Examining consumer markets
Demographics are one of the ways marketers understand what is happening in our fast-paced society. Demography is a statistical study of human population that is based on simple numerical facts. Marketers rely on demographics because they operate in an environment that is significantly affected by changing trends in population. Knowing about present trends and identifying future consumer needs are essential components of consumer focused marketing. Such knowledge also facilitates the adaptation and development of products and services that can better meet the changing expectations of society. Trends are measured by changes over time in simple numbers — but they have broad implications.
David Foot, an economist at the University of Toronto , relies primarily on population statistics to explain changes in society. 'Demographics explain about two thirds of everything. They tell a great deal about which products will be in demand in five years, and they accurately predict school enrolments many years in advance. They allow us to forecast what drugs will be in fashion ten years down the road, as well as what sort of crimes will be on the increase. They help us to know when houses will go up in value and when they will go down' (Foot and Stoffman 1996, 2). Although others question whether demographics does explain as much as two-thirds of everything, there is general agreement that demographic changes must be carefully considered by marketers.
Chapter 3 of your text discusses in somewhat greater detail population trends and income patterns in the United States . But while a great deal of data is presented in this chapter, you will not be expected to remember, for example, the population of Malaysia , the per capita income in Mexico , or the percentage of Moroccans who can read and write.
There are far better measures than per capita income expressed in US dollars of any nation's 'standard of living' or market attractiveness. The most...