Age myopia in marketing: marketers must adapt to the demographics reality
For almost 50 years consumer business practice evolved to serve the flood of younger consumers that followed from the post war baby boom, until the targeting of „adults under the age of 35‟ took on the force of habit. Now, over the next 20 years or so, that demographic is forecast to fall by 20% within the European Union, while the number of adults aged over 50 is forecast to grow by 40%. Consumer businesses must adapt to a new demographic reality. The dominance of younger consumers, their growing affluence, inexperience and fascination with novelty, allowed marketing to develop in a way that became synonymous with advertising. In the process marketing practice became disconnected from the customer-centric cross-functional model advanced by Drucker and others, and lost the ability even to influence the cross-functional customer experience. Now, the developing dominance of more experienced, still affluent but canny older consumers, with different needs and motivations, means that marketing practice has to change in ways involving the whole organization. Lacking board level representation, or sufficient influence, the marketing function is not in a position to make that change, which must be driven by senior corporate management.