Gen X - US Behavioral Statistics and DNA Testing Markets

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Gen X - US Attitudes and Trends

Generation X, those who are born between 1965 and 1980, is made up of a diverse group of people. This generation is made up of families that may have young children, adult children, and even grandchildren. They also grew up with both old school ways of life, and technology and new ideas. Because of this, they have a very specific set of trends that set them apart from other generations.

Health

Generation X is taking a much more active stance when it comes to healthcare, due to various factors specific to their generation. Firstly, they are at an age where many are taking care of both their own children, and their parents, along with themselves. That means different types and levels of healthcare that they need to be educated on. Furthermore, three-quarters of Gen Xers claim to be the main decision makers in their family when it comes to healthcare.

This generation is also more active in their pursuit of healthcare education because they are overall less trusting of healthcare professionals, especially from large healthcare organizations. They tend to do their own searches for information to go along with what they heard from experts. Evidence is more important to this generation than loyalty, and they are much more willing to shop around for healthcare that fits their expectations.

Lastly, Gen Xers are at an age where their looks are starting to visibly age, and this bothers as many as 40%, with 24% claiming they would consider medical intervention to slow down or repair the visible aging process.

Technology

Generation X is the first generation to grow up with computers. They are generally comfortable with most technology that is used in the workplace, such as computers, smartphones, tablets, and various software programs, and they are willing to learn how to use new programs and devices. 52% of this group uses smartphones and 29% regularly uses a tablet. Though this group is comfortable with technology and willing to adapt, they do tend to stick with platforms that they know, such as social media platforms and traditional email, for as long as they can. Many Gen Xers are also loyal to the basics, along with technology, because they are "the last generation to be schooled in the old manner". One study shows that while 60% of Gen Xers use smartphones daily, 48% still listen to the radio, 62% read newspapers, and 85% have favorite shows on traditional television.

Social Media

Social media is prevalent in many Gen Xers lives. One study found that this generation spends about 32 hours a week on all types of media, and 7 of those hours on social media. Again, they do tend to stick with social media that has been around for a long time, with 65% saying that Facebook is their favorite social network, and 40% preferring to use a laptop to view social media over a smartphone. This generation also uses social media frequently for the purpose of following brands and reading reviews, with 49% saying they follow companies. They are also more likely to unfollow brands that post something they deem offensive.

Consumer Behavior

Similar to their shopping habits in healthcare, Generation X doesn't settle on the first item they find. They are big on shopping around for a better price. They also value customer reviews and are most likely to spend a large amount of time researching the quality of a product before purchasing it. Contrary to the lack of loyalty that this generation has to healthcare experts, Generation X is very brand loyal. Studies show they will even pay more for items from brands they are loyal to.

Motivation

This generation values quality of work and making a difference in the work place. One survey shows that 39% of Gen Xers value making a positive impact on their company more than anything else. While they value hard work more than anything, they do appreciate the perks, with 48% of respondents saying they value pay and bonuses the most of all their work perks, and another 25% valuing paid time off. Overall, this generation values a company's impact and reputation more than financial aspects when it comes to motivation to choose a company to work for. The survey also shows that 41% of Gen Xers are most motivated to stay in their job position when they feel a sense of pride in their work.

Travel

People from Generation X are shown to spend more money on travel than other generations, with 31% of travel income coming from Generation X. They are also the most likely to travel for pleasure, with 79% of trips being for fun instead of business. That statistic puts them behind millennials when it comes to traveling for work, but ahead of baby boomers. Family-oriented travel is also very important, as this generation has both younger children and grandchildren. Going along with this generation's need for evidence and opinions, 71% use various sources, such as travel agencies or online reviews, to check out things like airlines, hotels, and destinations before they decide to purchase. Because they are comfortable with technology and the internet, 82% of trips booked by Gen Xers are booked online.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Generation X is the best of both worlds when it comes to old school ways and new ideas and technology. They are less trusting of experts, more reliant on evidence instead of opinion, and are brand loyal.
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Marketing Efforts - Ancestry.com, 23andMe, and Family Tree.

Ancestry.com, 23andMe, and Family Tree all focus on different aspects of the DNA testing industry to set themselves apart from their competitors. 23andMe partnered with the movie Despicable Me 3, and Family Tree joined with 20th Century and Findmypast to utilize powerful brand marketing to their advantage. Ancestry.com is changing from TV advertising to more online marketing to focus on getting their product out to the market concentrating on the technology that their buyers use, and they’ve hired the company Droga5 to strengthen their brand.

