The rising over 65 population is serious business
The Baby Boomers of the ‘60s have created an interesting new demographic trend precipitously poised to affect most developed world economies – that of a rising number of people aged 65-years-old and over, who are living considerably longer.
Apart from casting serious doubt on the future reliability of pensions and the furor about the strain this is expected to place on the provision and affordability of health care, the rising number of seniors has a number of other implications for business.
From a business management perspective
As the dream of working until the mandatory pensionable age and retiring to a life of leisure shatters, you’re likely to see employees wanting to work for longer. This will require a commitment to continued learning to keep skills up-to-date, and a flexible approach that allows people to work part time or remotely.
While the generation gap could create some tension, keeping older people on for longer can be a valuable way to maintain continuity in a recruitment environment that will see younger generations changing jobs more frequently. Using older employees as mentors for new staff is also an effective way to make use of an accumulated wealth of knowledge and experience.
From a product development and sales perspective
The change in demographics should present some new marketing and sales opportunities, especially if you’re first to market.
• Think about targeting seniors
No, not taking them out – marketing specifically to them. With the number of people over the age of 65 increasing, they’re becoming a significant market, possibly up to one-fifth of the population within a decade. Can you afford to ignore 20% or more of the population? Most businesses are thinking about how to market to Generation Y, but they also ought to make marketing to this segment of the population part of their marketing strategy.
• Think about related products and services
The growth in the over-65 population will provide the opportunity to develop new products and services. Can you diversify and come up with products that will ease pains, increase comfort or well-being or make their lives easier? Are there services you can offer this growing niche market?
The only constant in business is change, and smart businesses look out for change and find ways to use it to their advantage. Is there a way to use this change in demographics to your advantage, either directly or as a part of the larger supply chain?
What are you doing to use the change in population demographics to your advantage?