Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: A Snapshot of Mature Market Trends Shaping the Consumer Packaged Goods and Retail Industries

Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often – A Snapshot of Mature Market Trends Shaping the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) and Retail Industries – I recently read an interesting report by IRI on Boomers and the CPG category that had some interesting stats, charts and findings. IRA segments the mature market in the following way:

iri-cohort-definitions mature market

In addition to the sheer size of this population segment, as you know, the mature market controls the bulk of the nation’s wealth (yes, it’s still true despite our sagging 401Ks). So, here’s what IRI says,

“CPG manufacturers and retailers that view this group as a monolith, do so at their own peril. Market leaders who want to most effectively meet the needs of Boomers, some of whom are in their 60s, others still in their 40s, must identify the distinct and ever-changing attitudes and behaviors of literally hundreds of micro-segments based on income, geography, shopping trip missions, health and wellness and many other factors.

Overlaid with these differences in attitudes and behaviors is the profound transformation the U.S. economy is experiencing at present. Each of these micro-segments is likely to react differently to the rising then falling price of energy, a severely strained financial market, increasing unemployment and decreasing consumer confidence.

There are some broad commonalities among Baby Boomers that are worth noting, however. Approximately two-thirds of Baby Boomers will continue to work after retirement, some out of financial necessity, others from an eagerness to keep active. Baby Boomers, like their Gen X, Gen Y and younger compatriots, use the Internet actively to get information, research products and make purchases online. And, like no generation before, Baby Boomers are relying heavily on CPG products, from food and beverages to vitamins and supplements, for health and vitality. For the packaged goods industry, the opportunity is immense.”

dollar-sales-growth mature market

channel-share mature market

The full report is definitely worth looking at, although I still believe the best marketers avoid the trapping of categorizing their customers even on a micro level. I think it’s far more effective to practice relational marketing. As I’ve blogged before, this incessant labeling overlooks one key fact . . . regardless of age, we are all individuals.

David Wolfe, one of my favorite bloggers and a true expert on aging states in his blog Ageless Marketing:

“Needs drive our behavior. Our need to be physically and mentally comfortable, whole, safe and secure does not change from one generation to the next. In Maslow’s hierarchy, that bundle of needs is the most basic of all needs. Then, our need for love and to be loved never changes from one generation to the next. The same holds true of our need for self-esteem and the esteem of others.
What does change from generation to generation are the ways in which we strive to meet our needs.”

At TR Mann Consulting, we believe we are entering a new age of relational marketing . . . which has less do with age, than it has to do with technology. As ever-improving technology and quality improvement measures level the playing field in most, if not all industries, we are moving to a marketplace where your relationship with your customers is your key competitive advantage (or weakness). Simply put, it’s not just what you do; it’s how you do it. A great brand is a friendship unfolding—with each new interaction marking a new stage in the courtship. Your customer’s behavior and what they tell you as the relationship unfolds are what should be defining what “category” your customer fits in.

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Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: American Politics . . . Age, Race, and Sex

The mature market will play perhaps the most important role in the upcoming election.
The mature market will play perhaps the most important role in the upcoming election.

Who has the upper hand, Mr. McCain or Mr. Obama? As the mature market has long suspected, ageism is alive and well in America. According to a recent Harris Poll, more people said it would be a “good thing” if a black (38%) or a woman (34%) were elected than think it would be good to elect someone age 70-plus (10%). While most people say they would be neither pleased nor displeased if a black, female or a candidate over 70 were elected, the remainder are much more likely to say they would be pleased than displeased by the election of a woman (by 37% to 11%) or an African-American (by 30% to 11%). However, they are much more likely to be displeased than pleased (by 32% to 9%) if someone over 70 is elected. Most people (72%) say that the sex, age or race of the candidate should make “absolutely no difference.” Interestingly, the group most prejudice against an older president was seniors aged 63+!

 

Source: Harris Interactive

Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: Savings and 401(k) plans

 

Boomers and the 65+ view finances completely different.

Boomers and the 65+ view finances completely different.

 

Is the mature market financially sound going in to retirement?Only about 40% of boomers have managed to save $100,000 or more, and hardly anyone is maxing out a 401(k) plan.

Source: Dan Kadlec, Boomers: How to age gracefully, CNNMoney.com

In my 15+ years of dealing with the 65+ market, once they are retired, the only “pocket” they will ever pull money from for “daily expenses” is social security. This is one of the reasons less than 3% of the age and income qualified mature market ever makes the move to a retirement community. The value of the home and income-earning assets is viewed as “untouchable.” Understanding their financial mindset is essential to commercial success regardless of what you are selling.

 

 

Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: Red Hat Society vs. Blue Thong Society

Want proof that the mature market demographic segments can be as divided as night and day? Then look no further than the Red Hat Society vs. the Blue Thong Society. The Red Hat Society established in 1998 has over 1.5 million members, while the relatively new Blue Thong Society (2005) now has over 6,000 members in 400 chapters. What’s the difference between the groups? The mottos give you a hint:

The Red Hats live by, “When I am an old woman I shall wear purple with a red hat that doesn’t go and doesn’t suit me.”

The Blue Thongs go by, “We will never give in or stop fighting for what we believe in, and above all, we will Fight Frump Forever, and one way to do that is to never stop wearing hip-huggers and Bell Bottoms.”

Both groups represent an interesting look into the mature woman’s mindset. As I have always said, sell by understanding STAGE not AGE.

 

Mature Market Stat of The Day: Sources of Income for Seniors 55+

        For seniors 55+, social security accounts for  40% of their income; followed by earnings (25%), pensions (19%), asset income (14%), and “other” at 2%.

Source:  Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics

Note: In my 15+ years of dealing with the 65+ market, the only “pocket” they will pull money from for daily expenses is social security. This is one of the reasons less than 3% of the age and income qualified mature market ever makes the move to a retirement community. The value of the home and income-earning assets is viewed as “untouchable.”

Mature Market Experts Stat of the Day: Cosmetic Surgery

As Billy Crystal used to say, “You look marvelous . . .” (see the video above if you need a refresher)

        Women and men age 65 and older accounted for 7 percent of cosmetic procedures performed in 2000, and the number of procedures performed on people in this age group has increased 352 percent since 1997.

        Seniors age 65 and above are 11% more likely to approve of cosmetic surgery now than they were in 2006.

Source: American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), www.Surgery.org.

Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: Memory Loss

Men are more likely to have moderate to severe memory impairment. About 15% of men age 65+ admit to memory loss compared to only 11% of women. These numbers climb dramatically as we age.

Source: Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics, www.agingstats.gov