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Vertis Unveils a Decade of Data

Press release from the issuing company

BALTIMORE (Jan. 14, 2008) - Vertis Communications announced today the 10th anniversary of its proprietary Vertis Customer Focus study, which has been analyzing the key trends behind consumer purchasing behaviors, entertainment preferences and media usage patterns since 1998.
Spanning a decade of research, Vertis' Customer Focus: Decade of Data study revealed that for adult men 18 and older, TV advertising is no longer the main influencer in their purchasing decisions, down 8 percent from 1998 to 22 percent. Conversely, advertising inserts have grown to become the most influential medium for both adult men and all adults in America. Twenty-four percent of men and 27 percent of total adults indicated they turn to this medium when making a purchasing decision, compared to just 16 percent and 19 percent, respectively, 10 years ago.
"Vertis' 10-year track record in consumer market research has allowed us to witness first-hand how Americans' use of new media, entertainment and information vehicles have become increasingly more fragmented," said Scott Marden, director, marketing research for Vertis Communications. "With our new Decade of Data numbers, we can identify solid trends to help marketers understand the effectiveness, and inherent need, for integrating trusted print media into their multi-channel marketing campaigns."
Looking deeper into the study, Vertis' Decade of Data research also reveals young adults have drifted away from personal interaction when choosing leisure activities. Since 1998, the number of young adults participating in team sports has decreased from 19 percent to 13 percent, while the amount of time spent with computers has drastically increased, from 8 percent to 21 percent in the same 10 years. Additionally, Vertis' study reveals the number of young adults going out to the movies has decreased from 13 percent in 1998 to just 3 percent in 2008, while the number of adolescents staying home to watch television or rent videos has increased from 24 in percent in 1998 to 32 percent in 2008.
"Understanding and hence targeting young adults can be a difficult task for marketers," said Marden. "However, tracking trends in leisure preferences and media activities arms marketers with an acute awareness of where and when this important consumer group can be reached."
In celebration of Customer Focus' 10th anniversary, Vertis is offering a compelling, 20-page "Decade of Data" report, which will provide valuable insight to marketers and is available on the company's newly revamped Web site www.VertisInc.com. A full print report can also be obtained by answering a brief questionnaire online.
The Vertis Communications Customer Focus: Decade of Data study, which surveyed 3,000 consumers via telephone, further revealed the following:
The Rise of Single, Influential Women
In the past decade, the industry has witnessed a rising involvement of women in purchasing decisions like never before. In 1998, only 69 percent of women ages 18-24 reported being involved in the decision-making process when purchasing home electronics; in 2008, 91 percent report they are a part of the process, with cell phones, desktop computers and digital cameras being some of the most popular purchases for this age group (See Slide A)
Considered late adopters, 68 percent of women age 50 and older now have access to the Internet, up from 30 percent in 1998 (See Slide B)
In the past 10 years, the percentage of women ages 25-34 who are single or living with their significant others has increased 8 percent, from 30 percent in 1998 to 38 percent in 2008 (See Slide C)
Finally, because of programs such as Title IX, the 1972 equal opportunity in education act that allowed women access to higher education, the number of women who report having an undergraduate or graduate degree has increased drastically in the last decade, from 28 percent to 41 percent (See Slide D)
Today's Consumers are Socially Responsible, More Informed
Today's consumers rally around victims of natural disasters and are more focused on making social connections. In 2005, when this attitude first emerged following Hurricane Katrina, more than 85 percent of adults had responded to a charitable appeal, surpassing the 77 percent that responded immediately after the events of 9/11 (See Slide E)
Also, since 2004, fewer shoppers visit a store without first researching their purchases, hinting that today's consumers are much more educated about their buying decisions. Prior to entering a store in 2008, Vertis' study indicates approximately 57 percent of adults will look through advertising circulars, 50 percent will conduct research on the Internet, and 38 percent will utilize catalogs to retrieve additional information (See Slide F)
In 2004, 31 percent of adults indicated they entered a store without any prior research; this number is down to 17 percent in 2008 (See Slide G)
Economic Impact of 9/11
Immediately before the 9/11 tragedy, Vertis' Customer Focus data showed almost 38 percent of Americans were planning to purchase a new or used vehicle within the next 12 months. Just four months later, this number decreased to 22 percent, while the number of Americans planning to purchase a new car only decreased by 50 percent (See Slide H)
Additionally, after 9/11, approximately 16 percent of adults reported making fewer large-ticket purchases totaling $100 or more (See Slide I)
Interestingly, in today's current crises in the housing and gas markets, 40 percent of Americans indicated they're less likely to make purchases over $100 in the coming year, 24 percent more than after 9/11 (See Slide J)
Automobile Purchases on the Rise, while Vacation Auto Travel Declines
Among automobile shoppers, Vertis' Decade of Data study shows consumers are more likely to purchase a new car in 2008, with the percentage growing from 58 percent in 1998 to 70 percent in 2007 (See Slide K)
In addition, some growth is also seen among adults planning to buy a used car or truck, with that group of respondents increasing from 45 percent in 1998 to 53 percent in 2007
While automobile purchases may be on the rise, adults are shifting their vacation agendas in 2008 to include fewer trips via automobile, decreasing 5 percent since 1998
Furthermore, fewer adults are planning to take a vacation in 2008, down from 70 percent 10 years ago to 67 percent today (See Slide L)
Finally, plans to travel via air while on vacation have risen slightly in the past decade, from 40 percent in 1998 to 43 percent in the new year