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Key Findings Jan/Feb 2012

Smart Phones are Changing Internet Use Mobile Device Use by the Health Care Industry
American Energy Trends Corporate Blogging Use Declines
Internet and Cell Phone Use by Race Black Dieters Do it for Health, Not Weight Loss
Number of Millionaire Households Growing Rapidly Healthcare Brand Trend: Marketing to Men
Shopping Experiences Can End Customer Loyalty Women Rising to Top in Europe
Buying Green, When Convenient and Cost-effective B2B Marketing Outlook for 2012
Mobile Action Codes in Magazines The End of America’s Coal Era in Sight
Unprecedented Rise in Solar Energy Installations

Smart Phones Are Changing Internet Use (Mobile Statistics)

About 97.9 million Americans own smartphones, which is 40% of all mobile subscribers.

Some 35% of smartphone owners say they access non-voice applications on their devices before they get out of bed in the morning. Most commonly they look at Facebook (18%) at that time; another 22% go to Facebook in the early morning once they are out of bed. Other early morning phone activities include checking email (24%) and accessing Internet browsers (23%).

More than eight in 10 smartphone owners use at least some of their phones’ applications (i.e. weather, social media) with 56% saying they prefer to access the Internet via their phones over their computer. One-half of owners have used their phone to make a purchase. The chart below shows mobile statistics on how these owners are using their phones to shop.

How Smartphone Owners Use Their Phones to Shop

Source: Prosper Mobile Insights

Number of Millionaire Households Growing Rapidly

The number of American millionaires is expected to continue growing rapidly, despite the Great Recession. In fact, the total number of families with a net worth of over $1 million, including real estate, will double by 2020, according to the Deloitte Center for Financial Services.

In 2011, the U.S. had 10.5 million millionaires, the largest number of millionaire households in the world – even though the financial crisis and recession cut more than 3 million millionaire families from their ranks between 2006 and 2008.

By 2020, 43% of the world’s wealth held by millionaire households will be in America, up from 42% in 2011. The state of California is likely to have the highest number of wealthy households by that year, while Wyoming will have the fewest. New Jersey is expected to have the highest density of millionaires – with one-quarter of all households valued at $1 million or more.

Estimated number of millionaire households in the U.S.
Estimated Number of Millionaire Households in the U.S.

Source:  Deloitte Analysis and Oxford Economics 

Internet and Cell Phone Use by Race

Among U.S. Internet users, 84% of Whites have broadband access at home, compared to 78% of Blacks and 69% of Hispanics. While Hispanics are less likely to own cell phones (76%) than Whites (85%), research shows that Hispanic cell phone owners are more likely than their White counterparts to access the Internet (40% vs. 34%), send/receive email (36% vs. 31%), and use instant messaging (45% vs. 24%).

Blacks who own cell phones (51%) are more likely than either Whites or Hispanics to access the Internet from their phones. Both Blacks and Hispanics (6% of each) are more likely than Whites (1%) to access the Internet from their cell phones in place of having Internet service at home.

Americans’ Internet and Cell Phone Use, by Race/Ethnicity, 2010

Americans' Internet and Cell Phone Use

Source: Pew Hispanic Center

Shopping Experiences Can End Customer Loyalty

A recent MarketTools study shows that “a bad shopping experience” caused 29% of respondents to stop shopping in a retail store; 25% said the same about their experiences with online retail sites.

In physical stores, the biggest problems are unhelpful/unfriendly sales personnel (71%), long lines or long wait time (41%) and poor merchandise quality (39%). For website shopping, merchandise quality was at the top, with 46% blaming poor quality or damaged merchandise as a reason they have stopped shopping with a site. Other reported issues include high shipping costs (43%), shipping problems (37%) and problems with support or lack of assistance (28%).


Buying Green, When Convenient and Cost-effective

Over one-third of American shoppers (36%) – including 41% of those ages 18-34 – report they would pay more for products that are environmentally friendly. However, most will only do so when it is cost-friendly and convenient.

Some 82% turn off lights they are not using and two-thirds recycle, but less than one-half make an effort to buy locally grown foods, unplug electrical items they aren’t using, or buy locally made or used items. Fewer than 25% say they would give up their private cars (by using public transportation), carpool, bicycle, or walk.

Shoppers top priorities are quality (50%) and price (47%) – and they expect environmentally friendly products to also meet these standards.


