Monday, September 19, 2016

Words of wisdom for entrepreneurs hoping to make it big in the ageing business

As usual, Laurie Orlov hits the proverbial nail on the proverbial head when she offers some advice to start-up companies competing for assistance to launch their products into the ageing busienss.

Like me, it sounds as if she heard the revelations from from budding entrepreneurs about how they were motivated to to start a business having seen their aged grandmother grapple with some issue or another and decided they had just the solution. That might be terrific reason to initiate thinking about a new idea but it is no substitute for good old market research.

Before I get a comment about Steve Jobs never using research or focus groups let me say that 99.999% of these new venturers will never have the same insights and personality as Mr Jobs.

I would offer just one sentence of advice. The ageing business is no different from any other. It requires all the good old fashion skills of marketing and immaculate project management. Boring though these might be, without them you don't stand a chance. You might make your grandmother happy but you are likely to waste a lot of your own time and money. Dick Stroud

Friday, September 16, 2016

The term millennial is useless - agree. So is the term baby boomer

Marketing Week has an article entitled:  'Behaviour versus demographics: Why the term ‘millennial’ is useless'.  This is all about yet another segmentation model that uses patterns of behaviour and attitudes, rather than age and age groups.

Forrester is the originator of this new segmentation model. I have to say it looks amazingly similar to the ones I used over a decade ago. Guess if something is right in 2006 it is right in 2016.

I hoped that the lazy way of grouping people by age, giving them a title, be in baby boomer or millennial, and then dreaming up some characteristics that applies to all their behaviour was so obviously daft that it had been binned. I fear it hasn't.

I thought it was worth commenting on the model and it also gave me another opportunity to embed this brilliant video about millennials. OK, OK, I know I said you couldn't generalise or stereotype a whole generation but it is good fun trying.

Kim Walker sent me this article from Campaign about Millennials. I am not really sure what it is saying - in one breadth the author suggests that they have a set of common characteristics and then says they cannot be treated as a homogenous group.  The usual observation is made about their attachment to smartphones but that is not really telling us anything we didn't already know.

Undoubtedly, if you were only seeking to target Millennials then life would be a lot easier but most of the time that is not the case. Because of this I would focus on groups with a common set of behaviours rather than age. Dick Stroud

Thursday, September 15, 2016

The FCA is doing excellent work but is missing the biggest financial issue facing older people

There is a lot to be welcomed in the recently released update from FCA about their work programme to ensure the UK’s financial services industry is fit for purpose in dealing with the ageing population.

Things like identifying the ‘The Ageing Mind’ as being an important issue in the structuring of products and marketing communications.

These are the other areas they are investigating: The uppper age limits on financial products, mortgage lending to older consumers, advice about long term care and making it easier for third parties to help older people manage their finances. This is all good stuff. Well done the FCA.

But why oh why have you ignored the big, no the vast, elephant in the room, of how older people use their property wealth to fund their post work existence? Of all the things that needs to be sorted this is it.

Please have another think and add it to your list. Dick Stroud