Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: How Economies Are Effected By The Boomer Tsunami and Immigration

Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often- The Boomer Tsunami, Economies and Immigration – History shows us that in tough economies struggling “natives” often turn immigrants into villains. As I’ve blogged before, this country cannot survive the coming age wave without immigration.

Now, before I start get started, let me start off by stating that we MUST tighten our security measures and admission standards. Illegal entry into our country cannot be rewarded. If you are working in this country you must be a contributing member (meaning you’re paying your fair share of taxes AND you have committed no crimes). In addition to the financial ramifications of illegal aliens, we now have to worry about the security issues.

Now that being said, we face some serious challenges in the near future. By 2010, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that our economy will support 168 million jobs, but the workforce will be only 158 million to fill those jobs. Therefore, a shortfall of 10 million is predicted (Herman, R. E., T. G. Olivo, and J. L. Gioia. 2003. Impending crisis. Winchester, VA: Oakhill Press.).

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. birthrate has fallen to about a breakeven level (from 3.3 births per couple in 1960 to 2.2 in 2000), while at the same time the dependency level of our growing population of aging citizens is increasing. By dependency, I mean that as we age we require more services: health care, maintenance, etc). In other words, who will mow my lawn or take care of me when I have Alzheimer’s?

“The soaring number of elderly people will affect the dependency ratio, which describes the impact of a nonworking population on a working population. In the United States, where there will be 246 elderly people for every 1,000 workers in 2010, there are projected to be 411 elderly per 1,000 workers in 2030.”

-D’Vera Cohn, The Divergent Paths of Baby Boomers and Immigrants

What makes the issue even more serious is that so many of us are choosing to retire at 62 (60%) rather than 65, robbing our economy of valuable workers and experience. In fact, in my humble opinion, we would be less dependent on immigration if our economy was better equipped to allow us to work well into our late 70s/early 80s . . . which would require some restructuring of social security and tax laws (in other words, don’t punish people for working).

In this video, Economist Robert Shapiro projects how economies around the world may respond to the aging of the Baby Boom generation.



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.

Mature Market Experts Gem of The Day: Baby Boomer Steve Jobs Turns 54

Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often: Yesterday Baby Boomer and cancer survivor Steve Jobs turned 54. As one of the people most responsible for shaping a generation, Steve offered some incredible insight on two important topics . . . how to get back up after getting fired (a pretty timely subject in this economy) and the power of death. This commencement speech which he gave at Stanford University is worth the 15 minutes of your time. 

PS     Steve, if you read this, please fix this IPOD problem for your Baby Boomer fans.

PPS   I like Mr. Job’s mention in the video of the “Google” predecessor.

Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: What Does The Mature Market Cut In A Bad Economy?

Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often – What Does The Mature Market Cut In A Bad Economy?- AARP’s research  “A year-end look at the Economic Slowdown’s Impact on Middle-Aged and Older Americans,” which was a review of 2008 provides some interesting insight on what changes the mature market makes during a recession. The three sectors that were effected the most (not counting essentials) were entertainment, dining, and travel.

Source: AARP’s research  “A year-end look at the Economic Slowdown’s Impact on Middle-Aged and Older Americans”

Mature Market Experts Gem of The Day: A Need That Recession Can’t Stop

Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often – A Need That Recession Can’t Stop – Interesting story in yesterday’s Dallas News that includes a quote from me (Tom Mann of TR Mann Consulting) about how the greying population means job stability for at least one sector of our economy.

Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: Mature Market Skiers and The Economy

CB047167 mature market skiers

Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often – mature market skiers and the economy – I recently went skiing close to home (Deep Creek, Maryland) with my wife and children and couldn’t help but notice the slopes were packed. Long lines everywhere you went. Didn’t seem like the economy was slowing business down at all. Upon closer review, I’d be willing to bet that many families are and will be vacationing closer to home to save money. The other thing I couldn’t help but notice is that the slopes were filled with boomers. In fact, in many instances I saw three generations of skiers from families. This broadening of the market has to be helping ski resorts. I know my parents weren’t skiing at 60. My observation of more mature market skiers definitely echoes what the industry is reporting:

The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) 2008 National Demographic Study states that there are continued gains in visitation among skiers and riders aged 45 and over. Since the winter of 1997-98, the proportion of skiers aged 45 to 54 has increased from 14% to 19.9% in the U.S., says the association. Skiers aged 55 to 64 has doubled from 4.6 percent to 9.2 percent; and the proportion of visitors aged 65 and over has also increased substantially, from 2.4 percent to 3.8 percent. The NSAA press release states, “According to the study, the loyalty and staying power of older participants has been a plus for ski resorts and has been a key driver of the success enjoyed by the industry in recent seasons.” Last season, the industry tallied a record 60.5 million skier visits nationally.

Just imagine how much more business they would be doing if they catered some more to baby boomer needs. I can tell you that ski lifts, as they are designed today, continue to be a major barrier for young and old. I saw more falls in these areas than any other part of the resort. I also think ski boots need a redesign, as they are far heavier than they need to be. And finally, I’d encourage the resorts to consider shorter ski rental periods and rates. Many grandparents would love to go down the bunny hill with their grandkids once or twice but don’t want to spend the day out there . . . and would happily retire to the bar or spa (with their wallets) after a couple of trips down.

By the way, TR Mann Consulting’s client GRAND Magazine, had a wonderful article on the top four ski resorts for grandparents and their grandkids.

Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: Marketing to Boomers and Seniors – 58 Segments and 13 Life Stages


Identifying key stages, like grandparenting, will go a long way towards improving your marketing.

Identifying key stages, like grandparenting, will go a long way towards improving your marketing.

Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often: Marketing To Boomers and Seniors — When it comes to tracking and categorizing the financial habits of the growing populations of Baby Boomers and Seniors, Claritas developed an effective demographic segmentation system called PRIZM NE (for more information visit which is particularly insightful for producers of annuity and life insurance products. As I’ve said, over and over to my clients, “It’s about stage NOT age!” Claritas’ system breaks down U.S. households by financial behavior across 58 segments within 13 life stage groups going back to 1987, which is a very helpful beginning. That being said, the surest way to develop a real relationship with potential customers is to engage them in a meaningful relationship. This PowerPoint outlines some ways to do that: TR Mann Consulting – Relational Marketing

PS  GRAND Magazine, one of TR Mann Consultings’ clients, offers an exceptional opportunity for marketers to capture an audience at a highly defined stage, at an exceptional cost per thousand. Grandparents will continue to spoil and spend money on their grandchildren even in the worst economy.