SEPTEMBER 22, 2014

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Pew Research Center: Younger Americans Value and Use Offline Sources

In its most recent study of the reading and library habits of Americans, the Pew Research Center focused on the attitudes and behaviors of 16-29 year olds and made some surprising findings about the group. While access to the internet for them is nearly universal (98%), people under 30 are significantly more likely than those 30 and older (62% versus 53%) to agree that there is "a lot of useful, important information that is not available on the internet." And while they are not often cast as voracious readers, two of three 16-29 year olds read a book (print, audiobook or e-book) at least once a week, compared to 58% of adults 30 and older who do the same. While the higher reading rate is in part sustained by students required to read for school, the rate is even higher for 25-29 year olds (70%) that for the most part are out of school. Young people are also making use of libraries, as half of 16-29 year olds have visited a library in the past year and more than one-third have used a library website; participation in both activities for those under 30 is higher than for those 30 and older. And once again, the habit remains consistent even when out of school as 25-29 year olds are more likely than those 30+ to use library services.


So what?

Pew's report dispels some myths about those under 30, including:

  • They can get all of the information they need online.
  • They do not like to read.
  • They do not use libraries.

Despite living a large portion of their lives with online information and entertainment immediately available at their fingertips, those under 30 still recognize the importance of offline sources and the pleasure of losing themselves in a book. They remain active participants in one of the first sharing economies: libraries. While this survey did not specifically ask about print magazine habits, other research published by Condé Nast Research & Insights has documented the persistent audience for print magazines among young people during the past three decades.

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Wharton Paper: Don't Overpromise Because Consumers Won't Believe It

Keisha Cuthright, a marketing professor at the Wharton School writes in a paper published in the Journal of Consumer Research that consumers respond better to product and service offerings in which the participant is required to make an effort in order for the product/service to help meet the desired outcome. For example, in one of the five experiments Cuthright conducted to reach her conclusion, she found that purchase intent for sneakers was higher when the ad copy was written to emphasize the consumer's effort necessary to obtain the desired results rather than copy that stressed low consumer effort was required to obtain the results. A similar theme emerged when study participants were asked to use a golf putter and questioned about purchase intent. The lower-skilled golfers spent more time practicing and showed higher purchase intent when the ad for the putter was promoted as improving performance alongside "diligent practice and effort." Cuthright argues that it is a mistake to assume that people want a product or service to do all the work for them. This research indicates that when people pursue desired outcomes they feel more empowered themselves and want brands to play a complementary role during that process.

So what?

For Condé Nast brands, it is important to understand the nuances of service to our readers and site visitors. This research indicates that the service proposition our brands offer needs to be paired with an acknowledgement of the effort necessary from the user to reach the desired results. Consumers need to feel empowered, so tips for a flat stomach, a lower handicap or how to wow dinner party guests might be better received with a caveat that the success of any outcome will be heavily influenced by their own efforts.  

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Footwear Sales Steadily Climbing; Women Continue to Drive Market Growth, but Hispanic Buyers Emerge as Important Segment

Mintel forecasts total sales of women’s and men’s footwear to grow 11% over the next five years, from $42.9 billion in 2014 to $47.7 billion by 2019. The growing Hispanic population and women’s consistent interest in shoes are contributing factors to category growth. Analyzing the data, Mintel finds that Hispanics are top buyers of shoes across all types of footwear. This is partly attributed to Hispanics being generally younger than the rest of the population (one in three Hispanics are Millennials). Besides identifying Hispanics as a growing footwear market, the report also finds support for continued targeting of women for shoe sales. The purchase rates for women’s footwear exceed those of men’s footwear across all shoe types. When consumers are asked why they buy new shoes, replacement of old shoes is the primary reason (60% among total adults), followed by 'they were on sale' (38%), treating myself (31%), and updating my wardrobe (29%).


So what?

While many footwear companies do not need to be convinced on the importance of women to their business, fewer likely have strategies in place to promote to Hispanics. Since we know that treating one's self is a key driver of purchase, and that driver is even more present among Hispanics, campaigns that encourage self-rewarding should be well-received among the demographic.

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Social Media App Sessions are Brief, but Often; Music App Sessions Run the Longest

Localytics, an analytics and marketing platform for mobile and web apps, analyzed metrics for sessions and time spent with mobile apps in August of 2014 and compared data from the same month in 2013. The analysis found that time spent with apps grew 21% year over year. Users are also starting new app sessions more often -- apps are opened, on average, two additional times per month versus last year. Music apps continue to solidify their place among mobile users as time spent in the category grew 79% over last year. The music category can also claim to have the stickiest apps as the average session length for music apps is longer than any other category reported. Conversely, social media is more likely to be snacked on by mobile users. Social networking apps are opened the most of all categories measured, but have the lowest time spent per session.


So what?

This analysis demonstrates the importance of maintaining a consistent social media presence throughout the day. Mobile users have demonstrated a tendency to view their newsfeeds often, but not for a long time. Publishers have only a brief window in which to engage consumers via social so it is critical to post throughout the day.

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Quick Takes
Business Insider Intelligence Projects Mobile Ad Revenue to Grow 50% in Next Five Years; Forecast Also Projects Ad Revenue Growth for Magazines, but a Decline for Television

Source: BI Intelligence Estimates, Interactive Advertising Bureau
One-Third of Global Cosmetics Sales Happen in Asia & Pacific Region

Source: Statista
American Optimism About the Job Market at Highest Point in Six Years

Source: Pew Research Center
Amazon Spends More than Any Other Advertiser on Google Search

Source: AdAge
So what?




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 |

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