••• entertainment research

Reflect my reality

Multicultural viewers want to see and be seen 

A colorful depiction of people.

Growth in digital video viewership is the fastest among younger generations of AAPI, Black and Hispanic populations, with the largest shares of multicultural populations being Millennials, Gen Z or younger, but these audiences still want more acknowledgement from entertainment creators, according to findings from digital media company My Code’s Multicultural Entertainment report, which examines multicultural film and TV audience behaviors. 

Representation. Multicultural viewers don’t always feel understood by production studios and in turn, studios don’t always make an authentic connection. While nearly all multicultural adults are frequent film and TV viewers, roughly eight in 10 want to be considered during development but only a third feel the industry understands them.

Diversity in talent and production. Overall, multicultural audiences want more authentic representation in TV and movies; 65% want more depictions of multicultural people in ways that break down racial stereotypes, 67% want more diversity among talent playing leading roles and 67% also want more diversity among the directors and writers that influence content.

Movies. Eight in 10 multicultural adults view movies weekly and it is clear that they value flexibility when watching movies at home, as streaming is the leading at-home movie access point. Over half of multicultural audiences watch action, comedy, drama or adventure movies, revealing that movie genre choice is not monolithic.

TV. Nearly nine in 10 multicultural adults watch TV shows weekly and there is evidence that there is more preference for drama and action/adventure shows, with 49% typically watching each genre and 35% indicating that they typically watch sitcoms. In other words, drama and action/adventure are likely popular TV media diet staples, with other genres filling out individuals’ TV consumption similar to surrounding content.

Awards shows. Less than half of multicultural audiences feel that major American awards shows recognize diversity in category nominations, which is reflected in fragmented awards show viewership behaviors. As a mirror for the industry, current awards show engagement reflects the role that authentic on- and off-camera representation has in audience-building.

The report used data collected from over 1,000 adults representative of all main geographical areas of the United States, ages 18-64, between December 22, 2021, and January 3, 2022.

••• shopper insights

Shopping goes social

Study finds generational differences in those buying via social networks

Blue text bubble with a shopping cart image.

Digitally immersed Gen Z shoppers (18-24 years old) anticipate using visual-first social networks like Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat to make purchases in 2022, while Gen X (41-56 years) and Baby Boomers (57-75 years) plan to increase their purchases on Pinterest and Facebook, according to data from Sprout Social, a social media management software firm.

Sprout Social surveyed nearly 1,000 consumers in the U.S. to determine how they planned to shop on social media in 2022. Additional findings from the survey and trends related to social commerce include:

Consumers are embracing immersive features, including virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), for social shopping. As the metaverse begins to take shape, social shoppers are embracing features like VR and AR to make purchases. More than 85% of consumers who currently use VR and AR have already started social shopping. Plans to embrace this new modality of shopping skew heavily toward Gen Z (32%) and Millennial (30%) consumers.

Inclusivity matters to social shoppers. Sixty percent of shoppers report that they’re more likely to buy from brands that highlight inclusivity in their content, for instance featuring different races, ethnicities or gender identities in ads and feeds. Inclusivity is especially important to younger shoppers, with 73% of Gen Z and 72% of Millennials citing this as a purchase factor.

Friends remain influential in consumer purchasing decisions. Recommendations from friends rank high in impact across all age groups, serving as the primary source of influence for consumers ages 18-40, even ahead of influencers. The same is true for Baby Boomers, who still trust friends and family the most.

“Our survey findings make it clear – the opportunity has never been greater for brands to leverage the social storefront to create powerful, frictionless connections with customers,” says Jamie Gilpin, CMO, Sprout Social. “As the majority of consumers have already made a purchase on social media or plan to do so this year, brands that embrace social commerce as a key part of their omnichannel strategy will more effectively pique the interest of consumers, help drive revenue and outpace the competition in 2022 and beyond.”

••• shopper insights

Growth opportunities

Consumers say stores, restaurants can do more to improve e-commerce

Results from a consumer survey conducted by store lifecycle management firm Tango affirm that the physical store remains an important fixture for American consumers. The survey set out to understand how shopping and dining habits and behaviors have changed after two years living through a global pandemic, which accelerated the shift toward consumer demand for a seamless in-store to e-commerce shopping experience. While consumers are satisfied with the changes stores and restaurants have made over the last two years to accommodate for this shifting demand, they believe there is still room to make the shopping and dining experience better.

