SEPTEMBER 17, 2012

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Economy
Gallup: US Consumer Spending Reaches Nearly Four-Year High
Americans reported spending an average of $77 a day in August, according to Gallup Daily tracking -- Gallup asks Americans to report how much they spent the prior day apart from normal household bills or the purchase of a car or home. The average of $77 per day was the highest monthly average since December of 2008 and represented a $4 increase over July. The overall increase was driven by middle and lower income households as their spending also increased by $4 between July and August ($59 to $63), and reached its highest level since December. The news is good for upper income as well though, as they are spending an average of $127 a day in 2012, $6 more than the average throughout 2011.
So what? Some economic signals remain mixed -- such as job growth (positive, but slow). However, for anyone looking for a good piece of news on the economy for sales calls or the like, you might consider using this positive finding from Gallup.
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Industry Viewpoints
It's Not About You, It's About Them: Making Your Brand More Consumer-Centric
Do I want to stay true to my brand or cater to consumers? It's a tough question that marketers often face. According to a new opinion piece from Ipsos, some brands too often concentrate on their own unique selling proposition rather than a consumer-centric approach. The author argues that brands should strive to build stronger associations with what consumers want to feel and experience. He points to data that found emotional associations to drive brand equity and purchase intent improving as the emotional motivators for consumers increased.
So what? Condé Nast's magazines own strong and distinct legacies, and are well differentiated from the competitive set. They are well-known brands, so much that they can many times be used as adjectives, "that suit is very GQ". But, the brands have also evolved to respond to changing consumer motivations and habits. That continued evolution might prove to be just as important as protecting each brand's equity.
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Media
Live Viewing Still Dominates Television Consumption
Nielsen's most recent Cross-Platform Report reports that live television still has a strong hold of America's attention. In the first quarter of 2012, Americans spent an average of 4.4 hours per day watching live TV, only six minutes less than they watched in 2008. Time-shifted viewing on DVRs continues to grow, but represents a small fraction of total television viewing. Time shifted viewing represented just 5% of total viewing in the first quarter.
So what? Any reports of television's demise have been greatly exaggerated. While the proliferation of cable channels have made viewers a little harder to come by for the broadcast networks, the medium overall has continued to prove its importance. Live television and print form an interesting parallel; people anecdotally talk about new media compromising their influence, yet 95% of television watching is still live and 89% of the magazine audience reads in print.
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Technology
Sequential & Simultaneous Screening
What’s the go-to device for someone who wants to find a new restaurant? How about buy a gift for a friend? Research a vacation destination? According to a new research study by Google, the answer is all devices. The study finds that 90% of people use multiple devices to accomplish various tasks in their lives. The best tool for the job largely depends on the context of the situation. The study found that many tasks begin with the smartphone (as they are with us nearly 24 hours a day) and then transition over to other devices. The sequential usage of devices is then largely different depending on the task. For example, planning a trip usually starts on a PC and continues on a smartphone while social networking starts on a smartphone and continues on a PC.
So what? Understanding the consumer journey for researching and buying products is essential to any marketing strategy. With the introduction of new devices, the journey becomes more complex but also creates new opportunities for marketers to connect with consumers. If Condé Nast can help our advertisers understand this journey, it could enable us to create more meaningful relationships with our advertisers.
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Quick Takes
CBS Has the Oldest Viewers on Broadcast; Fox has the Youngest
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Casual Led the Women's Shoe Category Last Year with $9.9b in US Sales
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Apple Looks to Continue to Build Upon Growing Sales with its Release of iPhone5
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Pandora and Twitter Expected to Beat Facebook in Mobile Ad Revenue This Year
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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

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