Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Boring old demographics keeps determining our future

I have always thought that demographics is a bit like statistics. It is one of those subjects that we know is mighty important but rarely take the time to understand. For marketers it is much more exciting to study branding strategies or the latest craze in social media than get their heads around multiple linear regression theory.

When I talk to people about median ages, support ratios and the suchlike I can see their attention rapidly evaporate.

Occasionally you get an article along the lines 'demographics are our destiny'. Well, know what, that is true.

Yesterday's Wall Street Journal had an interesting article about 'China’s Demographic Danger Grows as Births Fall Far Below Forecast'. I will not bother to give you the link since it is behind an expensive paywall.

The theme of the article is that :

The number of newborns in China dropped to 15.23 million in 2018, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. That’s two million less than 2017 and 30% below the median official forecast of more than 21 million.

The outcome of this fact is that if you look at the median age population of China V US you see that China is fast catching up with the US and will soon become 'older'. Of course neither of them are as ancient as Japan.

You might know that we in the UK are looking forward to exiting the EU  - not everybody but 17.5 million Brits. One subject that hasn't been discussed is what this will do to the median age of Europe.

Have a look at the chart and it will give you a clue. If I was an economic planner sitting in Brussels (thank God I am not) I would be worried (mighty) by the implications of these numbers, especially for Spain and Italy. The big up side is that both countries have very high youth unemployment so there will be lots of young to look after the old. Unfortunately, the downside is that there will not be the government funds to pay for it.

So what is the conclusion of my blog? Demographics will tell you a lot about the long term shape of your markets but little about how you will meet your annual marketing and sales budgets. Dick Stroud

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Whatever happened to tech-enabled care?

If you read my blog you know that I have been pondering why the care industry seems immune to the benefits of technological innovations?  Why, despite a booming business in running conferences, competitions, hackathons, technology accelerators and all the other wonderful sounding events, so few start-up companies have survived long enough to deliver any value - let alone profits!

I know there are some great technology start-ups, with really innovative and robust business ideas,  but most of ones that are for ever being reported by the Ageing Business look like mediocre technology seeking a problem to solve.

I thought that it was pointless to keep 'going on' about the subject. You either believe me or not. That said, I have just read the latest blog post from Laurie Orlov who seems to be making the same point. At least I know I am not the only person with this opinion.

The Ageing Business should step back for a moment and ask itself why tech and care don't seem to be mixing. Maybe start by reading Laurie's blog. Dick Stroud

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

The 60+ will generate over half of all urban consumption growth in the developed countries

It is always nice to have a new quote from McKinsey about the ageing business.

This one come from a very recent publication Navigating a world of disruption.

The retired and elderly over 60 in many developed countries are increasingly important drivers of global consumption. The number of people in this age group will grow by more than one-third, from 164 million today to 222 million in 2030. We estimate that they will generate 51 percent of urban consumption growth in developed countries, or $4.4 trillion, in the period to 2030. That is 19 percent of global consumption growth. The 75-plus age group’s urban consumption is projected to grow at a compound annual rate of 4.5 percent between 2015 and 2030. In addition to increasing in number, individuals in this group are consuming more, on average, than younger consumers are, mostly because of rising public- and private-healthcare expenditure.