Next Gen Dads: Parenting Screenagers and Digital Natives

Thursday, September 04, 2014

More Dads Than Ever

1 in 5 Australians are dads. There are approximately 4.6 million fathers in Australia, with an estimated 2.2 million of these have children aged under 18. The median age of a first-time dad today is 31, so today’s emerging generation of dads are Gen Yers.

New Record Baby Boom

We are currently experiencing a baby boom in Australia, with birth numbers setting new records and exceeding 310,000 per year. This means that Gen Y will produce more children than any previous generation in Australia’s history. While the number of children per Gen Y family is significantly less than that of their grandparents (in 1961 the total fertility rate hit 3.5 births per woman), Generation Y parents are having more parents per couple than Generation X did. When Generation X were in their peak fertility years (turning 31 in 2001), this coincided with the very year Australia hit its lowest birth rate ever recorded in Australia (1.7). Now as Generation Y are reaching their peak fertility years we have a birth rate significantly higher, hovering around 2.0.

Introducing Generation Alpha

These Gen Y parents are giving birth to Generation Alpha – the cohort born since 2010. Generation Alpha are not only going to be the largest generation Australia has ever seen, but also the most globally connected, technologically savvy and materially endowed. Generation Y are delaying the traditional life markers, commencing their families in their 30s (compared to previous generations who did so in their 20s) so not only do they have many more years of earnings before they start their families, but they are also more likely to be double income households.

Parenting Screenagers

Generation Alpha are the first generation of children to be shaped in an era of portable digital devices, and for many, the pacifiers have not been a rattle or set of keys but a smartphone or tablet device. A key role of fathers has always been to create a safe and supportive environment in which their children can thrive and these days this involves more than providing a physically secure home but also a cybersafe home. 96% of households with children having internet access and Gen Alpha are using personal digital devices at an ever younger age. However, Generation Y parents have been shaped in the digital world and so are better equipped to respond to new parenting challenges of managing cyberbullying, watching out for screen addiction, and ensuring child-friendly content.

The Modern Dad

Our past research has found that Generation Y dads are not as competent and confident as their fathers were to change the oil in their car, repair a punctured bicycle tyre or fix a leaky tap, but in many ways, in an outsourcing era they’re able to buy replacements or outsource those services and they don’t need to do all those things themselves. Why they may have lost some of these traditional skills, they have picked up some new ones. Our research showed they are far more likely to be confident in changing a baby’s nappy, doing a grocery shop, buying clothes for their children and cooking a meal for their family.

Busier Than Ever

If fathers are feeling busier than ever, that’s because they are. The labour force participation rate shows that almost 4 in 5 fathers with dependent children participate in the labour force, with more than half of them working full time (an average of 7 hours 25 minutes per day) and yet at the same time, those with children aged under 15 are spending more time with their children, averaging 3 hours and 55 minutes per day. Additionally, almost half of all dads with kids aged up to 17 years old are also volunteering (46%), dads with full-time jobs are spending around 80 minutes a day on domestic work. So there’s little surprise that over a third of Australian men (34.9%) say that they always or often feel rushed or pressed for time, and 1 in 6 (16.3%) feel that their work and family responsibilities are rarely or never in balance.

Next Generation Parents

In the year that the oldest Gen Ys first became fathers in record numbers (2010), the iPad entered the market, “app” was the word of the year and Instagram was launched. Clearly they are parenting in a very different era to any other generation and will be facing new challenges never seen before.

The Busy Epidemic: How to slow down in an on-the-go world [in the media]

Monday, August 25, 2014

In the late 1990s we entered a virtual world in which we now spend more time in digital realities than face to face interactions. Today’s younger generations have grown up in a world of technological devices – they are true digital integrators and technology has become like an extension of their limbs.

Being busy – which can often seen as a badge of honour – can in fact be detrimental to our psychological health, our physical health, and even our relational health. The feeling of always needing to be ‘on’ takes away from our ability to wind down and engage in the present moment.

