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Marketers, Retailers Who Give Consumers 'Gift of Time' Will Be Holiday Winners in 2006.

- Most Consumers Say Lack of Time is Bigger Problem than Lack of Money -

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Undisputedly, "ho-ho-ho" time is NOT a slow-slow-slow time for consumers, whether it be preparing for holiday functions or finding the perfect present. A new Yankelovich MONITOR([R]) Study, Finding Time, indicates that marketers and retailers who give consumers the gift of "time" this December will be the big winners. In fact, half of consumers (and surprisingly 47% of low-income earners) now say that a lack of time is a bigger problem in their lives than a lack of money.

"When time is more important than money, consumers are very open to buying products and services that help them save, manage and make the most of their time," says David Bersoff, senior vice president at Yankelovich, Inc.

Mr. Bersoff recommends that marketers and retailers consider the following as they approach the all-important holiday season:

* My time is money and I know what it's worth. Time starved consumers place a median value of $1.50 per minute on their time. Therefore, these consumers need to realize at least $1.50 of value for every minute they have to wait or engage with a marketer. Not surprisingly, this group is more likely to hang up if put on hold (68%), cancel an online transaction if the purchase request processing is taking too long (61%), and walk out of a store immediately if the checkout lines are too long (56%).

* Two Birds with One Stone. Multitasking is the number one time management strategy used by time starved people to gain more time in their week. Eighty two percent of time challenged consumers multitask either frequently or all the time. Marketing opportunities exist both for facilitating multitasking that people already engage in (such as eating while they work) as well as for new forms of multitasking that allow people to combine their need-to-dos and their want-to-dos. For example: Designer Dinners allows consumers and their friends to prepare their holiday meal in-store, which is both fun (you're with your friends) and practical (the holiday dinner is prepared).

* Products that save large chunks of time. According to the study, 77% of time starved consumers agree that most products and services that claim to save time do not make a noticeable difference in the amount of time they have available in their week. Consumers may feel this way is because many products' actual time savings, though quite real, do not result in significant exploitable time in a person's day. While having an extra 15 or 20 minutes a day may sound like a real benefit, it is difficult to turn such a small block of time into an appreciable quality of life change. According to the study, marketers who will be most successful this season will focus less on offering individual products that save small amounts of time on specific chores and instead will develop a "system" of products that helps consumers gain larger and more meaningful chunks of time across a whole family of tasks, such as cleaning the house.

The study also indicated that there were some major demographic differences between time starved consumers that will require marketers to tweak their strategy even further:

* More "Me" and "Family" Time for women and men respectively. In addition to being constantly behind schedule, "disruption of personal relationships" and the "feeling that I'm missing out on the important things in life," are two of the most prevalent time-related regrets among time starved men. Conversely, for women, a time-starved lifestyle manifests itself in skimping on "me time," - they are more likely to neglect personal care and health-related activities.

"Marketers need to do a 180 shift in strategy when they're marketing to men and women. For men, clever marketers and advertisers will highlight the features of holiday gifts that help smooth over feelings of familial neglect and reaffirm that one is still experiencing important moments in life. When selling to women, advertisers would be prudent to include messaging that showcases, e.g., "taking care of oneself," "spending time with friends," as the main benefit of the time-saving product," offers Bersoff.

Based on respondent's attitudes towards managing their time, the Yankelovich research reveals that time starved consumers fall into five distinct profiles:

* Not Sweating It (20% of time starved consumers). Comprised of consumers with a median age of 31 and one-third (35%) with an annual household income of over $50,000, not having enough time to is no big deal to this group. They demand that marketers "let me know what you can do to help me have more fun with my time."

* Double Duty (13% of time starved consumers). Forty-year old parents, predominately female, are most likely to be multitaskers who skimp on their personal care in order to manage their time more effectively. Since they are busy doing so many things, marketers need to offer them time saving devices that allow them to do even more with their time.

* Time Master (23% of time starved consumers). With half of "Time Masters" earning $50,000 plus, and nearing middle age (median age is 48), this group is identified with being experts at managing scarce resources. They will not be impressed by marketers who offer them frantic offers or appeals. Instead, marketers need to keep it calm, under control and traditional to get their attention.

* A Helping Hand (26% of time starved consumers). At median age 43 and mostly married, "helping hand" consumers are looking to the marketplace for tips, tricks and techniques to manage their time. They're looking for a partner in the marketplace: a company or brand that always has their 'back' and makes their life feel a little more under control.

* Spending Time (18% of time starved consumers). With nearly two-thirds of this group realizing an annual household income of $50,000 and over, this group is most willing to trade money for time and to sacrifice social and leisure activity time. To get their attention, marketers should offer them products and services that help free up time for the things they like to do. They will pay a premium for that extra time.

"Grouping consumers around commonalities regarding time management strategies allows marketers to segment the time famine marketplace into discrete product opportunities and messaging units," concludes Bersoff.

About Yankelovich Inc.

Yankelovich Inc. ( delivers measurable breakthroughs in marketing productivity for its clients. For more than 30 years, (The Yankelovich MONITOR[R])has tracked and forecasted consumer value and lifestyle trends. Our Insights IntegrationSM solutions, including MindBase[R], directly link our key research findings on why people buy to databases of customers and prospects. Yankelovich is headquartered in Chapel Hill, NC.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Dec 4, 2006
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