Mobile Action Codes in Magazines

Mobile action codes, which include 2D barcodes, QR codes, Microsoft Tags and watermarks, have seen a huge increase in magazines during in the last year. A recent study by Nellymoser shows that the top 100 magazines (by circulation) had a 439% increase in usage between the first and fourth quarters. A combined total of 4,468 action codes appeared during the year, with advertisers accounting for 4,011; the remaining were editorial codes.

Other findings include:

  • By December 2011, 1 out of every 12 magazine ad pages contained an action code.
  • QR codes and Microsoft Tags were the most used (97% of all codes in the fourth quarter), with QR codes making up 72%. Microsoft Tags were chosen for editorial use more often than QR codes.
  • Video, opt-in/sweeps and social media were the most popular post-scan engagements.
  • Beauty, home and fashion ads made up almost 40% of action codes used.
  • Of the magazines with the codes, the top 10 contained 28% of all codes printed; most were in women’s magazines.


Mobile Device Use by the Health Care Industry

According to a new report by CompTIA, more than 50% of physicians use a smartphone for work purposes. With the availability of user-friendly and cost-effective technology on the rise, mobile device use by health care providers is growing rapidly.
Other significant findings on mobile statistics from the study include:

  • 25% of health care providers surveyed use tablets at their practice, while another 21% expect to do so in the next 12 months.
  • 38% of physicians with smartphones use medical apps on a daily basis, with that number increasing to 50% in the next 12 months.
  • Two-thirds said implementing or improving their use of mobile technologies is a high or mid-level priority in the next 12 months.
  • Almost one-third of providers use their smartphones or tablets to access EMR/EHR systems, with 20% expecting to start within the next year.
  • Some 38% of healthcare providers said they have a comprehensive EMR system in place and 17% have a partial system or module.
  • Only 14% of healthcare professionals actively follow news and trends in telemedicine, while 37% expressed little interest in the topic.
  • Telemedicine offers the greatest benefits for continuing medical education (61%), specialist referral services (44%) and patient consultations (37%).
  • 10% intend to use video conferencing with patients in the next 12 months.

Black Dieters do it for Health, Not Weight Loss

A recent study by Mintel shows that black adults who diet are more likely to do it for general health reasons (70%) than to prevent or control high blood pressure (52%), or maintain their current weight (46%). Some 49% who watch what they eat have a hard time staying with diets, and 42% say most diets don’t work.

Black dieters have problems finding healthy options at restaurants (35%), hunger pangs (26%) and being “bored” by the food on their diet (26%). Some 60% report that they would prefer to eat healthy foods more frequently, but say the cost is prohibitive.


Health Care Branding Trend: Marketing to Men

Since men accounted for over 75% of jobs lost during the recession (6 million vs. women’s 2.6 million), more and more of them are at home – taking care of the household and children. And, they are okay with this as shown by recent studies which found that 77% of men are contented with their wives out-earning them and 75% saying they are fine staying home to take care of children.

The number of single fathers has reached 2.5 million, reflecting a 30% increase in the past 15 years. Another trend is that Gen X and millennial men are more likely than men of prior generations to take an active role in parenting and household duties.

While women still make 83% of household purchases, ignoring male health care customers can be detrimental to a long-view branding strategy.

Sources: |

Women Rising to Top in Europe

In the U.S., women make up over one-half of professionals and managers in the lower and middle ranks of large companies but only 14% of senior managers, 3% of chief executives and 16% of board positions. Nothing significant is happening to change those domestic statistics, but the European Union is pushing for companies to promote many more women to top jobs, and threatening mandatory quotas if change doesn’t happen.

Some EU member countries have begun self-regulating to make the change. For example, France now has laws requiring all companies to raise the proportion of female directors to 40% by the end of the decade. In Spain, public and large private companies must increase the number of women on their boards to 40% by 2015. Some large German companies have already set their own voluntary targets. Norway, which is not an EU member country, began requiring a 40% share for women on boards almost a decade ago and reached this level in 2009.

Why is this change being pushed now after years of neglect? In the past few decades women in Europe and elsewhere have been attending universities in large numbers, and in most countries they now make up a majority of new graduates. Many governments recognize these highly qualified women as an underused resource especially since study after study has shown that companies with lots of women in senior positions are more successful than those with few or none.

Source: The Economist

B2B Marketing Outlook for 2012

According to BtoB’s “2012 Outlook: Marketing Priorities and Plans” survey, marketers are moving more of their spending into lower-cost online and social media programs.
Overall, the study shows that nearly one-half (48.4%) will keep their budgets flat this year; 40.8% will grow them; and 10.8% will make cuts.