While technology enables us to achieve greater things than ever before in a far shorter period of time, thus helping us reach goals and stay motivated, there are tools we use to manage it, rather than having it manage us. Here are three tips for managing the interruptive nature of technology:

  • Prioritise being present in the moment
  • Create space for clarity, creativity and reflection
  • Use technology as a tool

Find out more

Top 13 Trends of 2013

Monday, December 02, 2013

The social research team at McCrindle Research have summarised the Top 13 Trends of 2013 – the most talked about social fads over the past year.


1. Food Trend of the Year: FroYo


Photo Credit: Noggi

‘FroYo’ (frozen yoghurt) has become increasingly popular among Australians with its sweeter-than-ice-cream taste and endless variety of flavours, toppings, and sauces. Franchises such as Menchie’s, Moochi, Crave Australia, Yogurtland, Yogurberry, Noggi, and wowcow – not to mention countless others – have popped up in nearly every Australian shopping centre and suburb. Dessert buyers are drawn to the unique choices and oftentimes self-serve option of froyo bars, being able to make every purchase uniquely their own.

2. Word of the Year: Selfie


Photo Credit: Instagram

While selfies have been around since early MySpace and Flickr days – many featuring teenagers taking self-portraits with low-pixel cameras in front of poorly-lit bathroom mirrors – selfies are now commonplace not just among young people but even adults, eager to share self-portraits on social media sites. The action of taking selfies has been commonplace for a number of years, but it is in 2013 that the word itself has gained broader traction, being coined the ‘word of the year’ by Oxford Dictionary. Aussies should be proud, as the term ‘selfie’ can first be traced back to a comment made on an Australian internet forum from 2002. From Kevin Rudd to Barack Obama, 2013 was definitely the ‘Year of the Selfie.’

3. Attitude of the Year: Swag


Photo Credit: Bonnes Images

‘Swag’ is a popular internet slang term used to describe someone who exudes confidence, sometimes interpreted as arrogance. The term ‘swagger’ or ‘swagga’ emerged through American hip-hop tracks in the late 2000s and is also a Scottish slang word. In popular speak ‘swag’ is no longer just an internet term but is used as an affirmative compliment with a meaning similar to the word ‘cool.’ It’s unlikely that ‘swag’ will have the long-term traction that ‘cool’ has had over the years, but for now, it remains a term clearly overused, especially by Generation Z. The term ‘boss’ is used in a similar sense by Generation Ys to compliment a person who is awesome, excellent, or outstanding.

4. Pop Star of the Year: Lorde


Photo Credit: Kirk Stauffer

The 17-year old Kiwi singer-songwriter has taken the charts by storm with her single ‘Royals’ and the release of her debut album Pure Heroine in September 2013 which has risen to the Top on US, UK, and the Australian iTunes charts. As the first New Zealand solo artist to top the US Billboard Hot 100, Lorde has demonstrated musical and lyrical talent comparable to artists who have been in the industry for decades. Lorde’s first Australian show at July’s Splendour in the Grass in Byron Bay drew a crowd of 10,000 people, followed by an extensive sold-out tour across the nation in October this year.

5. Social Media Site of the Year: Vine


Photo Credit: Vine

The video-sharing app Vine was launched on January 24th 2013 and has become a popular platform to share short, six second video clips across social media networks. Vine topped the iOs App Store for most downloaded app on April 9 and within six months of its release had generated a following of 40 million users. Developed by Twitter, the app integrates a user’s Twitter information, and, similar to Instagram, features a scrollable feed of all your friends’ vines on the homescreen. Vine’s popularity has been boosted by the Facebook page, Best Vines, featuring many of the funniest and most clever vines published and has been ‘liked’ by over 18 million users.

6. Meme of the Year: Harlem Shake


What would 2013 have been without a viral beat to get the world moving and shaking? The Harlem Shake was an internet meme started by a comedy sketch video released in February 2013 that presented a group of people dancing to the song Harlem Shake by American electronic musician Baauer. Within days, uploading new variants of the dance (featuring a group of people shaking to a 30 second clip of the original song) became a viral trend and by February 15, 40,000 Harlem Shake videos had been uploaded online, totalling 75 million views with a global following. While not quite hitting the heights of Gangnam Style in 2012, the Harlem Shake has definitely been an internet sensation.