The findings provide insights into how consumers have adjusted to the changing retail and restaurant environment and point to continued innovation becoming an expectation in the retail experience.

Consumers are more satisfied with retail shopping experiences than they were last year but there is room for improvement:

More innovation, please. Over four in five (83%) say stores still need to become more innovative in how they utilize their retail space for in-store shopping, order fulfillment and pickup.

Shoppers want it all. Eighty-nine percent of consumers want to continue having options to shop in store and online with either in-store pickup or delivery.

The seamless shopping experience is here to stay. Two years into the pandemic, a seamless online-to-store experience continues to grow in importance for most Americans (88%).

More changes, more satisfied customers. Americans are more likely to be satisfied with their options for an online-to-store experience than they were one year ago:

-- 94% of shoppers are satisfied with the options they have for in-store shopping, pickup and delivery from stores and/or chain restaurants compared to 87% a year ago.

-- 94% of shoppers enjoy having the ability to buy online and have options for picking up purchases or having them delivered compared to 86% a year ago.

-- 91% of shoppers like the ways stores have integrated their online presence with the in-store experience (e.g., providing designated parking spaces for curbside pickup) compared to 86% last year.

-- 92% of shoppers report stores have made it easier or faster to pick up or receive online orders instead of waiting days for delivery from larger fulfillment centers, as opposed to only 84% a year ago.

Essential stores adapted to fit consumer preferences slightly better than specialty stores:

Shoppers appreciate convenience. Over nine in 10 U.S. adults say big-box retailers and supermarkets/food stores have adapted well to the changes of the past two years (94%, 93%), as opposed to specialty retailers and restaurants (88%).

It’s not just about COVID anymore; consumers consider inflation and environment when shopping:

Inflationary challenges. Two-thirds of Americans (68%) say where they shop has changed over the past few months due to inflation and/or higher gas prices. Those with a household income of $75,000 or more are more likely than those with lower household incomes to say where they shop has changed over the past few months due to inflation and/or higher gas prices (73% vs. 63-66%).

Reduce, reuse, rethink where you shop. Three in five (62%) say environmental concerns now influence whether they shop in-store or online. Men are more likely than women to say environmental concerns impact whether they shop in-store or online (65% vs. 59%), and those with a household income of $75,000 or more are more likely than those with lower incomes to say environmental concerns influence this choice (71% vs. 51-57%).

The survey was conducted between April 28 and May 2, 2022, and drew 2,018 completed responses from U.S. adults ages 18 and older across the country.

••• employee research

Still struggling on the job

Burned-out workers welcome employer leadership on mental health

In the third year of the pandemic, around half of workers report continuing to feel burned out (51%) and stressed (46%) at work and, despite record levels of resignations in recent months, over a third of workers (34%) are still considering quitting (vs. 41% in 2021), according to findings from a nationwide survey by online behavioral health care company Talkspace conducted with The Harris Poll. 

As explored in its Employee Stress Check Report 2022, the survey of full-time employees found that the majority of those citing continued burnout (59%) say it has gotten worse since last year.

While the stresses experienced during the pandemic have persisted, these new findings indicate that employers can retain employees by signaling that mental health is prioritized in their workplaces: 57% of all workers would be likely to stay at a job if it offered more mental health services, and even more so amongst those considering quitting (66%).

Leadership can make a difference throughout the organization, as employees who say their managers take steps to protect their mental health are significantly more likely to find their work fulfilling (86%) and less likely to feel stressed or burned out by work (41%).

Working parents in particular are more impacted when it comes to workplace mental health, with 53% experiencing burnout and 42% considering quitting, significantly higher than all workers (34%). Balancing work and family responsibilities is difficult for 60% of all working parents, and 44% of parents report missing more than one full day of work since the start of the year due to parenting responsibilities. The impact of work stress is particularly acute among working mothers, as 58% of mothers surveyed say trying to balance work and family responsibilities has caused them stress or burnout, and more than half report feeling less productive, versus 50% of working dads. Compared to working fathers, working mothers were more likely to have found it difficult to be a working parent during the past two years, and less likely to believe balancing work and parenting would get easier next year.

The youngest end of the workforce (Gen Z and younger Millennials), aged 18-34, are significantly more likely, compared to the rest of the workforce, to feel burned out (59%, compared to 51% for all workers) and to consider quitting their job in the next six months (42%, compared to 34% for all workers). Gen Z workers in particular reported alarming levels of burnout (73%).

