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About Dick Stroud

Dick Stroud is the founder of 20plus30, a consultancy specialising in marketing to older consumers. He is the UK’s leading expert in understanding the implications of physical ageing on the way older people behave and the products they buy.

Marketing to the Ageing Consumer
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50-Plus Marketing

News, views and opinions about the most powerful group of consumers - the 50-plus market.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Japan is suffering from a mini crime wave where the criminal is an oldie

The demographics of Japanese crime make you think  - see the graphic

The explanation for this swing from young to old crime is that some impoverished elderly turn to shoplifting.

It is not just Japan with this problem. In the US, 20% of prisoners are seniors.

The number of British prisoners aged over 60 years has risen by 130% between 2002 and 2013, a shift attributed to an increase in the convictions for historic sex abuse.

Over the last year I have been working on ways to improve the customer experience for brands, cities and patients. Perhaps I should look at the prisoner journey.

Remember that older prisoners suffer from all of the same physiological effects of age as does a customer. I wonder if anybody is considering this issue? I bet they are not. Dick Stroud

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Using demographics remains a valuable activity for many marketers and brands - so says Mark Ritson.

I always find reading Mark Ritson in Marketing Week amusing and informative. He is especially funny when talking about social media. This week he was looking at the demise of demographics.

He clearly can see the weakness of just taking a simplistic age segmentation of the market but equally ignoring demographics entirely is idiocy. I totally agree.

The one aspect that he did not mention (and he should) was the need to take account of demographics when designing and managing the customer experience.

Sure a 30 year old can have exactly the same outlook and brand intentions as a 70 year old  - unlikely but possible - but there is a massive difference between the way the older person's senses, body and mind will be working compared to the younger individual. This is important but so often ignored.

So of course demographics is important. Dick Stroud

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The managers and owners of a lot of Germany industry is about to change

The Mittelstand is name of Germany’s more than 3.5 million small and midsize businesses that account for 60% of the country's workforce and more than half of its economic output.

In the UK a lot of small businesses are owned by older people. It would seem to be the same in Germany and hence a lot of people are going to be working in companies that will experience a change of owner due to retirement.

By 2017 it is thought that the jobs of four million German employees at 580,000 midsize companies will depend on a successful leadership transition.

Now I am not sure if this is true (I guess it might be) that older bosses at these companies, many of whom are also the owners, are less eager to invest in their own business than younger ones.

The bottom line of these observations is that German industry is going through a big transition during the next decade as older managers hang up their laptops - or whatever they do when they stop working.

Not sure what this means for marketers  - it is an interesting result of population ageing that I doubt if many people have considered.

If you want to read more the article is in the WSJ (beware it costs). Dick Stroud

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Monday, July 27, 2015

Yawn.....another conference on aging/ageing - I wonder what was achieved? Not much is my guess.

In the early days of the ageing business it was really something when a head of state got involved in the issues surrounding ageing. How things have changed.

Maybe I have just become cynical about the involvement of government in ageing/aging but I get the feeling that it is 'going through the motions' (i.e. it knows it needs to be doing something but it is not sure what). Of course a few things will change but not much.

On both sides of the Atlantic it is necessary for Government to be seen to be doing something about the ageing population but only as long as it doesn't cost any money or make any significant changes to the status quo. Here are details about the White Conference on Aging. Bet you didn't know anything about it?

In the UK there are zillions of government sponsored activities/projects, all with great promotional material nice YouTube videos but when you dig into the details they are just talking shops. As soon as you see they investigating the Internet of Things you know that it a bunch of well meaning sorts jumping on the latest tech wave

All the while the real issues caused by ageing, especially how it impacts healthcare, get worse and worse. All the time the division between those that will pay for their healthcare and those that are forced to take what is handed out gets larger.

That all said, the opportunities for companies to profit from this mess are massive. Just don't get sidelined by any of the Government well meaning stuff. Dick Stroud

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Friday, July 24, 2015

Japan reorganises its CPI basket to reflect its ageing population

 A fascinating article in today’s FT explains how Japan is changing the 585 products of the theoretical shopping basket that is used to calculate the consume price index. Have a go at reading the article but I think you will find it is behind a paywall.

What you see is the influence of the county’s changing demographics.

Children’s meals at restaurants have been solid constituents of the Japanese CPI basket for the past 35 years – they have been removed.   Cat litter and “dog toilet items”, meanwhile, are now classified as day-to-day necessities in a land where domestic pets outnumber children under 15.

The new items that will enter in the index from July 2016 include hearing aids, power-assisted bicycles and knee-supports.

Roadside car breakdown services enters the basket as older drivers cannot change their tires and young ones don’t know how.

Tennis court rental fees are out, pot plants are in.   Other products that enter the basket are ‘painting the exterior wall of the house’ – I guess because older people can’t or don’t want to do it.

What a fascinating practical example of what happens when a population ages at a hyper-rate. Dick Stroud

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