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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The consumer might not be who you think

Back in September, 2009, I offered some thoughts about how the unemployment issues of the Great Recession were impacting men in different ways that women [see “Déjà Vu, Women in the Workforce”]. It simply asserted that companies did not just fire people during the downturn, they fired paychecks… seeking not to reduce headcount, but to dramatically cut payroll. This put a target on the backs of a lot of men in management and in the C-suite. Also, the recession was particularly tough on people whose jobs were tied to manufacturing and construction.

Yesterday, Advertising Age offered a story that explains one of the possible implications of that shift, explaining that more men are in control of the household’s grocery shopping chores. Click here for the full story.

Implications: It’s not enough for a company to understand who their target consumers are. They must understand, also, how their target consumer groups are changing over time. And this isn’t just about groceries and packaged goods. Who’s taking the kids to the doctor? Who’s more likely to have a commute (and thus, decide on the next vehicle the household will purchase and the gas station/convenience store/coffee shop to stop at)? Who’s more likely to purchase business apparel, and who’s more likely to plan the next family vacation? Who will balance the checkbook and pay the household’s bills?

Who will drive the decision about the product or service you sell?

Mike Anderson

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