Other notable findings from the survey include:

Stress and burnout rank just below inadequate pay among the most common worker complaints.

Thirty-two percent of workers are likely to consider quitting their job in the next six months – among those, 59% are more likely to quit compared to last year.

Those most at-risk for quitting include working parents (42%), younger workers (42%) and service-oriented workers (42%) – those working in retail, education, hospitality and health care.

Service-oriented workers also reported the highest levels of day-to-day stress (56% vs. 46% of all workers).

Fewer than one in three U.S. workers (29%) rate their mental health as “excellent,” lower than the 21-year record low (34%) among the general public seen in Gallup polling.

Mental health services are critical to worker retention: As previously noted, 57% of those considering quitting, as well as 70% of young workers and 68% of parents, say they are likely to stay in their current position if they received more mental health services.

While 74% of workers say more paid time off, like mental health days, would make them consider staying at their jobs, fewer than two in five workers get and use most of their PTO.

The poll was fielded during March and April 2022 and surveyed 1,400 full-time employees aged 18+ in the U.S., with an oversampling of nearly 800 working parents.

••• insurance research

From agent to advisor

Younger homeowners see different roles for insurance provider

Three people looking at a silver laptop screen.

Fifteen years after the onset of the Great Recession, impacts are still being felt on homeownership and insurance usage in the U.S. A TransUnion study found that Millennials and the youngest Gen Xers experienced significant delays in homeownership due to the Great Recession. In addition, out-of-state migration patterns – partially driven by the COVID-19 pandemic – pose risks to insurance providers’ books of business.

Findings are from a survey of 2,791 consumers conducted between February and March 2022. The survey focused on consumer near-term coverage needs across multiple lines of business and provided a better understanding of what kinds of support and communication consumers expect from their insurance providers.

“Millennials and even parts of Gen Z are coming to the housing market for the first time later in life,” says Mark McElroy, executive vice president and head of TransUnion’s insurance business. “They’re taking a different approach to engaging with their insurance providers and expecting services and counsel beyond basic coverage of their homes.”

Percentage of adults who became homeowners by age 30:

Mid-Gen X (born 1971-1975): 47%

Youngest Gen X (born 1976-1980): 39%

Oldest Millennials (born 1981-1985): 29%

Mid-Millennials (born 1986-1990): 25%

Those gaps are finally beginning to narrow as Millennials now drive the majority of first-time home purchases, accounting for more than half of purchase originations by the end of 2021. As these cohorts reach typical adulthood milestones, many think differently than previous generations about how they utilize and engage with insurance providers.

TransUnion’s data analysis has found these groups expect digital shopping experiences as they compare policies and prices. However, their primary channel for direct communication at purchase and claims is a phone conversation.

In addition, the survey findings provided insights on how and why consumers want to engage with their insurers. Responses differed by generation. For example, Baby Boomers indicated they prefer not to hear from their insurer unless they reach out first, while Gen X is interested in upcoming weather events impacting their area. Millennials are looking for auto and home safety tips and maintenance reminders or evolving coverage needs, while Gen Z is looking for data about how they are driving through telematics.

“We’re seeing that consumers have come to expect quite a lot from their insurance carriers beyond the basic coverage for damages and losses,” says Michelle Jackson, senior director of TransUnion’s personal property and casualty insurance business. “Increasingly, people want them to serve as trusted advisors and partners who can help avoid losses in the first place.”

Among other generational differences were changes to migration patterns. Predictably, Gen Z and Millennials are currently moving at higher rates than members of Gen X and Baby Boomers. However, comparing the migration behaviors of Millennials with those of Gen Xers when they were the same age revealed significant differences. Specifically, nearly 4% of Millennials aged 25-40 are moving out of state, whereas only 1% of Gen X did so at the same age.

This trend was driven partially by people leaving large cities during the pandemic but also, more broadly, by a desire for a more affordable cost of living. Regardless of the reasons, this has implications for insurers who may be at risk losing customers who move out of state. Conversely, it may also present challenges to consumers, as many of them are moving to southern regions that are more prone to severe weather, making it difficult to attain new policies that offer sufficient coverage at an affordable price.

“While more Gen Zers and Millennials might move out of state, they are also actively seeking counsel about these kinds of decisions,” says Jackson. “Insurance providers can leverage data to identify those most likely to leave and offer guidance about some of the unexpected impacts of those changes. [Providers] who view themselves as less of a commodity and more of a consultant will be better positioned to win and retain business.”