7. Viral Campaign of the Year: ‘Dumb Ways to Die’


The Dumb Ways to Die campaign is a public service announcement in the form of a 3 minute video released by Metro Trains in Melbourne that sparked immediate YouTube popularity. The video features a number of animated characters dying in idiotic ways, ending with three characters who are killed by train due to unsafe behaviours. The video had 4.7 million views within 3 days and, by November 2013, had over 65 million views.

8. Social Trend of the Year: Shared Spaces


Photo Credit: Deskmag

Community-oriented co-working spaces are now available for day use or monthly membership across Australia’s capital cities, featuring inspiring work spaces in which entrepreneurs and creative professionals can collaborate on projects with like-minded people outside of their business or industry. In the same way, social networking sites such as AirBnB and CouchSurfing are making it commonplace for individuals to lodge travellers and short-term guests in their private homes. Through collaborating in co-working spaces or providing short-term accommodation to strangers, Australians are saying goodbye to real-world privacy.

9. Media Event of the Year: The Birth of Prince George


Photo Credit: Christopher Neve

No other event this year has sparked the same level of media coverage as the birth of Prince George of Cambridge, son of Prince William and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge. Hundreds of reporters waited outside of Mary’s hospital in London for days before the birth, and when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge finally emerged with their son, crowds were ecstatic and the world was watching. Analytics reported that 5% of global news consumption across 100,000 news sites was related to the royal birth on 22 July 2013.

10. Fad of the Year: Onesie


Photo Credit: kigu.me

When Japanese performers began dressing up as cartoon characters and Miley Cyrus twerked in a unicorn onesie, Australians were quick to follow. The onesie – a one-piece jumpsuit for adults, usually replicating an animal character – hit the fashion scene to its full extent mid-2013. The Japanese label Kigu was the first mass importer of onesies in Australia, with mainstream fashion labels ASOS and Urban Outfitters soon catching on to the trend, and Australia’s leading retail stores not far behind. Young Gen Ys could be spotted at house parties, in pubs, and even on street wearing their onesies loud and proud.

11. Fashion Trend of the Year: Sportswear as Street Fashion


Photo Credit: heraldsun.com.au

2013 saw an increase in women actively wearing work-out clothes outside of the gym. Women are increasingly creating a public image around health and vitality by sporting lycra tights and bright-coloured tanks to run errands or catch up with girlfriends. Brands like Lorna Jane, LuluLemon, and Nike have mixed fashion and fitness to produce sought-after activewear that combines technology with lifestyle flair. Women are increasingly proud – and willing to pay big bucks – to be spotted in high-tech gear that has become an emblem of success and vitality.

12. Shopping Trend of the Year: Save, Save, Save


Photo Credit: costco.com.au

Increasing online shopping, bulk buying and further growth in private label brands have taken 2013 by storm, highlighting how dollar-savvy Australian consumers are. From coupon clipping to daily deal websites, Aussie consumers are increasingly looking for the best bang-for-buck when it comes to products and services. Wholesale retailers such as Costco have sprung up in New South Wales, the ACT, and Victoria, offering bulk-pricing for everyday consumables, and Aussies are buying in. Cost of living is certainly still front-of-mind for everyday Australians and it has impacted where we buy, what we buy, and how we buy.

13. Technology Trend of the Year: Kinaesthetic Devices


Photo Credit: kotaku.com.au

From the ubiquity of touch-screens to fingerprint sensors and eye tracking devices, kinaesthetic interactivity with portable devices has been on the rise. Game consoles such as Xbox One are now able to track eye movements to engage players in live-time interactivity, and gesture-controlled mouses are slowly hitting the market through tech-enthusiastic funding on Kickstarter. From Windows 8’s multitouch technology to Apple’s Touch ID designs and fingerprint sensor, there is no doubt that interconnectivity with our technology devices will continue to increase.


–Mark McCrindle

Mark McCrindle is a social researcher with an international renown for tracking emerging issues, researching social trends and analysing customer segments.


Click here to download this social analysis:

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10+ Hours of Digital Media [Interview]

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A recent McCrindle Research report, Australia: The Digital Media Nation, reveals that Australians are spending 10 hours and 19 minutes each day on digital media platforms. 

