Monday, March 09, 2009

Residual effects of the recession

I know it is too early to start predicting the residual effects of the recession upon consumer behaviour but that doesn’t stop me thinking about it.

Marketers should certainly be casting their eye to the day when the can stop worrying about keeping their jobs and start to focus upon making sense of the carnage that is their customer base.

Neither of these factlets are specific to the 50-plus but both relate to this age group as any other.

AARP has just published a report: "Economic and Health Insecurity: A Survey of Washington Voters 18+ on Current Legislative Issues.” Interesting to see that AARP has cast its research net outside its customer base.

The report is full of data – here are a few things that caught my eye:
  • 45% say they will consider delaying retirement if the economy does not improve over the next 12 months.
  • Those currently retired, 18% say they will re-enter the workforce if the economy does not improve.
  • 34% are helping a family member pay their bills
Research released from McKinsey found that LinkedIn’s year-on-year growth is up nearly 200% in the United States and it now has more than 35 million members as the managers use social networking as a means of finding work or linking in with a network for support to help if the ‘release’ letter/e-mail arrives. It is not just in the US where social networks are being used in this way.

These are a couple of unrelated examples of changes that are stirring in the mind of consumer.

There will be a lot more significant changes to occur before the recession abates. Perhaps we should start talking about the pre-R consumer and post-R consumer. My bet is they will be mighty different. Dick Stroud

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