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Key Findings November / December 2011

Inequities in CEO Compensation and Household Income Hispanic Young Adults Lack Health Insurance Electric Vehicles
“Un-Liking” Companies on Facebook Online Access to Doctors Exporting U.S. Fossil Fuels
American Fathers Retirement Outlook Changes in U.S. Energy Consumption
Linking Pet Ownership to Career Path Top Lead Generation Activities for B2B and B2C Companies
TV Ownership Declines Climate-responsible Companies
Consumers Research Before Buying Business Tech Trends

Inequities in CEO Compensation and Household Income

American CEOs’ annual compensation has skyrocketed compared to workers’ wages. In 1980, CEO pay equaled 42 times the average blue collar worker’s pay. By 2010, CEO pay had jumped to 343 times workers’ median pay – by far the widest gap in the world.

The median U.S. household income fell $3,719 from 2000 to 2010 (measured in 2010 dollars). In comparison, the average household income of the top 0.01% was $27 million.

Five Highest Paid CEOs

“Un-Liking” Companies on Facebook

Almost two-thirds of online adults (65%) are currently active on Facebook, and 73% have created Facebook profiles at some point. Some 64% of Facebook users have chosen to be fans of at least one company on the site and 55% have “liked” a company and later decided they didn’t want to see their posts. The chart below lists the major reasons people “un-like” companies.

Reasons People Unlike Companies

American Fathers

The American population includes 70.1 million fathers, 36% of whom are married and have children younger than 18 living at home. Some 22% of married fathers have three or more children under 18.

Out of the 1.8 million single fathers, 46% are divorced, 30% have never been married, 19% are separated, and 6% are widowed. Single fathers account for 15% of single parents. One in 10 (9%) are raising three or more children and 39% have incomes of $50,000 or more.

During 2010, there were 154,000 U.S. stay-at-home dads, defined as married fathers with children under the age of 15 who have been out of the labor force for at least one year for the primary purpose of taking care of their children while their wives work outside the home.

Linking Pet Ownership to Career Path

A recent CareerBuilder survey asked workers what pets they have at home, how much they earn, and their level of job satisfaction. Findings included:

  • Dog owners are more likely to have a senior management position (CEO, CFO, or VP)
  • Workers who own snakes or reptiles are the most likely group to earn six-figure salaries
  • Workers with birds report the most job satisfaction

Here is how pet owners clustered in specific professions:

  • Bird owners: Advertising professionals, sales representatives, administrative positions and construction workers.
  • Cat owners: Physicians, real estate agents, science and medical lab technicians, machine operators and personal caretakers.
  • Dog owners: Professors, nurses, information technology professionals, military professionals and entertainers.
  • Fish owners: Human resource workers, financial professionals, hotel and leisure workers, farming, fishing and forestry professionals and transportation workers.
  • Snake and reptile owners: Engineers, social workers, marketing and public relations professionals, editors, writers and police officers.

TV Ownership Declines

The Nielsen Company estimates that in 2012, the total number of U.S. households with TV will decline for the first time since 1992. And, the number of households with no TV at all (3%) will reach its highest level since 1975.

Expected decline in TV ownership will be 114.7 million households in 2012, down from 115.9 million in 2011. This is a decline of almost 1% while the total number of U.S. households is growing.

Other changes in viewing and equipment:

  • TV technologies rising in popularity include DVRs (these will be in 41% of homes in 2012), digital cable (51%) and HDTV (67%).
  • The number of houses with three or more TV sets will reach 56%, up slightly from 55% in 2011.
  • Time the average household spends in front of the tube or flat screen is now a record 59 hours and 28 minutes per week.
  • Technologies losing popularity include the VCR which was in 90% of homes just seven years ago but has dropped to only 57% of households
  • DVD player ownership is expected to decline slightly to 85% in 2012, down from a peak of 88% in 2009.
  • Cable and satellite TV use remains steady in homes with TV (90% versus 10% of homes using rabbit ears).

Source: Nielsen Company

Consumers Research Before Buying

More than four in 10 U.S. consumers (43%) always perform research before making a purchase. Some 64% do research for consumer electronic purchases, followed by baby products (44%), fashion (39%), food/beverages (36%), and health/beauty aids (31%).

The majority of consumers (60%) make a buying decision within a few days of beginning their research; 24% buy the same day.

Five of the top 10 resources for product reviews are online as shown in the chart below.

Where Consumers Look for Product Reviews

Top Influences on Consumer Buying Decisions

Hispanic Young Adults Lack Health Insurance

Young Hispanic adults (ages 20-29) are less likely than their non-Hispanic peers to have health insurance. Some 54% of Hispanics in this age category were uninsured in 2009, compared to 34% of non-Hispanic Blacks and 24% of non-Hispanic Whites.

Most young adults with health insurance – whether private or through Medicaid – had regular doctors or other sources of routine medical care with little differences by race or ethnicity. Of the uninsured, Hispanics (33%) were less likely than non-Hispanic Blacks (40%) or Whites (47%) to have regular sources of medical care.

Overall, only 61% of Hispanic young adults had visited doctors at least once in the prior year, compared to 76% of both non-Hispanic Whites and non-Hispanic Blacks.

Online Access to Doctors

The majority of U.S. adults (73%) say they would use a secure online communication portal to interact with their doctors’ offices. Half of these say they would change doctors to get this convenience: 29% of Boomers and 59% of Generation Y adults.

