November 20, 2018

Tuesday Morning Quarterback Marketing Digest. After an amazing NFL Monday Night Football game (54-51), it seems like a good morning for my digest, even if it is a day late. Here are a few marketing and research thoughts for the week. Short week, short digest. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

A MEANINGFUL WEEK FOR MOST OF US – What makes life meaningful? To tackle this topic, Pew Research Center conducted two separate surveys in late 2017. The first included open-ended questions. The second survey included closed-ended (also known as forced-choice) questions. Across both surveys, the most popular answer is clear and consistent: Americans are most likely to mention family when asked what makes life meaningful in the open-ended question, and they are most likely to report that they find “a great deal” of meaning in spending time with family in the closed-ended question. Among the key findings from the surveys:

• Family is among the most popular topics across all demographic groups.

• Americans with higher incomes and education are more likely to mention friendship, good health, stability and travel as meaningful.

• Many evangelicals find meaning in faith, while atheists often find it in activities and finances.

• Politically conservative Americans are more likely than liberals to find meaning in religion, while liberals find more meaning in creativity and social causes than conservatives.

YOUR CAR CAN KNOW ORDER DONUTS – Last year, millions of Americans got into their cars and discovered they could order donuts, breakfast or coffee while they drove because GM had downloaded a new application called Marketplace, which operated in their cars’ center touchscreens. Not terribly important marketing news now, but let’s jump a few decades into the future. Let’s imagine that General Motors’ investment in Cruise Automation has paid off and the company now makes cars that completely drive themselves. These cars have no steering wheels or pedals. People just ride in them. So, instead of making one pile of money when a car gets sold, GM and others could now make money off an app and selling things to you as you ride.

THEY ARE COMING – As a new American generation moves toward adulthood, will this new group (6- to 21-year-olds now), for many our grandkids, change the social fabric of the United States? Yes, according to a new research analysis of Census Bureau data. It finds that the “post-Millennial” generation is the most racially and ethnically diverse generation ever. A bare majority (52%) are non-Hispanic whites. And while most are still pursuing their K-12 education, the oldest post-Millennials are enrolling in college at a significantly higher rate than Millennials were at a comparable age.

Until next week, enjoy Thanksgiving and shopping! OK, I guess I will put up my Christmas lights.

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