J.D. Power and Associates Reports: Five Trends for 2011 Emerge from Mining Social Media

LAS VEGAS: 21 October 2010 – J.D. Power and Associates has identified five important consumer trends that have emerged from examining social media commentary, according to the opening presentation at the 2010 J.D. Power and Associates Automotive Internet Roundtable. The conference is currently being held at the Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa in Las Vegas, Nev., through Friday, Oct.22.

“Mining social media content and clickstream behavior yields tacit knowledge streams that are rich with insight about consumer behavior, including the thought processes and decision-making that consumers either can�t or don�t articulate,” said Dave Howlett, senior director of consumer insights and strategy and J.D. Power and Associates. “Understanding this information is crucial to targeting customers and driving sales.”

From findings gathered through examination of millions of online social media conversations that have taken place in 2010, J.D. Power and Associates has identified the following five consumer trends with important implications for brands and marketers:

Access: Consumers now have access to more information than ever before, including unprecedented access to brands and people through social networks. This access to information will continue to accelerate through the proliferation of smartphone and mobile devices. Therefore, it becomes increasingly critical for brands to provide timely and accurate information online that can be accessed through mobile devices.

Elimination of excess: Triggered by the economic downturn and environmental factors, consumers are scaling back from excess and gravitating toward simplification and minimalist lifestyles. Many seem to be pleased with these changes. For brands and marketers, this means that it is critical to reinforce the value of their products and services, and lead consumers to perceive products as essential to their lifestyles.

Quality: In response to the economic difficulties of 2008 and 2009, many consumers curtailed purchase of more expensive products, at times at the expense of quality. In 2010, consumers are increasingly questioning why low price and high quality seem to be mutually exclusive. Brands that succeed at delivering both may have a competitive advantage.

Control: With the proliferation of online information and smart devices, consumers are taking greater control over their purchase experiences, and by extension, their lives. As a result, conveying a sense of empowerment to consumers may be a particularly effective marketing theme.

Identity: Traditional notions of life stages are changing and evolving. For example, people are entering marriage and childbearing phases at a later age and the definition of retirement is changing for many Baby Boomers. Approximately 85 percent of college graduates in 2011 plan to move back in with parents after graduation. As a result, marketers must re-evaluate how they segment and target consumers, as traditional perceptions and roles may no longer apply.

Additional insights regarding consumer trends arising from J.D. Power�s social media research will be available in a report titled, “Trendspotting in Social Media,” to be published in November.

The 2010 Automotive Internet Round Table is the most highly attended J.D. Power and Associates conference since the event was first initiated, with nearly 1,100 automotive dealers and industry professionals registered.

About J.D. Power and Associates

Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement, Web intelligence and customer satisfaction. The company�s quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies

Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP) is a global information and education company providing knowledge, insights and analysis in the financial, education and business information sectors through leading brands including Standard & Poor�s, McGraw-Hill Education, Platts, and J.D. Power and Associates. The Corporation has more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Sales in 2009 were $5.95 billion. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com/.