Findings

Ancestry.com

Ancestry.com is the largest personal and family history DNA testing service. They combine science and technology to help people discover their family stories and history. Their products include AncestryDNA, Fold3, AncestryProGenealogists, Find a Grave, Newspapers.com, Rootsweb, and Archives.com.

Looking at their website, it is clear that they want customers to buy their AncestryDNA product or their subscription service. Ancestry.com has a clear value proposition and a very compelling product that helps drive their sales. The company claims to be the leader in family history DNA testing. They have the most extensive network in the world connecting more people to their stories.

Ancestry markets their products on Facebook and they have 1.5 million active followers. Their engagement per post is not very high, however. The lower engagement may illustrate that they don’t put a lot of effort behind their social media advertising. One social media analyst looked at their Facebook and determined that over 80% of their audience was female and that 23% were classified as Apple Families or families that were upper-middle class with school-aged children.

The company is spending more money on TV advertising. They announced a new marketing approach in 2017. Their new CMO, Vineet Mehra, said that their first goal is to stop spending money on television ads and allow data to drive their campaigns. Their strategy is to meet buyers in their technological environments online. Ancestry.com is looking for cloud investments and a creative agency to bring their marketing to life. They hired Droga5 as their lead creative agency.

They also announced the launch of their new series, “It’s a Small World,” via the Sydney branded content agency hellofuture.tv. This series has 4 parts and takes 17 residents of an apartment complex in Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia, on a DNA journey to reveal what connects people and what makes them unique.

23andMe

23andMe promotes transparency with its policies and publishes a report on their data sharing practices online. The company offers ancestry service and an option for health an ancestry service. They offer over 75 reports that are unique to 23andMe. They include information about traits, carrier status, genetic health risks, wellness, and ancestry. One of their current promotions that they are using for marketing is $30 off of the health and ancestry kit.

In June 2017, they partnered with Despicable Me 3 and created a 60-second commercial titled, Genetically Me," that features Gru the supervillain learning about his family through the results of his DNA analysis. He learns that he has a brother much like the story line in the movie, only for the commercial he learns it through 23andMe. The partnership wants to highlight awareness about the brand and DNA testing since it is a growing category and becoming more popular.

Surprisingly to many, 23andMe announced on October 26, 2016, that they would not invest in next-generation sequencing or NGS, one of the breakthrough advancements of genomics. The company is strategically using this to brand their company specifically as a personal genomics product that has enormous social media marketing appeal rather than a precision medicine company. Their technology focuses on insights and sample collection as a personalized genetics service direct to consumers. They rely solely on the single nucleotide polymorphism or SNP sequencing.

Family Tree DNA

Family Tree DNA offers 3 main products on their web page; Family Finder, Y-DNA, and mtDNA. Family Finder helps people uncover their heritage and where it is from. Y-DNA follows the path of paternal relatives and where they migrated in the world. mtDNA allows customers to track female relatives much like paternal ones. They claim to be the only DNA service that provides a comprehensive testing suite and the most comprehensive database in the world.

In October 2016, the company announced a new partnership with 20th Century Fox and Findmypast. Associated with the release of the adventure film, Assassin’s Creed and featuring the Assassin’s Creed DNA Testing Bundle and the Assassin’s Creed Sweepstakes, Family Tree harnesses a powerful marketing tool. The movie stars the main character Callum Lynch as he travels back in time to discover a genetic ancestor, Aguilar. 20th Century contacted Family Tree because they are “pioneers in the direct-to-consumer DNA testing industry.”

Family Tree claims to be the most trusted source of DNA for everyone from beginners to serious genealogists with powerful tools and innovative ways. They were selected as the official testing provider for the 2005 Genographic Project launched by National Geographic and IBM.

Conclusion

All 3 DNA testing services focus on different aspects of the DNA testing industry and therefore may each be attractive to different types of consumers and buyers. Each has tapped into powerful marketing to set it apart from the rest like Family Tree’s partnership with 20th Century and Findmypast and 23andMe’s partnership with Despicable Me 3. 23andMe has even gone so far as to not invest in NGS, the breakthrough genomic testing advancement, to secure its branding as a personal genomics product. Ancestry.com relies a lot on the fact that they are a DNA testing giant with an excellent reputation and they hired Droga5 to enhance their brand.

Sources
Sources