The Global Consumers Diverse, Demanding, Connected

The Global Consumers Diverse, Demanding, Connected

From Point, the online magazine of the Direct Marketing Association.

Susan D. Whiting, Vice Chair and Executive Vice President

Hard times have a way of transforming consumers, and the past couple of years have been harder than most. As the world’s economies emerge from the worst financial drubbing in four generations, recovery is taking sundry forms – from strong resurgence in developing countries to sluggish rebounds among rich states. Changes in consumer attitudes and behaviors also differ around the globe. Albeit many are results of the current downturn, others have been in motion for some time; and like a perfect storm they are now converging to create new challenges and opportunities for marketers.

One thing about consumers that is not changing is the fact that their numbers keep growing. Yet here too, progress is uneven. By 2030, there will be over a billion more people on the planet, but only about three percent of them will be born in the developed world. Across less developed regions, populations are expected to grow as much as 30 times faster.

As birth rates fall in places like Europe, North America, South Korea and Japan, families with children are steadily becoming a niche market. Even in the world’s most populous country, China, the current fertility rate of 1.8 hovers just above those of more industrialized nations. And within the next 15 years, China’s median age should surpass that of the United States.

India, on the other hand, is one of the youngest major economies in the world. With an average age of just 25, it will benefit considerably from its growing working-age population. Something larger economies are starting to lose… >>Continue Reading in DMA’s Point.