While over 10 hours of media consumption per day might seem like an incredibly long period of time, social researcher Mark McCrindle in this live radio interview, explains that it is not, in fact, almost an entire day.



Chronologically the time is in fact more like 7 hours, created by multiscreening behaviours. Australians might spend time on their smartphone while watching TV, or answer phone calls while browsing the internet.

Mark also explains that Australians don’t segment their time – that is why Australians have the ability to package such a large number of digital media hours each day. We don’t plan on setting aside 7 hours per day on digital media, but might use social networking at lunchtime or browse the web sporadically throughout the day. Timeshifting and multitasking are adding to our digital media hours of consumption.

Mark delves into the differences in findings across the generations from the McCrindle Research report. Older generations tend to prefer the TV, while the younger generations prefer online browsing via PCs and their smartphones.

While there are a number of benefits with the range of digital media channels available, Australians also seem to be addicted to digital media consumption – people can lose time for reflection and forward planning, and a hyper-drive pace of life can be created which can interfere with sleep and normal patterns of life.

Mark comments on the changing face of media including the fragmentation of digital mediums – while broadcast media has struggled as individuals move to new platforms, viewers are being empowered to interact with programs at a whole new level – tweeing while watching television or reposting news articles to social media platforms.


Listen to the full interview as Mark McCrindle discusses Australia’s digital media consumption on Brisbane’s 96.5 FM on 13 August 2013. 

Social Business: Emerging Technologies, New Strategies

Friday, May 03, 2013

In a 140 character tweet-based, You-Tube type world, data and information must be research based and presented in innovative ways to meet the growing expectations of today’s educated audience and increasingly informed business world. Our time-poor, busy, practically outcome driven and competitive economic landscape demands discussion and content that must be strategically focused.

Social Business | The McCrindle Blog


Social Business 3.0


The hottest topic over the last few years has been social media, which has become a mainstream channel of communication. The first evolution of social media created social networking for fun and friends, which evolved into the second evolution social media platforms used by businesses for both positioning and brand building.


Businesses have now entered the social media 3.0 incarnation which is all about becoming a social business geared around social platforms. The way we connect and communicate with staff and the way we engage with our customers is now through the social media platform.


Today’s business leaders must be able to utilise the power of social media to the same extent that they are able to read a balance sheet and manage a team. It’s one thing to use the emerging platforms and technologies, but another to have strategies to effectively deploy them for business outcomes.


There is a clear and compelling business case around the need for social media 3.0 – social business. By leveraging the power of social validation and utilising the global social communication channels – while simultaneously avoiding the pitfalls and reputation challenges that these new platforms create – organisations can become social business leaders.

- Mark McCrindle


Mark McCrindle delivers cutting-edge topics on the emerging technologies and new business strategies. His presentation on Social Business: Emerging Technologies, New Strategies addresses the changes taking place in this ever-changing social landscape. 

For more information download Mark's speaking pack, visit markmccrindle.com or contact us on +61 2 8824 3422 or info@mccrindle.com.au


Click here to download Mark’s Professional Presentations Pack

Click here to download this file

What we do and how we do it at McCrindle Research

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Seven years ago McCrindle Research began in a spare room of Mark and Ruth McCrindle’s house. With a psychology background, market research experience, and a passion to conduct world class research, Mark began the McCrindle Research story. 

Since then we’ve been commissioned by scores of clients, completed hundreds of projects, interviewed thousands of people, analysed hundreds of thousands of online survey responses, and interpreted millions of data points for our demographic summaries. Our research has been disseminated through hundreds of media articles, more than 10,000 of Mark’s books, and more than 100,000 of our acclaimed A5 population maps.

As Australia’s leading data visualisation researchers, our infographics, slide decks, whitepapers and research summaries have been meeting quite a need for world class research and analysis communicated in relevant, innovative ways. Our analytics tells us that they’ve been getting thousands of views and downloads each day. 