Patients say they want to interact online in a variety of ways. About one-half (51%) say they would use this communication to ask care-related questions, 81% want to make appointments, 68% would like to make prescription requests, 62% want to obtain lab results, 59% would complete medical forms, and 53% want to review and pay bills.

Retirement Outlook

Some 72% of Americans aged 25 to 69 say they expect to work during their retirement years. A higher percentage (39%) says they will work to make ends meet versus 33% who simply want to work.


  • 70% feel on track for retirement
  • Only 31% are confident about the stock market as a source of investment gains
  • 40% would invest in a certificate of deposit if given $5,000 to invest for retirement


  • 33% say their retirement plans will be affected by family needs
  • Anticipate the cost of health care in retirement


  • 48% believe they will be able to save the amount they need for the retirement lifestyle they want, the fewest of any age group
  • 47% believe inflation will affect their ability to retire
  • 79% are trying to reduce debt, the most of any age group

50-and 60-Somethings

  • 55% of those in their 50s and 59% of those in their 60s have a pension that will serve as a resource in retirement
  • Most likely to be looking forward to retirement

Source: Wells Fargo

Top Lead Generation Activities for B2B and B2C Companies

Search Engine Optimization is the top source of leads for both business-to-consumer (41%) and business-to-business marketers (57%). Other lead generating activities include social media marketing and pay-per-click marketing as shown below.

Overall, 60% of respondents plan to increase their budget for social media marketing in 2012; 53% plan to increase the budget for SEO and 40% for their PPC budget.

Which Makes the Biggest Impact on Your Lead Generation Goals?

Climate-responsible Companies

For the last five years, Climate Counts has published a scorecard showing the most climate-responsible companies. For 2011, they evaluated 136 of the largest companies by revenue in each industry, reviewing their efforts to address climate change, using 22 criteria and a 100-point scale. The criteria measure a company’s efforts to assess its climate footprint, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, support progress on climate legislation, and communicate their efforts clearly and comprehensively to consumers. For 2011, there were 13 companies scoring 80 points or higher – more than triple the number in 2010. The following chart lists the top 10 companies.

2011 Climate Counts, Top 10 Companies

Business Tech Trends

While technology is constantly evolving, it’s important that companies not only stay informed, but that they stand on the front end and anticipate what’s coming their way. The following trends offer some insights.

Just-in-time training – Cloud-based technology is making just-in-time training possible because it allows people to use their cell phones, tablet computers and laptops to access training when and where they need it – right in the field. Trainees can use this for installation/repair issues, learning new software, product updgrades, new policies and procedures. At the touch of a button, the trainee can connect real time with a trainer.

Processing power on demand – Through cloud-based technology, people can turn their mobile devices into virtual super computers to perform advanced calculations and crunch different data streams together to produce real-time analytics.

Creative application of technology – Go beyond what your employees ask for technologically. Give them the ability to do what they currently cannot do but would want to do if they knew they could. For example, people didn’t ask for an iPhone or Android. The unspoken need was the ability to access email and the Internet without being tied to a desktop or laptop. Also, companies would do well to educate employees about unused tech capabilities in systems already in place. For example, Microsoft Word has literally thousands of features that users can select, but most people only use seven to 10 features. Knowing more allows employees to do more.

Electric Vehicles

Four in 10 drivers (42%) say they have never heard of or know very little about electric-only vehicles. Some 19% say they would consider buying one. Of those who would contemplate purchasing an electric vehicle, 30% say they would consider one that got less than 100 miles per charge (most get 50-100 miles). Four in 10 (40%) would pay 10% more for an electric vehicle than for a similar gas, diesel or hybrid vehicles.

The cost to retrofit their residence for charging an electric vehicle appears to be a major purchase barrier: only 13% of drivers are willing to spend $1,000 to do so.

Exporting U.S. Fossil Fuels

While many Americans are pushing for the U.S. to drill for oil on wild public lands, they may not realize that much of this oil and gas is not staying in the country. Much of the oil, gas, and coal that is drilled and mined in the U.S. are going to fuel cars and furnaces in places like Europe, China, and India.

  • A recent report details just how high the exports have risen:
  • The U.S. currently exports more than 690,000 barrels refined petroleum products per day like kerosene.
  • Gasoline exports have more than doubled since 2007 and are on pace this year to exceed 150 million barrels, triple the amount in 2007 – even as gas prices remain high.
  • In the first quarter of 2010, the United States exported more than 17.8 million short tons of coal. American coal exports increased by nearly 50% in the first quarter of 2011.
  • Two permits for natural gas export terminals have been approved, with several more proposed to send gas from the Marcellus Shale (located in Eastern North America) overseas.

Source: Wilderness Society, Exporting America’s Heritage

Changes in U.S. Energy Consumption

Between 2006 and 2010, total natural gas consumption rose from 22% to 26%, while petroleum and coal dropped as a percentage of consumption. During that same time, biomass and wind energy grew as a percentage of the country’s renewable energy consumption.

Total U.S. Energy Consumption


  • Teens are more likely to say their mom is “cool” (63%) than their dad (47%).
  • Baby Boomers – Americans born between 1946 and 1964 – began turning 65 at the start of 2011. They currently make up 26% of the population (79 million). Due to the aging of Boomers, the 65+ population is expected to increase 79% between 2010 and 2030.
  • The content IPad owners consumed on their devices during 2010, included ebooks (70%), electronic magazines or journals (61%), network TV programs (51%) and paid-for content (13%).

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