Thursday, January 03, 2008

HSBC’s “The New Old Age – A Gender Perspective” – beautifully produced report

A couple of years back HSBC made a commitment to researching, globally, the older market. This must reflect on the importance the organisation places on this sector. This is the home page for its research.

The latest report is about gender differences.

This is what the exec summary says.
The survey finds that men and women have different expectations and behaviours, but what is most striking is that when it comes to talking about ‘old age’, overall regional and country differences are of more significance than gender differences. There are indeed gender differences, but men and women within each country tend to think and act quite similarly.

Do download this report. It is beautifully produced and does contain some interesting stuff about national differences. But I have a ‘but’.

Talk to anybody in the 50-plus marketing world, in Europe, US and Australasia and you will get the same answer. As men and women age the women become the dominant part of the family partnership. They are the ones who initiate major life decisions, they are the ones that are the real power in the decision making unit.

I am sorry HSBC but I think you asked the wrong questions. I could have told you that you wouldn’t get any meaningful gender difference when you ask questions about:
Expectations of working life
Financial Contribution by the over 60s
How healthy do the over 60s feel?

If anybody from HSBC is reading this blog, I am certain that in your research you will have a much richer data set that appears in this report. All that being said – well done HSBC for taking the subject seriously! Dick Stroud

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