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Key Findings – May/June 2010

Children’s vs. Parents’ Views on Marriage Teens and Social Networks Kids and Mobile Devices
Blacks’ Positive Views Social Activities of Older Americans Television is Favorite Media Activity
Smartphones and Shopping Wealthy Web Searchers Women’s Awareness of Heart Disease
Physicians and Drug Reps Treating Preventable Chronic Diseases B2B and B2C E-Mail Tactics for B2B and B2C Companies
Corporate Social Media Policies Health As Corporate Responsibility

Children’s vs. Parents’ Views on Marriage

America has 74 million children under the age of 18 today; this number will rise to 82 million by 2021, per Nickelodeon. Some 56% are White, 22% are Hispanic/Latino and 14% are Black. The following chart shows the differences in children’s versus parents’ attitudes about marriage.

Teens and Social Networks

The majority of teens (88%) use social networking sites every day, including 70% who use them at least an hour or more daily. Most (58%) say they would take into account the ability to access social networks at work when evaluating a job offer from a potential employer. However, they do not consider the reactions of college admissions officers (40%), or present or future employers (38%), or parents (30%) when they post information on a social network. The chart below shows how teens are using social networks to do good in the world.

Kids and Mobile Devices

Kids and teenagers (age 8-18) spend an average of seven hours and 38 minutes using entertainment media in a typical day, and more than 53 hours per week. This reflects an increase of one hour and 17 minutes per day since 2005.

Ownership of mobile devices among those in this age group over the past five years increased from 39% to 66% for cell phones, and from 18% to 76% for iPods and MP3 players.

Young people now spend more time listening to music, playing games and watching TV on their cell phones (49 minutes daily) than they spend talking on them (33 minutes daily).

Blacks’ Positive Views

Some 39% of Blacks say they were better off in 2009 than they were in 2004, compared to 12% who think they were worse off. In addition, 53% of Blacks believe their situation will improve in the coming five years, compared to 10% who say it will be worse.

Both Blacks (60%) and Whites (70%) think that the values of their two racial groups have become more similar in the past 10 years. They also believe the gap in their standard of living has narrowed (56% of Blacks and 65% of Whites). However, Blacks’ annual household income is only 62% of Whites’, a smaller proportion than it was in 2000 (65%).

One-half of Blacks (52%) say that Blacks who cannot get ahead are responsible for their own situation, compared to 34% who think it is due to racism.

Social Activities of Older Americans

The social activities of Americans age 45 and older vary greatly by race/ethnicity as seen in the following chart.

Television is Favorite Media Activity

Americans age 14-75 say that watching TV (34%) is their favorite media activity. In second place is surfing the Internet, preferred by only 14%.

They watch 18 hours of TV in a typical week, up from 16 hours in 2008. For Americans age 14-26, they now watch 15 hours a week, up from 10.5 in 2008. One explanation for this increase is that during the recession, most Americans reported cutting back on expenses such as concerts, DVDs, CDs and sporting events, leaving TV as a less expensive entertainment alternative.

Most (86%) say they prefer to watch TV shows on their set live, via DVR, or On Demand. Only 10% prefer to watch shows online, however, 65% say they would like to be able to connect their TV to the Internet to view video or download content.

Television continues to be the most influential advertising medium with American consumers, with 83% saying it is among the top three media which affect their buying decisions.

Smartphones and Shopping

More than one-third of smartphone owners (37%) say they have made a purchase from their devices. The number would have been higher – 45% reported they had to abandon online shopping carts for some sites because the site would not load properly.

Shoppers with Android phones (32%) and iPhones (29%) are more likely to be willing to spend more than $100 using their phone than those with Windows (15%), Blackberry (14%), or Palm phones (13%).

Wealthy Web Searchers

According to The Luxury Institute, 63% of wealthy Americans (those with salaries of $150,000 or more per year) click on the first link that isn’t labeled “paid” or “sponsored” at the top of a page of search results when they are looking for information online.

Some 69% of wealthy web searchers say they have no problem clicking on a paid or sponsored link if it is relevant. About one-half (52%) say that paid search results are usually not relevant, which could explain why 48% ignore them.

More than four in 10 (41%) do not trust paid search results, and 46% admit they can’t tell the difference between paid and standard results.

Most do not review results after the first page. To improve searches, 56% use search engine suggestions for similar searches, and 40% use the “did you mean …” option offered by the search engines.

Women’s Awareness of Heart Disease

Sixty percent of White women know that heart disease us the leading cause of death among women, compared to only 44% of Hispanics, 43% of Blacks and 34% of Asians.

While low, these numbers reflect improvements in awareness which doubled among Hispanic women and tripled among Black women between 1997 and 2009.

Still, Black women (32%) and Hispanic women (31%) are more likely to name breast cancer as women’s primary health concern, as are White women (24%).

Physicians and Drug Reps

Gaining access to US physicians became more difficult for pharmaceutical representatives in 2009, per AccessMonitor. Just over one-half (58%) of prescribers last year were “rep-accessible” (meaning that they met with at least 70% of the sales representatives who called on them). This is down 18% from the spring 2009 study showing that 71% of physicians met with at least 70% of pharmaceutical representatives.

Over this same time, the number of “rep-inaccessible” prescribers (those who saw fewer than 30% of the reps who called on them) increased to 9% from 6%. The report also labeled 33% of physicians as “rep-neutral” (they will see 31% to 69% of the pharmaceutical salesmen who call on them).

Treating Preventable Chronic Diseases

Nearly one-half of US adults have hypertension, high cholesterol, or diabetes, which are associated with cardiovascular disease, according to a recent study by Center for Disease Control’s National Center for Health Statistics. About 13% of adults have two of the conditions, and 3% have all three chronic diseases.

B2B and B2C E-Mail Tactics for B2B and B2C Companies

While business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) e-mail marketers have different targets, they do agree on the effectiveness of several e-mail tactics.

For example, both groups consider identifying the best time to send messages as their most effective e-mail marketing approach. They also agree it’s key to include marketing promotions in transactional messages and like to use surveys to gather information about their recipients.

While both groups expressed about equal interest in upselling and cross-selling, increasing contact databases and strengthening their analytics, there were also significant differences in their goals. B2B marketers were highly focused on moving prospects through the sales pipeline, whereas B2C respondents wanted to increase customer loyalty. This explains why B2C marketers found customer loyalty strategies – such as incorporating social network links – more valuable than B2B respondents.

The following chart shows the importance each group gave to a variety of tactics.

Corporate Social Media Policies

Many IT professionals are wary of social media usage in the workplace, both because they believe it hampers productivity and might compromise security. According to nCircle, about 60% of US businesses’ security and IT professionals say their company has a social media policy, and 39% ban all usage of social media on the job.

Almost one-quarter of Facebook users (23.4%) surveyed by F-Secure said they used the site “all the time” while at work, and even more had friended their boss. Another 35% visited Facebook occasionally on the job. Just 14.3% of respondents said their company did not allow access—much lower than the 39% of companies in the nCircle survey that reported bans.

Interestingly, almost one-half of the IT professionals polled by nCircle admitted they were not sure if their companies’ employees adhered to the rules in place.

Health As Corporate Responsibility

An Edelman study which surveyed 15,000 people in 11 countries shows that health is emerging as a major corporate responsibility issue for companies of all kinds. Of those surveyed, 69% said that “business should be as engaged in maintaining and improving personal and public health as it is in maintaining and improving the environment.”

Survey respondents said they would be more willing to trust, do business with and even invest in companies that are engaged in health issues. Examples include making available products that promote health, communicating the health risks of their products, helping their workers become healthier, helping address obesity or contributing to global health.

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