So if you are looking to analyse your market, identify consumer segments, understand the demographics, engage with diverse generations, or respond to the emerging trends, then check out our research packs, Mark’s speaking pack or get in contact for a quote. Through commissioned research projects, focus groups and online surveys, demographic reports, strategic workshops, and keynote presentations, we help organisations know the times.

5 tips for an effective online survey [RESOURCE]

Friday, April 12, 2013

1. Demographic Qs


5 Tips for Effective Online Surveys | McCrindle Research

Make sure you ask demographic questions at the beginning of the survey. As a survey goes on, respondents are tempted to drop out, particularly at the end. Respondents are time-poor and privacy aware. 

Ensuring demographic questions are completed will give you a wealth of power when analysing the findings, so that you can filter the findings – even across multiple factors. Also, don’t ask questions that you don’t need. If you’re unsure you’re going to use the findings, then don’t include it. 


2. Survey flow


Good research tells a story and good survey design takes respondents on a journey. Cluster questions under similar topics together, and make sure that each section weaves seamlessly into the next. If the survey is a collection of topics or an omnibus, just tell them upfront or have an introductory statement preceding each section. Respondents are people, and people appreciate candidness. #honestyworks


3. Provide options


Make sure your answer options are comprehensive and cater for a range of responses. If not, at least give the respondent an option to select ‘none of the above’ or ‘other (please specify)’. There is nothing more frustrating than feeling like you’re being boxed into categories e.g. “I love this product” “I like this product” “This product is the best” “I will never use any other product again”. 

Effective surveys are based on scientific methodologies and so for the results to have credibility, the questions and options likewise need credibility.


4. Sample size


McCrindle research population map

Ensure that your survey is sent to a solid sample size, particularly for national surveys. The more breakdowns you want to do, the more important the sample size (e.g. breakdown of results by State and age – Gen Y males in NSW). This is particularly true if you want to take your findings to the media or use in advertising/promoting material. When stating that a sample is nationally representative, make sure the percentages of the sample align with national figures for gender, age and state. 

A useful visual tool (and one we use for our projects) is our Population map, based on national statistics from the ABS.


5. Use ‘forced response’ sparingly


Oh, the perils of forced response questions! On the one hand, forced response is a handy feature to combat militant mouse clickers who blaze through surveys, unafraid to progress through each question (obstacle) in a trance-like clicking frenzy (what we like to call the ‘Dance of the index finger”). On the other hand, being forced to answer a ‘Please give comment’ question when you really don’t have an opinion may as well be the same thing as inserting an ‘End survey now’ button.

For further assistance with survey design or research, please feel free to contact Hester Kahei :)

Digital Transactors vs Digital Integrators: A Quiz

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

While all the generations use social media, new technologies and mobile devices, the age at which we are first exposed to the technologies determines how embedded they become in our lifestyles. That is why Baby Boomers and Gen Xers are Digital Transactors, using the new technology tools efficiently, structurally and productively.

However, Generations Y and Z are more likely Digital Integrators, seamlessly integrating the technology into their communications, behaviours and world. This quick quiz will test which of these digital types you are. See how you go in this A-Z activity with the goal to identify each of these digital platform logos just by looking at the first letter of them. Check your score at the end and see which generation you best fit!

Click here to download this file.

The ABC of Gen Z: The digital, visual & global generation

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Generation Z: Digital, visual, global


The students of our world, at schools and universities are the children of Generation X, the cohort that follows Generation Y, and born from 1995 to 2009 they are Generation Z.

Generation Z are the largest generation ever, comprising around 20% of Australia’s population and almost 30% of the world’s population. Globally there are almost 2 billion of them.

They are the first fully global generation, shaped in the 21 st century, connected through digital devices, and engaged through social media.

While all the generations have access to the latest technologies, the way these devices and platforms are utilised is strongly influenced by our times, formative experiences, and current lifestage- in other words, our generation.