Some 74.0% plan to increase their online spending, while 41.4% will raise event spending, 36.5% will boost direct mail, and 20.1% will enhance their print advertising. Decreases will include 22.4% of marketers cutting their print advertising, 13.4% slashing direct mail, and 12.1% lowering their event marketing spending.

As for online spending, the top areas of growth will be websites (cited by 67.6% of marketers), email (67.5%), social media (64.3%), search (54.8%), video (50.5%) and webcasts/virtual events (45.6%).

The survey also shows that 70.3% of marketers now use social media as part of their marketing strategy. The top uses for social media are brand-building (82.6%), lead generation (51.4%), thought leadership (47.4%) and customer feedback (39.5%).


Corporate Blogging Use Declines

A study by the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth shows that the use of blogging has declined for the first time among Inc. 500 companies. (Inc. 500 companies are defined as the fastest-growing private U.S. companies compiled annually by Inc. magazine.)

Among the 170 Inc. 500 companies polled during late 2011, 37% have a corporate blog, down from 50% in 2010. (Some 45% had them in 2009 and 39% in 2008). The study also revealed decreases in the use of message boards, video blogging, podcasting and the MySpace social network, with increases in the use of Facebook (employed by 74% of responding companies), LinkedIn (73%), Twitter (64%) and YouTube (45%). Texting, downloadable mobile applications, and Foursquare are being utilized by 13%-15% of these companies.

Some 90% of respondents said that social media tools are important for brand awareness and company reputation, with 80% relying on these tools for delivering web traffic and 81% for lead generation.  Seventy-three percent believe social media tools are key to their customer support programs.

Source: University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth

American Energy Trends

According to the Energy Information Administration, the U.S. is expected to rely on net imports of liquid fuel for only 36% of its needs by 2035, down from 60% in 2005.

The reasons include higher relative prices for oil which stimulates domestic production, encourages conservation and makes alternative energy more viable. Other factors include more stringent fuel economy standards for vehicles and energy-efficiency requirements for applicances.

A major positive development from this change will be reduced CO2 emissions. The EIA estimates that America’s energy-related emissions will be lower in 2035 than they were in 2005.

Another trend is a reduced reliance on coal by the electric industry. Competition from natural gas and renewables plus stricter environmental requirements mean that more coal-fired plants will be retired than new ones added over time.

Less reliance on oil means the economy will be less sensitive to changes in oil prices. This is because the U.S. will use less oil and gas per unit of GDP, and more of it will be produced domestically. An increase in price (paid by domestic consumers) will mean more income goes to domestic producers instead of foreign ones.


The End of America’s Coal Era in Sight

In the year 2000, the U.S. produced 52% of its electricity from coal. By 2010 that number fell to 45%. Exports of American mined coal make up less than 10% of production and aren’t expected to increase significantly.

Currently, about 53% of America’s coal-fired capacity comes from units that were built with or have been retrofitted with scrubbers. Most of America’s coal-fired capacity comes from plants that are at least 30 years old, and about 14% of these will need to be retired within in the next five to eight years.

While coal’s share of the electricity-generation market declined between 2000 and 2010, the use of natural gas and renewables grew: natural gas from 16% to 24%, and renewables from 9% to 10%.

The Energy Information Administration expects the U.S. to still obtain 39% of its energy from coal by 2035 – assuming consistent government regulations. However other sources project coal’s share to drop to 20% by 2030.


Unprecedented Rise in Solar Energy Installations

Interest in solar energy production continues to grow as payback periods become shorter and fossil fuel costs continue rising. During the first three quarters of 2011, more than 1 gigawatt of photovoltaic solar energy capacity was installed across the U.S., according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. This was much higher than the total 887 megawatts installed in all of 2010 – which represented a doubling of the total installed base at the time.

Solar energy installations at commercial properties fueled much of the market growth in 2011, as well as the extraordinary rise in utility-based installations, which jumped by 325% between the second and third quarter.

Source: U.S. Solar Market Insight Report Q3 2011


  • Some 33% of moms say one of their children knows more about smartphones than they do.
  • The cost to keep the office candy jar full averages $546 per year.
  • The average American woman owns 17 pairs of shoes, but wears only three on a regular basis. Some 51% own more than 10 pairs, and 13% have more than 30 pairs, not including athletic shoes.

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