My love of demographics and changes in the marketplace led me to a recent book which I just finished reading entitled: “The Next America” Boomers, Millennial and the Looming Generational Showdown” Paul Taylor and The Pew Research Center.
While there are many great bits of information, I have pulled out just a few important ones because, I believe, by understanding the implications of this data, it may help is to find new solutions to these changes which will help us to improve the revenue line in our business.
Challenges that we simply need to understand:
– Nearly half of all children under the age of 12 are nonwhite. So are 4 in 10 members of the Millennium Generation or Generation Y (those born between 1980 to 2000). The oldest being 34 yrs of age and the youngest being 14…just about our cosmic bowling age. No wonder “Rap” music has such a large appeal to this group. By 2060, our entire population will be 40% white as compared to 1960 when it was 85% white. If your business is located in areas where these demographic changes are happening (and whose business isn’t?) you need to learn how to market to different ethnic groups from learning about their celebrations, their family’s idea of entertainment, their food choices and how they perceive bowling
– However just 1 in 5 of the “Greatest Generation” (those over 70 yrs of age now) and 1 in 4 of the Baby Boomers (those between the age of 50 and 68 now) are non white.
– In 1960, 6 in 10 “twenty somethings” were married. Today just 20% are married. And in 1960, just 5% of children were born to an unmarried mother. Today that number is 41%. If you’re still defining families as “two parents and two children”, you’re right only about 60% of the time. Maybe its time to have an every other week adult child program so Moms and Dads don’t have to adhere to such a rigid schedule. Or maybe even a Mom’s night out where YOU offer babysitting services…like we once did.
– 4 out of 10 children have a mother who is the sole or primary bread winner, up from 11% in 1960
– Women are now nearly half of the labor force, even though 3 out of 4 women work either part time or full time. And our colleges show enrollment tipped toward 60% female and 40% male in just the last few years. How do you talk to this woman, preoccupied with her children, stressed by her job and pulled in a frantic race against the clock every day? Offer her, or rather be THE choice for family time quality time and have your communications messages being delivered by a real live woman…just like them.
– In 1984, the average net worth of all households was $67,354. In 2011, it was only $68.828…an increase of just 2%. The only income group whose net worth actually increased were those over 65 ($124,259 in ’84 to $170,516 in ’11). ALL OTHER age groups net worth decreased!!
– As nuclear families change and people live longer, economic leverage will be given to those who provide the necessary “entertainment” to help people escape, even if it is ever so briefly, from their care giving of younger children and older parents; from the pressures of time; and from the need to make more money than last year while protecting whatever nest egg they have.
Now, how can you adapt to these changing demographics and get these new customers to give an “older and friendlier game” another chance to be new again? Talk to this emerging demographic. Find out, from a bowling experience, what are their expectations?
You just might be surprised.