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MONDAY MORNING QUARTERBACK DIGEST #23

August 20, 2018

Monday Morning Quarterback Marketing Digest. OK, it is not Monday morning, but it is still Monday and here are some marketing and research thoughts for this week. Email me (Mark@dennettgroup.com) if you need more info on any subject.

CAN SOCIAL MEDIA CHANGE OPINIONS? – Research shows that most people today believe that social media is a giant echo chamber. People simply spend time with friends that agree with them. For most Americans that is true. But a small share of the public – 14% – say they have changed their views because of something they saw on social media, according to a Pew Research Center survey of U.S. adults conducted May 29-June 11, 2018. This number changes significantly when you look at age, gender and race.

Almost a third (29%) of young men 18 to 29 say their views changed in the past year due to social media. This is more than double the percent of men and women ages 30 and older (12% and 11%, respectively). There are also differences by race. One-in-five black (19%) and Hispanic (22%) say their views changed, compared with 11% of whites. Bottom line: This an important study because it reveals what audiences may be willing to change their opinions the most about your product, service or cause. 

TAKE A VACATION, PLEASE – As the travel industry in the West struggles with smoky skies and fires, many Americans are canceling their vacations. To make these time even more tough, a research study from Project: Time Off shows that Americans are taking less time off. About half of American workers (52%) aren’t using all the vacation time they have. A quarter, 24%, have gone a year without a vacation; 12% say it’s been three years or more since they took a holiday.

What’s stopping them from getting away? Job insecurity – 61% say it’s the “fear of looking replaceable,” while 56% insist their “workload is too heavy.” Which generation is better at taking vacations? Millennials are the worst at 14.5 days of vacation. Generation X takes 17.9 and Baby Boomers take 19.8. That is why even aging Baby Boomers remain a key segment to target for leisure marketers. If you want to see the report, email me.

SEARCHING FOR THE BEST? – Some interesting insights from Google’s “Think with Google” email newsletter. Mobile searches for “best” have grown over 80% over the past two years. People are searching for “best” for even the smallest item. Google research reveals that looking for “the best” isn’t an objective absolute. Since “best” is personal, it is important that website content and search copy convey how your products meet these needs and that you show relatable, real-life use cases. This is one of several studies you will find in our new white paper “KEYS TO MAKING WEB VISITORS, REAL VISITORS.” This report shares findings from various content studies including our six-year study of Oregon visitor websites. Contact me if you are interested.

THE NEWEST WEALTH GAP – YOUNG AND OLD – You would expect that Americans aged 65 or older would have more resources than younger Americans. But a report published in Demography (Children and the Elderly: Wealth Inequality among America’s Dependents) is troubling if you are marketing to families with children.

Looking at two types of households, one with children under age 18 (child households), and the other with someone 65 or older with no children under 18 (elderly households), there is a growing gap between them. In 1989, elderly households had a median net worth 3.8 time that of child households ($106,647 vs. $27,889). By 2013 elderly households had a worth that was 12.5 times as high ($154,998 vs. $12,413). The median net worth of elderly households grew 45% between 1989 and 2013, after adjusting for inflation, while the net worth of child households fell 56%. That is why you need to do a demographic study of your customers. We can provide this type of study.

TRUE OR FALSE: MOST IMMIGRANTS ARE HERE LEGALLY. True, but only 45% of the public knows that most immigrants in the United States are here legally. Nearly as many (42%) think most immigrants are here illegally. Marketing lesson: If you repeat something long enough, even if it is not true, people will believe it. I guess we should call this the “Trump Effect.”

Until next week, enjoy the last few weeks of summer and have a great day.

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