The Baby Boomers and Generation Xers are more likely to be digital transactors who use technology in a practical, functional, structural way. The new digital tools are used but the style is more transactional – the productivity and efficiency of the new tools is greatly appreciated and surpasses the previously used old technology. And when updated tools come along, the current technologies will similarly be pushed aside to make way for the latest. However Generation Z are digital integrators in that they have integrated technology seamlessly into their lives, and having used it from the youngest age, it is almost like the air that they breathe, permeating almost all areas of their lifestyle and relationships. Rather than linear, and sequential their style is more social and experiential. The digital integrator doesn’t look for an instruction guide but an intuitive process. The style and the process matter not just the substance and the outcome.

For the digital integrator, technology has blurred the lines of work and social, of study and entertainment, of private and public. Simplicity and flexibility amidst the complexity of busy lives are some of the key benefits that technology brings the digital integrator. They live in an open book environment- just a few clicks away from any information, they connect in a borderless world- across countries and cultures, and they communicate in a post-literate community where texts and tweets are brief, and where visuals and videos get the most cut-through.

The ABC of Gen Z | The Digital, Visual & Global Generation

Social analysis of the top Google searches of 2012

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Google icon | McCrindle ResearchThe biggest search engine in the world has just released their top and trending searches of 2012, based on over one trillion searches. From analysis of both local and global trends, here social researcher, Mark McCrindle, unpacks what social insights these lists reveal.


How to Love? ᅵ #1 on the ‘how to’ search list


While this search may be referring to Lil Wayne’s hit song, “How to Love”, it may also be a sign of a deeper question being asked by a generation looking for guidance as their social interactions increasingly move online. Indeed “what is love” is one of the most searched questions as well showing an interest in the profound and a yearning for connection.


What is YOLO? ᅵ #5 on the ‘what is’ search list


People have been inventing slang forever, and while some slang words last for centuries, the slang lexicon is always changing. Each budding generation comes up with its own language or languages, generally used among peers. YOLO (You Only Live One) is a classic example of Gen Z slang that has been birthed through the succinct language style common to texting, tweeting and other online communication. It’s likely many frazzled parents have heard their teenager using this common acronym, before turning to Google for answers. Tbh there are lots of slang they use irl so for a full A to Z, see our resource here.


What is Instagram? ᅵ #7 on the ‘what is’ search list


McCrindle Research recently announced Instagram as The social media site of the year, in our 2012 wrap. The company was purchased by Facebook in April this year for $US1 Billion, and while the photo-sharing app is only two years old (launched in October 2010), it already has over 80 million registered users, over 4 billion photos uploaded (5 million per day) and 575 “likes” per second (Instagram 2012).


Gangnam Style ᅵ #1 in most searched songs, #1 trending searches (AUS), #2 Global trending searches.


Gangnam Style by South Korean rapper PSY is undoubtedly the biggest viral hit of the year. With over 971 million “views”, Gangnam Style holds the Guinness World Record for most liked video in the history of YouTube. Countless videos have been uploaded of Gangnam wanna-bes doing their own version of the dance, with everyone from Brittany Spears to Kevin Rudd giving it their best shot.


Samsung Galaxy S3 ᅵ #2 of Global Consumer Electronics


While the iPhone has always been a strong player in the Smartphone category since its introduction five years ago, this year Samsung packed a serious punch with the Samsung Galaxy S3. Coming in at #2 in Global trending searches, the Samsung was ahead of any other Smartphone. Showing Androids are on the rise, the Nokia Lumia 920 was also on the list.


Kony 2012 ᅵ#9 in trending searches, #3 in ‘what is’ searches


The biggest viral campaign of the year was Kony 2012. The thirty minute film from advocacy group Invisible Children was launched in April 2012. It introduced the world to Joseph Kony and the crimes he and his rebels committed in Uganda. The film has now been viewed almost 100 million times on You Tube (the sites most viral non-profit video ever) and Invisible Children are “liked” by over 3 million Facebook users. However, the inevitable backlash questioned the campaign’s perceived simplification of a highly complex issue.


ASOS and Online Fashion ᅵ#1 in ‘fashion’ searches


Online retail has come into its own in 2012, with British fashion brand ASOS continuing its growth in online retail, attracting over 16.6 million unique visitors a month (ASOS 2012). McCrindle Research (2012) recently found 63% of Aussie shoppers will purchase at least one present online this Christmas, showing all the window displays in the world won’t slow the online shopping trend.

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