Saturday, July 15, 2017

Do marketers really want to improve all elements of the customer experience? No.

I am going to say a few words about a subject that you really don't want to know about. At some stage in your life it will be important, but right now you can tuck it away, out of sight.

I am talking about physiological ageing and age related disabilities.

Why is this important? Well the first thing your customer should be able to do is use, understand and buy your product. I think we can all agree upon that. As consumers age there are thing that happen to their bodies, minds and senses that makes this all a tad more difficult. For consumers with age and lifestyle related physical problems it becomes even harder if not impossible.

Today, Public Health England published a report about the state of the nation's health. If you read my blog you will not be surprised by the findings but for most marketers it might come as something of a nasty shock.

First the good news.  Provisional data for 2016 indicate that life expectancy at birth has now reached 79.5 years for males and 83.1 years for females. That's terrific because that equates to more years of buying your products.

The bad news is that healthy life expectancy (the number of years lived in self-assessed good health) is significantly less. For males it is 63.4 years and 64.1 for females. In all honesty, these numbers are worthless, because the gap between older men and women in 'deprived' conditions to those living in the nicer parts of the country is huge, as the chart shows.

The good thing for marketers is that the 'least deprived' customer = those with the highest level of disposable income.

So what does this mean. If older consumers are important to you then you need to focus on those groups in the least deprived areas and do it big time. As healthy life expectancy declines so does spending, so you want customers who will be in good shape, for the longest.

Secondly, you must understand how all these physiological and illness problems impacts your customer touchpoints. I would think less than 1% of companies have the faintest idea about the resilience of their touchpoints to providing a decent customer journey for older consumers.

If you are in that 99% then I suggest you point your browser to Amazon and search for "marketing to the ageing consumer' by Kim Walker and Dick Stroud and it will explain what you should be doing. If you want any more convincing then have a look at this web site. Dick Stroud

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