broad spectrum of content in which items range from cultural currency to utility, editors should be mindful of how specific subject matter will affect the sharing strategy.
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Americans Increasingly Confident About Finances, but Resizing Their Dreams
Post-recession values are still being resized to fit current economic conditions, according to WSL Strategic Retail's 2014 How America Shops report. Americans' top five dreams almost sound like a list of modest desires as they want to buy a first home, pay off debt, eat out at least once a week, move to a better neighborhood and buy a better car. While the American dream still exists for many, it is tempered by the idea of reducing debts and shopping around to find the best value for the money. However increased optimism about personal finances has fewer consumers taking a “cautious pause” before purchase. In 2014, 52% of consumers agreed that before they bought something, they stopped to ask themselves if buying it was a smart use of their money versus to 66% of consumers in 2012. For the first time in years, consumers report they are spending more on cosmetics, skin care, hair care, electronics, breakfast foods and vitamins and supplements. Notably, beauty and personal care shoppers are spending more because new found items are more expensive and they think they are worth the extra cost.
So what? With a somewhat increased confidence in their financial situations, consumers are spending more time in stores and abandoning some recessionary attitudes. There is also a trend taking place around wellness as people realize there might be no better investment than investing in themselves and are willing to spend more on personal care and health.
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How Different Age Groups Use Technology
Forrester’s annual overview of US consumers’ behaviors and technology attitudes finds that online access and usage has plateaued at 81% of the population, while online access from smartphones (52%) and tablets (32%) continues to climb. Forrester predicts that by 2017 there will be nearly 250 million smartphone users and 150 million tablet users in the United States. Forrester also breaks down technology behavior by generation. Gen Z (18-24) are the most active mobile users, with seven in 10 owning a smartphone and spending 4.4 hours a day on the mobile internet. Gen Y (25-33) are the first to adopt emerging technologies (e.g. tracking their fitness performance and eating habits) and are the most likely to read magazines digitally. Gen X (34-47) are big online shoppers, and are becoming more comfortable with mobile commerce. Boomers (48-68) and the Golden Generation (69+) are less tech-savvy than younger generations, but Boomers are increasingly adopting mobile devices and even the Golden Generation are more active digitally, especially on Facebook.
So what? Some of Condé Nast's most desirable audiences are also the most tech-savvy. This Forrester report provides great insight into the devices, sites and apps they use the most, and can help us devise strategies to engage them with our content.
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Affluent Optimism Continues to Rise
Complementing the positive news of its final 2013 Affluent Barometer, the researchers at Ipsos MediaCT have released their 2014 outlook. After saying they considered 2013 a better year than 2012, optimism reigns among affluents (household income of $100K+) as they feel 2014 will be even better than 2013. Their general positive outlook about their finances means they plan to be more liberal with their money. For 2014, affluents are less likely to say they want to “save more money” and “spend less money” than they have in past years, while they are more likely to say they would like to take a special vacation. In addition to the travel category, Ipsos forecasts growth potential among affluents for computers and electronics, automobiles and restaurants and dining.
So what? Condé Nast brands have the ability to reach older affluents that are growing comfortable spending again and younger affluents looking to distinguish themselves from their peers. Advertising for automotive, travel, technology and food brands fit well within the CN environments and the affluents within Condé’s audience should be receptive listeners to messages from brands in these categories.
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Quick Takes
Washington D.C., Boston and San Francisco Rank Highest for Tablet Ownership
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Sephora is the Most Talked About Beauty Retailer in Social Media
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The Majority of Internet Users Are Concerned that Businesses Share Their Personal Info With Each Other
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According to Match.com Study, Singles Spend Nearly $740 a Year on Dating
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Condé Nast
Feedback, questions, ideas for future issues? Please contact:

Phil Paparella
Condé Nast Research & Insights | Associate Director
1166 6th Avenue, 14th fl. | NY, NY 10036 | office 212.790.6044 | philip_paparella@condenast.com

Tamar Rimmon | Senior Manager, Digital Analytics
Robyn Hightower | Manager, Research & Insights