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Arts and Crafts Projects Based on People's Passion, Not Wallets; New Vertis Customer Focus Study Analyzes Purchase Trends Among Arts and Crafts Consumers.

BALTIMORE -- Vertis Communications today announced the results of its proprietary Customer Focus(R) 2006: Arts and Crafts study, which reveals that 34 percent of adults get involved in arts and craft because they feel passionate about their projects. In comparison, 22 percent of adults surveyed are involved in arts and crafts because it is cheaper to make something, rather than purchasing at a store.

"When consumers feel passionate about their activities, they are more likely to invest time and money; marketers need to understand who these consumers are and how to approach them," said Jim Litwin, vice president of market insights at Vertis. "According to this study, advertising inserts are effective in reaching consumers and influencing their purchasing decisions."

In addition to finding the purchasing trends of arts and crafts consumers, the study also revealed how much consumers spend on materials. For example, hobby item shoppers have spent approximately $227 within the last 12 months on ceramics, sewing, knitting and woodworking materials. On the other hand, arts and crafts shoppers have spent $170 on fabric, yarn, painting items and scrapbooking materials within the same time frame.

The Vertis Customer Focus 2006: Arts and Crafts study, which surveyed respondents for the first time via the telephone and Web, also revealed the following:

Profile of the Arts and Crafts Consumer

--34 percent of women 18-34 and 33 percent of men 18-34 are passionate about their hobbies and projects (See Figure A)

--This is compared to 31 percent of women 35-49 and 39 percent of women 50 and older who also feel passionate about their arts and crafts projects

--24 percent of men 18-34 and 23 percent of men 50 and older say they get involved in arts and crafts projects because it is cheaper to make something versus purchasing at the store

--32 percent of men 35-49 get involved in arts and crafts projects by assisting their children with their school, camp or group projects, compared to 30 percent of women 35-49 who also assist their children

Advertising Inserts Influence Arts and Crafts Shoppers

--38 percent of arts and crafts shoppers 35-49 said advertising inserts most influence their buying decisions, compared to 18 percent who said TV is the most influential (See Figure B)

--35 percent of arts and crafts shoppers 50 and older said advertising inserts/circulars have the most influence in their buying decision, compared to 18 percent who said advertisements on the page of a newspaper influence their decision

--Only nine percent of arts and crafts shoppers 18-34 said the Internet most influences their buying decision, compared to 29 percent who said advertising inserts or circulars are most influential

--However, 32 percent of arts and crafts shoppers 18-34 turn to the Internet first to help with their decision, compared to 36 percent of arts and crafts shoppers 35-49 who turn to inserts to help with their buying decision

Amount Invested in Arts and Crafts Projects

--20 percent of women 18-34 have spent $21-$50 on arts and crafts materials including frames, fabric, yarn, paper craft products, painting items and scrapbooking in the past 12 months, while 15 percent of women 18-34 have spent $201 or more (See Figure C)

--19 percent of women 35-49 and 16 percent of women 50 and older have spent $21-$50 on arts and crafts in the past 12 months

--Additionally, 12 percent of men and 12 percent of women 35-49 have spent $201 or more on arts and crafts materials in the past 12 months

--10 percent of women 35-49 have spent $101-$200 on arts and crafts materials within the past 12 months

Men Spend More on Hobby Items Compared to Women

--According to the study, 11 percent of men 50 and older spent $101 or more on hobby items such as ceramics and woodworking materials, compared to two percent of men 50 and older who have spent $1-$20 within the past 12 months (See Figure D)

--In comparison, 11 percent of women 18-34 have spent $1-$20 on hobby items within the last 12 months, compared to seven percent who have spent $101 or more

--Nine percent of women 35-49 have spent $21-$50 on hobby items, compared to seven percent of men 35-49

--However, only six percent of women 35-49 have spent $101 or more on hobby items within the last 12 months, while 10 percent of men 35-49 have spent the same amount in the same period

About Customer Focus

Customer Focus is Vertis' proprietary annual study tracking consumer behavior across a wide variety of industry segments -- home improvement, furniture, grocery, sporting goods, home electronics, optical, insurance, credit cards, nonprofit, financial, retail, office supplies, and discount stores -- and media including advertising inserts, direct marketing, and the Internet. The survey was first conducted in 1998 and, in subsequent years, has been expanded and modified to identify emerging consumer behavior patterns and track shifts in consumer practices and motivations.

Since its inception, Customer Focus has proven to be one of the nation's most comprehensive examinations of consumer behavior. The survey of 3,000 adults -- conducted via phone and Web by one of the nation's leading field research companies in August/September 2005 -- measures both general and industry-specific shopping trends, and Vertis provides the significant data as a value-added service to its clients.

To acquire a customized Customer Focus 2006: Arts and Crafts study or speak to a Vertis executive, please contact Emily Agan or Maria Amor at (619) 234-0345.

About Vertis Communications

Vertis Communications serves as marketing partner to many of today's Fortune 500 companies. Vertis Communications leverages its vast experience in managing large, complex, time-sensitive assignments to turn its clients' marketing ideas into realities. Headquartered in Baltimore with more than 100 locations nationwide, Vertis Communications offers world-class consulting, creative, research, direct, media, technology, and production services. In 2005, Vertis was recognized as one of the "Most Admired Companies" in Marketing and Advertising by Fortune magazine. To learn more, visit www.vertisinc.com.

This press release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The words "believes, "anticipates," "expects," "estimates," "plans," "intends," and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from projected results. Factors that may cause these differences include fluctuations in the cost of raw materials we use, changes in the advertising, marketing and information services markets, the financial condition of our customers, actions by our competitors, changes in the legal or regulatory environment, general economic and business conditions in the U.S. and other countries, and changes in interest and foreign currency exchange rates.

Consequently, you should consider any such forward-looking statements only as our current plans, estimates, and beliefs. Even if those plans, estimates, or beliefs change because of future events or circumstances, we decline any obligation to publicly update or revise any such forward-looking statements.
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