My wife and I are celebrating our 15th anniversary this weekend. Time flies.
Tara kept her maiden name when we got married because she was already known in her field and – oh, who the hell am I kidding – she’s not a masochist. People in our overlapping professional circles often have no idea we’re married, which can be entertaining.
She has a big job at Carnegie Mellon to go with my entrepreneur gig. The logistics are insane. We’ve had a quick passing hug in an airside terminal, one of us arriving, the other departing. We’ve been on foreign continents at the same time and never saw each other. We don’t swap gifts or cards on most holidays (or anniversaries), both just grateful to have one less to-do item.
But it works. In a decade-and-a-half, I’ve only been banished to the guest room three or four nights. She still rolls her eyes at me (slightly) less than my 14-year-old and neither of our kids has ever eaten a Tide Pod. So yeah, we’re crushing it in the grand scheme. It helps that we have an awesome time together when we’re not adulting.
Companies should pay more attention to the changing dynamics of marriage/partnership and what it means to their industry. Tara manages our finances, makes the investment and real estate decisions, and buys every car. I do the grocery shopping, cooking, lunch-packing, and kitchen cleaning, and coordinate our kids’ social lives. She’s huge into sports and perennially beats me at fantasy football. I chaperone the school picnics.
While that stereotype-busting isn’t new or even novel anymore, marketers still haven’t figured out how to communicate with us. We share Netflix, Amazon Prime, and a dozen other memberships. The stuff “recommended” to one of us or the other is hilarious sometimes. I see too many ads that were clearly not aimed at me. Many brands and media companies seem to think it’s still 1950.
We’re going to delve more into this, so, let me know if you have any stories or insights of your own to share. I hope whatever relationship you’re in, it works as well as ours does.
Here are a few interesting things we’re seeing right now:
Our paying clients get really crabby when we tell you our best secrets ahead of earnings season. This week was a particularly tough one to bite our tongues. Let’s start with:
Facebook- You may have wondered why we were so quiet after the whole Cambridge Analytica dust-up. Frankly, there was no evidence in our data of anything other than a short-term blip, blown out of proportion by a vocal minority. Any immediate declines in daily users in late March bounced back and, recently, then some. Stop doubting Facebook. How many times do I have to tell you that?
Amazon- They obliterated Wall Street’s earnings expectations (but not ours). We showed you harbingers of this in January – like the fact that weekly usage of Amazon Prime grew by over 20% in the 4th quarter of 2017. Those people clearly hit their spending stride in Q1.
Chipotle- Another earnings beat that defied conventional wisdom. The most promising sign in our data was a leveling off in late 2017 (which we told you), followed by a 10% decline in negative attitudes toward the brand among Millennials (the restaurant’s driving force) in Q1. My daughters are even warming back up to Chipotle and they’re the ficklest people ever.
The ACA keeps the doctor away. How about this for the law of unintended consequences? Doctor visits among U.S. adults have plummeted since 2016 – with the number of people who say they have not visited a medical professional in the past year increasing by 19%. And no, this isn’t a result of people just getting healthier. Those who pay for insurance out of pocket to comply with the ACA are over 30% less likely to see a doctor than someone with employer-provided healthcare and 75% less likely than someone on Medicare or Medicaid.
Immediacy is still driving brick-and-mortar retail. With all of the much-publicized woes of physical retailers, it’s easy to forget that a clear majority of Americans still do most of their shopping in-store. Why? Because they can get what they want the very moment they want it. Ubiquitous same-day delivery could be the final nail in the coffin when it comes.
People prefer to exercise alone. I don’t know why the statistical magnitude of this surprised me so much. People want to work out but very few want to do so in groups (except Millennials) and even fewer want to confront the terror of a personal trainer. This could explain why a company like Peloton can have so much success – it comes along during the rise of the stay-at-home economy. You get the motivational benefits of a group/trainer without having to compare yourself to the chiseled and vain people beside you.
Speaking of vanity, they call them vanity plates because vain people have them. I am just so amused that this hypothesis turned out to be true. As expected, people who have personalized license plates on their car over-index as wealthy and older (sorry to stereotype but I’m picturing the midlife-crisis-Porsche driver). But the kicker is that when we look explicitly at whether those folks are in fact, vain, the answer is overwhelmingly ‘yes’! Vanity plate owners are a full 3X more likely than non-owners to think they are “Much more physically attractive” than other people their age or gender. I love it.
Some Random (Marriage and Wedding) Stats of the Week
- 41% of people believe ‘late twenties’ is the ideal time to get married, 11% say ‘Never’
- 71% of married women took their husband’s last name
- 19% of people typically cry at weddings
- 31% of people hate going to weddings
- 50% of people prefer traditional wedding vows, 26% prefer personalized vows, 24% don’t care
- 40% of people think that living with a significant other before getting married is “hugely” important; 20% believe it’s morally wrong
- Father of the Bride is the most popular wedding movie of all-time, followed by My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Wedding Crashers
Anyway, I’m off to celebrate.
Hoping you’re well.