American Dream Insights – September 2015

zmclvbi9xx4-joshua-earleBe curious always. For knowledge will not acquire you; you must acquire it.

quote attributed to: Sudie Back

What would you do if somebody gave you free research results?

Recently the team at Xavier University did just that.  They provided me data on four additional questions asked in a monthly run of the American Dream Composite Index (ADCI) research.  Note, each month the ADCI research receives a minimum of 1,000 demographically balanced responders nationwide.  The N for this round was 1,154. Consequently, the data is reliable.

According to the research …

First Learning: 64% of respondents feel like the economy is in a recession (sentiment more felt by Millennials than older folks)

This finding has implications on consumer purchase intent.  The fact it is believed to a greater degree by Millennials suggests certain products purchased by that demographic segment may be impacted to a greater degree.  As a consumer packaged goods marketer this insight is worth considering when forecasting sales.  For place marketers, the finding has implications on the challenge of retaining Millennials in your community.  If they do not feel economically solid, they may be concerned about the possibility of achieving their American Dream and look elsewhere to improve their odds.

Statement: It feels like the economy is in a recession.

Percent that AGREE

Millennial 68.37%; Gen X 65.81%; Boomer 65.71%; Greatest Generation 54.4%; Overall 63.69%

Second Learning: Millennials report being much more likely to spend money during this holiday season than older generations despite having less income. Overall, only 30% of respondents say they will spend more this holiday season.

For consumer packaged goods marketers the implication is Millennials may be making trade-off decisions on their purchases during the holiday season (or may opt to increase credit card debt).  For place marketers the finding suggests an opportunity to reinforce efforts to network Millennials who will be seeking connections during the holidays.  Likely time to take another look at any professional network event plans for December.

Statement: I plan to spend more money during this upcoming holiday season than last year.

Percent tha AGREE

Millennial 56.6%; Gen X 31.11%; Boomer 22.76%; Greatest Generation 13.62%; Overall 29.29%

Third Learning: Millennials also report that they are more likely to increase their travel in the near future.

For travel and tourism marketers this has important ramifications.  Holiday trips can be a key revenue source and it will be important to provide Millennial friendly experiences.  For place marketers, travel is an opportunity (and risk).  It is an opportunity to introduce people to your community and/or possibly repatriate Millennials.  It is also a risk you may lose some top talent as they experience other places.

Statement: Given the relief in gas prices recently, I plan to do more traveling in the near future.

Percent that AGREE

Milennial 64.29%; Gen X 41.13%; Boomer 31.41%, Greatest Generation 34.63%; Overall 40.99%

Fourth Learning: Family is by far the most popular source of seeking financial help.

This finding is likely not unexpected.  Financial professionals will have to figure out how to position themselves as a better choice than family. Financial experts will deal even with unsecured loans in Alabama. And, the data may even point to an opportunity for place marketers.  Maybe it is time to think out-of-the-box about how to encourage entrepreneurial start-ups.  For example, could a local tax incentive be created to encourage families to invest in start-ups (e.g. some type of tax break)?

Statement: When I need help managing my money, I first turn to –

Top 2 Responses

Millennials: family (66.33%) Internet (17.35%); Gen X: family (57.58%) Internet (18.51%); Boomer: family (56.41%) financial professional (22.76%); Greatest Generation: family (45.53%) financial professional (37.35%); overall: family (56.07%) financial professional (21.40%) friends (6.93%) Internet (15.60%)

Hopefully you will find the data interesting and ideally helpful.

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